Prep 40 mins
Cook 40 mins
Recipe is from King Arthur's website. Espresso powder helps make this a deep, dark fudge cake.
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups king arthur unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3⁄4 cup double dutch dark cocoa or 3⁄4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 3⁄4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1⁄4 cups water
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 1⁄2 cups peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3⁄4 cup milk
- 1 1⁄3 cups chocolate chips or 1 1⁄3 cups chopped semisweet chocolate
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350°F Lightly grease and flour (or grease, then line with parchment, then grease again) two 8" x 2" round cake pans. Note: These pans need to be at least 2" tall; if you have non-standard, shorter 8" pans, substitute 9" round pans.
- To make the cake: Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, oil, and vanilla, beating until smooth.
- Gradually add the water, beating until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
- Bake the cakes for 35 to 38 minutes (a bit less if you use a 9" pan), or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn them out of the pans to cool completely on a rack.
- To make the filling: Mix the sugar, peanut butter and vanilla till crumbly. Add the milk and mix till smooth, adding more milk if necessary to make a spreadable filling.
- Divide the cooled layers in half horizontally, to make four layers. Place one layer on a serving plate, and spread with filling. Repeat with the next two layers. Top with the final cake layer.
- To make the icing: Combine the chocolate chips, cream, and corn syrup in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Microwave till the cream is very hot, and the chips are soft.
- Stir till the chips melt, and the mixture is smooth.
- Spread the icing atop the cake, letting it drizzle down the sides.
- Serve in thin slices; the cake is very rich.
Loved the flavor of this cake, but I feel the need to review the recipe in parts.
Cake: fantastic. It rose perfectly, cut beautifully, stayed moist and supple as I was transferring the layers... definitely a keeper recipe.
Filling: extremely tasty, but not quite firm enough for me... it was viscous enough that the layers kept sliding around. Next time I think I'll reduce the milk a bit, and hope that it adheres the layers better.
Ganache: knowing my luck with layer cakes, I skipped this and made a frosting instead. You'd have to get your layers perfectly aligned for a ganache to cover the sides evenly, and that's way outside my skillset :)
We tried this last year for my birthday and it turned out to be the best cake I've ever had. In fact, my sister had it for her birthday, and my mother for hers. It's an instant classic if you're a fan of peanut butter and chocolate.