Crunchy Milk Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake

READY IN: 2hrs 15mins




  • Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Butter and flour a 9-by-13-inch cake pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.
  • Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  • Whisk in the boiling water.
  • Pour the batter (it will be thin) into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.
  • Invert the cake onto a work surface.
  • Working carefully, slice the cake horizontally.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 325°.
  • Make the filling: Trace a 9-by-13-inch rectangle onto a sheet of parchment paper and lay it on a large baking sheet.
  • In a food processor, pulse the almonds with the confectioners’ sugar until they’re finely ground.
  • In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks form.
  • Add the granulated sugar and beat until the whites are stiff and glossy, about 2 minutes.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold in the almond mixture.
  • Spread the meringue on the parchment to fill the rectangle.
  • Sprinkle the chopped peanuts on top.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned and firm. Let cool.
  • In a medium bowl set in a saucepan of simmering water, heat the peanut butter with the butter and milk chocolate, stirring constantly, until smooth and melted.
  • Remove from the heat and fold in the Rice Krispies.
  • Spread the mixture all over the meringue rectangle.
  • Transfer to the freezer and let cool completely.
  • Make the ganache: In a medium bowl set in a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate.
  • Whisk in the cream until smooth.
  • Remove from the heat and refrigerate for 1 hour, whisking occasionally, until thick enough to spread.
  • Assemble the cake: Place the bottom cake layer cut side up on a large board.
  • Spread one-third of the ganache over the cake.
  • Invert the filling onto the cake and peel off the paper.
  • Spread half of the remaining ganache over the filling, then top with the second cake layer.
  • Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
  • Using a serrated knife, trim the edges.
  • Spread the remaining ganache over the top and sides of the cake and refrigerate to set.
  • Cut and serve.