A classic PB&J is the best. It’s the kind that you eat on soft white bread with sweet peanut butter and sweet, gloppy jelly. I have refined this nostalgic treat as an adult with small-batch jam and natural almond butter. But nothing can compare to the original. Instead of trying to reinvent a classic recipe, I made a cake with those same flavors! Instead of sticking to the traditional peanut butter frosting, I’m sure we have all used to top cupcakes with, I tried out a few new ways to incorporate peanut butter in a layer cake. Layers of cake are baked with creamy peanut butter in the batter and then topped with sweet strawberry jam. The Brown-Sugar Peanut Butter Butter Buttercream is the star of the cake. It tastes just like honey-roasted peanuts! A kiss of more nutty buttercream completed the beautiful glass-like effect of seedless jam on top of the cake. Sprinkle chopped peanuts on the sides of your cake for an extra crunch.
To make the peanut butter cake:
- 2 1/4 cup cake flour
- Two teaspoons of Baking Powder
- 3/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsalted Butter, Softened
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 1/2 cups granulated Sugar
- Two eggs
- 2/3 cup milk
- Two teaspoons of vanilla extract
Brown Sugar Peanut Butter Frosting
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (firmly packed).
- Three egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted Butter, Softened
- One teaspoon of vanilla essence
- Six tablespoons of creamy peanut Butter
For the Assembly:
- Seedless strawberry jelly
- chopped peanuts, optional
Bake the perfect cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Three 6-inch cake pans can be greased and floured.
- Mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Use a paddle attachment to your electric mixer to mix the peanut butter and butter until they are creamy. Mix in the Sugar, and continue to mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.
- Reduce the speed to low, and then add the vanilla extract and eggs one at a. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl’s bottom and sides.
- Mix the flour mixture with the mixer at low speed. Mix in the milk until well combined. Mix in the flour, and continue to mix.
- Bake for 28 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the cakes.
The frosting is a must.
- Mix sugar and egg whites in a bowl with a stand mixer. Whisk until well combined.
- Place the bowl on top of a saucepan of simmering water to create a double boiler. Mix the egg mixture constantly until it registers 160° on a candy thermometer. Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer.
- Use the whisk attachment to beat the egg white mixture for 8-10 minutes on high speed until it is no longer warm to your touch. The meringue should be stiff and glossy, and fluffy.
- Switch to the paddle attachment. Mix the butter in with the mixer on medium-low until well combined. Add the vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
- Mix in the peanut butter. If the buttercream appears curdled at any stage, you can continue mixing. If your buttercream seems too soupy, place it in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes and then mix again.
Assemble the cake:
- Place one layer of cake on a cake plate or stand. To prevent the jam from leaking, pipe a ring of buttercream (see this article If you have never made a buttercream dam before, this is the place to start. Place a layer of strawberry jam inside the barrier. Continue with the second layer of cake, another dam, and more strawberry jam. Frost cake with buttercream remaining and crumbs.
- Use an open-star tip to pipe a ring with icing along the top edge. Smoothen the center with strawberry jam. If desired, decorate the bottom with chopped peanuts.
- Could you keep it in the refrigerator? Keep at room temperature.