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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake

  I have a father, and I call him papa.

  My papa had a birthday recently, and I made sure that the Sundays with Joy schedule had this cake going the weekend of it.

  My grandma had a peanut butter birthday cake recipe that was always made for my papa.  When she wasn't around to make it anymore, my mom took up the chore.

  This year, as I flipped through Joy's book, my eyes fell upon a page containing the most mouth-watering image of a piece of cake.  Peanut butter cake.

  It's pretty big when you suggest as big a change as switching up your grandma's peanut butter cake recipe.  It also says a lot when your somewhat unchanging father acquiesces.

  And so it was planned, I would use Joy's recipe in place of grandma's.

  Then October came, and with it one of the busiest weekends of work in my entire three years of seasonal employment.  But, after 8 hours of fudge making, I came home and diligently whipped up a cake and frosting.  The next morning I had it frosted and photographed within the two hours I had before going out the door.  And you can be sure that from then on until Monday, I was barely home long enough to sleep. 

  But while I was heating apple cider, spinning caramel apples, and barely keeping up with doughnut orders, my mind was on this cake- and my family's reactions to it.

  Later that night, I learned that the cake was more than acceptable.

  Because I seem unable to follow recipes anymore, I sort of improvised throughout the making and combined my grandma's and Joy's recipes.  The result was popular, and garnished with Joy's secret chocolate frosting (which I actually did follow to a T), it was to die for.  Since I made no adaptations to that recipe, you'll have to buy Joy's book to get it! Or, you can also find the recipe on her blog, just click here.

  Or, in lieu of that, might I suggest this Nutella Cloud recipe?  Or perhaps this equally naughty peanut butter one?  Whatever you prefer!

  Many thanks to my lovely papa for letting me slice and photograph this baby a day ahead of his actual birthday.  He's tremendously supportive of my blogging efforts (and everything else), and I love him to pieces for it.  Happy birthday, Papa!  Thank you for trusting me with your cake this year, it meant the world to me when you said that I would've done grandma proud.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake
Yield: makes one 8 or 9-inch 2-layer cake

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  •  1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Position oven racks in the center and upper third of the oven.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour two 8 or 9-inch round cake pans.  Line the bottoms with parchment and grease and flour that as well. (I just used nonstick cooking spray for the whole thing.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the peanut butter, butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy; 3-5 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating on medium speed for one minute between additions.  Stop and scrape down the bowl as necessary.  Beat in the vanilla extract.

With the mixer on low speed, add half of the flour mixture until just incorporated, then slowly pour in all of the buttermilk.  When the mixture just starts to come together, add the remaining flour mixture and beat on low until the mixture has almost come together.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the chocolate chips.  Finish incorporating the mixture with a rubber spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans.  Place on the 2 separate racks in the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes, rotate the cake pans to alternating racks, and continue to bake for 15-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean (Be very careful of overbaking!  Check often, and early.)

Let cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes before inverting onto wire racks to cool completely.  Frost cooled cakes as desired (You can find Joy the Baker's recipe by searching for The Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting on her blog.  Or just google it!  It'll come up.)  Cake will last, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Sources: adapted from Joy the Baker's Cookbook