Delicious vanilla cake with peanut butter filling, chocolate buttercream, and chocolate ganache. This cake is AMAZING.
If you’re thinking “that’s not a very blog like, cake photo”, I totally agree. I took the photo not intending for it to be shared on a public site. But, the cake is delicious, and I want to share the recipe, so share the photo it is.
Last weekend my friend Caitlin threw her husband Scott a birthday party, and since my love language is cake, I offered to make the cake. Caitlin told me Scott loves peanut butter and chocolate. Well, I believe that the Lord made peanut butter and chocolate to go together, so dreaming up this concoction was right up my alley. This is a vanilla cake with peanut butter filling, chocolate buttercream frosting, chocolate ganache and peanut butter buttercream decor.
I had a busy week with both of my kids being sick, so instead of doing a cake completely from scratch, I spiced up a box mix. I’m not going to lie, I think I get more compliments on spiced up box mixes than scratch cakes. So, when in a pinch, I always feel good about the decision to go to a box. And actually, that philosophy sticks for wine as well.
Vanilla Cake with Peanut Butter Filling and Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 1 box Duncan Hines vanilla cake mix
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup oil
- 3 oz package vanilla instant pudding
- 1 cup buttermilk or 1.5 tbsp vinegar in 1milk- let sit for 5 minutes
Peanut Butter Filling
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cup powdered sugar sugar
- 6-7 tablespoons whole milk or heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 cup shortening I use all vegetable shortening
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2-3 tablespoons milk or heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups Hershey dark chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Peanut Butter Buttercream
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/4 cup shortening again I use all vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- pinch of sea salt
- First, make the cake: Preheat over to 350. Line three 9" round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease and flour sides.
- Mix cake mix, eggs, oil, pudding and buttermilk in stand mixer with whisk attachment until smooth, about 5 minutes.
- Divide batter between the 3 prepared pans.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, until toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out with just a few crumbs.
- Let cool in pans for 5 minutes.
- Remove cakes to rack to finish cooling.
- Next, make the peanut butter filling: Beat the peanut butter and vanilla together until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Add powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition until mixture is smooth.
- Add milk 1-2 tbsp at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Beat at medium speed until smooth. Set aside.
- Then, make your chocolate buttercream: Use stand mixed with paddle attachment to cream butter and shortening together until smooth.
- Stir together powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Add to butter/shortening mixture ~1/2 cup at a time, mixing first at low, then medium, after each addition until smooth.
- Add milk 1 tbsp at a time until desired consistency is achieved. Set aside.
- Now, let's assemble: Level cakes. I used a Wilton cake leveler.
- Spread half of peanut butter filling on top of one layer. Place next layer on top of filling. Spread rest of peanut butter filling on this layer. Place final cake layer on top. NOTE: I always put the top two cake layers top side down as I find it easier to frost the bottoms of cakes.
- Apply a thin layer of chocolate butter cream around the cake. I usually put it back in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to let it seal up. After this, finish frosting with the remaining buttercream.
- Time for some ganache: Place chips and syrup in heat proof bowl.
- Heat heavy cream in microwave until it starts to boil (about 1 minute in my microwave).
- Pour cream over chips and syrup.
- Wrap bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Remove plastic and whisk together.
- Let sit for another 3-5 minutes, then pour over cake, starting in the middle of the top layer.
- Use an offset spatula to take ganache to edges.
- Finish up with some peanut butter buttercream: In stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat together butter, shortening, and peanut butter until smooth.
- Add in powdered sugar, ~1/2 cup at at time, mixing well after each addition.
- Add salt and mix well. Scrape sides and beat as needed.
- Add cream, 1-2 tbsp at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Beat on high for about 3 minutes, until buttercream has become light and fluffy. Scrape sides as needed.
- Place in pasty bag and decorate as desired.
Things used to make this cake that I recommend (all affiliate links):
- Chicago Metallic Professional Non-Stick Round Cake Pan, 8-inch I use these for all my 8″ cakes as I believe they bake well
- Wilton 10-Inch Carboard Cake Circle This is perfect for transporting a cake
- Parchment Paper Liners for Round Cake Pans 8-inch These cut out a lot of time in my cake making process
- Kitchen Aid Mixer This is the most used small appliance in my kitchen, well besides the microwave, and I love it
- Wilton Buttercream Tip Set These make buttercream frosting look beautiful
- Wilton Pastry Bags I use the 12″ bags for almost all frosting … I use them so much that I buy them in bulk
- Wilton Cake Leveler See about me to understand why I love this thing