Apples and bananas are a deliciously refreshing pair; bagels and cream cheese were made to be together.  But nothing beats the chocolate-peanut butter combo.  After you’ve mastered the chocolate peanut butter cookie, you’re ready to take on this moist, chocolaty, peanut buttery fun cake.  The buttercream frosting is a little more intensive than scooping it out of a tin, but trust me, it’s well worth the effort. Plus, once you’ve mastered this frosting recipe, you can do just about anything.

Adapted from Bon Appetit 


Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Servings: 16

Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (3 1/2 ounces)

Peanut Butter Buttercream:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup egg whites (from about 2 large eggs)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (about 1 3/4 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray an 8×8 in cake pan with nonstick spray.
3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.
4. Add oil, vanilla, and 1 1/4 cups water and whisk until smooth.  Add chopped chocolate and combine.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for 35-40 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

6. While cake is baking, combine sugar and egg whites in a medium metal bowl and place it over a saucepan of simmering water (this is called a double boiler).
7. Whisk constantly until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot to the touch, about 3-4 minutes.
8. Remove from heat.  With an electric mixer, beat egg whites and sugar on high until cool and thick, about 5-6 minutes.
9. Add vanilla, then peanut butter, and mix until smooth.
10. While mixer is running, add butter piece by piece, taking time in between to fully incorporate each piece.
11. Season with a generous pinch of salt.
12. When cake is fully cooled, run a knife around the edges to release it from pan.  Invert cake onto a serving plate.  Spread buttercream over top and garnish with chopped peanuts and chocolate.  Enjoy!