Le Food Snob

updated 4.26.2018

This is a Paula Deen Recipe that is actually rather putzy and time-consuming to make with all its fillings, ganaches and frostings. Yet it’s worth the putziness and your time.

cake ingredients.

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 c. cake flour
  • 1 1/4 c. Dutch process cocoa
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 c. buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

cake directions.

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; sift 2 times.
  4. Add sifted flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in vanilla.
  5. Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake 28 to 32 minutes, or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack. (I like to freeze the layers for a little bit. They are easier to handle when slightly frozen and won’t crumble/crumb as much when frosting.)
  6. Spread Chocolate Ganache Topping evenly over each cake layer. Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter. Spread half of Nutty Peanut Butter Mousse on top of Chocolate Ganache Topping, to within 1/2 inch of edges of cake. Top with another cake layer. Spread remaining Peanut Butter Mousse on top of Chocolate Ganache Topping to within 1/2-inch of edges of cake. Top with final cake layer.
  7. Spread Chocolate Frosting over top and sides of cake. Drizzle with Peanut Butter Ganache and garnish with peanuts, if desired.

chocolate ganache ingredients.

  • 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 3 T. heavy whipping cream

chocolate ganache directions.

  1. Combine morsels and cream in a small microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Microwave on high for 30 seconds; stir.
  3. Continue to microwave in 30-second intervals until mixture is smooth when stirred. Let cool 10 minutes.

peanut butter mousse ingredients.

  1. 1/2 c. peanut butter morsels
  2. 1 1/4 c. heavy whipping cream, divided
  3. 1/2 c. peanut butter
  4. 1/4 c. confectioners’ sugar

peanut butter mouse directions.

  1. Combine morsels and 1/4 cup cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds; stir. Continue to microwave in 30-second intervals until mixture is smooth when stirred. Stir in peanut butter; let cool.
  2. In a small bowl, beat remaining whipping cream with an electric mixer until thickened. Add confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into cooled peanut butter mixture.

chocolate frosting ingredients.

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/4 c. Dutch process cocoa
  • 4 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 T. milk

chocolate frosting directions.

  1. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in cocoa and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
  2. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition, until desired consistency is reached.

peanut butter ganache ingredients.

  • 1 c. peanut butter morsels
  • 3 T. heavy whipping cream

peanut butter ganache directions.

  1. Combine morsels and cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds; stir.
  2. Continue to microwave in 30-second intervals until mixture is smooth when stirred. Let cool slightly.

Here’s what I said about this cake back in 2013:

I have this thing with cakes. I hate when they’re dry. It’s my pet peeve. Therefore, I watch my cake layers like a hawk while they’re baking. The original recipe said to bake the cake for 33 to 38 minutes. That seemed waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long to me. I was right. Depending on how evenly you pile the batter into your pans, these layers shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. I overcooked two of my layers slightly. And when I say ‘overcooked,’ I mean I cooked them until done by normal standards.

I had a heck of a time getting one of my layers out of the pan to allow it to finish cooling (even though I had used wax paper on the bottom of each pan – would highly recommend that or parchment paper!). The layers seemed a bit fragile/crumbly when I removed them from the pan, so I stuck them in the freezer to firm them up a bit before frosting.

It’s my opinion that the pieces of the middle of the cake are the best pieces. The ends tend to get dried out. This cake was no exception. The middle of the cake was the most moist (and had the most peanut butter mousse filling). If I ever make this cake again, I think I might slice the layers in half to get six layers. However, as is, this cake will please any chocolate and peanut butter lover that you know. Bon appétit!

In 2018 when I made the cake again I didn’t overbake it but still had issues getting one of my layers out of the pan! And I used parchment paper in the pans as I do with all my cakes now. I took this cake to work and wowed everyone. It was a favorite!

Recipe rating: 

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