Thursday, August 16, 2007

Peanut Butter Silk Cake

I typically make cakes from scratch, but there are times when I use boxed cake mixes for time and convenience sake. There are some great recipes that can jazz up a cake mix and make it fabulous. This is one cake that starts with a mix and is yummy!

1 package Betty Crocker yellow cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup (heavy) whipping cream
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons milk, or as needed
2 cups confectioners' sugar (I just use the whole box)
1/2 unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup chopped peanuts
OR use one tub milk chocolate frosting

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 8-inch or 9-inch round pans with cooking spray and with waxed paper circles on the bottom. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, 1/2 cup peanut butter, the oil and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pans. Bake 32 to 38 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of pan to loosen cakes; remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

In 2 quart sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat; stir in brown sugar. Heat to boiling; boil and stir 1 minutes. Remove from heat. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. BE SURE TO ONLY LEAVE IT IN THE REFRIGERATOR FOR 10 MINUTES OR IT WILL HARDEN LIKE GLUE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAN AND IT WILL TAKE A SWEET FOREVER TO GET IT OFF!

In chilled medium bowl, beat whipping cream on high speed until soft peaks form; set aside. In another medium bowl, beat 1/2 cup peanut butter and the brown sugar mixture on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add whipped cream to peanut butter mixture; beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth and creamy.

Split each cake layer horizontally to make 2 layers using a serrated knife. Fill each layer with about 2/3 cake peanut butter mixture to within 1/2 inch of edge. Put in refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

To make frosting place the butter into a medium bowl, and beat with an electric mixer. Gradually mix in the sugar and cocoa, and when it starts to get thick, incorporate milk one tablespoon at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is thick and spreadable. Beat for at least 3 minutes for it to get good and fluffy.

Frost side and top of cake. Press peanuts onto frosting on side of cake. Store covered in refrigerator.
Tips for Using Whipping Cream: There are two simple but very important rules for using whipping cream. First, make sure that your bowl and beater are perfectly clean. I always wash and dry them right before using them for whipping cream. Second, put both the bowl and the beater in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes before you plan to use them. These two things seem to be the key to whipping cream easily!
Total Prep and Baking Time: 2 and 1/2 hours

TIP OF THE DAY: When using peanut butter in a recipe, spray your measuring cup with cooking spray before adding the peanut butter to easily remove the peanut butter from the cup.

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