A few weeks ago, peanut butter re-entered my life in full force. It's always had it's place, you know, in peanut butter and banana sandwiches and peanut butter banana cakes, but that peanut butter torte bumped it up several notches in my dessert roster. And this cake? It sealed the deal.
(First of all, let me say if you're going to put sour cream in a cake, you've got my attention.)
The chocolate sour cream cake in this recipe is moist and tender, and just about melts into the peanut butter frosting inside your mouth. It's like the cake and frosting are one; meant to live in symbiotic cake bliss...
And (as if you needed more convincing) this cake doesn't even require a mixer!
Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting adapted from Sky High (buy this cook book.)
2 cups AP flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 T distilled white vinegar
1 t vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Line the bottoms of three 8-in round cake pans with parchment paper.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Stir in the oil and sour cream (at this point it tastes like thick brownie batter mmmmmm). Gradually whisk in the water, then the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs until thoroughly mixed. Divide among the cake pans.
Bake for 35 minutes (more like 25 if you're using 9-in pans), and use a knife to test the middle.
Let cool on racks. (I like to wrap mine in plastic wrap once they're cool and pop in the freezer until I'm ready to frost. It makes the frosting behave; it stiffens on the cold layers. This is especially important as this week was the first really hot, humid week we had here. The cake almost died in transportation.)
Make your Peanut Butter Frosting:
(ok, I lied a little bit. This part is best done with a mixer).
12 oz softened cream cheese
1 stick softened butter
5 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter (not natural)
Beat the cream cheese and butter together until fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat a few minutes more before adding the peanut butter, then beat until completely blended.
Frost your cake, and top with Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze:
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
3 T smooth peanut butter
2 T light corn syrup
1/2 cup half and half
In a heat-proof bowl set over boiling water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter and corn syrup. Heat, stirring often, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in the half and half.
This part can be messy....Carefully pour the glaze over the cake, letting it run down the sides in attractive drips. You might want to do this on a rack over a baking sheet. It's best to refrigeratethe cake for a half hour or so before cutting or moving, just to let it set up.
Nom nom nom nom.