Reese’s Peanut Butter Cake

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This moist peanut butter cake is a great way to celebrate any birthday or special occasion. Top it with a sweet chocolate frosting.

baby with valentine's onesie

This.

It’s hard for me to look at this photo and not tear up. As any parent knows, time becomes a whirling vortex. This was so long ago, and also yesterday. But today, for real, he is five.

Five is one of those special numbers. Even though he won’t start kindergarten until next fall thanks to Texas rules, he is in all other ways a kindergartner. He is a Boy, not a baby. Running and shouting and making guns out of anything, but also tending to his stuffed animals and making sure to share anything he thinks I or his father need. Every other day a huge new word pops out and more often than not he is using it correctly. He eats more than I do.

Luckily, thankfully, I can still wrap my arms around him. I still get sneak-attack kisses. I still can teach him all that I can, before he forsakes me and gardening and the kitchen for cafeteria food and whatever teenagers will be doing in 2022.

Right now that means baking.

I began cooking by learning how to bake, so I have been working on getting Reese acquainted with it as well. It seemed only fitting that he should help make his birthday cake.

Boy in kitchen with baking ingredients

Now, I am one of those people who must keep everything neat and tidy while cooking. I put things away as I use them, and wipe up spills immediately.

This doesn’t quite work when you invite a kid into the kitchen. Things get spilled. Actually, lots of things get spilled. But eventually you’ll have a great partner and possible sous chef. We just start slow, with mixing and measuring. For us what works best is using a kitchen scale for the measuring – kids don’t exactly have the hang of “proper” cup measure. We have done a few batches of cookies and muffins together before, so our next step was egg cracking. I guided his hands on the first egg, but he was doing it by himself completely by the third egg.

mom and child cracking eggs

I think he’s already better at it than I am. Not even one tiny bit of shell in the whole batch!

(You might be wondering where the stand mixer is, and to that I say, feh! I mean, I do love my stand mixer, but I also enjoy mixing a cake by hand. When it comes to teaching, you can’t quite replicate the same experience with “dump ingredient in and turn on”.)

Cupcakes are great for kids’ parties of course, so we made both a small layer cake and cupcakes. Scooping out the batter is a good job for kids, although if you are using the spring-loaded cookie scoops, you might need to help. We watched the cakes rise while we ate lunch, and it’s hard to beat the pride that came every time he excitedly exclaimed that we needed to look again because now they were taller.

Of course, being a kid with lots of things on his mind, he lost interest when it came time to decorate. Which made for the perfect opportunity to carry out the plan.

peanut butter cake decorated with lego fondant

Did you know perfection is one of those words that works in different ways? I’m hardly a cake-decorating expert, but when I see this picture, all I think about is the love that went into it. Not how long it took to cut out the fondant circles for the bricks, but how my son’s eyes lit up when he saw the finished cake. Can we bottle that emotion? Because that is perfection.

I have become obsessed with self-rising flour lately, so I’m really happy to be able to spread the love to you. I’ve used it for everything, from biscuits to pancakes to quick bread to cake. Anything that requires less work on my part is great! 

If you’ve never used cake enhancer, it makes cakes extra soft and moist, and the chocolate extract adds another kick of chocolate to cake and frosting without adding more cocoa powder or melted chocolate. Just use it in place of vanilla!

Reese's Peanut Butter Cake

Reese's Peanut Butter Cake

Yield: 1 6-inch cake and 12 cupcakes (or 1 9-inch cake or 24 cupcakes)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Moist peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting

Ingredients

For the cake

For the frosting

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake pans: grease pans, lay a circle of parchment on the bottom, grease the parchment, and then flour pans. If making cupcakes just line tin with cupcake papers.
  2. In a large bowl cream together peanut butter, butter, and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs. In a small bowl mix flour and cake enhancer.
  3. Alternate stirring in flour and milk into butter mixture, starting and ending with flour, until batter is smooth.
  4. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 25-35 minutes, depending on size of pan, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a rack for five minutes, then remove from pans and finish cooling. (If you're in a hurry, tightly wrap the cakes in plastic wrap, then place in the freezer. The resulting steam will help keep them moist, and the freezer jaunt will make frosting easier.)
  5. To make the frosting, beat together butter, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder until well-mixed and fluffy. Beat in chocolate extract, and the milk a little bit at a time, until you get desired consistency. (You might not use all the milk, or you might need more.) Frost cakes, and store any extra in an airtight container in the fridge.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 300Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 82mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 5g

Did you make this recipe?

Share on Instagram and tag @stetted!

In case you were wondering: No, we did not bring a peanut butter-laden cake to his party. We made two cakes.

cake tools

Disclaimer: I was provided with the same products as the giveaway for the purpose of review. I was not otherwise compensated for this post.

106 Comments

  1. Oh man! You had me tearing up. I live those memories and they go by too too quick!

    Thank for sharing these stories.

  2. Tweeted your giveaway. I need the markers! And the chocolate syrup sounds great! Oh and of course anything KA is superb.

  3. I already have “liked” stetted cause your awesome. I have already “liked” King Arthur because they do make great flours and baking essentials. I have not followed “King Arthur” on twitter but I will do it now. Happy B-day R. That cake looks perfect! I bet it taste pretty perfect too. 🙂

  4. I understand about babies growing up too fast…my youngest will be 9 next week! He has picked either the German choc. cake from the America’s test kitchen cookbook or their cheesecake. I would have to say coconut is my favorite!

  5. Black Forest or German Chocolate are my favorites!

    I’ve never actually made a cake without a stand mixer… I must try this recipe though, it looks absolutely amazing!

  6. my favorite cake is a cream cheese pound cake….oooohhh…to die for…hide it from the family and eat it all by myself – kind of good!

    1. @Ellie, based on some of the reviews of the product on the King Arthur website, it makes GF baked goods lighter and have a better texture. I have not yet tried it with GF recipes though I am eager to, especially since my past GF baking attempts turned out rather… bad.

  7. Just found your website! I have a little one, Kai, who will be turning 5 soon, and also loves LEGOS, peanut butter, and to help cook. Favorite cake flavor is dark chocolate.

  8. “Like” Stetted on Facebook. DONE!
    “Like” King Arthur Flour on Facebook. DONE!!!
    I don’t Twitter…yet…

  9. Favorite cake? At the moment it is bakewell tart, which is cake made with ground almonds in a pastry case with a layer of raspberry jam…..mmmmmm

  10. This cake sounds delicious!!! A must for my baker/chef-on-on-the-side fiancé! My most favorite cake recently has been salted caramel. Perfect blend of salty and sweet. Yum!

  11. Chocolate cake with chocolate filling and chocolate icing. Dipped in chocolate. 🙂
    Like Stetted check (love stetted <3)
    Like King Arthur check
    Tweeted Post check
    Follow @kingarthurflour check

  12. I love a peanut butter cake with chocolate chips topped with a fudgy frosting. Thanks for the chance to enter.

  13. My favorite cake is a Maple Black Walnut layer cake. Brings back memories of a great bakery that was near our apartment growing up years ago. The bakery was gone during urban renewal and everyone missed that one particular cake forever. I finally decided to make it myself and now hubby and I enjoy it all the time when we crave some good old fashioned sweets.

  14. Favorite cake to make for a crowd is a chocolate stout cake with chocolate espresso buttercream. I’ll be experimenting with chocolate/peanut butter when I make my wedding cake, though!

  15. “Liked” King Arthur on FB. I realized how awesome the products are when I first used their bread flour instead of my old brand and had about 1/3 more rise!

  16. I would have to say that a spice cake aka apple, carrot, etc. would be my favorite cake flavor. But Chocolate ALMosT ties.

  17. Ooh, I love giveaways! My favorite cake flavor is…that’s too difficult! Banana chocolate chip holds a special place in my heart because that was our wedding cake flavor. I also love red velvet- and cinnamon swirl crumb cake 🙂

  18. well, now I wanna try Reese’s Peanut Butter cake! My favorite cake right now is: banana bread with mini reese’s peanut butter cups inside! be careful not to let them sink to the bottom of the pan!

  19. Awesome that you’re letting him help in the kitchen. My kids helped me in the kitchen from the time they were old enough to push a chair across the kitchen to watch. They are all grow up now and are both really good cooks! They started out baking, too!

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