Salted Peanut Butter Frosting
a birthday cake story
We celebrated Matthew’s birthday a couple of weeks ago, and it occurred to me that I’ve never made him the same cake twice. His first love is chocolate—strictly speaking about food here, because I’m pretty sure I come above chocolate but that may vary with the day, given my mood and level of stress. He also loves a good chocolate-peanut butter combination, and the more I thought about what this year’s cake should be, I remembered my salted peanut butter frosting recipe.
The recipe has been sitting on my backup drive since I developed it seven years ago, originally for a Simple Scratch Baking cookbook proposal I was working on. It was finally time to unearth that recipe but there were a few more details to consider. Which chocolate cake recipe should I use? Would I keep the outside coating of frosting the same as the filling or go for something different to create layered flavors? And then there’s how to finish the cake—how much bling did it need, and what should the bling be?
For the outer frosting, the more my vision for Matthew’s cake came into focus, the more I liked the idea of turning it into a candy bar inspired cake. The salted peanut butter frosting would be the filling and crumb coat (see notes), and I decided to go with a fudge frosting on the outside.
The cake was topped with peanut brittle using the recipe from this chocolate peanut butter mousse, and the final touch was chocolate crumbs around the sides of the cake, a thrifty way to use up some of the cake I’d sliced off the top of each layer to even them out before frosting. The irony of adding a crumb coating for a smooth frosting finish only to add cake crumbs for decoration is not lost on me. The cake crumbs were a spur of the moment addition, so that explains that decision.
This salted peanut butter frosting would also be great on my buttermilk chocolate cake (the recipe is here), in case you’re in need of a chocolate cake recipe to go with it.
TGIT—we made it to Thursday. Hope the week has been a gentle one thus far. As always, be well and remember to be kind. –xo, j.