Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache Drip Cake
This peanut butter chocolate ganache drip cake with peanut butter cream cheese frosting is the cake I will make for myself for my birthday every year. It is three fudgy chocolate cake layers, a peanut butter-y buttercream, and topped with a peanut butter and chocolate ganache drip.
Is it possible to have too much chocolate and peanut butter? Never.
This cake is the fourth birthday cake for my 50th birthday cake-a-palooza.
Cake #1 was the tiramisu cake. A cake with all the goodness of tiramisu without raw egg.
Cake #2 was the fudgy triple layer chocolate cake. This the cake for chocolate lovers.
Cake #3 was the purple velvet cake – for those who like a little chocolate and a lot of fun.
This peanut butter chocolate drip cake was also created for the reddit 52 weeks of baking challenge, week 17: Page 52 from your favorite cookbook or choose any recipe from your favorite blog. I may be cheating a bit here since I do have tons of cookbooks I could have picked from. But of course my blog is my favorite blog!
Tips and tricks for this recipe
The fudgy layers of this cake can be a bit fragile, so (1) make sure to bake the layers until the edges have started to pull away from the pan and let cool. Run a thin knife or spatula around to release. To remove from the pan, put a rack over the pan (2) and flip over (3). Gently tap on the pan to get the layer to release. Remove the parchment paper (4-6). To flip back over to decorate, support the cake layer with the length of your hand and gently flip the cake back over to right-side-up and place on the cake stand or whatever you are using to decorate.
I often use the bottom from a 9″ tart pan put over a piece of parchment paper on the cake stand because I am a messy decorator.
The naked cake layers, with ~1/2 cup of generous frosting in between the layers. This recipe makes the layers with the flattest tops I have ever seen, so there is no need to level the cakes.
Beware that the layers are somewhat crumbly. If you want to have frosting without crumbs, you will definitely need to make a crumb coat. To make a crumb coat, use a small amount of frosting to make a thin layer around the cake and put it in the fridge for an hour or so. Then proceed as directed. You will need to increase the amount of frosting in order to do this.
The peanut butter cream cheese frosting is definitely soft, because I love the peanut butter taste without it being overly sweet. If you want it sweeter, or if you want a stiffer frosting, add confectioner’s sugar by the cupful until you get the desired taste or consistency.
To make a drip cake, the ganache has to be the right temperature. Too hot, and it will run down the cake. Too cool, and it will not drip at all.
As your ganache is cooling, occasionally whisk it to stir. Lift the whisk out of the ganache. Once it drips down from your whisk just a bit thickly, put it into a squeeze bottle or use a spoon to drip a thin rim of ganache around the edge of the cake. Every inch or so, drip the ganache over the edge.
If it is dripping down too thinly, stop and let it cool further. If it is too thick, reheat it gently in your double boiler over low heat.
FAQs about this peanut butter chocolate ganache drip cake
Do you have to do anything? No. But there is so much variation in how people measure that you are much more likely to get a reliable result if you weigh your ingredients.
Absolutely. Just be aware that the shine on the ganache may dull somewhat. After the cake has been in the refrigerator overnight, I cut the cake into family sized portions. I double-wrap each piece in plastic wrap and then place it in a plastic bag with as much air removed as possible. When you want to eat a piece, remove it from the refrigerator, unwrap it and put it on a plate, and let it come to room temperature before serving.
For baking, I definitely prefer traditional commercial brands, but you could try it for the frosting. Make sure, if it is a “stir” peanut butter, that the oil is stirred in completely before using. Adjust the sugar as needed.
If you’re like me and you like only a thin layer of frosting on the cake, you might end up with extra icing. You can freeze frostings and have a variety for a batch of cupcakes. Or use extra frosting for cake balls or cake pops the next time you have a cake failure. Because they happen to all of us.
Peanut butter chocolate ganache drip cake with peanut butter cream cheese frosting
- 3 9 inch cake pans
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
Chocolate cake layers
- unsalted butter for greasing cake pans
- 2 ½ cups (312g) bleached, all purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder plus extra for dusting cake pans
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 3 cups (600g) granulated sugar
- 3 oz semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled to touch
- 1 ½ cups brewed coffee, cooled
- 1 ½ cup buttermilk
- ¾ cup neutral vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
Peanut butter cream cheese frosting
- 1 cup (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup (1 stick, 4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup peanut butter (I use Jif creamy in all my baking)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups (8oz) confectioners sugar plus more as desired for taste or consistency
Peanut butter chocolate ganache
- 9 oz semisweet chocolate, melted
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup peanut butter ( I use Jif creamy in all my baking)
Chocolate cake layers
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Lightly butter three 9" cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the paper. Use the unsweetened cocoa powder to "flour" the pans and set aside.unsalted butter for greasing cake pans, 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.2 1/2 cups (312g) bleached, all purpose flour, 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 tsp baking powder, 3/4 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt
- In a bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl if you are using a hand mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until pale yellow (3-5 minutes).3 eggs, at room temperature
- Add the sugar and beat for a couple of minutes.3 cups (600g) granulated sugar
- Add the cooled chocolate and mix, then add the coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.3 oz semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled to touch, 1 1/2 cups brewed coffee, cooled, 3/4 cup neutral vegetable oil, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
- Add the dry ingredients and combine on low speed for 1 minute or by hand until just combined. If you are using a stand mixer, be careful because you might end up with cocoa mixture everywhere!
- Divide the batter equally into the prepared pans. Before putting them in the oven, thwack them gingerly on the countertop once or twice to remove any air bubbles.
- Bake for about 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the edges are just starting to pull away from the side of the pan.
- Cool the cake layers in the pan. You may need to run a spatula or knife around the edge of the cake pans to get the layers to release (see notes).
Peanut butter cream cheese frosting
- Put the cream cheese, butter, and peanut butter in the stand mixer or medium bowl if using a hand mixer, and beat until well combined (3-5 minutes).1 cup (8 oz) cream cheese, softened, 1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 oz) unsalted butter, softened, 1/2 cup peanut butter
- Add the vanilla and beat until combined.1 tsp vanilla
- Add the confectioners sugar and beat, scraping down the bowl as necessary. If you want a sweeter frosting, or if you want a thicker consistency (particularly if it is very warm where you are), add more sugar by a cupful at a time.2 cups (8oz) confectioners sugar
- To frost, place one cake layer right side up on a cake stand or plate. Use 1/2 cup of frosting and spread it into a thin layer. Carefully place the second layer right side up on top and repeat.
- Place the third layer right side up on top. If you want to make a crumb layer so that cake crumbs don't appear on the outside of your cake (see note), spread a thin layer of frosting and then put the cake in the fridge. Otherwise use the remaining frosting to coat the cake, making the frosting (esp the sides) as smooth as possible.
- Put the cake in the refrigerator while making the ganache.
Peanut butter chocolate ganache
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a small metal bowl over a pot of slightly simmering water.9 oz semisweet chocolate, melted
- In a small pot, heat the cream and peanut butter over low heat until the peanut butter has dissolved into the cream and the mixture is just starting to simmer.1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup peanut butter
- Add the cream and peanut butter to the chocolate and whisk until smooth and uniform. Let cool (see note).
- When the ganache has cooled to a dripping consistency (see note), use a squeeze bottle or spoon to drip a layer around the top of the cake, letting the ganache drip down the cake side every inch or so.
- Fill in the center of the cake with ganache and smooth the top, being careful not to push the ganache over the sides of the cake.
If you make this peanut butter chocolate drip cake or have questions about how to make it, please comment here. Or share a pic with me on instagram!
Or, if you’re a chocolate and peanut butter lover like me, you’d want to check out the house favorite – my peanut butter chocolate chip and peanut butter chip cookies or these chocolate peanut butter bonbons.
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Week 1: New Year new recipe – blueberry galette
Week 2: seasonal – Smitten Kitchen’s grapefruit pound cake
Week 3: Great British Bake Off – Kate’s sticky toffee apple caramel cake
Week 4: Australia – sausage rolls
Week 5: bite sized – cookies
Week 6: Chinese New Year – mushroom bao
Week 7: new tool – baguette baker
Week 8: chocolate – chocolate peanut butter bonbons
Week 9: timed bake – under 1 hour! chocolate chip scones
Week 10: allergy/diet restriction – macarons
Week 11: quick breads – kale and cheese quick bread
Week 12: signature bake – purple cow bread
Week 13: enriched breads (kale and cheese babka fail)
Week 14: childhood favorite –fudgy triple layer chocolate cake with chocolate ganache frosting
Week 15: decorating challenge – purple velvet cake
Week 16: crispy crunchy – bacon cheddar popcorn
next week: Pâte à Choux