Peanut butter cups may be the name of a specific candy, but when I hear “peanut butter cup”, I think of all kinds of chocolate and peanut butter combinations, not just the candy cups. I was definately thinking of peanut butter cups when I put together this cake. It’s a buttermilk chocolate cake with a creamy peanut butter filling.
The cake is a great everyday sort of cake. It is tender, moist and has a nice chocolate flavor. It also couldn’t be easier to make, since it mixes up in one bowl! You could bake this cake as two layers, in two separate pans, but in the spirit of the simple cake – and the spirit of having fewer dishes to wash – I bake this as a single layer and cut it in half before filling.
The peanut butter filling is silky and has a great sweet-salty flavor to it. It is creamier than most candy fillings are, but the peanut butter flavor really is similar to that of a peanut butter cup! I used a national brand of crunchy peanut butter. If your brand happens to be a little less thick, your filling might need a little extra confectioners’ sugar. A drizzle of chocolate onn top is entirely optional, but a nice finishing touch.
Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cake
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch round cake pan with parchment paper and lightly grease.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt. Pour in the rest of the ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a tester comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Allow cake to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Remove parchment circle from cake, then reinvert cake on rack to cool completely before filling.
Peanut Butter Filling
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup peanut butter, crunchy or smooth
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp milk
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend together with an electric mixer until smooth. Add a little extra confectioners’ sugar if necessary (Some peanut butters are less thick than others).
Cut cooled cake in half with a serrated knife, and spread peanut butter filling between the layers. Drizzle with melted chocolate (3-oz dark or milk), if desired.