Sometimes on a Friday afternoon you just really want some chocolate, you know? (Or heck, it can really be any day at any time, but somehow last Friday afternoon it felt especially justified.)
Ever since I made my Double Decker Strawberry Poke Cake I’ve been plotting a chocolate peanut butter version that I hoped would actually be able to better incorporate the drizzly, saturating nature of the sauce that I always think poke cakes should. Let me tell you, we are halfway there with this cake. You can clearly see in the picture that the peanut butter sauce does soak into the cake, but only into the larger holes. I used both ends of a pair of chopsticks to poke the holes. The bigger holes definitely allowed the sauce to permeate the cake, while the smaller ones only drew it in a little. The moral? Don’t be afraid to poke that cake! Release some tension, give it lots of good stabs. This chocolate cake is pretty sturdy (though still tender when you eat it), so go for it!
This cake has grown on me. A deep chocolate color, good (but not overpowering) chocolate taste. An amazing peanut butter sauce (seriously, I now want to put this on EVERYTHING!), and then a good layer of vanilla whipped cream and whatever peanut butter candies you have somehow managed to keep laying around. It’s definitely not the best thing I’ve ever made, but for a quick throw some things together kind of cake, it is quite delicious. Plus, after 24 hours or so the flavors all come together even more nicely.
I based the cake recipe off of one found here, and used the peanut butter sauce recipe from Crazy for Crust. If you only make one thing from this post make that sauce! It would be great on ice cream, in between cake layers, on brownies, in a milkshake, etc. Seriously addictive!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Poke Cake
*I made the cake, then while the cake was in the oven I made the sauce. *
Makes: 1 single layer 8in square cake. Serves 9-12.
- 1/2 cup cream (or milk)
- 1/2 T lemon juice
- 1/2 plus 1/4 plus 2T flour
- 1/2 plus 1/4 plus 2T sugar
- 1/4 plus 2T cocoa powder
- 1 t baking soda
- 1/2 t baking powder
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup chocolate milk (or, if you can deal with a little coffee flavor, cold coffee)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 t vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 and line an 8in square pan with parchment paper.
- Mix the cream and lemon juice together in a small bowl and let sit for at least five minutes. (You could also just use 1/2 cup and 1/2 T buttermilk if you have it)
- Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Add the egg, milk (or coffee), oil, and vanilla to the mixer and stir briefly to combine.
- Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.
Peanut Butter Sauce
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk (I used what I had frozen as leftovers from my Peppermint Patties (see here)).
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 5-6 T water
- 1 t vanilla
- Combine the sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat and stir until mixed.
- Add the water, 1 T at a time and stir until combined. (It will seem at first as though the water won’t mix in, but keep stirring and it will, I promise!)
- Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly. (You can always warm it back up a little before pouring over the cake if you need to.)
Whipped Cream Frosting
(I thought this made the perfect amount, but if you’re big on frosting you might want to go up to 3/4 cup heavy cream and increase the sugar and vanilla to taste.)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 t vanilla bean paste
- Whip the cream until soft peaks.
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, to taste.
- Poke holes in the cake once it has been out of the oven for a few minutes. I suggest using the big end of a chopstick or wooden spoon. Although it will feel like you are destroying your creation, in this case larger holes are better to allow the peanut butter sauce to get all up in there!
- Pour the peanut butter sauce over the top of the cake. Allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour to soak in.
- When cake is at room temperature or has been refridgerated, make the whipped cream and add it to the top of the cake.
- Top with chopped peanut butter cups, peanut butter chips, reeses pieces, or any other candy you happen to have.
This cake is best enjoyed after a night in the fridge, and should keep for 4-5 days covered in the fridge.
In non baking news, let’s just agree not to ask, ok? Ok! Thank goodness for cakes and cookies and sweets!