That classic mixture of peanut butter and chocolate makes this a must-try chocolate cake recipe.
Solid vegetable shortening for greasing the pans
Flour for dusting the pans
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Fluffy Chocolate Frosting (see recipe below)
1/2 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts, for garnish
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans with solid vegetable shortening, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pans aside.
- Place the cake mix, water, peanut butter, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look well combined. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans,smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pans in the oven, side by side.
- Bake the cakes until they spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 23 to 28 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on a wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edge of each layer and invert each onto a rack, then invert again onto another rack so that the cakes are right side up. Allow to cool completely, 30 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, prepare the Fluffy Chocolate Frosting. (see ingredients below)
- Place one cake layer, right side up, on a serving platter. Spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer, right side up on top of the first layer and frost the top and sides of the cake with clean, smooth strokes. Scatter the chopped peanuts on top of the cake, then slice and serve.
*Store this cake, in a cake saver or under a glass dome, at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to one week. Or freeze it, wrapped in aluminum foil or in a cake saver, for up to six months. Thaw the cake overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Ingredients for the Frosting
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons boiling water
8 tablespoons (1stick) butter at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspsoon vanilla extract
Directions for the Frosting
- Place cocoa powder in a larger mixing bowl and pour boiling water over it. Stir with a wooden spoon until cocoa comes out in a soft mass. Add the butter and blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, until combined. Place sugar and vanilla in bowl and beat with the mixer on low speed for another minute. Increase speed to medium and beat until frosting lightens and is fluffy, 2 minutes more. Add more boiling water, a teaspoons at a time, or more sugar a tablespoon at a time if the frosting is too thick or thin.
- Use frosting on top and sides of your cake.