The August selection for The Cake Slice Bakers is a wonderful array of jam/jelly cakes and I chose Peanut Butter and Jam Cake (#atkcake). What a novel idea - a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made into a layered cake!
I'll tell you the quick instructions, then....below the second photo the REAL story!
First you make two square 8-inch cakes and slice each into two layers. A four-layer cake sounds enormous, but it really wasn't because the layers didn't rise all that high.
Generously spread jam on the bottom layer, then top with its corresponding top layer. Spread a cup of the luscious, light, and fluffy peanut butter frosting on that layer, then top with the bottom of the second cake. Repeat with the jam, top with the final layer, then slather that wonderful frosting all over the cake.
Toss peanuts on the sides of the cake and finish with thin lines of jam to finish off the look! Easy, right? Continue on dearies....
OK, so let's start with slicing the cake. Ack! Even though I put two toothpicks evenly measured on each side of the cake, the knife went on its merry way up and down when slicing through it. So...I ended up with a wavy, generally not-even cake.
No problem. I'll cover it up with frosting.
I evenly spread the jam over two of the layers, spread the frosting in the middle (covering up a few of the waves in the cake) and topped it off with the rest of the frosting. Except that, because of the slippery jam, it slid around while I was trying to frost it. Ack, again!
I got the frosting under control and the Peanut Butter and Jam Cake was starting to look like a cake.
The next part was pressing the chopped peanuts into the sides of the frosted cake. I ended up with frosting all over my fingers, a little in my hair, and peanuts everywhere. My dog appreciated the snackies that fell on the floor.
No time to dwell on the peanuts floating around in the frosting. I've got to warm up the jam, put it in a baggie, snip the corner and draw straight lines on top of the cake. See photo above with non-straight lines. Drag a knife across the jam lines to make a pretty decoration. Again, see photo above with non-pretty decoration.
Et voila! It's finished. All that angst and the cake actually came out pretty well. It wasn't a fluffy cake like I'd thought it would be - more of a tight crumb. However, it didn't slide away like I thought it would and it was quite tasty (especially that marvelous frosting)!
Would I make this peanut butter and jelly cake again? Maybe.
I would try to come up with a couple of different techniques for the peanut plastering and line drawing. All-in-all, quite a nice tasting cake which was even better the next day.
- For The Cake:
- 1 C whole milk, room temperature
- 6 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ C (9 oz) cake flour
- 1 ¾ C (12 ¼ oz) sugar
- 4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 slices and softened.
- For the Frosting:
- 16 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 16 slices and softened
- 1 C creamy peanut butter
- 3 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 C (8 oz) powdered sugar
- 1 ¼ C seedless raspberry jam
- 1 C dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
- For the Cake: Heat oven to 350°. Grease two 8-inch square baking pans and line each with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper and lightly flour the pans.
- Whisk milk, egg whites, and vanilla together in a bowl.
- In a stand mixer, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed until combined. Add the butter, 1 piece at a time until only pea-sized pieces remain, about 1 minute. Add all but ½ cup of the milk/egg mixture, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the remaining ½ cup milk/egg mixture. Beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds (batter may look curdled, but that's OK). Give the batter a final stir by hand to get the stuff up off of the bottom of the bowl.
- Divide the batter between the two prepared pans. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out virtually clean, about 25 minutes, rotating the pans about halfway through baking. Let cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edges to loosen from the pans and remove cakes from pan, peeling off the parchment paper. Let cakes cool completely on a lightly greased rack, about 2 hours.
- For the frosting:
- In a stand mixer, beat butter, peanut butter, cream, and vanilla on medium-high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. Reduce speed to medium-low, slowly adding the powdered sugar. Beat until incorporated and and smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the speed to medium-high and whip until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Using a long serrated knife, cut each layer into 2 even layers. Spread ½ cup jam on two of the layers, then lay one of those on your cake plate. Top with the second layer of cake, then spread 1 cup of the frosting on that layer. Place the third layer (the 2nd one with the jam on it) on top of the frosted layer, then place the fourth layer on the very top.
- Spread the remaining frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Press the peanuts onto the sides of the cake.
- Microwave the remaining ¼ cup of jam in a bowl until melted and smooth, about 20 seconds. Pour the jam carefully into a zip-lock bag and snip 1 corner off about a ¼" from the corner. Pipe the jam in straight lines over the top of the cake, then lightly drag a knife through the lines to create a marbled appearance.
- Refrigerate leftovers. When ready to serve leftover cake, let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to soften the frosting.
Tips and Stuff:
Read the text of my blog post - it'll give you a lot of tips!
Be patient putting the butter into the cake. It helps blend it in.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 783Total Fat: 55gSaturated Fat: 25gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 613mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 4gSugar: 24gProtein: 16g