Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar, 1/2 cup butter, and peanut butter until creamy. Crack eggs into a small dish (do not beat) and add vanilla. Add eggs to the butter mixture 1 at a time, scraping down the inside of the bowl as needed. Beat in flour mixture and milk in alternating batches, starting and ending with the flour and making sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next.
Butter and flour 2 round 9-in. cake pans. Divide batter evenly between pans.
Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
Cool cakes 5 minutes. Invert onto a rack, remove pans, and let cool to room temperature, at least 40 minutes.
Make filling: In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, beat together peanut butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and milk until smooth and fluffy.
Assemble cake: Dollop 1 tbsp. peanut butter filling onto a cake stand (to hold cake in place). Place 1 cake layer on stand. Spread with remaining peanut butter filling. Top with second layer. Starting with the top, then working down the sides, frost cake with fudge frosting. Decorate the top edge with candy pieces and peanuts.
I made this yesterday and it is so dry it's hard to eat without putting a little of the filling or frosting on the fork with a bite of the cake. The filling was quite a bit more than needed but I'll use the leftover on toast. The filling and frosting was very good. Does anyone have any idea why the cake turned out so dry? I would like to try it again. I followed the recipe exactly.
I also had the problem with very thick batter -- it was more of a "bread" than a "cake". Still pretty good - but I wonder if I could have put some sour cream or some other liquid type ingredient. I will try it again and add something - maybe some oil?
I haven't tried this, but with all the reviews about the cake being dry, I think I am going to try it with my own home made chocolate cake and use the peanut filling along with the chocolate icing and the toppings. Will update later after trying.
I used all purpose flour instead of cake flour. Also used all natural low sugar low sodium peanut butter. Then made cupcakes and left out the filling. I beat my pb, butter, and sugar a very long time (more than 5 minutes, I think). This turned out great! I didn't it find it dry at all, as other reviewers mentioned. I'll definitely be trying it again and next time adding the filling.
The cake is definitely on the dry side. I would tweak it and keep the recipe. Overall it's a good recipe for this combination. I really appreciated the peanut butter being in the cake, and not just part of the icing/filling. I hope to play with this recipe some. I'd ditch the cream cheese in the filling and go for a basic 'buckeye' peanut butter concoction. I thought the cream cheese gave the filling a slightly odd flavor. Sour cream or greek yogurt may be a better option. Like I said, a good starting recipe but the semi-experienced baker should feel willing to play around with this.
A peanut butter lover's dream. I made this for a birthday, split each moist layer in half, allowing me to use more than twice as much filling! I did use a chocolate ganache recipe (Epicurious, Double Chocolate Layer Cake) instead of the frosting mentioned here, so can't comment on that. This is a gorgeous cake, great consistency, great flavor.
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