Making my first cake

This weekend was such a wind whirl. I have lots to share, but for now my brain is fried so I’ll share some pics of the cake I made for a friend of mine’s surprise birthday party. This is the first cake I’ve ever made, and I was quite nervous about. I kept on going back and forth about trying to make something healthy (yet of course still delicious) or going all out and really making a treat (which of course involves sticks and sticks of butter). I went with the latter because the cake was not for me (although trust me, I had a fair share of it). The birthday boy loves peanut butter and chocolate (who doesn’t?!!) so that’s what I made – a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing layer and chocolate frosting based on this recipe.  I followed the recipe to the T (no substitutions at all – I actually had to go out and buy white sugar and regular butter and Jif pb (got the natural kind still) because we don’t have this kind of stuff in the house). I decorated it with Reese’s peanut butter cups :) Oh my, this was quite the cake! Worth every calorie 😀 Here is a little preview of the final product:

pb chocolate birthday cake

And of course I took some progress pics for you. The cake was not hard to make but it did involve lots of steps (make the cake, the pb icing, the chocolate icing, decorate). I really loved how simple ingredients (sugar, eggs, butter, cocoa powder, peanut butter) transformed into something so beautiful. I was very happy with how everything came out. The birthday boy was surprised and happy. Awesome!

Making the cake layers (as always scroll over for descriptions):

cake ingredients

whisking cocoa powder + water

sifting flour

whisking the dry ingredients

beating butter + sugar

adding eggs

and flour...

... and sour cream

and finally cocoa paste

mix in chocolate curls

* I made the chocolate curls by grading a chocolate bar

divide mixture between 2 round pans

* These were done after just 30 minutes

baked cake - cooling

take out of pans, and cool completely

Part 1 done! :)

Making the peanut butter icing:

peanut butter icing ingredients

beating butter + pb

add confectioner's sugar

add a spash of milk to thin out

creamy pb icing

spread icing of first cake layer

cake covered in pb icing

top with second layer of cake

Step 2 done!

Making the chocolate frosting:

chocolate frosting ingredients

whisk choc chips over simmering water

until smooth

whisk egg yolks with sugar

combine the 2 and blend today

add butter 1T at a time

* I was tasting the frosting as I was going, and I swear it was extremely delicious with just half the butter. I added as much as the recipe required and I think it made it a little creamier, but I’m not sure that the taste improved. Next time I think I’d cut oto just 1 stick… or maybe 1.5 sticks of butter (instead of 2).

getting very close

creamy chocolate frosting

ice the cake

don't forget the sides!

* Icing the sides was the hardest part! This took a lot of effort because I didn’t want it to look messy. At the end, I decided to get all the way to the bottom with the icing knife and then carefully whiped the plate clean.  I also recommend starting with sides first, as you bring up a lot of the icing to the top anyway and then smooth out.

Phew... the cake is iced!


decorate the cake - I used resees pb cups

cross section

my slice

Yum!!!!!! Intense and delicious. The cake was very moist and there was lots and lots of frosting.  I think the chocolate frosting tasted just like Magnolia Bakery’s chocolate frosting (on their cupcakes)… now I know the secret ingredient – butter! Haha. 😆 Also, the peanut butter icing was the bomb – I’d want to use more of it next time – perhaps reversing the chocolate and pb icings. Mmm.

* Adam wanted me to tell you, that he helped with the process by doing lots and lots of dishes throughout and also by sifting the confectioner’s sugar for the pb icing. Thanks, honey! :)

I hope you had a great (and delicious) weekend. 😀

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