There are some occasions in life that will never be forgotten. This was one such event. It was my father’s 85th birthday on the weekend and to make it even more special we managed to get all three siblings together to be with Dad. This was not an easy feat as my brother lives in the United States and my sister in Western Australia and we hadn’t been together for years.

The one thing that came across at this celebration as compared to others that have gone before, was a feeling of acceptance. We are all a bit older and bit more wrinkly, chubby or balder but as time has progressed there has been an acceptance of families and their imperfections. At least I felt that way. I mean really who has a perfect family? No one I know.

As the baker in the family I was assigned the task of making the cake. I asked my Dad what kind of cake he would like and he asked for peanut butter and chocolate! He has always been a fan of peanut butter. I made a large cake so there would be plenty for everyone. I just threw the look together and was pleasantly surprised by the result.

The cake is rich and moist and the peanut butter icing is so delicious. I make two cakes and fill the middle with icing as well. Then I cover it in chocolate pieces and shaved chocolate and roasted crushed peanuts.  I wouldn’t recommend blowing on it as peanuts and chocolate goes everywhere.


For a really big cake like my Dad’s you need to double these measurements


For the Chocolate Cake Layers
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 1/2 cups sugar
    • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 eggs
For the Peanut Butter Frosting
  • 10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

For the Chocolate pieces

2 cups of dark chocolate

dark chocolate bar to grate.


For the Chocolate Cake Layers
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.
    2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the  vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.
    3. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. Wrap the cakes in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least half an hour, or up to a couple of days, in advance.
For the Peanut Butter Frosting
    1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
    2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.
For the Chocolate
  1. In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate.
  2. Put grease proof paper on the bench and pour a little chocolate on each piece of the paper and then place another piece of greaseproof paper on top and smooth  it over. Then roll each piece up and put in fridge.
  3. Ideally this chocolate would be tempered but if this is all too hard just melt it and follow the instructions.

also roasted crushed peanuts

and grated dark chocolate

To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.  Then take chocolate out of fridge and break into interesting pieces and push into the frosting on the sides and on the top.

Grate chocolate over the top and then sprinkle the peanut.




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