Today’s offering is two fold.  The first is a moist, not to sweet chocolate layer cake filled and iced with a raspberry buttercream icing from the Butter Baked Goods cookbook.  I would like to take credit for this delicious cake but my only contribution was eating a slice and licking my plate clean.

My friend Jayne has made this cake 2 times now to rave reviews so it is definitely a keeper.  As she baked the cake up in 8-inch tins not the 9-inch recommended she also got another half dozen cupcakes from the batter.

The second offering I came across while looking at pretty cupcakes on Pinterest the other day.  A chocolate cupcake topped with what looked like a baked peanut butter cookie caught my eye. Very cool, very cute  and relatively easy to recreate for a chocolate peanut butter lover.  The cupcake was actually topped with a thin layer of bittersweet chocolate ganache (milk chocolate or semi-sweet would just be a little too sweet) and then the PB frosting is shaped to look like a homemade cookie with the tine markings and all.

Cupcake topped with Chocolate Ganache and Peanut Butter Frosting.

Cupcake topped with Chocolate Ganache and Peanut Butter Frosting.

So with only having to make ganache and frosting plus take a few photos I have more time to share a few things with you today.  Oh, did I mention no mixer required for the cake.  Only a little arm strength but the cake still comes out beautifully if you do find you need a little mixer assistance.

Chocolate Cake

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and line the bottoms of 2 9-inch cake pans.

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups hot coffee (any blend)

1 cup dark cocoa

2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

4 large eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the hot coffee with the cocoa until smooth.  Set aside and let it cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla.  Add the cocoa and coffee mixture and gently whisk to incorporate.  Add the dry ingredients and whisk until well combined.  Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into centre comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool for about 10 minutes then invert onto cooling racks to cool completely.

Frost with Butter’s popular icing:

2 cups butter, room temperature

4 cups icing sugar

1/2 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons pure vanilla

Add in 2 tablespoons raspberry puree or seedless raspberry jam if you want Raspberry Buttercream

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until very pale in colour.  Stop mixer and scrape down sides.  With MIXER ON LOW add in the icing sugar.  Mix until well combined then slowly add milk and vanilla.  Scrape down bowl as needed.

Turn the mixer to high and beat for at least 10-12 minutes until the butter is light and fluffy.

Measure out 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate and pour over 1/2 cup heated whipping cream.  Let sit for about 2 minutes and whisk until smooth.  Set aside.

Mix together 4 tablespoons room temperature butter and 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter until mixed and smooth.  Add in 1 1/2 cups icing sugar and beat on low speed until incorporated.  Scrape down sides of bowl.  Shape into small balls and press down with fork dipped in icing sugar to form criss cross.

Spread cupcakes with a thin layer of bittersweet ganache and top with a frosting cookie.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Ganache with Peanut Butter Frosting

Chocolate Ganache with Peanut Butter Frosting

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