Member recipe

chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and chocolate ganache & salted peanut topping

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Cooking time

Prep: 40 minutes Cook: 30 minutes

Skill level



Serves 12

Marriage of 2 my favourite ingredients: chocolate and peanut butter

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  • 125 g unsalted softened butter plus extra for greasing
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 250 ml boiling water
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 225 g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 100 g crunchy peanut butter
  • 35 g softened butter
  • 45 g icing sugar, sifted
  • Drop of vanilla extract


  • 100 g dark chocolate, I used the one with 65% of cocoa solids, do not use very dark one as will be to bitter for this cake
  • 50 g semi-skimmed milk
  • 40 g roasted salted peanuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan/ gas mark 4. Line the bottoms of 2 round 20 cm diameter sandwich tins with baking parchment and grease the sides with butter.

  2. Sift the cocoa powder into the bowl with the space to add sugar and water. Add muscovado sugar to the cocoa and pour over the boiling water. Whisk well, making sure that there are no lumps remaining until uniform mixture. Set aside to cool a bit.

  3. Cream the butter and caster sugar together, until fluffy. I do it by hand but you can use a freestanding mixer.

  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonade of soda in the separate bowl and set aside for the moment.

  5. Add vanilla extract to the creamed butter and sugar mixture and add eggs, one at the time together with about one tbsp of flour mixture to prevent curdling.

  6. Incorporate rest of the flour mixture and finally mix in the cocoa mixture,scraping the bowl sides with the spatula, until all well amalgamated.

  7. Divide equally between 2 tins. I like to weigh them as you want both to bake at the same time and to have the same texture and moisture. Put in the oven and bake for about 30 min but check after 25 min as oven might run hotter. Cake is ready when spring to touch and skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

  8. Take the tins out of the oven and rest them on the cooling rack for about 10 min before turning out cakes on it to cool completely.

  9. While cakes are cooling, make the frosting. Beat softened butter with peanut butter well and incorporate the sifted icing sugar, finally add the drop of vanilla extract, beat well until uniform. Set aside. Do not be alarmed by the amount of the quite small amount of frosting. It is very rich and you want delicate flavour which would not overpower the chocolate sponge taste.

  10. Roughly chop the salted roasted peanuts.

  11. When cake is cool start assembling it. Put the first sponge on the plate domed side up and fill with the peanut butter frosting, spread it evenly using the palette knife. Put the second sponge on the top but this time domed side on the bottom. Press down the top of the cake gently to distribute the frosting underneath evenly. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts on the top evenly.

  12. Now make the ganache. Brake the chocolate into the even smallish pieces and start melting it. I just use 20 s short blasts in the microwave on the full power, stirring thouroughly after each. You do not need to melt it completely just to start it.Bring the milk to the boil, I do it in the microwave as well, it will take just 2-3 20 s blasts on the full power. Stir together until silky smooth and uniform. Pour the ganache over the top of the cake, making sure that it covers the peanuts, do not worry if it runs on the sides of the cakes, it will make it look even better. Leave the ganache to cool and to set and the cake is ready to be served!

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