Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Well folks, it was bound to happen…eventually I would have to actually MEASURE what I put into my mixing bowl as I make icing!  My hubby is sick with mono right now and poor guy is asking for one of his favorite desserts:  cake with peanut butter frosting.  Without further ado, I give you peanut butter frosting for either 3 – 9″ layers or 2 – 10″ layer cakes (I made the latter).

Peanut Butter Frosting

2 cups peanut butter

3 cups powdered confectioner’s sugar

1/2 cup plus 2 TBS milk (save 1/2 the milk see if needed first) – I used whole because that is what was in fridge

1 TBS vanilla extract

Mix peanut butter, powdered sugar and 1/2 the milk in a bowl (I use stand mixer).  After mixing, add the remaining liquid 1 TBS at a time until the frosting no longer looks chunky like cookie dough and instead looks smooth and spreadable.  Do not add the remaining milk if your frosting already looks smooth.  You can also test it by taking a small amount and attempting to spread it on the cake.  If it is spreadable, do not add more liquid. 

The recipe above is not as sweet as I like it, my hubby likes it this way where the peanut butter is more “powerful”.  Taste it first after you have added 3 cups sugar and if you want it to be sweeter and a little less “powerful” with peanut butter, add 1 more cup of powdered sugar, then milk by 1 TBS at a time and beat each time you add a TBS until it is smooth.  I do not suggest adding more than an extra cup, though.

This can be pretty greasy due to all the peanut butter, so keep that in mind when you think about eating the whole cake and also when you decide which peanut butter brand to use. 

Frosting yields just over 3   1/2 cups

For the cake, I made the Swans Down Cake Flour Recipe on the box called 1-2-3-4 Cake as follows:

1-2-3-4 Cake by Swans Down Cake Flour

1 cup butter (equals 2 sticks) softened

2 cups sugar

3 cups Swans Down Cake Flour sifted (NOTE FROM TERESA:  if you need to convert recipe to use all purpose flour, 1 cup all purpose flour is = to 1 cup plus 2 TBS Swans Down Cake flour.  Measure out 3 cups all purpose flour, then remove 6 TBS of what you measured and this will be the equivalent of 3 cups Swans Down Cake Flour.)

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

4 eggs

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour three 9 inch cake pans (NOTE FROM TERESA: I used two 10 inch pans instead).  Make cake: In a mixing bowl cream butter and gradually add sugar, creaming until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  In another bowl sift flour with baking powder and salt (NOTE FROM TERESA: if you do not have a sifter, you can use your collander with a towel over the top of it to help keep the flour dust from covering you and tap it over a bowl, or use a fork to mix it…I prefer using the collander).  Add flour mixture alternately with milk and flavorings to creamed mixture, beating after each addition until smooth.  Pour batter into cake pans. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Cool in pans 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and finish cooling on racks.

TIP from Teresa for COOLING RACK:  If you have one of those large cooling racks that have very little “breathing” room underneath, just use 4 votive candle holders or 4 shot glasses, something about that size on the corners to raise the cooling rack and help cool your cakes more effectively.