To cap off my week-long blogiversary celebration, I knew some sort of fabulous dessert was in order. After all, this is a very exciting occasion for me. I only celebrate my blogiversary once every five years, apparently, so it will be five more before I do this again. (Wonder where I’ll be in five years?) As I often do when a special occasion arises, I decided to bake a cake. But not just any cake. I decided to revamp a layer cake that was formerly posted here on the blog that deserved some updating. Now, I personally never had any trouble with that cake but a good number of readers reported back that the cake turned out dry for them. Combined with the fact that the peanut butter frosting I had used for that version was good but not great, it needed a makeover. I mean, a chocolate peanut butter layer cake really should be knock-your-socks-off, not just okay.
Addressing the issue of the dry cake layers was simple. I turned to Baking Illustrated, my baking bible, for a cake recipe that I use often. This recipe produces fudgy, moist cake layers thanks to one of my favorite ingredients in baking, sour cream. Another plus is that the layers bake up essentially flat so there is no need to level the cakes (though this also means no cake scraps to snack on, so….)
Then, on to the frosting. I briefly contemplated making a separate filling with different properties than the frosting used for the outside of the cake, but decided there was no need to overcomplicate things. Peanut butter and chocolate are pretty great together and they don’t need all the bells and whistles. I flew by the seat of my pants to create this frosting recipe, tasting as I went, until I was happy with the flavor and texture. A fairly basic peanut butter frosting is lightened by folding in whipped cream to give it a silky smooth texture. Happily, it made just the right amount for filling and frosting this cake. Score!
My final tweak was to bake three 8-inch cake layers. This is becoming my modus operandi for layer cakes these days, for a few reasons. Cakes made with only two 9-inch layers are aesthetically displeasing (to me) because they are too wide compared to their somewhat stunted height. I also do not tend to make cakes with two 9-inch layers that have been torted because I prefer the simplicity of not having to split cake layers (though admittedly I do think it is kind of fun). I find cakes with three 9-inch layers simply too big. So, this is why I continue to go with three 8-inch layers and why I think 8-inch cake pans are a totally worthwhile investment.
So there you have it – a special cake to celebrate a truly special occasion, at least to me. Back when I started this blog, I never thought anyone would even read it, let alone try a recipe. Thank you, all of you, so much for making this experience truly life-changing in many ways. This cake is for you.
But….just in case the cake isn’t enough, I’ve got one more surprise up my sleeve. Head on over to the giveaway page to see what I’m talking about!