I admittedly went a little overboard with this birthday cake, but it was so worth it. Birthday cakes should be a little overboard, I think.
This beast of a cake includes three layers of chocolate cake, peanut butter frosting, a chocolate ganache drip, Reese’s cups on top and chopped up between the layers, and finally a ridiculous amount of Reese’s pieces as decoration.
If you don’t want to get carried away, the chocolate cake and peanut butter frosting would be delicious all by itself. But I highly recommend going the extra mile. If you’re gonna have cake, it should be a cake like this one.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 cups AP flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup hot coffee (or boiling water for the coffee averse)
- 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 oz semisweet chocolate
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 29 mini Reese’s cups
- Reese’s pieces
For the cake, preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until fully incorporated.
Stir in hot coffee (or water). The batter will be thin. Pour into prepared pans and bake 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out cool. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting from pans. Cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting, beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until combined.
Add the peanut butter and vanilla and beat until combined.
To assemble, start by chopping up 20 of the mini Reese’s cups.
Place one layer of the cake on a cake stand. Spread frosting over the layer and then sprinkle half the chopped Reese’s cups. Place the next cake layer on top and repeat. Top with the final cake layer and then frost the entire cake.
Since the cake is chocolate and the frosting is light in color, I did a crumb coat (basically just a thin layer of frosting) and chilled the cake for 30 minutes. Then I frosted the entire cake. This helps from getting dark crumbs in your frosting and keeps the appearance clean.
Next, make the ganache by chopping the semisweet chocolate and heating the heavy cream until simmering. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes and then stir until smooth.
Carefully spoon the ganache over the edges of the cake so it drips in some places. Pour the rest of the ganache over the center of the cake and smooth it out so it covers the top.
Then decorate with Reese’s cups and pieces and enjoy!