Peanut butter cup lovers – this one’s for you! This Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake is a dark chocolate cake that is topped with a no-churn peanut butter ice cream layer and finished off with chocolate ganache.
In my dream world, I would make beautiful, delicious cakes. The truth of the matter is that I am not so great at them. For Easton’s first birthday, I decided to make him a smash cake. He loved bananas, so I made a small banana cake. When I went to frost it, it crumbled into pieces. It was literally a pile of crumbs, and couldn’t even be put back together with frosting. I quickly called my husband and work and told him that he needed to stop at the store on his way home to pick up a cake. 😂
But I’m not giving up. I’ve made a few cakes since then that have been more presentable (aka not falling apart into a pile of crumbs) but I am always still working on my cake making skills.
So I’m so excited for today’s cookbook review – Simply Beautiful Homemade Cakes by Lindsay Conchar of Life, Love & Sugar. If you’ve been to Lindsay’s blog before, you know that she can make some of the most beautiful cakes around. So when I heard that she was coming out with a cookbook, I knew I needed a copy.
You guys – this cookbook is gorgeous. If you are looking for beautiful, creative cake recipes, you need this book. There are layer cakes and cupcakes and single layer cakes and icebox cakes and cheesecakes and ice cream cakes. And so much more!! Beyond the recipes, this book is filled with so much information, as well. Tutorials on preparing a basic cake pan and how to measure dry ingredients properly. How to add decorations to the sides of your cakes, and how to pipe borders on cakes. Seriously – there is so much information. I’m pretty sure that with the help of this book, I’ll be able to finally learn how to make a beautiful cake.
Here are the details:
Number of Photos: lots! Not only is there a photo of every recipe, but there are lots of photos in the tutorial sections of the book as well.
Difficulty Level of Recipes: Medium to Hard. This is a baking book, so the recipes aren’t exactly beginner recipes. But I do think they are written very well, so you don’t need to be a veteran cake baker to bake from this book.
Availability of Ingredients: Easy. Some of the equipment might not be in your collection, but the ingredients should be easy to find.
Other recipes I want to try:
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Triple Lemon Cupcakes
Funfetti Cheesecake Cake
Orange Cream Cake
Samoa Layer Cake
Pina Colada Ice Cream Cake
Key Lime Cheesecake
Coconut Cream Cheesecake
Buy Simply Beautiful Homemade Cakes on Amazon.
After looking through the book, I had my heart set on the Orange Cream Cake. But then I came across this Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake, and I knew I had to make it. First of all, I love ice cream cakes. I’ve made a red velvet version, a strawberry version, and a root beer float version. So obviously I needed a peanut butter ice cream cake. And second – the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake that I made a few years ago is one of the most made recipes by you all, my readers. And it is well loved, so I know you all love the chocolate and peanut butter combo.
This Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake is a little different than the other ice cream cakes I’ve made. You make the cake layer, and let it cool completely. Then you make a no-churn peanut butter ice cream. But you freeze the ice cream on top of the cake – you never freeze it on its own. The recipe calls for an 8 inch cake pan, and one with 3-inch tall sides is best for layering. Well, I didn’t even have an 8-inch cake pan, so I decided to just invest in the 8 inch wide, 3 inch deep cake pan. I realize that not all of you will want to buy a new cake pan just for this recipe, so you could also use an 8-inch springform pan. But the pan was pretty inexpensive, and I’m hoping that it will motivate me to make even more cakes!
One thing that is often tricky about serving an ice cream cake is timing. You can’t serve it straight out of the freezer or else you can’t cut it or eat it. But if you leave them out too long, they melt all over the place. Well, this one is a little different, because the no-churn ice cream doesn’t get really runny and melty as it thaws. It actually held its shape for quite some time. I think that made it so much easier, because the window for serving it is so much bigger.
Now my biggest dilemma will be deciding which cake I want to make next!
- 1 cup (130 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (207 g) sugar
- 6 tablespoons (43 g) dark cocoa powder blend (such as Hershey’s Special Dark)
- 1½ teaspoons (8 g) baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (120 ml) hot coffee*
- 6 tablespoons (90 ml) milk
- 6 tablespoons (90 ml) vegetable oil
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 large egg white, at room temperature
- 8 oz (226 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup (104 g) sugar
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) milk
- 1½ cups (420 g) creamy peanut butter
- 1¼ cups (300 ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
- ½ cup (58 g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (140 g) chopped mini peanut butter cups
- 1 cup (169 g) semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
- 1½ cup (210 g) chopped mini peanut butter cups
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line the bottom of an 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides.
- In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt In a medium bowl, combine the hot coffee*, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Add the egg and egg white and mix until smooth. The batter will be thin.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out with a few crumbs.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 2 to 3 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and transfer it to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Add the milk and mix until smooth. Add the peanut butter and mix until smooth. Set this mixture aside.
- Add the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to another large mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold about one-third of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, then fold in the remaining whipped cream. Gently stir in the chopped peanut butter cups. Set this mixture aside.
- Use a serrated knife to remove the dome from the top of the cake so that it’s flat.
- Using an 8-inch wide, 3-inch deep cake pan**, place plastic wrap over the top of the pan. Press an 8-inch cardboard cake circle into the pan, so that the plastic wrap is the bottom. You want to make sure the plastic wrap hangs over the edges of the pan, as this is what you will use to pull the cake out of the pan.
- Place the cooled layer of cake in the bottom of the pan, on top of the cake circle. Place a strip of parchment paper around the edges of the pan, between the pan and the cake, forming a mock collar.
- Spread the ice cream over the cake in an even layer. Loosely cover the top of the cake and put into the freezer until firm, 6 to 7 hours.
- When the cake is frozen, take it out of the freezer and use the plastic wrap to life the cake out of the cake pan. Place the cake on a serving plater. Use a warm offset spatula to smooth the sides, if needed.
- Place the chocolate chips in a small heat-proof bowl. Microwave the heavy whipping cream in a small microwave-safe measuring cup until it comes to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and let them stand, covered, for about 5 minutes. Whisk the chocolate mixture until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Allow the ganache to cool for about 3 to 5 minutes, then pour it over the top of the cake and allow it to drizzle down the sides.
- Finish the cake with the chopped mini peanut butter cups piled on top. Place the cake back in the freezer until you are ready to serve. Set the cake out for 45 to 60 minutes before serving, so that it can soften before being sliced.
- The cake is best served within 5 to 7 days, but it could be frozen longer.
*Since I don’t drink coffee and don't have it on hand, I just used hot water.
**I ended up buying an 8-inch wide, 3-inch deep cake pan. If you don’t have one on hand, or if you don’t want to purchase one, you can use an 8-inch springform pan. This is the pan that I used.
Excerpted from Simply Beautiful Homemade Cakes: Extraordinary Recipes and Easy Decorating Techniques by Lindsay Conchar. Copyright © 2016. Reprinted with permission from Page Street Publishing Co. All rights reserved.
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