Peanut Butter Birthday Crunch Cake

My littlest one had a birthday last Saturday and when I asked her what sort of cake I should make her she said “peanut butter.” Then I asked what she wanted for dinner (they always get what they want for dinner) I got the same response.

So, peanut butter it was. On Friday after nursery I made some chocolate cupcakes with a peanut butter frosting and on her actual birthday I thought I’d make this peanut butter crunch cake I had remembered reading about in the Outsider Tart book Baked in America.

I've been baking from this book now for 2 years and it’s finally dawned on me that they must use a fan-assisted oven. All the cakes I've baked from the book takes almost double the time suggested.

Anyhow we took her out for the day so I had a late afternoon start and because of the extra time needed to cook it through she went to bed without any birthday cake. Luckily she hadn't really noticed.

So, the following day I gave her a square after breakfast. It’s what we call in America a “coffee cake” because you eat it with a cup of coffee and since most people have coffee in the morning I thought it okay to give her as dessert after breakfast. Birthday’s are special and therefore I didn't feel guilty about giving her cake after breakfast. I already felt guilty enough for having terrible time management!

She took one look at it and declared she didn't like it. Didn't even try it, she just didn't like the look of it.

I should know better then to give a child a cake without frosting to be licked off and the cake left…

Lesson learned.

I liked it and everyone I pawned it off on liked it. So, despite the roller coaster of emotions I went through to please a now 4 year old it was a good cake!

Peanut Butter Crunch Cake

340g milk chocolate chips
115g smooth peanut butter

450g plain flour
450g light brown sugar
225g butter, softened
225g smooth peanut butter
4 large eggs
240ml whole milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb of soda
½ tsp salt

Pre-heat the oven to 180C fan-assisted or 200F for a conventional oven. Grease and line a tray bake tin 12x9x2 inches or 30x23x5 cm, lightly dust with flour tap out any excess.

Melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a bowl over a simmering pot of water. Stir occasionally, once melted remove from the heat and set aside. This is for a chocolate swirl in the middle and on top of the cake. (It reminds me of making puppy chow!)

In an electric mixer, on low, beat the flour, sugar, butter, and peanut butter until crumbs form. Remove 3 cups of the crumb mixture and set aside.

Add the eggs one at a time to the remaining crumb mixture. Then add the milk, vanilla, baking powder, bicarb, and salt. Beat until just combined.

Spread half of the batter in the prepared tin, then top with half the chocolate mixture gently swirl it together without combining before topping with the rest of the batter. Then drizzle the rest of the chocolate mixture on top.

Pour over the crumb topping you set aside and gently press down. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer test tells you that it’s done. Cover the cake with tin foil if the crumbs look like they are scorching. Let it cool completely before cutting up and eating!!

notes: recipe is from Outsider Tart’s Baked in America. I have skimmed back through the book and didn't read anywhere that they use fan-assisted. It could state it clearly somewhere? However, this is an observation I've made from baking from the book. Check out some of the other things I've baked from the book!


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