Chocolate Peanut Butter Snack Cakes
Recipe from Rebecca at Roses and Whiskers
My family is big on traditions. Every Halloween, we’d eat English muffin pizzas, drink hot chocolate or apple cider and go trick-or-treating. When I outgrew trick-or-treating (what a sad day!) I’d watch Hocus Pocus instead.
And of course I always ate Halloween candy! I remember sitting in my room when I was supposed to be asleep and combing through my loot with a flashlight. I’d sort the candy into piles so that I could save the best for last. Reese’s, M&Ms and Snickers were always my favorite.
Reese’s pumpkins were the most coveted candy of all. And they still are! Every August when stores begin stocking Halloween candy I start buying Reese’s pumpkins. To me, they are the perfect ratio of chocolate and peanut butter. I actually feel that way about all of the holiday Reese’s. Maybe it’s because Santa put a Reese’s tree in my stocking every year (and still does!). Holiday Reese’s will always have a special place in my heart.
I used the flavors from my favorite Halloween candy to create these chocolate peanut butter snack cakes. I also loved Little Debbie’s as a kid, so these are doubly perfect. Fair warning: I call these snack cakes, but you’ll probably want to eat them with a fork!
Peanut Butter Cake:
2 ½ cups gluten free 1 to 1 baking flour (substitute all-purpose flour for gluten-full snack cakes)
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
½ cup sour cream, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
Chocolate Marshmallow Buttercream:
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 tbsp Crisco
3.5 oz marshmallow crème (half of a normal-sized jar)
2 ¼ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp whole milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a rimmed baking sheet (also called a half-sheet pan) with butter. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, and then grease the top of that with butter. Coat the pan with flour.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter, sour cream and sugar until light and fluffy. Cream in the peanut butter. Then beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl to be sure they’re thoroughly incorporated. Mix in the vanilla.
- Gradually stir in the flour mixture on low speed, alternating with the buttermilk. Begin and end with the flour mixture.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 14-16 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake rest in the pan for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire cooling rack lined with parchment or wax paper. Let the cake cool for a few minutes, and then place it in the freezer for 1 hour.
- Prepare the frosting while the cake is chilling in the freezer. Cream the butter, Crisco and marshmallow creme until smooth and fluffy. Gradually incorporate the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk and vanilla. Then beat on high speed until smooth and creamy.
- Take the cake out of the freezer. Use a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter to cut out 20 pumpkins. (Toss the scraps or use them to make cake pops!) Pipe frosting onto one side of 10 of the pumpkins. Press the remaining pumpkins on top of the frosted ones. Use a knife to smooth any frosting that oozes out of the sandwich. Place the snack cakes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet and put them in in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- After an hour, melt the baking bars and Crisco according to the instructions on the package. I used the microwave. Let the chocolate cool for 5 minutes.
- Hold a snack cake over the melted chocolate using a slotted dipping spoon (like the one in this set). Then using a regular spoon, pour the chocolate over the cake, making sure it coats the top and sides. Gently remove the cake from the spoon with an offset spatula and put it on the prepared baking sheet and top with sprinkles. Repeat with the remaining snack cakes.
- Let the cakes set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Then store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You might also want to use a sharp knife to trim off any excess chocolate around the bottom of each cake. Enjoy!