It’s very exciting to have Carla from Chocolate Moosey guest posting for me today! She is an awesome person as a whole, and one part involves fabulous recipe creations. I have had her Funfetti Cheesecake on my to-do list for far too long, but with other recipes of hers such as Cheesecake-Stuffed Peaches and Strawberry S’mores Tart it’s hard to keep up. And now today she is sharing a combination of flavors that is close to both of our hearts. If you don’t know what I am talking about, you obviously don’t pay much attention ;-).
One year ago: Feta Stuffed Pesto Turkey Burgers
Thank you, Erin, for asking me to guest post! For those of you not familiar with my blog, I’m a self-taught home baker with a from-scratch philosophy. I’ve been following The Spiffy Cookie for quite some time. In fact, the first time I came across this blog, Erin had a link to a Pinterest board dedicated to chocolate and peanut butter. I knew we would be great friends after that! Then last week, she did a chocolate and peanut butter round-up. How could I not bake Erin something with that perfect combination? And what better way to celebrate such a winning combination than with Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Texas Sheet Cake!
Most of you probably recognize a sheet cake from most potlucks and get-togethers. It is a single-layer rectangular cake (usually 13×9) that is baked and served directly from the pan. Because it is served straight from the pan, you only need to frost the top, It also makes the perfect traveling companion and can be baked at a moment’s notice. Most companies now make pans with travel lids, so you don’t even have to fuss with foil or plastic wrap (I hate plastic wrap – so annoying).
So what makes it a Texas sheet cake? Nobody really knows if this cake truly came from Texas. Some sources say it’s really named after Texas’ friendly hospitality since this cake is meant to be shared. I know most Texas sheet cakes I ate growing up had a coconut-pecan frosting on top. Why not mimic it after one of my favorites – the peanut butter cup?
This cake stays very moist, even after a few days. I saved a piece for my dad a few days after it was baked, and it was still good. The secret to making this cake moist and chocolatey? Using espresso powder. Coffee adds depth to chocolate. It’s used more as an enhancer rather than as a flavor, so your cake will not taste like coffee. I used espresso powder so I didn’t have to make a pot; however, feel free to use instant coffee or regular liquid coffee. You can leave it out if you must, but you will be missing that extra layer of flavor.
The peanut butter frosting tasted like heaven. I’ve never had such a fluffy peanut butter frosting before! In fact, I didn’t need any cake, just a spoon. The key is to whip it in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment to incorporate all of that air. Of course don’t fret if all you have is a hand mixer. I’ve been using a hand mixer up until this summer. It may not be *as* fluffy, but I promise you won’t be disappointed either!
This Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Texas Sheet Cake is so rich and sinful, you’ll need a glass of milk with it. I hate drinking milk straight-up, so I opt for coffee instead. That also means this cake is perfectly acceptable for breakfast 😉
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup boiling water (use coffee if not using powdered coffee)
2 tsp espresso powder or instant coffee
Peanut Butter Frosting:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp milk
1 1/2 cups chopped peanut butter cups
1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 13×9 pan and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes or until smooth. Dissolve the espresso powder or instant coffee in the boiling water. Stir the coffee into the batter. The batter will be really thin. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (the top of the cake will be sticky to the touch). Cool cake completely.
3. For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (you can use a hand mixer instead), beat together on medium-high speed the sugar, butter, and salt until smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add peanut butter and milk. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy, another 2-3 minutes. Spread on top of the cooled cake. Sprinkle peanut butter cups on top.
Sources: Cake adapted from Hershey’s Make It Chocolate; Frosting adapted from 125 Best Cupcake Recipes