If you love Reese’s and you love fudge covered Nutter Butters, you’re going to die for this cake! It’s basically a cookie-candy-cake, because it’s dark chocolate cake made with peanut butter, dark and milk chocolate chips, along with pieces of Reese’s cut up into the batter. Then we frost it and fill the layers with chocolate and peanut butter buttercream before decorating the top with Fudge Covered Nutter Butters, milk chocolate and dark chocolate Reese’s candies. Decadent to say the very least …or most! It’s so much fun to make and decorate and every bite has a candy surprise!
We use our basic old fashioned cocoa cake and a simple butter cream frosting for this one, but the fun is in how you decide to decorate it! Kids love making and decorating this cake, so it’s a great family project! We made the frosting for this batch in two flavors for decorating and to have both plain peanut butter buttercream and chocolate peanut butter buttercream flavors. But, don’t worry, you can make just one batch of peanut buttercream frosting, and then add the cocoa powder after you’ve separated enough to make the little flower top decorations on the top and bottom edges of the cake. You will probably need to add just a little extra milk to make the consistency just right after you’ve added the cocoa powder.
Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cupcakes
- 2 Pastry bags
- 1 #824 open star cake decorating tip and complementary coupler
- 1 small open star #32 cake decorating tip and complementary coupler
Dark Chocolate Cocoa Cake
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder we like Dutch processed cocoa powder for this recipe
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips we like Ghirardelli’s 60% cacao or Guittard’s coconut sugar sweetened dark chocolate chips
- 36 Reese’s minis unwrapped, divided (keep 12 whole and cut 24 of them in halves.) if you cannot find minis, the regular small Reese’s will do and you can just cut them into fourths.
- 8 whole Fudge Covered Nutter Butter Cookies
- 8 whole Reese’s Dark Chocolate Thins
Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting
- 6 oz. unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/3 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2-3 tbsp. milk or cream +/- you may need to add a little extra milk, or a little extra sifted powdered sugar to get to just the right piping consistency.
- 6 oz. dark chocolate chips, or chopped dark chocolate about 1 cup
- 3 tbsp. light agave syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 +/- hot water
Dark Chocolate Cocoa Cake
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Spray the inside of the paper and sides of the pan with cooking spray.
- Place dries (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt) in a large mixing bowl. Mix well with a wire whisk.
- Slowly stir in cold water and mix well. Then add oil and mix until incorporated. Finally, add the vanilla and blend in well.
- Stir in Reese’s quarters, chocolate and peanut butter chips. Blend well.
- Evenly pour the batter into the prepared cake pans
- Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until the cake seems set in the middle. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
- When you’re ready to frost the cake, lay the first layer down on your cake plate. Spread a layer of the chocolate frosting over the first cake layer. Then, place the second layer over the frosting and continue to frost the entire cake.
- To decorate the top of the cake, use the #824 large open star tip to cover the cupcake with swirls of the chocolate peanut butter buttercream frosting. Then using the smaller #32 open star tip, make little stars all around the bottom edge of the cake. This gives a nice contrast and makes them look so festive.
- Finally, decorate the top of the cake to your heart’s content with the Fudge Nutter Butters and Reese’s Thins and any remaining frosting that you have.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting
- Place the butter into the bowl of your standing mixer and beat on medium high speed for about 3 minutes, or until the butter is very light colored and creamy. Add the creamy peanut butter and blend well.
- Whisk together salt, cream of tartar and powdered sugar. Add powdered sugar mixture to butter/peanut butter, 1 cup at a time, alternating with milk, beating well after each addition, (You may not need all of the liquid, but save it for the next step.) When you have the consistency you want for the peanut butter buttercream, separate about 1/3 of the frosting and move most of it to a pastry bag fitted with the small #824 open star tip and matching couplers. Place the remaining peanut butter frosting in another pastry bag, fitted with a #32 (smaller open star) tip with matching couplers. Set aside.
- Now, add the cocoa powder to the frosting left in the mixer and beat on low speed to integrate. Note* you want to do this slowly, or you will have cocoa powder all over the kitchen!
- Once the cocoa powder is integrated, add a little more milk (or cream) to arrive at the consistency you want for frosting. If you need to add more sugar or more liquid, that is just fine. Different butters have different moisture content and when you add the cocoa powder, you might need more liquid.
- You can also make the frosting in advance and keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to frost the cupcakes. Just remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temp before piping onto the cupcakes.
- Place chocolate chips along with agave and vanilla in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until the chocolate is melted. Now add the hot water, just about 2 tablespoons at time, whisking all the while, until you have a chocolate sauce consistency that you can drizzle onto the cupcakes or over ice cream! This keeps really well for a week or two and you can just reheat it when you’re ready for a sundae!