Peanut Caramel and Chocolate Layer Cake
Updated: Apr 1
Today was my boyfriend's birthday today and since he loves everything peanut and chocolate flavoured and one of my goals for this year was to make a layer cake I decided to give it a go, and let me tell you what a success this was! I simply have to share the recipe with you all as it's probably my favourite creation so far. We're talking moist and flavourful chocolate cake layers with a peanut caramel filling and a peanut butter cream. All topped with fresh strawberries and even more chocolate.
Equipment: Electric beater
3x 22cm (approximately, can use 20cm too and adjust baking time) diameter springform cake tins
2 wire racks for the oven
Paper towels (quite a lot of them)
Bench scraper (not necessary but recommended)
Piping bag/ziplock bag for piping
450g all purpose flour
450g granulated sugar
90g brown sugar
120g cocoa powder
3tsp baking powder
1.5tsp baking soda
630g unsweetened soy milk
30g apple cider vinegar
270g vegan butter
1tbsp vanilla extract
powdered egg replacer equivalent of 3 eggs (in my case: 3 tsp powdered egg replacer + 2tbsp water)
1.5 tsp fine table salt
Add apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract and soy milk to a bowl and leave to curdle. Mix all dry ingredients together and set aside. Prepare the egg replacer, and heat the butter until just melted (or use one that is liquid at room temperature). Add the curdled soy milk, egg replacer and butter into the dry mix and mix until everything is well incorporated. Line the bottom of 3x22cm springform cake tins with parchment paper and grease the edges. Evenly distribute the batter into all three tins. Lay out three strips of kitchen towel that are all long enough to wrap around the outside of your cake tins (and then a bit extra), and do the same with aluminium foil. Wet the paper towels in cold water - they should be damp but not dripping - and wrap each of them in the aluminium foil. Wrap each strip of paper towel/aluminium foil around one cake pan each. Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius and place two wire racks in the oven for the cake pans to bake on. Place the cake pans evenly in the oven, two at the bottom and one at the top, making sure no cake is directly placed above another. Bake for 35-45 minutes, switching the wire racks once you’re a little over half way through the baking, until a toothpick or fork comes out clean indicating all cakes are cooked through. Leave the cakes to cool completely before wrapping in cling film or placing in an airtight container and place them in the fridge overnight.
Filling: 200g peanuts
100g coconut cream (hardened on top of can of coconut milk)
200g brown sugar
A pinch of salt
70g vegan butter
Melt all ingredients for the caramel together over medium heat and leave to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring minimally. Let cool and transfer to a jar. Place in the fridge overnight.
Before assembling, roughly chop 200g of salted peanuts and stir through the caramel.
480g vegan butter
230g smooth salted peanut butter
850g powdered sugar
Mix the butter and peanut butter together with an electric beater and gradually add in the powdered sugar until you have a smooth, fluffy frosting. You can leave this to cool overnight and just give it another whisk with an electric beater in the morning, or do it the day of assembling the cake, up to you.
Assembling And Frosting The Cake
If you find the instructions here a bit complicated or hard to understand, I highly recommend watching this video from Claire from the BA test kitchen as she has an excellent tutorial on cake assembly and decoration (which is where I learned what I’m about to tell you!)
Start by getting the cake, frosting and caramel out of the fridge. Mix in your chopped peanuts into the caramel filling if you haven’t already and give the frosting another whisk if it has hardened overnight.
Unwrap the cake layers from the cling film and remove the parchment paper from the bottom. Place one cake back on the bottom of the cake tin you baked it in and use this as your “cake plate” when decorating and moving it around. Place this bottom layer onto the turntable. Spread on a thin layer of frosting onto the cake before filling a piping back with some of the frosting and piping it around the edges to create a “wall” to prevent the caramel filling from seeping out. Spread on the peanut caramel filling. I found that somewhere between 1/2 - 1/3 of the filling is a good amount for each layer. Place the next cake layer on top and repeat the process. Ensure each layer is placed right on top of the other and make sure the cake is level at all times as it’s a lot harder to correct this after the cake is fully frosted!
Finally, add your final cake layer and give the cake a crumb coat. This is done by spreading a thin, even layer of frosting all around with the offset spatula and using your bench scraper to scrape off any excess. This “locks” the cake crumbs in place and makes it a lot easier to frost the cake later. Let the crumb coat set for a few minutes and then add the rest of your frosting on top, evenly spreading it to coat the entire cake. Use your offset spatula to scrape off excess frosting and even out the whole thing. Chop some more peanuts and press them into the frosting along the bottom half of the cake. Decorate as you wish with chopped chocolate, strawberries and peanuts on top and transfer the cake carefully to your cake stand or a serving board.