The other day, one of my students told me that he had a peanut butter cake for his birthday. I was all… “Whaaaa?! That exists?!” Life changing news.
I immediately knew I needed to try to make my own version. Since Easter is around the corner, it seemed like the perfect cake to test out for the occasion.
Let me let you in on a little secret though…This is a cheater cake. That’s right, I zhuzhed- (how do you even spell that?! Do you know what I’m trying to say though?) up box cake. Sometimes Betty Crocker pulls through.
A few weeks ago I purchased a couple of boxes of Betty’s French Vanilla cake because it was on sale for $1.00. What a steal! Now, I have the perfect use for it. All you need to do is add some peanut butter and swap the milk for coconut milk. It leaves you with this dreamy and decadent, fluffy cake. It’s an Easter miracle!
Oh, and the icing is also a peanut butter buttercream! You’re welcome.
For the decoration, I used gel food colouring (a tiny bit of red) to dye my icing a pale pink colour, reserving a small amount of the original colour (which was slightly brown, from the pb) to create “nests” on top. I filled each nest with a few mini eggs and then melted down some chocolate, which I “flicked” onto my cake using a paintbrush to create a speckling.
Wishing you all a very happy spring and a lovely, cake-filled Easter, if you celebrate!
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Easy Peanut Butter Coconut Cake
Servings: Makes four 6-inch cake layers (enough for two small cakes)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 2 boxes of French Vanilla cake mix (432 g each)
- 6 large eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 can full fat coconut milk (400 ml)
- 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
For the icing:
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 tbsp meringue powder (optional)
- pinch of salt
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 4-6 tbsp coconut milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter four 6-inch cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper and dust with flour.
- Dump the cake mix into a large bowl. Create a well in the middle and add the eggs and oil. Pour the coconut milk into a measuring cup and add water to bring it up to an even 2 cups. Pour into the bowl with the other ingredients. Add the peanut butter and mix with an electric mixer, starting on low and working up to medium speed, for about 1-2 minutes. Divide batter between the four cake pans. It works out to be approximately 450g per pan. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before icing.
For the icing:
- Combine the shortening, butter and peanut butter in a medium bowl and mix with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add the meringue powder (if using), the salt and one cup of powdered sugar and beat until combined, starting on low.
- Drizzle in one tablespoon of coconut milk and beat. Continue to alternate between adding one cup of powdered sugar and one tablespoon of milk until all of the powdered sugar has been used. If icing is too thick, continue to add half of a tablespoon of milk at a time until you have reached desired consistency.
- Use a sharp serrated knife to level off the rounded top of each cake
- Place a large dollop in the middle of the first layer and gently push it out to the sides with an offset spatula until it is hanging off the edges
- Flip the second layer upside down before placing on top of the bottom layer
- Add another large dollop on the top of the cake and again, push the icing out to the sides with a back and forth motion, trying to avoid lifting the spatula in an upwards direction
- Once the top is levelled out, use the icing that spilled over the edge from the centre to fill in any gaps on the sides where the two layers meet, and add more icing to help cover the rest of the sides
I hope you enjoyed this easy cake recipe! If you have any feedback or comments, please leave them below! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @nevernoteatingca for more recipes, tips and tricks!