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Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake & A Giveaway

So apparently we like peanut and chocolate? Are you surprised?

For the same reason we like to listen to songs on repeat (we definitely listened to "Charm Attack" by Leona Naess on repeat in the car from Lexington, Virginia to Washington D.C. and *maybe* got a speeding ticket because we were rocking out for the 534th time and had no idea we had hit 90 mph in the 240), it seems that when we get a taste hankering for peanut butter and chocolate, we need to indulge it until it's dead. Not that we could ever put an end to our chocolate peanut butter obsession ("Charm Attack" is still one of the greatest songs EVER), but we could give it a shot this month?

And, what a fitting month it has been, no, cookies? To culminate this great flavor profile with a Valentine's Day Giveaway? Perfect. Because, really, nothing says 'I love you' quite like peanut butter and chocolate. As for this cake? This is our way of saying we love our fabulous readers.

Also, the giveaway. Pressies also say we love you and it is about time we gave you a pressie! So, rules to enter, leave a comment on this post and/or like us on Facebook and/or re-tweet our fascinating Twitter feed and you will be entered to win these fabulous red Le Creuset Bakers from our personal fav, Sur La Table. You will have until 11:59 EST on February 10th to enter and we will announce a winner in Monday's post. Just an FYI too, muffins, if you leave a comment please include an email address so we can contact you if you win. We totes hate spam and don't do ads (duh) so trust us that your email is completely private! Also, unfortunately, we can only ship domestically at this point so, to our incredible international readers, we will figure something out for next time. We love you just as much!

We would additionally like to recommend that you bake this cake for a special someone as a Valentine's gift to them and then their gift to you can be doing the dishes. Because, fair warning, while it is TOTALLY worth it, this cake requires about 28 bowls and 26 measuring cups, give or take. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake
Serves 12
Adapted from Elinor Klivans

Print Recipe

For the Cake:
1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup unsweetened, Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
7-8 ounces peanut butter cups, divided 

For the Peanut Butter Mousse:
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (not old-fashioned)
3/4 cup confectioner's (powdered) sugar
1 cup cold, heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Ganache:
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
9-10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter the bottom and sides of a 10" round cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the parchment.

Melt the unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted. Set aside. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. And the vanilla extract. On low speed, slowly add the melted and slightly cooled chocolate. Add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and only blending until just combined so as not to over-mix. Using a spatula, stir in half of the peanut butter cups (you can use large peanut butter cups too that have been chopped). Bake until the tops feel firm and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack until cool enough to touch and then invert the cake onto the wire rack to cool completely (use a knife around the edges to loosen the cake if necessary). 

Prepare the ganache next. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and butter over low heat until hot but not boiling. Add the chocolate chips, let stand for 30 seconds and then stir to fully melt the chocolate and blend the cream. Stir in the vanilla extract and set aside to cool and thicken. 

To make the mousse, in the clean electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together the cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth. Set aside. On low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar until incorporated. In another bowl, using an electric whisk, whip the heavy cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Add 1/3 of the whipped cream to the peanut butter mixture to lighten it and then gently fold in the remaining whipped cream using a rubber spatula, being careful not to over-mix and deflate the mousse. 

To assemble the cake, invert the cooled cake (top side up again) onto a serving plate. Leaving a 1" edge all the way around, use a small, sharp knife to cup out the center of the cake to create a cavity but do not go all the way to the bottom. You are basically scooping out the middle bit of the cake. Spread half the mouse into the cavity then break up some pieces of the remaining cake and mound over the mousse piling into the center of the cake. Spread the remaining mouse all over the cake and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Then, using a spatula, spread the thickened ganache (it should have a yogurt-like thickness) over the entire cake and sides. Top with the remaining peanut butter cups. 

Keeps covered in the fridge for up to 2 days. 


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Reader Comments (98)

Peanut butter by itself? Not so great. Peanut butter + chocolate = ABSOLUTE DELICIOUSNESS.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

I love chocolate and peanut butter anything. That cake looks AMAZING!
cereza25 at yahoo dot com

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAthena R

Chocolate and peanut butter, what's not to love? Thanks for offering the giveaway and chance to win.
dabmab2010 at

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaryB

I was looking for something wonderful and different to make for Valentine's Day this will be perfect. Thanks.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichele Ploehn

Loves me some chocolate and peanut butter! And I love Giveaways! I hope I win! :)

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSheryl Z

this cake looks gorgeous. chocolate ganache is always a winner.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYehsong

This cake looks amazing--I'm going to try it on Fat Tuesday before I give up gluten for awhile.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkvossler

liked you girls on FB!

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkvossler

I LOVE that song! and that cake looks amahzing!

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

Chocolate and peanut butter are such a perfect combo - this cake sounds absolutely fabulous.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJusteen

Thanks for the entries! But just an FYI, don't put your email in the body of the comments (we don't want you getting spammed from random websites), just include your email in the Author Email section so only we can see it ;-)

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBlue-Eyed Bakers

This cake would be the perfect treat for my boyfriend! Looks delicious!

I like on Facebook and follow on Twitter :)

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan

i've been looking for some great recipes to try...this will be my next one! thanks! :)

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdani

Love the chocolate and PB combo!

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Why yes, I do think I'll eat that entire cake, thank you very much.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKarly

This cake looks so good!

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTerri

Hmm, cake looks good enough to risk the mess of bowls - note to self: start with dishwasher empty. YUM.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarion

MMM cake... looks delish!

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSara

love chocolate peanut butter!

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersharona

Chocolate and peanut butter = amazingness! I love your blog, and can't wait to start this recipe. Even with the 26 bowls :)

bkfahey at

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBridget

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