I’ve missed food posts on here, have you?
About a week before Bobbie shocked me via Instagram, I had pulled all of my baking cookbooks (of which there are many) onto the couch and pored through them in search of my next birthday cake. It’s actually one of my favorite things to do: hunting for the perfect recipe, looking for inspiration.
Even when I find a viable winner, I still look through all of the other books. I’m nothing if not thorough. This particular cake was dog-eared from the start. I found it in Baked Elements—I absolutely adore the cookbooks by the boys behind Brooklyn’s Baked bakery. Gorgeous books, lovely and dependable recipes.
What’s not to love about this cake? Lush, dark cocoa powder, creamy milk chocolate and, as always, perfect peanut butter. The Baked Boys say, “It is the kind of cake you want for your birthday and hope that there are many leftovers for late-night snacking.” Sold.
And you couldn’t beat the name: Oopsy Daisy Cake—christened when milk chocolate was accidentally added instead of dark chocolate. And, like many culinary mistakes, everyone loved it better.
This ended up being a kind of serendipitous choice for me and Bobbie. When we worked at the Cincinnati Symphony together there was this charming old lady named Alice that would volunteer her filing skills and jokes. She was blissfully proud of her long life and would regale us with stories of evenings spent with Navy sailors and, later, life with her husband. Most days she’d just shuffle through the office offering advice or quips, and often she’d not-so-quietly pass gas and yell out “OOPSY DAISY!” It always made us laugh. Oh, Alice.
There you go. My birthday cake post includes a story about an old lady farting. Bet you didn’t think I could (or would) do it. #eeer-wrong
“Ele-vate!” as my MeMaw would say. Yes, back to peanut butter and chocolate, please!
Bobbie was also on board with a rich, decadent chocolate cake. Especially after we had gone the tangy, fruity route for her birthday in April. (Also a delicious option.)
The dark chocolate is offset nicely by the peanut butter. Initially it didn’t look like much peanut butter filling, but the balance was perfect (to me). I even hastily wrote in my book to double the filling, but ended up crossing it out. They were right all along.
The frosting is also delicious with a subtle whisper of peanut butter in an otherwise vanilla-loaded flavor. I had definitely never made frosting like it before. You boil everything on the stove before cooling it down in a stand mixer set to high speed, all while holding bags of frozen vegetables against the bowl to help. We looked ridiculous doing it, but, again, they were right!
My take-away lesson from this experiment: The Baked Boys are *always* right.
My second take-away lesson: When you have a light-colored cake, use a cake stand that isn’t white. Like my favorite baby blues.
Of course our Bavarian Inn cake-toppers made another appearance and, per Lily, it’s not a birthday cake without sprinkles. Traditions in the making, my friends.
I would make this cake again in a heartbeat. We shared a few slices with friends throughout the week, but otherwise Joe and I polished it off pretty quickly on our own. I really liked it cold, straight from the fridge, but Joe preferred his slices room temperature. Either way, it held up beautifully.
Baked’s Oopsy Daisy Cake
source: Baked Elements
For the Cake:
2 oz. good-quality milk chocolate, chopped
1/2 c. dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 c. hot coffee
1/3 c. whole milk
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
5 oz. unsalted butter, cut into cubes and softened
1 c. dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter two round cake pans (I used 9-inch, but the original recipe calls for 8-inch), line bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust with flour and knock out the excess.
Place chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the hot coffee right over and whisk until combined. Add the milk and whisk until smooth.
In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.
Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the chocolate mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Diving the batter between the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a tester inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans and let cool completely. Remove the parchment.
For the Peanut Butter Filling:
2 oz. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and softened
1/2 c. smooth peanut butter
1/2 c plus 2 Tbs confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth. Add the peanut butter and beat on medium-low speed until just combined. Add the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla, beat until smooth. Set aside.
For the Vanilla Peanut Butter Frosting:
1 c. sugar
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 c. whole milk
1/4 c. heavy cream
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 Tbs plus 1 tsp Peanut Butter Filling
1 tsp. vanilla
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, 5-10 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool, at least 7 minutes. (You can speed up the process by pressing bags of frozen veggies or fruit against the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.) Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of reserved peanut butter filling and the vanilla and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, put the bowl in the fridge to chill slightly, then beat again until it is the proper consistency. If the frosting is too firm, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon until it’s the proper consistency.
Roasted, salted peanuts, chopped
2 oz. good-quality dark chocolate, shaved
Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Trim the top to create a flat surface and evenly spread with the peanut butter filling, the spread about 1/4 cup of the frosting on top. Add the next layer, trim it, and frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting. Spring peanuts and shaved chocolate around the perimeter of the cake.
The cake can be stored at room temperature, covered, for up to 3 days.