Thursday, June 24, 2010

Peanut Butter & Jam Cakewiches

Would you believe it if I told you I didn't grow up with peanut butter? Kind of hard to believe, isn't it. But I really didn't know about peanut butter until I met my husband. I was born and raised in Germany, and peanut butter was definitely not anywhere to be found in our house or anybody else's house for that matter. Now my husband on the other hand, born and raised in the states, had his fair share of peanut butter sandwiches growing up.

Our kids are split down the middle. Our oldest will eat it, but it isn't anything she needs on a regular basis. Our middle son will eat it 3 times a day if I let him, and the little guy will eat it, but he is more into savory foods, so he will pick a ham sandwich over peanut butter any day.  When I found this recipe in yet another "Cuisine at Home" magazine, I wasn't sure how this would go over with the entire family. Would they be split on this dessert as well, or would it be a hit?

Well... it was a definite hit. Not just with the kids, but their friends, my husband's colleagues, and even me. The dessert is composed of three separate parts, and while each one takes a bit of time they can be made ahead a day or two. All you have to do when ready to serve is assemble.
The three components of this dessert are a peanut butter cake, which is baked in a loaf pan to resemble a loaf of bread. The second component is the peanut butter frosting, and third is the blackberry jam spread.

Assembling the cakewiches is literally like making a normal PB&J. One word of advice, the recipe makes enough for 2 loafs of peanut butter cake along with the fillings. That is enough to feed a small army since a half a sandwich is more than filling for most people. If you are needing this in a smaller scale, the recipe can be halved beautifully.

Great concept; great recipe. A little more time involved then some of my other desserts, but well worth it. I loved the whimsy of this dish, it's almost like a grown-up version of a childhood classic, and is best enjoyed with a big glass of milk, even if it is just for the novelty of it.
If you are a big peanut butter and jelly fan, this dessert is definitely worth making, and I hope you'll give it a try!

Peanut Butter & Jam Cakewiches

Peanut Butter Cake (recipe to follow)
Blackberry Jam Spread (recipe to follow)
Peanut Butter frosting (recipe to follow)

Assemble cakewiches by trimming off the ends of each cake with a serrated knife. Cut each cake into sixteen 1/2-inch thick slices before adding fillings.
Spread 3 tablespoons of frosting and 1 heaping tablespoon jam on a slice of cake. Top with another slice of cake and cut diagonally into 2 triangles. Repeat with remaining cake, frosting, and jam.

Peanut Butter Cake
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
6 eggs, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. coat the inside of two 9x5-inch loaf pans with 1 tablespoon butter; coat generously with sugar.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside.
Combine milk and vanilla in a measuring cup; set aside.

Cream peanut butter, butters, sugar and brown sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until very well combined, 5 minutes.
Add eggs to the creamed mixture, one at at time, beating well after each addition.
Alternately add flour and milk mixtures to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until mixed,  scraping sides of bowl as needed.

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake cakes 50 minutes, then sprinkle tops with additional sugar. Loosely tent with foil if edges are getting too brown. Return the cakes to the oven; bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of each comes out clean, 10-15 minutes more. Let cakes rest in the pans on a rack for 20 minutes, then turn cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.

Blackberry Jam Spread

3 cups blackberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons berry juice (from the cooked berries)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Combine blackberries, sugar, and water in a saucepan over medium-low heat; simmer until berries release juice, about 20 minutes.
Whisk together cornstarch and berry juice in a bowl, until smooth; blend into berry mixture, and cook until thickened, 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice. Cover and chill for about 30 minutes.

Peanut Butter Frosting

3/4 cup peanut butter
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat peanut butter and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla, mixing just until smooth and creamy.


  1. I love desserts. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will surely try this out.

    Take the Dessert Personality Test and find out your personality on the basis of your favorite dessert. I have taken the test and have enjoyed a lot. Hope you too will enjoy it. Have Fun!!

  2. Ja, kann ich sehr gut verstehen. Ich bin mit Nutella gross geworden. Peanut Butter mag ich auch heute noch nicht. Mein Sohn dafuer um so mehr. Peanut butter cookies gehen hier weg wie warme Semmeln. Das koennte ich mir auch gut bei dem Peanut Kuchen vorstellen. Anstatt Marmelade wuerde ich Nutella drauf streichen.

  3. oooooh man, i love peanut butter and jam. baking the cake in a bread pan is a really clever idea! I love this :)

  4. Adorable! My husband would go crazy for this!

  5. You totally had me convinced that this was just a straight up pb&j sandwich. How cool!! This is such a great recipe :)

  6. I love how it looks like a sandwich. I really want to taste this one!

  7. It looks wonderful, but it also looks like a lot of work. You are a remarkably resourceful cook. I'm so glad your family was appreciative of your efforts on their behalf. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  8. This looks like something my husband would love. I'll be trying this as soon as things cool off a bit.

  9. Although a cute idea, I don't think I will ever make this as intended. I'm far more interested in making the cake itself--I've never seen a recipe for pb cake before. I'd like to turn it into a frosted two-layer cake but was wondering about the texture. Is it dense like a pound cake? If so, I think I would just go ahead and bake it in a loaf pan and serve it drizzled with ganache.

  10. Veronica - baking it into a two layer cake was actually how "Cuisine at Home" said this dessert started out. However, I do think that this cake is better made in a loaf pan as it has the texture of a pound cake. When I made the sandwiches there were very few people who were able to eat a whole sandwich, most were perfectly happy with a half a one. I think making it drizzled with ganache sounds like a lovely idea :o) Let me know how it turns out!


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