This was my birthday cake.
This was one of the most decadent things I’ve ever made.
This was also the best cake I’ve ever eaten in my entire life.
I may have to make it again next year.
It started with two sticks of butter.
Then, the first two cups of sugar. (The first two, I said.) Cane sugar, to start.
I beat those together.
And in went another cup of sugar, this time brown, along with half a cup of peanut butter. I use Skippy Natural, delicious enough to eat right out of the jar. (Don’t be fooled by the word “natural”, I’m pretty sure it means “just a little less crazy stuff added to this peanut butter to keep it fresh for months.”)
Good enough to eat with a spoon. But I didn’t. Instead, I beat it well, then started adding in the eggs, one at a time. There were five of them.
The texture was getting dreamy already, and that was only about two or three eggs in. Next up, a whopping two tablespoons of vanilla.
I reluctantly stopped staring into the bowl, and got the dry ingredients together: flour (all purpose), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Unglamorous, perhaps, but essential to the magic of it all and therefore worthy of respect and photography.
I took a quick glance over at the kitchen table and couldn’t resist getting a few shots of Juliet. She was just going about her business, drawing a picture and drinking some hot apple cider, but she was doing it adorably.
Yes, that’s a Spock mug. It’s his birthday this month, too.
The recipe gave me the option of using whipping cream or whole milk for this next part, and I opted for the milk. I added some of the flour mixture to the batter, then some milk, and mixed. I did this three times until the flour and milk were all gone and the bowl was full of the most wonderful gooey batter.
I poured it into a bundt pan, filling it about 3/4 of the way, as instructed.
I put that in the oven, and looked back at the batter bowl. There was a lot left! The recipe suggested using it for cupcakes, but I decided that if one big bundt cake was beautiful and delicious, so are twelve LITTLE bundt cakes. I hauled out my mini bundt pan.
Any seasoned baker will tell you that I overfilled this pan. I wasn’t thinking about that, I was smelling the cake baking in the oven. I was also distracted by the little towel-clad Juliet, scurrying by after having her bath. She stopped by to say hello.
She and I took a look at the mess on the counter. It’s amazing how many paper towels it takes to make a peanut butter pound cake.
The cake was completely done at about 55 minutes.
I put the mini bundts into the oven, and let the big one sit in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing. Juliet ate popcorn.
When I took the cake out of the pan, I saw that it had a little piece missing from the side. That meant it HAD to have frosting. Up until that moment, I was still considering frosting “optional”.
Optional no more! Frosting was now required.
More butter, more peanut butter.
I was supposed to add two cups of powdered sugar, but I cut back on that too. It was still a lot.
And once that was mixed, I started adding in milk. I wanted to get to more of a glaze-like consistency than a frosting, so I ended up using a great deal of milk. It tasted sublime.
And somewhere in the middle of all that, the mini bundt cakes were ready. Once I got them onto a cooling rack I saw how overstuffed they were.
I figured the best thing to do was to cut off the excess with a knife, which left all these tiny crispy bits for us to sample. It was a little rough around the edges, literally, but sometimes I just don’t have that refined delicacy needed for perfection in tasks like this. I’m okay with it.
I went back to the large cake. I started pouring the glaze-frosting on it and spreading as much as I could. It looked delicious but it also looked strange and crude.
I did smooth it out some more, but I knew there was one thing that could save the appearance of this cake: chocolate drizzle. I melted some high end chocolate chips in a makeshift double boiler along with a bit of oil, and drizzled. Well, I glopped and I drizzled, depending on the moment and who was jostling me as I did it.
And eventually, I ended up here:
It looked pretty good. Crude, but delicious.
The next day was my birthday, and I had some friends over for a indulgent bagel brunch lunch. I couldn’t wait to slice the cake open. It did not disappoint.
Okay, that’s the understatement of the century. This cake is heaven. This cake is paradise. This cake is probably the most delicious dessert I have ever eaten in my entire life.
The inside is soft and fluffy but saturated with peanut butter flavor. The frosting has an absolutely lovely lightness to it, it escalates the peanut butter without overwhelming. The chocolate adds the perfect finishing touch.
Best Cake Ever.
Happy birthday to me! Eat cake.