We made a peanut butter cake.

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Yesterday my daughter and I made a peanut butter cake for Father’s Day. My dad’s love of peanut butter is a bit legendary. When he was a child, he sliced his tongue in two by licking peanut butter off a knife. This incident did not slow down his preference for peanut butter. At all times, there is a jar of Jif in my parent’s refrigerator that is just for him. It is the only luxury he keeps for himself. He eats it by the tablespoonful.

Last year I made this cake, but its contour looked less like a cake and more like an Appalachian foothill. I’ve been baking cakes and making homemade icing for a long time, but I was somewhat hopeless in leveling and decorating these cakes. The beginner’s cake decorating class that my daughter and I are taking has helped a lot.

Before I close this post in time to bring this cake to my dad, I will share my recipe for peanut butter buttercream.

Peanut Butter Buttercream Icing

Makes enough to ice a 2 layer 8-inch cake, or 18 cupcakes

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup liquid vanilla coffee creamer
  • dash salt

Cream butter and peanut butter with a mixer. Sprinkle in salt. Add powdered sugar by the cup, blending well after each addition. Pour in coffee creamer slowly and blend on medium speed until the icing reaches spreading consistency. I’ve found that the amount of liquid or powdered sugar I use in an icing varies by the heat and humidity of the season. During the winter, I usually add a bit more liquid, and summer leads toward the opposite, more powdered sugar.

We Made Red Hot Cinnamon Cupcakes

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Today my daughter and I tried out the Red Hot Cinnamon Cupcakes recipe from The Domestic Rebel, and we were both delighted with the end result. This was the very first time we decorated cupcakes with a frosting tip, too.

For a baked good with bold flavor, this was a simple and super clever recipe. It involves adding cinnamon extract and crushed Red Hot candies to a boxed cake mix and the homemade icing that tops it.

Now that we’ve ventured into using a frosting tip, other cupcake ideas are rising to the surface of my mind. I think we might try redoing this recipe with Jolly Rancher candies and lemon extract, provided the process of crushing those larger candies doesn’t traumatize my blender.

Coconut Frosting

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A traditional coconut cake should have a chiffon-style base, but I lack the patience to deal with separating eggs and folding whipped egg whites into the batter. Actually, I cook with eggs only when omitting them would destabilize a recipe. I just don’t like eggs at all. This evening I found an easy recipe for coconut cake on Pilsbury.com that did not require any egg separating. I skipped the frosting portion and made some of my own.

Coconut Frosting

Frosts a 2 layer cake generously

1 stick salted butter, softened

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 lb powdered sugar

1/2 t vanilla extract

1/2 t coconut extract

1 T half and half

14 oz bag sweetened shredded coconut, divided

Whip butter, cream cheese, half and half, and extracts with a mixer until well combined. Add powdered sugar. Mix on low until sugar is all moistened then whip on medium until fluffy.  Fold in 2 cups shredded coconut. Sprinkle the rest of the coconut on finished cake, pressing gently into surface of the icing.

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