Chocolate Reese’s Explosion

Last week I got a text asking me to make a cake for a birthday party.
And would I please keep it a surprise.

To say I was excited and nervous would be an understatement, but I was determined to find and make the best cake I could.

Did I mention this was the first legitimate cake I’ve ever made?

I scoured the internet. I looked through every single blog I RSS to, which is upwards of 50 blogs. I searched Pinterest, Google, and so many other websites. I texted my Mom, screaming for help and possible ideas (she used to win competitions for cake-making and decorating, and I knew she could help me out). I finally settled on 4 cakes, all different and all chocolate. It was time to call in the best friends.

Between Becca & Joe, I was persuaded to make this cake, which was previously unnamed but is now going to be called Chocolate Reese’s Explosion. I hope you like it just as much as I do.

Chocolate Reese’s Explosion

*1 Devil’s Food Cake Mix
*3 Eggs
*1 cup Buttermilk
*1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
*2 cups Reese’s Peanut Butter Mini Cups, chopped (plus more for garnishing; I used the Party Bag size)
*8+ oz Dark Chocolate, chopped
*1 cup Heavy Cream
*1/2 cup Peanut Butter

Step 1: Chop up the Reese’s Peanut Butter Mini Cups. It took me longer than I thought it would to unwrap all the cups and then chop them, leaving me in the middle of the mixing process worrying about how this lag time was going to effect the eggs. Advice: chop them up first.

Step 2: Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Coat two 9-inch spring foam pans with non-stick cooking spray. I did this a little heavier than normal so I wouldn’t have to use wax paper.

Step 3: In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, buttermilk, and vegetable oil until mixed. Add in one egg at a time, mixing for about 30 seconds each before adding the next egg. After the 3rd egg is added in, mix on high for 1 minute.  Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl, and then mix on high for 1 more minute.  Using a spoon or spatula, fold in the 2 cups of pre-chopped Reese’s cups.

Step 4: Pour the batter into the 2 pans. The batter will look really thin in each pan — don’t freak out! It really will rise twice as high as it looks. Make sure to get the batter as evenly in the pan as possible. I shook the pans and tapped them on the counter in order to make the cake rise evenly.

Step 5: Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Step 6: Cool the cakes completely.  After 10 min out of the oven, run a butter knife around the pan edges, flip the cakes upside down onto wax paper laid over a cooling rack, and spring them out of those pans.

Step 7: After the cakes are completely cooled its time to make the icing. Yum!  Start by placing the chopped dark chocolate in a medium bowl.  In a small sauce pan, bring the heavy cream to a boil and then pour over the chocolate. Whisk until all the chocolate is melted.  Add in the peanut butter and whisk until smooth. When you taste-test, this should have a really nice thick chocolate taste with a hint of peanut butter. If it tastes too much like the cream, add in more dark chocolate.

Step 8: I laid 4 pieces of wax paper over the edges of my cake carrier, placing the first cake, flattest side down, on top of them.  Pour about 1 cup of icing on top and spread evenly with a spatula. Don’t worry about the sides of that first layer, that will come later.

Step 9: Place the 2nd cake on top of the 1st cake.  Pour the remaining icing over the top and sides of the cake, smoothing the icing with a spatula as best as possible.

Step 10: Scatter, press, sprinkle, or even throw chopped peanut butter cup pieces all over the cake. Have fun with it!

*If you plan to eat the cake right away, I suggest placing it in the fridge for 20-40 min so the icing and cake will set. This cake comes out so incredibly moist, it was hard to cut small pieces right away. =] *

The end result turned out really well I think.  Lisa, the birthday girl, was super surprised at her husband’s sneaky planning and the party was super fun! I’m rather excited to make my next cake now…maybe it’ll be a Congratulations on Your New Baby Boy cake for them in the near future. =D


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