I originally created these chocolate peanut butter snack cakes for Sprinkle Pop. But because I love them (and you!), I have to share them here, too.
My family is big on traditions. Every Halloween, we’d eat English muffin pizzas, drink hot chocolate or apple cider and go trick-or-treating. When I outgrew trick-or-treating (what a sad day!) I’d watch Hocus Pocus instead.
And of course I always ate Halloween candy! I remember sitting in my room when I was supposed to be asleep and combing through my loot with a flashlight. I’d sort the candy into piles so that I could save the best for last. Reese’s, M&Ms and Snickers were always my favorite.
Reese’s pumpkins were the most coveted candy of all. And they still are! Every August when stores begin stocking Halloween candy I start buying Reese’s pumpkins. To me, they are the perfect ratio of chocolate and peanut butter. I actually feel that way about all of the holiday Reese’s. Maybe it’s because Santa put a Reese’s tree in my stocking every year (and still does!). Holiday Reese’s will always have a special place in my heart.
I used the flavors from my favorite Halloween candy to create these chocolate peanut butter snack cakes. I also loved Little Debbie’s as a kid, so these are doubly perfect. Fair warning: I call these snack cakes, but you’ll probably want to eat them with a fork!
The process is similar to my Valentine’s snack cakes. Check out that recipe if you have any questions about coating the snack cakes in chocolate. (Also feel free to substitute white chocolate if you prefer that flavor.)
Start by making the peanut butter cake.
Bake the cake in a half-sheet pan (which is a rimmed baking sheet.) Grease the pan like you would a normal cake pan, using butter, flour and parchment paper.
Turn the finished cake out onto a cooling rack lined with parchment paper and chill it in the freezer for 1 hour. Make the frosting while the cake is chilling.
Pipe the frosting onto half of the cutouts and then place the other half on top. Use a knife to smooth the frosting out along the edges.
Place the snack cakes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and put them in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Once the cakes are thoroughly chilled melt the chocolate with the Crisco. See the instructions below for more details on coating the cakes with chocolate. (If you’re looking for a slotted spoon, try the one in this set.)
Let the cakes set in the fridge for 1 hour before eating them. (You also might want to cut off any excess chocolate around the bottom edges with a sharp knife.) Store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
Tag me @rosesandwhiskers on Instagram if you try these chocolate peanut butter snack cakes and use the hashtag #rosesandwhiskers. Happy baking! 🙂
Chocolate Peanut Butter Snack Cakes
- 2 1/2 cups gluten free 1 to 1 baking flour or substitute all-purpose flour for gluten-full snack cakes
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream room temperature
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
Chocolate Marshmallow Buttercream
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 2 tbsp Crisco
- 3.5 oz marshmallow creme (half of a regular-sized jar)
- 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp whole milk
- 20 oz. semi-sweet baker's chocolate
- 1 tbsp Crisco
- assorted sprinkles
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and grease a rimmed baking sheet (also called a half-sheet pan) with butter. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, and then grease the top of that with butter. Coat the pan with flour.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter, sour cream and sugar until light and fluffy. Cream in the peanut butter. Then beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl to be sure they’re thoroughly incorporated. Mix in the vanilla.
- Gradually stir in the flour mixture on low speed, alternating with the buttermilk. Begin and end with the flour mixture.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 14-16 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake rest in the pan for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire cooling rack lined with parchment or wax paper. Let the cake cool for a few minutes, and then place it in the freezer for 1 hour.
Assembling the Snack Cakes
- Prepare the frosting while the cake is chilling in the freezer. Cream the butter, Crisco and marshmallow creme until smooth and fluffy. Gradually incorporate the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk and vanilla. Then beat on high speed until smooth and creamy.
- Take the cake out of the freezer. Use a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter to cut out 20 pumpkins. (Toss the scraps or use them to make cake pops!) Pipe frosting onto one side of 10 of the pumpkins. Press the remaining pumpkins on top of the frosted ones. Use a knife to smooth any frosting that oozes out of the sandwich. Place the snack cakes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet and put them in in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- After an hour, melt the baking bars and Crisco according to the instructions on the package. I used the microwave. Let the chocolate cool for 5 minutes.
- Hold a snack cake over the melted chocolate using a slotted dipping spoon. Then using a regular spoon, pour the chocolate over the cake, making sure it coats the top and sides. Gently remove the cake from the spoon with an offset spatula and put it on the prepared baking sheet and top with sprinkles. Repeat with the remaining snack cakes.
- Let the cakes set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Then store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You might also want to use a sharp knife to trim off any excess chocolate around the bottom of each cake. Enjoy!