Beat The Wheat: Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Icing
Birthdays can be tough when you have celiac disease. You crave the cakes, pies and cupcakes you’ve always had, and most commercially made gluten-free cakes from a bakery or specialty store just don’t cut it. They’re dry and gritty, or way too gummy, and just not very celebratory.
Growing up, birthday cakes were a big tradition in our family. My Uncle Don was a baker and owned a pastry shop across the street from my elementary school. So when birthdays rolled around, there’d always be two: one from the bakery for the big celebration, and then a homemade one for a quiet birthday dinner at home with just my parents and my brother. My mom would try out different cakes each year, but the one I kept requesting — and the one that is still my favorite to this day — is Hershey’s Black Magic Cake. Developed in the 1960s to promote Hershey’s signature products, the cake is suggested served with chocolate icing, but to me that’s overkill. Here’s the secret: My mom’s peanut butter icing. It will rock your world.
My mom tweaked the original Hershey’s recipe ever so slightly, and I’ve done it a bit more to accommodate for gluten-free flour. This cake made me happy to have birthdays again. I hope it does the same for you!
Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Icing
1 cup strong brewed coffee (Confession: I love Maxwell House for this.)
1 cup smooth peanut butter (Another confession: JIF creamy, all the way!)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Sift dry ingredients together in large mixing bowl.
- Stir in coffee, milk, oil, vanilla extract and eggs. Stir until batter is smooth (it will be very thin).
- Pour batter into 2 well-greased 8-inch-round cake pans.
- Bake 35 minutes on the middle rack of your oven.
- Let cake pans cool on a baking rack on the countertop.
- To make the frosting, beat together sugar and Crisco using a stand mixer until well combined and creamy.
- Add peanut butter, vanilla extract and whole milk, then beat until fluffy.
- Frost and layer the cake when it has cooled completely.
- Dust top of cake with powdered sugar (optional).
- Layer and frost the cake after both layers have cooled completely (about 30 to 45 minutes).