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Wes’s Birthday Cake

milk chocolate peanut butter cake recipe

Birthdays are sort of a big deal at our house. I think that every new year should be celebrated and that everyone should have a birthday cake. My husband, Wes, is not really a birthday cake kind of guy. He loves peanut butter pie. That is usually what I make him, but this year, I took peanut butter pie to a whole new level.

When you have a few basic recipes under your belt, you can take those tried and true recipes, and make them into other things. That is exactly what I did here. I used Beatty’s chocolate cake, chocolate butter cream, and peanut butter pie and made them into something new and different.

I made Beatty’s chocolate cake exactly as written. I used melted milk chocolate in place of cocoa in the chocolate buttercream and made it into milk chocolate buttercream. I made a half recipe of the filling for my peanut butter pie and put it in between the layers of the cake. A generous sprinkling of sea salt and this is one of the best cakes I have ever made in my entire life. And the most fattening. It is a birthday, who cares?

edited to add – I have gotten a lot of question about the bread on the cake. I am going to share with you one of the coolest tips I have. My mom taught me this years ago, and most people who come to my house and see it, do not believe that it works, but it does. I baked these cake layers the night before I was putting my cake together. I left them out on the counter with a slice of bread on top so that the cake layers would not become stale. The bread becomes hard as a rock, but the cake layers remain moist and as perfect as when I made them. I use this same trick with muffins, cupcakes, anything that I want to leave on the counter. Try it, it really does work.

peanut butter cake with milk chocolate buttercream recipeBake your chocolate cake layers and let cool. If you want to use a boxed chocolate cake mix, I will not tell. Promise.

peanut butter cake with milk chocolate buttercream recipeDo as I say, not as I do. My cake had borderline stability issues. I should have either cut the cake layers in half and did the peanut butter filling twice or inserted dowels into the cake to keep upright. Chill the cake for a few hours to make sure everything is nice and firm.

peanut butter cake with milk chocolate buttercream recipeMake the buttercream replacing the cocoa with cooled melted milk chocolate.

peanut butter cake with milk chocolate buttercream recipe I want to stick my face in this bowl right about now.

peanut butter cake with milk chocolate buttercream recipeIce the cake with the milk chocolate buttercream. See how I am leaning? Part of it is camera angle, but part of it is a lopsided cake.

peanut butter cake with milk chocolate buttercream recipeYou can make the edges fancy by piping the extra frosting on the edges.

peanut butter cake with milk chocolate buttercream recipeSprinkle the top with sea salt. It absolutely brings out all of the flavors and it does not make it salty, but more chocolatey and peanut buttery. It makes it even more delicious. As if milk chocolate and peanut really need to taste better.

peanut butter cake with milk chocolate buttercream recipeI might also mention that this makes for a pretty perfect after-birthday breakfast.

Print

Wes’s Birthday Cake


Ingredients

  • chocolate cake
  • peanut butter filling
  • milk chocolate buttercream

Instructions

  1. I used Beatty’s chocolate cake, chocolate butter cream, and peanut butter pie and made them into something new and different.
  2. I made Beatty’s chocolate cake exactly as written. I used melted milk chocolate in place of cocoa in the chocolate buttercream and made it into milk chocolate buttercream. I made a half recipe of the filling for my peanut butter pie and put it in between the layers of the cake. A generous sprinkling of sea salt and this is one of the best cakes I have ever made in my entire life.
  3. Bake your chocolate cake layers and let cool. If you want to use a boxed chocolate cake mix, I will not tell. Promise.
  4. I should have either cut the cake layers in half and did the peanut butter filling twice or inserted dowels into the cake to keep upright. Chill the cake for a few hours to make sure everything is nice and firm.
  5. Make the buttercream replacing the cocoa with cooled melted milk chocolate.
  6. Ice the cake with the milk chocolate buttercream.
  7. You can make the edges fancy by piping the extra frosting on the edges.
  8. Sprinkle the top with sea salt. It absolutely brings out all of the flavors and it does not make it salty, but more chocolatey and peanut buttery. .

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  1. Amanda

    November 4th, 2010 at 5:07 am

    Great job… it is beautiful!

  2. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    thank you Amanda!

  3. michelle

    October 1st, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    I was going to try the bread trick.. does it matter what type of bread I use?

  4. bakedbree

    October 2nd, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Nope, not at all.

  5. The Blue-Eyed Bakers

    November 4th, 2010 at 5:34 am

    Peanut butter pie combined with chocolate cake? And sea salt?! This might be the greatest thing we’ve ever seen. Lucky lucky Wes…!

  6. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    It was crazy good. The salt is my favorite part.

  7. Cindi

    November 4th, 2010 at 7:05 am

    This may be a really stupid question, but why are there pieces of bread on top of your cooling cakes? This looks absolutely to die for – it may have to be my birthday cake!

  8. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    it is pretty yummy. I answered your question, I edited the post.

  9. Amy

    November 4th, 2010 at 7:53 am

    I too was wondering about the bread on top of your layers? Is it to collect condensation? The cake looks amazingly delicious, and frosting sounds devine!! Recently discovered your blog and I’m in love!! Happy Baking… ~Amy, The Sugar Fairy (www.thesugarfairy.com)

  10. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Thank you Amy! I answered your question in the post.

  11. Heather {WhipperBerry}

    November 4th, 2010 at 7:56 am

    This looks DIVINE!! I can’t wait to try it.

  12. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    It is. I hope that you it as much as Wes did.

  13. Lori

    November 4th, 2010 at 7:58 am

    I’m wondering about the bread, too!

    I love your site and I check it every day even though I hardly ever post a comment!

  14. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    Don’t be so shy! Pop in and say hi!

  15. Kelly

    November 4th, 2010 at 9:16 am

    This looks delish!
    I too have to ask about the bread on top of the cakes. Is this some bakers secret I am not privvy to??

  16. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    I edited the post to answer you.

  17. Cara

    November 4th, 2010 at 10:49 am

    This looks so good! My husband’s birthday is in December and I am going to have to make this for him!

  18. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    He will love it. Promise.

  19. Abby

    November 4th, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Thanks SO much for sharing the tip about the bread!!! I never ever would have thought to do that. I will definitely try that out!!!!!!!

  20. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    No problem Abby!

  21. JehanP

    November 4th, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    LOL, I can relate when it comes to the leaning cake but it’s beautiful nonetheless. I love the peanut butter and chocolate combo, its a perfect match!

  22. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Thank you, it looked bad, but tasted delicious.

  23. Jenny

    November 4th, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Beautiful cake – and great tip – about the bread!

  24. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Thanks Jenny!

  25. Nida

    November 4th, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    This looks amazing! Similar in concept to Sky High’s Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter/Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate/Peanut Butter Glaze (or some similar longish name), but amazing.

  26. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    What is Sky High chocolate cake? I am going to have to look it up.

  27. Tiffany

    November 4th, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Looks delicious! Oh and so excited about the bread secret! Now my kitchen won’t be such a mess when everyone comes over!

  28. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Thank you Tiffany!

  29. Ryan

    November 4th, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    You can do the bread trick with cookies also. We put it in the bag with the sugar cookies we make, and change out the bread every so often. Keeps them fresh!

  30. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    I do it with all the things that I bake.

  31. jennifer

    November 4th, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    My mom always put a slice of bread into the brown sugar and the same thing happens–the brown sugar stays soft and separated and the bread turns hard. Good idea to use it on baked goods 🙂

  32. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Thanks! My mom taught me.

  33. Ina

    November 4th, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Loved your bread explanation. We do something similar when we store cookies in an airtight container, we put a piece of bread in with them so the cookies stay soft. Never thought of putting the bread on cake, but it probably works just as well! The cake looks soooo delish!

  34. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Thank you. I do the same thing with brown sugar also.

  35. The Pleasure Monger

    November 5th, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Such a beautiful cake! I love it leaning like that anyway!! A great tip too, I will keep that in mind when I bake my cakes

  36. bakedbree

    November 6th, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    you are welcome. Thank you for loving my leaning cake.

  37. Mary

    November 5th, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Now that is what I call a beautiful, delicious, glorious cake! Divine!

  38. bakedbree

    November 6th, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    thank you Mary!

  39. Notorious MLE

    November 5th, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Holy Crap Bree, this cake is going to kill me! I love pb and chocolate and desserts with sea salt. My Aunt one a mixer last week and then gave it to me. This cake is my future and destiny.

  40. bakedbree

    November 6th, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    I hope that you like it as much as we did. The salt sends it over the edge.

  41. Mary

    November 7th, 2010 at 7:35 am

    I am drooling….chocolate and peanut butter…Love the bread idea. Interesting because I was wondering about this recently when I made muffin tops. I always let them sit out to cool completely then for storage I put them in a zip loc back but it always ruins them as the nice firm tops get moist and slimy. Is this how you store your muffins as well? If not, how do you store them to keep them so fresh without the moisture? About your salted carmels…how long do they generally keep? a few weeks? If I make them now, still fresh for Thanksgiving give-aways? And the cake…Is the middle that thick?! Yum! Is that why it’s leaning?

  42. bakedbree

    November 11th, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Yes, that is how I store my muffins. Anything baked gets bread on top. The middle should not be that thick. Lesson learned. I discuss it in the body of the post.

  43. Shelley

    November 8th, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Beautiful cake! I’ve had this recipe tucked away for some time now and your beautiful results have inspired me to try it. Thanks for the tip on the bread tric, as well!

  44. bakedbree

    November 11th, 2010 at 12:01 am

    you are welcome Shelley.

  45. The Food Hunter

    November 11th, 2010 at 11:58 am

    I always put bread in my cookie tins. It keeps the cookies fresh and moist for several weeks. I switch out the bread when it gets stale. Never thought to use it on cake layers though…great idea.

  46. bakedbree

    November 11th, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    thanks for the tip about the bread in the cookie tins. I never thought to do that!

  47. corey

    December 13th, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    I was just dreaming about this cake so I came over to find it on your blog so I could at least see it. Man, this was an incredible cake.

  48. bakedbree

    December 13th, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    lol… sister friend, I will make you one anytime that you like.

  49. Ashley

    February 10th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Hi! New to your blog. I just had to comment about the bread thing you do – you’re the only other person I’ve seen do this trick, besides my mom. She doesn’t do it for leaving things out over night, but she puts a slice of bread in between layers of cookies (chocolate chip or sugar cookies) in an airtight container – they stay moist for days!

  50. bakedbree

    February 11th, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Hi Ashley! Welcome. It is the best trick in the world. Works like a charm.

  51. Katie

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I always put my a slice of bread in with my brown sugar to keep it soft, but that’s a great idea to try with cakes and muffins as well!

  52. bakedbree

    July 29th, 2011 at 11:08 am

    It works like a charm.

  53. Georgia

    September 11th, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    The cake and bread? Do you wrap your cake and slice of bread in anything or just leave it sitting overnight just like the picture with the bread on top?

  54. bakedbree

    September 11th, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Just like it is at room temperature.

  55. Mrs Ergül

    September 13th, 2011 at 1:55 am

    The cake looks fab! Love the frosting you piped on it. What tip did you use? I love how big the shells are.

    My bigger problem with leaving anything out in the open is ants….. Is the bread usable after this trick? It bites at me if it has to go into the trash bin thereafter.

  56. bakedbree

    September 15th, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    I use a really large star tip. I am not sure which one exactly. And yes, the bread is completely stale so you cant really use it for anything else.

  57. Jami

    January 8th, 2012 at 8:51 am

    If u really have to use the bread use it for stuffing or croutons!

  58. Jami

    January 8th, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Love this site! The step-by-step instructions with pics awesome!

  59. bakedbree

    January 17th, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    thank you Jami!

  60. anh

    January 11th, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Will the slice of bread work to keep baked goods moist if gluten-free?

  61. bakedbree

    January 17th, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I really don’t know. You will have to try it out and see.

  62. Elaine

    February 2nd, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    How do you use the bread trick for cupcakes?

  63. bakedbree

    February 9th, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Same way, I just lay two slices of bread on top.

  64. kim rizk

    March 18th, 2012 at 5:25 am

    How much melted milk chocolate do you add to the buttercream recipe??
    Looks delicious and want to make!

    thanks
    Kim

  65. bakedbree

    March 18th, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Like the recipe says, just replace the 3/4 cup cocoa with 3/4 cup melted chocolate.

  66. kim rizk

    March 19th, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    I think the recipe says 1/2 cup cocoa if I am reading correctly? Should it be 3/4 cup or 1/2 cup?

  67. bakedbree

    March 27th, 2012 at 9:57 am

    It can be whatever you want it to be. Add as much chocolate until you get the amount of chocolate that you want.

  68. laura

    April 7th, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    The bread thing is funny. I thought I was the only one that did that, it was my little secret, and I learned it worked by accident. I only had a few pieces of bread left when I burnt a hole in the bag, with the hot pan I just pulled out of the oven. I thought putting the bread in the container with the cookies would keep it fresh. the next morning my bread was hard as a rock but the cookies were the moistest I had ever made. my question is why does this work what is the science behind it? anyone know? I’ve been looking it up for awhile and found no explanation yet.

  69. bakedbree

    April 8th, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    I have no idea why it works, I just know that my mom did it, so I do it too. I just did an interview on NPR about this very subject.

  70. Erin

    July 3rd, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    I know this is over a year and a half old but I can’t thank you enough! I’m not a super skilled baker by any means but I can follow a recipe and LOVE baking things as gifts for people. My mom’s birthday is coming up and the only thing she adores more than peanut butter is peanut butter and chocolate together!

  71. bakedbree

    July 12th, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Happy Birthday to your mom!

  72. Gena

    July 4th, 2012 at 12:36 am

    I have to say, I am not one for blogs but everything I come across I want to make! I mentioned your blog to one of my coworkers and her response, “I love her!” So apparently I’m the last to know! Either way, thanks for making everything so simple and also writing captions that are enjoyable to read! 🙂

  73. bakedbree

    July 12th, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    LOL. I am glad that you found me! Welcome!

  74. Donna

    September 26th, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    This will sound crazy. But ….when do you put the bread on top? During or after baking???? Thanks

  75. bakedbree

    September 26th, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    After you bake it.

  76. Shelly

    March 9th, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Made this today for a birthday party. While the flavor combos are delicious, I had major stability issues. I sliced each cake layer in 2 as recommended, but this filling is not strong enough to support the cake. I also had trouble getting the whipped cream to fold into the peanut butter- the delicate cream couldn’t hold up against the pb.

    I would make this again but adjust the filling. The idea and flavor combos are great.

  77. bakedbree

    March 14th, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    I wrote about the stability issues and provided ways to fix it. Sorry it didn’t work out for you.

  78. Nina

    July 23rd, 2013 at 12:20 am

    This cake is delicious! I threw all the PB filling I’m between and it oozed everywhere. I should have listened to your advice 🙂 good anyway though!

  79. bakedbree

    July 23rd, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Glad that you liked it!

  80. Stella Brown

    August 5th, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Thanks for the bread tip….. I never thought to do that, I keep my brown sugar moist and soft by keeping a slice of bread in the zip lock bag…. and it too gets hard as a rock……
    thanks for sharing……..

  81. bakedbree

    August 5th, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    You are welcome, it is what my mom always did. I thought that everyone did it!

  82. holly

    November 28th, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Let me give you a big kiss! Do you have any idea how many nights I’ve stayed up WAY too late just waiting for my baked goods to cool so that I could put them away? You are like my new favorite person!

  83. bakedbree

    December 1st, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Haha! I am glad to help you out. 🙂

  84. glenda watson

    January 19th, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Can’t wait to try the frosting on some brownies i took out of oven.
    My mom also taught me the trick with the piece of bread and i use it
    in my round container that i keep cookies in. Also, when cookies are gone
    I take the piece of bread lightly toast let cool then stick in a freezer bag to
    use for bread pudding once i get around 10 slices. It’s a good way to use the ends
    of the bread or bread that is getting a little stale. Thanks for sharing recipe.
    Glenda

  85. bakedbree

    January 19th, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Thanks Glenda!

  86. Julia

    January 25th, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    This looks so amazing!! I am ready to make this for my husband’s birthday!
    One thing, I cannot have heavy cream (ugh, I know!). Is there an alternative for the peanut butter filling? Or would you suggest another flavor of filling for this cake? I’m in love with the chocolate cake and milk chocolate frosting.

  87. bakedbree

    January 25th, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    I would make a different filling. I don’t think that it would work without the heavy cream.

  88. Kristen

    April 11th, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    This bread trick also works on sandwiches. If you make them in advance you can place bread on the sandwiches and they will stay soft and moist.

  89. bakedbree

    April 16th, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Thanks Kristen!

  90. Dawn

    August 12th, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Bree, stumbled upon your recipe & will attempt it for my 12 yr old’s Bday. I am by no means a baker, but am usually good with recipes.
    My question is: does this cake require refrigeration? I have to make it a day earlier than I need it due to time issues. Thanks!!! 🙂

  91. bakedbree

    August 12th, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    Almost all cakes can be made ahead of time. I could keep this cake cold. It will set better that way. And there is a lot of cream in the middle. I wouldn’t take any chances.

  92. Elaine

    May 9th, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    So — better late to the party than not at all 🙂 — just seeing this. My question is … you leave the slice of bread on the cake all night and don’t cover the cake with anything — just let the open air get to it? Thanks for clarifying. (The cake creation sounds amazing. Who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate together?? Right?)

  93. bakedbree

    May 11th, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    That’s right. I just use the slice of bread, and nothing else. I also do this a cake that has been sliced. I put a piece of bread on the exposed inside of the cake. Works every time.

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  96. Diana

    July 27th, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Thank you for the recipe

  97. 15 hacks for storing food that can make it last twice as long | Business Insider

    October 4th, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    […] tip is unconventional but it works. Blogger Baked Bree revealed that adding a slice of regular sandwich bread to a cake is the perfect way to keep it moist. You can simply place a slice or two on top of an un-frosted […]

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