This Georgia Peanut Cake is full of peanut flavor. From the light and airy peanut cake and whipped peanut butter filling to the creamy and luscious peanut butter frosting and ganache, the cake tastes like peanuts without any heaviness. This fluffy Georgia Peanut Cake is perfect for hot humid summer days!
To me, the month of July meant peanuts. During the warmest New York months, H. the handyman drove his 1983 Chrysler Fifth Avenue down I-95 into the heart of Georgia. Burgundy with matching red button-tufted pillow seats, the car got nine miles to the gallon. Despite gas prices hitting $4 in New York, H. drove down to Georgia without complaint.
While H. hailed from the Peach State, I never knew why he migrated up to New York. Regardless of the pay cycle, he’d visit his uncle and bring back tall plastic trash bags of boiled peanuts. H. sold the boiled peanuts by the ounce to fellow coworkers. For a week, the assisted living facility would reek wonderfully of them.
This Georgia Peanut Cake is dedicated to H., wherever he may be nowadays.
I always run into a dilemma with peanut butter based cakes. On their own, peanut butter cakes taste delicious—moist dense, and full of peanut butter flavor. Add in the filling, slather on the frosting, and you have an overly intense cake.
In this case intense is not a good thing. Dense and heavy are not good adjectives to describe summer time desserts. You can only eat one or two bites. It’s similar to having peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth, the cakes are just too much.
I’m not one to go toward silver cakes. More commonly known as egg white cakes, these sort of cakes can be rubbery in texture and lacking in moisture. Yet for the case of this Georgia Peanut Cake, I wanted to use a silver cake base.
Silver cakes lighten the intensity of the peanut butter in the cake, frosting, filling, and ganache. This recipe from Kara is super versatile. I’ve finagled around with it, adding or pairing multiple flavor profiles and it’s worked wonderfully each time I’ve baked it up.
In terms of texture and sweet and salty flavors, this Georgia peanut cake is very well balanced.
- For the Fluffy Peanut Butter Cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup powdered peanut butter
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon fine salt
- 2 tablespoons 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 cup (abut 6 to 7 each) egg whites, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk, room temperature
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- For the Peanut Butter Frosting:
- ½ cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 8 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- For the Whipped Peanut Butter Filling:
- 1 cup of peanut butter frosting
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- For the Drippy Peanut Butter Ganache:
- 1 cup peanut butter chips
- ½ cup heavy cream
- For the Braided White Border:
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with baking spray, set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, powdered peanut butter, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients on the stir speed.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the vanilla bean paste, egg whites, buttermilk, and vegetable oil. Set aside.
- On the lowest speed, add the butter to the dry ingredients, a few tablespoons at a time, until the chunks of butter are incorporated and the mixture looks like a fine crumble.
- Continuing on a low speed, add 1/3rd of the wet ingredients to the dry-butter mixture. Turn mixture up to a medium speed and beat until a pale paste-like thick batter forms. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add another 1/3rd of the wet ingredients and beat on a medium-high speed to 4 minutes. Again scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Pour in the final 1/3rd of the wet ingredients and beat now on a medium speed for a final 5 minutes.
- Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and bake for 26 to 35 minutes, rotating halfway, until a tooth pick comes out mostly clean (not wet) and the sides begin to pull away from the pan.
- Allow the cakes to rest in the pans for 5 minutes before removing them onto wire racks to cool completely.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on a medium speed until smooth and lump-free, about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl down.
- Add the peanut butter and vanilla extract and beat until blended.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl again and then, on the lowest speed, slowly add the powdered sugar, mixing until incorporated.
- Place 1 cup of the peanut butter frosting in a large bowl, set aside.
- With a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter frosting.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until needed.
- Combine the peanut butter chips and the heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl. In 20 second intervals, melt the mixture in the microwave. Stir to melt and combine the chips and the cream together.
- Cream together the butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat until combine and lump-free, about 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the vanilla and salt.
- On the stir speed, slowly add the powdered sugar. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and then give the frosting a final beat for 45 seconds.
- If the cakes have domes, use a serrated knife to level off the cake layers.
- Put some of the peanut butter frosting into a pastry bag to pipe out a ring on the cake layer’s perimeter. This will act as a moat for a filling. Spoon the Whipped Peanut Butter Filling onto the cake layer. Repeat this step with the second layer.
- Give the cake a crumb coating with the Peanut Butter Frosting. Place in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. Frosting the cake with a final coating of frosting, and freeze it for a final 10 minutes. In the meantime, put the ganache into a pastry bag. Remove the cake from the freezer. Create drips in varying lengths around the cake, finish with two thick rings on the top of the cake. Pipe a ganache border on the bottom as well, smooth this out with an offset spatula. In a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, pipe a braided border with the white frosting.