peanut butter cookie dough brownie cake

makes twelve servings

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In my head, I divide food bloggers into three subgroups – the ones who are all about eating good food, it doesn’t necessarily have to incorporate kale or cookie butter or anything, it just has to be satisfying; the ones who would never dream of using butter or gluten or eggs, only coconut oil and buckwheat flour and flax seeds; and finally the ones who are all-sweet-all-the-time, they keep their pantry stocked with every product that Nestle carries and they joke about eating chocolate cake for breakfast [while they secretly hate themselves] [kidding].

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Obviously, there are countless food blogs with countless combinations of fare. Those are just the ones I come across most often. ANYWAY my point is that this is the quintessential cake of the third type listed. It has brownies, it has cookie dough, it has buttercream, it has ganache, it’s eye-catching and it’s loaded with peanut butter. What I want to know is.. who actually MAKES this cake? We see it on social media, but when you go to its original source, all the comments just say “Looks incredible” etc., no one has actually made it and given feedback. Most people don’t ask for this cake for their birthday. Red velvet, yes. German chocolate, yes. Layers of brownie and eggless peanut butter cookie dough topped with a rich ganache and rosettes of peanut butter frosting? Not so much.

So when one of my friends saw me looking at this decadent dessert on Live Love Sugar and asked me to make it for his friend’s birthday, you can imagine how excited I was to have an excuse to finally test this kind of cake. The end result? It tasted amazing.

I made three 6-inch layers, so I made 2/3 of the original recipe [which called for three 8-inch layers]. I didn’t end up having quite enough brownie batter, though, so I’m just going to give the amounts that the original recipe listed, and you can decide what you want to do!

Ingredients
Brownies
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
 Cookie Dough
  • 1 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3-4 tbsp milk
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
 Chocolate Ganache
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
 Peanut Butter Frosting
  • 5 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • chocolate chips, for topping, if desired

For the brownie layers, preheat the oven to 350º. Line the bottom of three 8″ cake pans with parchment paper, and grease the paper and the sides of the pan. Mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla. Add the eggs and mix until well combined. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Add to the wet mixture, and stir until just combined. Bake for 25-30 minutes, testing the brownies by sticking a toothpick into the top and seeing if raw batter clings on to it. If the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, you’re good! Allow the brownies to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then fully on a rack.

For the cookie dough, cream together the butter and the sugars. Mix in the peanut butter and vanilla, then slowly add the flour. Add milk to preferred thickness. Stir in chocolate chips. It will be thick!

For the ganache, heat the cream in a saucepan until it just begins to boil, then pour over the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl. Let it sit for five minutes, then whisk until smooth.

For the frosting, beat all ingredients except heavy cream until fluffy. Add the heavy cream until your desired consistency has been reached.

To assemble the cake, take one brownie layer and brush it with a thin coat of ganache. Top with a hefty amount of cookie dough; the cookie dough and brownie layers should be the same thickness. Brush the cookie dough with ganache, then repeat. After all three layers have been assembled [brownie, cookie dough, brownie, cookie dough, brownie], pour the ganache over the cake [reheat if it has hardened]. Let set for ten minutes, then pipe rosettes of the frosting around the edge. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Eat with a cold glass of milk and lots of napkins.

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