Two Words: Yum. Yum. Please don’t let the “un-pretty” picture sway you- this cake is phenomenal. If you love the PB and Chocolate combo, this is the cake for you!
I made this cake once years ago, in my pregan days, but unlike most recipes that I make just once, I never forgot about this one. Seriously. I made it in 2007 and I still remember how good it was- that should tell you something.
The neato part about this particular cake is that after it’s done baking, you poke holes in it with a wooden spoon handle, then pour the hot liquidy frosting all over it, so the frosting gets all mixed in with the cake. You can actually see it in the picture. Paula may be one of the least healthy people on the face of the planet, but she knows her cake.
I guess there are actually a couple “neato” things about this cake… the other one that comes right to mind being the batter. And since this version is vegan, we can do something that people making the original recipe can’t… EAT IT RAW! It tastes like peanut butter mousse, y’all! So go ahead and stick your finger in that bowl, or lick the mixers because you’re missing out if you don’t. And it’s still good after it’s baked, all peanut-buttery and rich. So decadent. The frosting is divine too, and not overly chocolatey.
I changed it up a bit, to make it vegan and at least a little bit healthier (it’s still not healthy though, let’s be honest with ourselves). I got rid of the eggs of course, and reduced the amount of shortening and sugar. It’s still wickedly good though!
Faithful readers and friends IRL know that I am miserable at baking. Painfully so. And true to form, I messed this cake up too- although not irreparably. I forgot to make ANY altitude adjustments, so I ended up having to bake it for almost 45 minutes before it stopped shaking like a bowl full of jello. The good news for most readers, though, is that the recipe below should turn out perfectly at your altitude!
Side note: I need an apron that reads: “I have a bad altitude!” 🙂
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1 cup sugar, with 2 tablespoons scooped OUT (I used Florida Crystals)
- 3.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (Nabisco brand has honey, but are otherwise vegan. You can also bake your own)
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk (I used So Delicious Coconut Milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 ripe bananas, really well mashed
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 8 tablespoons Earth Balance (2 short sticks)
- 1/3 cup vegan cream
- 1/2 cup roasted/salted peanuts (The next time I make this cake, I'll use crushed peanuts)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 if using a metal dish, 325 if glass. Grease your 9x13 pan and set aside.
- Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Add everything else (for the cake, not the frosting!). Beat mixture on low until moistened, then on medium for about 3 minutes.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes (see my notes above!), do not remove from pan to cool.
- For the frosting, start by making your heavy cream (unless you're going using Mimicreme or something like that). In a good-sized sauce pan mix together all the other ingredients with the heavy cream and bring to a boil, and allow to boil for about a minute, stirring nearly constantly. I recommend a rubber spatula so you don't let any burn to the sides.
- Set the pan aside and let it cool until your cake is ready.
- When the cake is out of the oven, use a wooden spoon handle to poke holes in it (I did 12), then pour the frosting over it.