Saturday, January 20, 2018

Cake Slice Bakers Peanut Butter Pretzel Cake

The Cake Slice Bakers are super excited because we have been given access to unpublished recipes for the book The Perfect Cake and this month we are baking some of those cakes. We had a choice between
  1. Fallen Chocolate Cakes p.96
  2. King Cake p.280
  3. Peanut Butter Pretzel Cake p.166
  4. Saffron-Orange Bundt Cake p.342
I chose the Peanut Butter Pretzel Cake because it had a technique I've never tried before and I wanted to see how well it worked. The usual process for a butter cake is to cream the butter and the sugar, add eggs and incorporate them, and then add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients, often alternating between wet and dry.

This cake is quite different since the dry ingredients are mixed together, then the butter is basically cut into the dry ingredients until peas sized, similar to how you start a pastry. The wet ingredients, including the egg white, are mixed together in a glass measuring cup and then added to the butter/dry ingredient mixture in two parts.

Because this makes a three layer 8-inch in diameter cake I decided to divide the recipe and bake one third in a 6-inch diameter cake pan. I figured that would make it tall enough that I could just cut the layer in half and have a small cake. There are only two of us and so making a three layer large cake is silly. Unfortunately, the cake didn't rise very much, so I ended up baking another third of the recipe so that the finished cake would be proportionally tall enough.

I ran into another problem. My food processor isn't working at the moment and the recipe called for making a flour out of the broken small pretzels. My work-around was to put them in a plastic bag and crush them finely with a rolling pin. It worked pretty well, but the ground pretzels may have allowed for a taller layer. For the second go round I was also low on pretzels, so I substituted almond flour. For both I weighed the ingredients on my food scale. The almond flour layer had a much finer texture but we ended up liking the pretzel layer a little better, even if it was a bit just had a nicer crumb overall.

The frosting is delicious, with a true peanut butter flavor and it's very rich and fluffy. I made a full recipe, having forgotten that I didn't need that much. It was the next day and I was tired, to tell the truth. Still, I was able to be generous with the frosting. Although I didn't have a large number of pretzels left, I did have enough to circle the bottom of the cake with whole ones. I don't like candied peanuts, so I skipped that part, and then I decided to have the cake pop by using a small amount of ganache to decorate the top and down the sides. The tiny bit of extra bitter ganache really tempered the super rich and sweet frosting, so, even though the recipe doesn't call for it, you may want to add it if you make this recipe.

Because The Perfect Cake is not in print yet, I won't be including the recipe, but you can order it in advance to be sure that you can make this wonderful cake once the book is available.


  1. This cake has been a popular choice! The buttercream looks delicious! Definitely will bookmark this cake!

  2. Wow it looks amazing and i'm intrigued by the mixing method. I love peanut butter anything.

  3. It's a beautiful cake. Mine also did not rise very much, so it may just be the recipe.

  4. Wow, that looks festive! I'm not a huge fan of peanut butter - in anything, these days, but I've not had it in cake. I'd be willing to try this with almond butter, perhaps. So pretty!