Makes one 18cm cake.
- Prep time: 1h
- Cook time: 1h + cooling time
- Total time: 2h
- Difficulty: Intermediate
Regardless of what it looks like, this cake is not overly sweet. On the contrary, the bittersweet chocolate ganache combined with an almost savory peanut butter filling balances the sweetness of both fudgy chocolate cake and caramel filling, which makes the cake really enjoyable.
I recommend that you bake the cake layers the night before. Once the cakes are cooled to room temperature, wrap them tightly in a plastic wrap and refrigerate over night. It’s much easier to cut them in half when they are cold and firm
For the Chocolate Cake.
- 130g – Cocoa powder
- 300g all-purpose flour
- 480g sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 small eggs
- 250 ml buttermilk
- 250 ml warm water
- 5 tablespoons neutral oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 170°C. Butter the bottom and sides of two round 18cm cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper and butter the paper. Dust the pans with cocoa and tap out extra.
Sift cocoa and flour into a large bowl. Add sugar baking soda, baking powder and salt and stir to incorporate. Beat in eggs, buttermilk, water, oil and vanilla one at a time, using a mixer set at low. Beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Pour the batter into pans and bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Rotate the pans half way through the baking time.
Do not overbake the cakes or else they get crumbly. If you don’t have two identical cake pans, bake first half of the batter and invert the cake onto a cooling rack.
Clean the cake pan, prepare it the same way as earlier and bake the other half of cake batter. Cool the cakes completely.
Trim the tops (the cakes will rise a bit in the middle and you’ll have to level them) and cut each cake in half horizontally. You will get 4 cake layers. It’s best to do that with a serrated knife. The results are even better if you wrap the cakes in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. It’s much easier to trim and cut the cakes when they’re cold and firm.
For the Salted Caramel.
- 170g – Sugar
- 40g – Water
- 120ml – Hot Heavy Cream
- 70g – Butter, Diced
- A Generous Pinch of Sea Salt
- 55g – Unsalted Peanuts
In a heavy bottomed saucepan combine sugar and water. Cook on medium-high heat until the sugar melts and reaches amber color. Do not stir during that process.
Turn the heat down to low and, add hot heavy cream and stir to combine. The caramel will bubble at this point, so be careful.
Remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt. Finally stir in peanuts and let it cool to room temperature. Then transfer to refrigerator and cool until thick and spreadable. That should take 30-45 minutes.
For the Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Filling.
- 150 g – Cream Cheese, at room temperature
- 75 g – Peanut Butter
- 40 g – Powdered Sugar
- 280 ml – Heavy Cream
In the bowl of a standing mixer combine cream cheese, peanut butter and powdered sugar and beat until creamy and well incorporated. Pour in heavy cream and beat on high speed until the cream is whipped to soft peaks and the mixture is smooth and spreadable. Refrigerate until needed.
For the Chocolate Ganache.
- 300 g – Dark Chocolate, Chopped
- 360 ml – Heavy Cream
Place the chopped chocolate in a heat resistant bowl and set aside. In a small, heavy bottomed saucepan, bring heavy cream just to a boil and remove from heat.
Pour over chocolate pieces and let this sit for a few minutes, until the chocolate is melted. Using a whisk, gently stir the mixture until combined. You should get a thick and smooth ganache. Chill the ganache in the refrigerator until thick, creamy and spreadable.
Check it often because once it starts thickening, it all happens quite fast. When the ganache has thickened, beat it few times with a whisk. It will change color a bit and start to look more like a chocolate filling. has become too thick in the refrigerator, just heat it in a Bain-Marie for couple of seconds or until you get the desired consistency. Use immediately.
- Chopped Peanuts
- A pinch of sea salt
Place one cake layer on a cake stand and spread half off the peanut butter cream cheese filling evenly over the cake. Cover with second cake layer and spread the salted caramel over it. Cover with a third cake layer and spread the remaining peanut butter cream cheese filling evenly over. Cover with the last cake layer and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes before frosting the cake. Cover the chilled cake with chocolate ganache and sprinkle with chopped peanuts and some sea salt, if you wish.
Q: Does this cake need to be refrigerated due to all of the cream in the frosting
A: Yes, the cake should be refrigerated. But, don’t worry. The caramel will still be gooey and sticky.
Also known as Snickers Torta.
A party without cake is just as meetingJulia Child
I used to get über excited for my birthday. These days, I feel like it sneaks upon me like a ninja. Time is seriously slipping through my fingers lately. Has it really been a whole year since the last birthday?!
I don’t really celebrate much. There are only two ingredients to my birthday party: a couple of friends and family members and an awesome cake. Oh, and wine. Okay, so technically there are three ingredients, but that’s not the point here. Let’s get back to the cake.
Each year I bake myself a birthday cake. But, it’s never just a cake. It’s always a play on classic flavors and flavor combinations that I really love. Last year I tackled the chocolate and orange combo rather successfully. That cake has been one of the most popular recipes on the blog since.
This year I took my inspiration from the famous Snickers bar. It’s a combination that ticks all my boxes. I mean, what’s not to love when there’s chocolate, caramel and peanuts involved?!
The chocolate cake is rich, moist and fudgy. You could eat it by itself and not even miss all the creamy goodness. Combined with an almost savory peanut butter filling, creamy (yes, creamy!) salted caramel and a bittersweet chocolate ganache, it creates the perfect balance of sweet and savory. It’s one hell of a birthday cake.