I first blogged this recipe a few years ago after dubbing it the Ultimate Chocolate Cake. That claim then got validated when this very recipe won the title for SA’s Best Chocolate Cake in one of our local glossy magazines. And since then it’s been a constant at many of our family birthdays and events. It’s a guaranteed way to impress your guests.
The cake is incredibly rich and dark filled with chocolate and peanut butter flavours which are complimented by the faint hint of coffee. The coffee is something I wouldn’t dream of leaving out of this recipe because it makes the chocolate taste more chocolatey and it makes the peanut butter taste nuttier all while not overpowering either of them. Just incredible. I also decided to add a bit of pistachio praline to the filling of this cake to add some crunch but this is completely optional. Top this cake with a delectable fudgy frosting and you have a cake to swoon for.
Recipes and images from my new book, Cook From the Heart – Food for every Mood.
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for the cake
- 400 g sugar
- 275 g flour
- 50 g cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 250 ml buttermilk
- 100 g butter melted
- 250 ml strong hot black coffee
- 150 g smooth peanut butter
for the icing
- 100 g butter room temperature
- 100 g dark chocolate
- 50 g cocoa powder
- 400 g icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons strong coffee
for the pistachio praline
- 225 g caster sugar
- 50 ml water
- 100 g salted pistachios
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°c and grease and line 2x20cm cake tins with butter and baking paper.
- Sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.
- In a jug, combine the eggs, buttermilk and melted butter and mix well.
- Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Dissolve the peanut butter into the hot coffee and pour into the cake batter and mix well.
- Divide the batter between the prepare pans and place in the pre-heated oven.
- Allow to bake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the tins.
- To make the icing, melt the chocolate then beat with the butter until well combined.
- Sift in the icing sugar and cocoa powder and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add the coffee and mix well.
- To make the praline, bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, whisking over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Turn the heat up and allow to boil, washing down the sides of the pot with a pastry brush and clean water to prevent the syrup from crystallising.
- In the meantime, line a baking tray with baking paper and place the pistachios on top.
- When the syrup has reached a deep amber colour (approximately 10 minutes of cooking), pour it over the pistachios.
- Allow the praline to cool completely and harden before blitzing in a food processor to create the pistachio praline.
- Spread a little of the icing onto one of the cakes followed by some of the pistachio praline then place the other cake on top, then using the rest of the icing, cover and decorate the entire cake.
This is one of the best things I have ever put in my mouth. OMFG!
Thanks Alida! This is becoming a birthday favourite in our house.
Amazing to hear, thanks so much Willem!
I made this exactly as listed other than cutting back on the sugar. Great flavor, but extremely dry !
Hi Dawn. Sugar is technically a wet ingredient in baking as it melts and adds moisture to baked goods. That could be one reason for the cake being dry or it could be that you over baked it. This cake is usually incredibly moist (because of the buttermilk, coffee and peanut butter).
Hi Dawn. I find this super hard to believe? I followed instructions exactly and mine was incredible!
Was an overbake possible?
Hi ! It’s looks delicious <3
Can you tell me about the light !
I'm really in love with this light please tell me I want makes my photos like that ,,
Love this . Looks so good.
Made this today. Lovely crumb and easy to their together. Much too sweet for my tastes, but I’ll just leave out some sugar next time. Good recipe though, thanks! 🙂
Love your Photos and recipes
Thank you so much!
can you convert to the American measurements. I don’t understand yours.
Char, as I live in South Africa and we use the Metric system, those are the measurements I use when I bake. If you’d like to convert this recipe, have a look at the Conversion chart here: http://simply-delicious-food.com/2014/03/26/conversion-chart/
Oh, that sounds like a GREAT idea! Yum!
I can’t wait to try this. Your “ultimate” chocolate cake is exactly that and has replaced all my other chocolate cake recipes. This I might at some salted caramel to the filling to make it even more delicious.
Bonny @ Clever Hen
I have not had chocolate and peanut butter in a cake since my kids were little. It sounds yummy! It inspires me to bake today!
O MY GOSH!!! This looks so freakin’ awesome, like I want some right now!!! I’m having a time coming up with the perfect choco cake but the addition of peanut butter sounds amazing 🙂
Chocolate peanut butter is one of my favorite combos! Always glad to have a go-to recipe for a delicious chocolate cake!
Pistachio praline? Can this cake get any better? I’m kind of drooling right now!
And congrats on the thumbs-up from the magazine.
Drool away! 😉