My younger son is turning 18 today. I have to admit I cried a little at that thought. But with his birthday comes another opportunity to bake something special.
The cake part of this is just a cake mix from a box, jacked up a bit. Instead of using the amounts called for on the box, I add an extra egg, and cut back on the water and oil slightly and add a pudding mix, to try to make it more like a pound cake in texture. Then divided the batter between two 6″ cake pans and baked them off a week before I need them. Wrapped really well and placed in the freezer until they were needed.
I never feel bad about using cake mixes, they make life really easy when you don’t have the time to make everything from scratch.
Now comes the peanut butter swiss meringue buttercream. This stuff is AMAZING. It’s not very sweet, so if you want sweet this is not the buttercream for you.
Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream
(makes enough to cover 2 – 6″ 3 layer cakes – fill and coat)
10 egg whites
2 1/2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla (extract or paste)
3 cups butter (softened, but not room temperature)
1 cup creamy peanut butter (not the natural kind)
- In the bowl of your stand mixer place the egg whites, sugar and salt. Using your whisk, combine this together.
- Place this bowl over top of a pot of simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water) and whisk continuously for 4 to 6 minutes, until the sugar is melted. To test this just put a little of the egg white/sugar mixture on your finger and rub together, if you still feel granules then it’s not ready. If you feel no granules of sugar and it’s nice and warm, take it off the pot of water and place on your stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment and whip on speed 8 (kitchenaid) for 10 minutes.
- While this is whipping, cut up your butter in 1 Tbsp. sized pieces.
- After 10 minutes, start adding in your butter, piece by piece. This is slightly time-consuming. Keep going until you have added all the butter in. (It should start to look curdled towards the end of adding in all the butter – this is fine, it will come back together).
- Once all the butter is added in whisk for another minute or two.
- Remove the whisk attachment and replace with the paddle attachment.
- Add in your vanilla and mix for another minute.
- Scrape down the bowl. **It’s at this point if you just want a plain buttercream that you would stop and can add food colouring (I always use gel colouring) or you can continue on to adding the peanut butter.
- On medium low-speed (4) start adding in your peanut butter. Once it is all incorporated – scrape down the bowl and turn the mixer on again for a few more seconds.
- It’s ready to use now for cupcakes, cakes or just to eat from the bowl. This can be used as a filling or as the finished “frosting” on the outside of the cake. It is absolutely the best to use for icing a cake and is wonderful for piping.
**This can be made in advance and placed in the fridge for a few days, but remember to bring it back to room temperature and beat it with your mixture to make sure it is spreadable.
**If you are not a fan of peanut butter you can use Nutella instead. It’s equally as amazing as the peanut butter.