i skipped town for a few days last week and when i returned, our entire pantry had been ripped out. the pantry that egggrandpa built for egggrandma in the 60s, the one that was specially designed on an angle so that when one can of cream of mushroom soup was removed, another one rolled forward in its place.
eggboy, what did you do!?!
his response, from under a cloud of sawdust, was something to the effect of how he could never find anything in this pantry, that there were a lot of moldy snacks congregating in the back, that he was planning to build me a new one, and that i shouldn't worry about all of the boxes of spices and tahini jars that covered our kitchen floor. they would be gone soon.
it was too late to argue, and maybe he was right. it might have been perfect for soup cans, but not so much for bulk dried chickpeas and oversized oatmeal jars. so i poured some riesling out for the cream of mushroom soup shelves and went to unpack.
it's now been three days since i returned and there are still boxes of tahini jars all over our kitchen, but the spices have been moved into their new home, a homemade triangle-shaped spice rack that slides in and out of the pantry so that i can find all of my spices really easily. the bottom shelf even has a little area for all of those tiny almost-finished sacks of spices from the bulk bins.
(this may be implied based on the fact that eggboy has been building things all weekend, but the boys haven't been planting. and we won't be having a two-harvest season :( :( it's ok, it was one of those things that sounded cool, but in reality i can only take so many harvest time pizza nights on the tractor before my bum gets sore from sitting on the armrest of the driver's seat.)
with our pantry totally in ruins and with things like nutmeg and freeze dried chives nowhere to be seen, i've had to get a bit more creative in the kitchen. paprika dumplings instead of chive dumplings, long grain rice hotdish instead of short grain rice hotdish. but! i did discover a jar of peanut butter, and so i made a cake because i've been really really into peanut butter lately. i think that it's a delayed response to the fact that i could never have peanut butter growing up since mum is allergic, so now i'm making up for lost time and i'm excited about it because it's good shit and also a zillion times cheaper than almond butter. holy cow, the price of almond butter.
this cake is outrageously peanut buttery and outrageously sprinkle-y. the sprinkles are not necessary, i promise. but if you do end up with a surplus of sprinkles and things like not being able to properly cover a cake in sprinkles keep you up at night, then by all means, do it.
chocolate peanut butter sprinkle cake
makes one 2-layer 8-inch cake
1 3/4 c sugar
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/2 c flavorless oil, like canola
1 c buttermilk
4 tsp vanilla extract
1 c creamy peanut butter*
3/4 c boiling water
1 1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c creamy peanut butter*
1 tb vanilla extract
4 c powdered sugar
about 8 oz sprinkles (more if you're messy like me)
*the peanut butter that i use for this recipe only contains peanuts and salt, like smucker's natural and target's market pantry all natural. if you have unsalted peanut butter, i recommend adding 1/2 tsp more salt to the cake and a pinch of salt to the frosting.
preheat oven to 350.
grease two 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment.
in a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. in a medium bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients except for the boiling water. whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and then stir in the boiling water. pour into cake pans and bake until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. begin checking for doneness at 28 minutes.
let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, and then turn the cakes onto a lightly greased cooling rack.
use an electric mixer to beat together the butter and peanut butter until combined. mix in the vanilla, and then gradually add the powdered sugar.
once your cakes are fully cooled, level them. place one layer on a cake board, spread a thick layer of frosting on top, and then place the other layer on top of that. use an offset spatula to frost the cake all over. don't worry about doing a crumb coat since all of the sprinkles will cover up any crumbs.
working over a large sheet pan, use your hands (or gloved hands if you want to be clean) to press handfuls of sprinkles into the sides and top of your cake.
p.s. i was nominated for a saveur blog award! i am very excited about this. thank you very very very much to those who nominated me, you are all invited for cake. if you are not already following all of the other wonderful humans that are nominated, i strongly suggest you go check them out. they are the bee's knees. you are the bee's knees. look at all these bee's knees.