Nov 19, 201201:10 PMThe Telegraph

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Rebecca Rather’s Peanut Butter & Jam Cake

Nov 19, 2012 - 01:10 PM
Rebecca Rather’s Peanut Butter & Jam Cake

Bread & Butter Public Relations

You’re cutting it close. We know, and we understand. So, stop struggling with Thanksgiving dinner menu planning and whip up something as easy as this peanut butter & jam cake from Rebecca Rather, an award-winning author and former pastry chef/owner of Rather Sweet Bakery and Café in Fredericksburg, Texas. Her newest restaurant, The Pink Pig, also in Fredericksburg, opened November 7 and serves lunch and dinner. The recipe, Rather explains in her cookbook Pastry Queen Parties: Entertaining Friends and Family, Texas Style, is adapted from her Great-Aunt Lorena’s 1-2-3-4 cake, “a classic confection dating back to at least the mid-1800s, made with one cup butter, two cups sugar, three cups flour, and four eggs. It’s a simple cake, perfect for the likes of Aunt Lorena, who was better known for her prowess as a drama teacher than for ability in the kitchen.” This will be the icing on the cake for the holiday.

Cake (Serves 12 –14)

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup whole milk

1 10-ounce bag peanut butter chips

1 cup high-quality strawberry jam

Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1.5 cups smooth peanut butter

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the cake: Place one oven rack in the top third of the oven and the second in the bottom third. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper rounds, grease with butter, dust pans with flour, and knock out excess.

Using an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream 1 cup butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy — about 3 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs all at once and beat on medium speed until combined. In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir 2 teaspoon vanilla into the milk. Add the flour mixture and milk in alternating batches, beginning and ending with flour. After each addition, mix on low speed just to combine the ingredients. Stir in the peanut butter chips.

Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Set 2 layers on the top rack and the third on the lower rack. Stagger the cake laying on the oven racks so that no layer is directly over another. Bake until the cake is golden, firm to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean — 25–30 minutes. Monitor the layers carefully for doneness; each one may be done at a different time. Cool the layers in their pans about 10 minutes; unmold onto wire racks to cool completely.

To make the frosting: Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the 1 cup butter and peanut butter on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, cream, and 2 teaspoons vanilla and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 more minutes.

To assemble the cake: Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread the top with half of the jam. Repeat with a second layer. Stack the final cake layer on top of the first two and cover the cake’s top and sides with frosting.

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