Peanut Butter & Cherry Jam Cake

I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly

This cherry jam spice cake has swoon-worthy crumbs and is topped with a billowy peanut butter frosting.  A layer of roasted cherries is sandwiched between the two layers of this naked-style cake.

Everyone remembers the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that marked their formative years in grade school.  I’ve updated the lunchbox staple with a sophisticated, country chic version that will please the most refined adult palate.

This cake will be the perfect centerpiece at your rustic wedding gathering or reunion with friends.  You can easily add more tiers, and the naked-style lends itself to simple elegance.  This stress-free cake will allow you to worry about other things on your special day!

Grab a fork and prepare yourself for nostalgic decadence.  Scroll down for the recipe!

 

Cherry Spice Cake

(Makes two round 9 inch cakes)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry jam
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • fresh cherries, for roasting/garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.  Whisk to make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the jam and the buttermilk.
  4. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Add eggs one at a time.
  6. Alternate the incorporation of the flour and the buttermilk mixture.  After each addition, mix until just barely blended to prevent over-mixing the flour.
  7. When both the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture are incorporated, distribute the batter evenly between two greased and floured round 9 inch cake pans.
  8. Bake 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  The cake centers should be just barely firm when lightly touched.
  9. Let cool before frosting.

 

Peanut Butter Buttercream

(Double recipe according to your peanut butter addiction)

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup natural crunchy salted peanut butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter with the peanut butter until smooth.
  2. Gradually incorporate the confectioners sugar until smooth.
  3. Add cream and vanilla.  Beat until the frosting is light with an even consistency.

To Assemble: Pit one cup of fresh cherries and spread on a baking sheet.  Bake for ten minutes at 400 degrees.  Let cherries cool.  Let cake cool completely before frosting.  Using a piping back with a round tip, pipe a thick layer of peanut butter frosting on top of one of the cake rounds.  Sprinkle roasted cherries generously on top of the frosting.  Place second layer of cake on top.  Repeat process.  Garnish the cake with roasted cherries or fresh cherries.

 

Pineapple Rightside-Up Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down cake is so last summer… make my Pineapple Rightside-Up Cake instead!  If you’re in need of a summer-y dessert recipe just in time for Father’s Day, look no further.

This ombré style cake contains three layers of thick pineapple cake, two layers of caramelized pineapple, and a light vanilla buttercream frosting.  The cake is tangy with a satisfying chewiness; I wanted to mimic the toothsome decadence of biting into a Taiwanese pineapple cake.

To accompany my shoot, I found an African mini pineapple at my local supermarket.  I couldn’t separate it from its cake mother… don’t they look cute together?

Scroll down for the recipe!

Pineapple Rightside-Up Cake

For the cake (from She Wears Many Hats):

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 1/4 cup crushed pineapple with juice (canned)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, whites and yolks separated

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 5 inch cake pans.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a stand mixer, cream together butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg yolks.  Beat until smooth.
  4. Add vanilla extract to pineapple mixture.
  5. Alternate adding the sifted ingredients and the pineapple to the butter/sugar mixture until fully incorporated.  Beat until smooth.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff.  Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cups of sugar, and beat until fully combined.
  7. Fold beaten egg whites into batter.
  8. Divide cake batter between the two pans.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool before cutting or frosting.

For the caramelized pineapple:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup canned pineapple
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Combine ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir mixture until it begins to brown.  Take off heat immediately.

For the buttercream frosting:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • yellow food coloring

Instructions:

  1. Beat the butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Sift the powdered sugar.  Gradually incorporate into butter mixture.
  3. Add vanilla extract.  Separate frosting into three bowls.
  4. Add 3 drops of yellow food coloring to one bowl.  Add one drop to another bowl.

To Assemble: Torte the two pineapple cakes into four equal rounds.  Use three of these rounds to build the cake.  Spread a thin layer of caramelized pineapple between each layer.  Frost with buttercream.  Apply dark yellow buttercream to the bottom of the cake, light yellow to the middle of the cake, and white to the top of the cake.  Achieve a smooth finish by using a bench scraper tool to blend the colors.