Sour Cream Cardamom Pear Cake

I have always maintained that I am not a baker. I can bake things but not very well and my nature is somewhat averse to the required precision. However, recently and perhaps it's the weather, I've been in the mood to bake. Whatever the reason, I've been inspired but am selecting recipes that aren't overly complicated. Which brings me to my latest attempted, a delicious, yet simple, cake that is fragrant with cardamom and topped with lovely sliced pears.

Of the many food sites and blogs I follow on a regular basis, is one of my favorites and this is where I found this recipe. It is the perfect cake to have with tea in the afternoon (or for breakfast if you want a sweet treat in the morning). And while I usually take baked treats to the office to share with my co-workers, I confess to keeping this cake all to myself and not sharing it with a single soul. And after this one attempt I've added it to my go-to recipe repertoire.

chocolate, peanut butter, cake
Cakes, Desserts
Yield: Serves 8 - 12 depending on size of slices
Author: Ina Garten
Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

This cake uses two recipes from Barefoot Contessa at Home - Beatty's Chocolate Cake and Kathleen's Peanut Butter Frosting (Icing)
Prep time: 40 MinCook time: 40 MinInactive time: 1 HourTotal time: 2 H & 19 M


For the cake:
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
For the frosting:
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (I use Skippy Natural Peanut Butter)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
For garnish:
  • Peanut butter cups
  • Mini peanut butter cups


For the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two round cake pans. Butter the bottom of the pan, line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
  3. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Batter will be very loose and liquid.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
For the frosting:
  1. Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.
To assemble:
  1. If the tops of the cake layers are peaked or rounded, use a serrated knife and gently level them off. If the tops of the cake layers have sunk a bit, use a little extra frosting to even them out. Place one layer right-side up on a cardboard round or a flat plate protected with strips of wax or parchment paper. Put a layer of frosting on the top of the cake, smoothing it out then invert the second cake, right-side down on top of the first.
  2. This cake will likely require a crumb coat to seal in the crumbs before the final coat. Frost the top and sides with a thin, even layer of frosting. Don't worry if crumbs are caught in the frosting. Place the cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set. Do the final layer of frosting and decorate with the peanut butter cups as the fancy strikes you.
  3. Place in the refrigerator to set, until ready to serve. (Remember to remove the strips of wax or parchment paper.) Enjoy!
Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. That looks pretty good. I just hit the next blog button and yours came up, cake looked so good I had to comment.


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