Chocolate Bourbon Peanut Butter Buckeye Cake


This one’s for D-Sugz. He has been very upset at me for not posting this recipe yet. I think it’s probably because he knew he’d make another guest appearance due to his vital role in cake making and assembly. I’m also pretty sure he was in love with the cake. At one point (when pouring on the last ganache layer in the corner by himself) we heard him say “you’re a naughty cake.” Strange, but so very true. 

You probably already know this cake is good–anything with a name that long pretty much has to be. But the frosting and buckeye balls definitely stole the show. I would have been completely happy with just eating those things with a spoon. But, alas presentation is everything. 

This was definitely a group effort. I don’t even think I can claim to a majority of the cake making since I was mostly busy with the paneer curry (yes, also a recipe I have failed to post). I did make the actual base of the cake which someone might have messed up by forgetting to add the bourbon. Absolutely no idea who could have done such a thing. But no worries, I stepped in and fixed it by pouring some bourbon on the cake after it was baked. See?


That’s probably why it turned out a little drier than I would have liked, but there was bourbon so I was happy. 

It was pretty hectic in the kitchen so there aren’t a lot of pictures and it didn’t turn out to be the prettiest of cakes, but damn was it delicious. And naughty. We can’t forget about that. 


For the Cake
  • 7.5 ounces bitter-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup strong hot hot coffee
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt (most people recommend Greek but I’m not a fan so I just use regular) 
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the peanut butter layer
  • 2 1/4 cups peanut butter
  • 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cup powered sugar
Chocolate Frosting
  • 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoon milk
Chocolate Bourbon Ganache
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 ounces heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • Chocolate Buckeyes, for topping (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the cake, add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt to a bowl. Mix to combine and set aside.

Grease 2 8-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter/spray with cooking spray and flour the pans.

In a double boiler add the butter and chocolate. Once melted stir in the bourbon and coffee. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer add the 4 eggs and 2 egg yolks and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed for about 4 to 5 minutes until light and fluffy and pale in color. Add the canola oil and  yogurt. Mix to combine. Carefully add in the chocolate mixture until well combined and smooth. Scrape the bottom of the bowl and make sure everything is well mixed, beat one last time.


Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined. It is ok to have the batter be lumpy, but just make sure you do not have too many big chunks of flour in the batter.


(**My batter is thicker here than it should be because I forgot to add the bourbon 😦 **)

Pour the batter among the three cake pans and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are just set and no longer wiggly in the center.



Remove and let cool five minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pan. Grab 3 large flat plates, line them with wax or parchment paper and invert the cakes onto the paper lined plates. Cover and let the cakes cool completely before frosting. (You can also stick my cakes in the freezer (well covered) for 1 hour or up to 1 day and then fill and frost the cake while it is frozen if you so wish)
While the cakes cool make the filling and frosting. For the peanut butter filling, add the butter and peanut butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until combined and smooth. Remove from the bowl and set aside.

To make the chocolate frosting, add the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, meringue powder, vanilla and 2 tablespoon milk. Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes, scraping down the sides until the frosting is light and fluffy. If the frosting is too thick add milk to thin. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside.


Place one cake on a cake plate or platter and add a large dollop (about 1 cup) of the peanut butter filling. Using a knife, or offset spatula, spread the filling out to the edge of the cakes, but leave about 1/4 to 1/8 inch border. Now grab another cake, place it right on top of the peanut butter layer. Add another large dollop of filling and spread out to the edges. Grab the last layer and place it (rounded side down) on top of the peanut butter layer. Add a small dollop of the peanut butter filing and spread out in an even thin layer.
Now take the chocolate frosting and add a large dollop right on top of the cake. spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. You should have just enough frosting to do the the whole cake.

IMG_3054 IMG_3063

(Look at D-Sugz work)


(Boy, did he get into it)IMG_3079

To make the ganache, melt the chocolate and cream over a double boiler.  Once melted stir in the bourbon. Pour the ganache on to the middle of the cake and spread to just the sides, allow the ganache to drip down the sides of the cake. Let sit 30 minutes before decorating with buckeyes.
If desired, top the cake with buckeyes and store in the fridge, or on the counter.

To make the chocolate Buckeyes, In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat together 3/4 cup peanut butter, 1/2 butter, 1 tablespoon vanilla and 3 cups powdered sugar. The dough will look dry. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Press a toothpick into the top of each ball and chill in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes. Melt 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips in a double boiler on the stove, stirring until smooth. Remove the balls from the freezer and dip the balls in chocolate holding onto the toothpick. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like Buckeyes. Put back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until ready to put on the cake. Once the buckeyes are cold place a few on top of the cake.

And I will leave you with this:




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