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Photo by Anne Braly / Sheet cakes are fun and easy, such as this Peanut Butter Poke Cake topped with coarsely chopped peanut butter cups and a sprinkling of Reese's Pieces.

There are so many reasons to love a good sheet cake. They are easy to make, easy to pack and take, and they seem to be the perfect dessert to serve a crowd. Best yet, you don't have to be a culinary artist to make them look pretty.

Take, for example, a devil's food cake poked with holes made by a wooden spoon in which melted peanut butter oozes down into the cake to make it incredibly moist and irresistibly delicious. A cake mix is used to make the base, and the peanut butter is easily melted in the microwave. So far, so good, so easy. Right?

But I'm not finished. Chocolate buttercream frosting is the icing on the cake, but not the final one.

Miniature Reese's Peanut Butter Cups all chopped up and Reese's Pieces are the crowning touch — the piece de resistance, so to speak.

If you're looking for something to wow your Valentine, this cake might just be it. It won't last long in the hands of chocolate and peanut butter lovers. Just a warning. The cake looks amazing, tastes like heaven and speaks the language of love, so it's perfect any time of year, but especially this week with Valentine's Day happening Friday. Even if you're dining out, you can make this in advance and enjoy it when you get home or after that romantic dinner you might be planning to make at home.

 

Peanut Butter Poke Cake With Buttercream Frosting

For the cake:

1 box devil's food cake, plus ingredients called for on box

2 cups peanut butter, melted

For the frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

3 tablespoons heavy cream

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Topping:

1 cup chopped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Minis

1 cup Reese's Pieces

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9- by 13-inch cake pan with cooking spray. Prepare cake batter according to package instructions, and pour into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cake cool completely. Using the back of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over cake. Pour melted peanut butter over the entire cake, filling the holes. Set aside.

Make frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add remaining ingredients, beating on low for 30 seconds. Increase speed to high, and beat for 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup more powdered sugar or cocoa powder, if needed, to thicken frosting or another tablespoon of cream to thin it out.

Spread frosting all over the top of the cake. Top with chopped Peanut Butter Cups and Reese's Pieces.

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Anne Braly

Email Anne Braly at abraly@timesfreepress.com.

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