Brown Sugar Peanut Butter Cakes

I’m out of the restaurants and back in the kitchen! This is an old recipe by Ruby Tandoh from the Guardian Valentine’s Day Edition for Brown Sugar Peanut Butter Cakes. 

“As someone with a very sweet tooth, I understand this compulsion to ice cakes, but as a baker I can’t condone it.” I’m with you on that one Ruby! 
The theme of Ruby’s bakes, way back in February, was ‘naked cakes’ and these pop-in-the-mouth naked beauties were perfect. In my household we’re not keen on swirls and frills of buttercream or icing anyway, so these disappeared in a day! 


I agree that ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ and usually bake by myself (with Mother following me along the kitchen cleaning up my floury trail of destruction), but my best friend Eve was over so we gave these a go together. 
125g unsalted butter, softened
125g smooth peanut butter (I tried to get my usual Meridian butter as it’s salt free, but instead used a regular peanut butter and a regular pinch of salt later)
150g soft light brown sugar
3 large eggs 
75g plain flour 
75g wholemeal flour 
2 tsp baking powder 
A large pinch of salt 
1-2 tbsp milk
100g salted peanuts, coarsely chopped 
For the topping
75g salted peanuts, finely chopped
50g demerara sugar
Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper muffin cases and preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with the peanut butter until smooth. Add the sugar and stir vigorously until the mixture is light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each. Don’t worry if the mixture looks a little curdled at this point. 
In a separate bowl, combine the plain and wholemeal flour, baking powder and salt. Add this to the wet ingredients. Gently fold together until smooth (avoid over-mixing or the cakes will be tough rather than tender).
Add milk to slacken the batter just so that it is “dropping consistency”: it should fall softly from a wooden spoon. Add the peanuts. 
Divide the batter between the muffin cases, taking care not the overfill them. I used the pictured tulip muffin cases from TKMaxx and filled them to just under halfway. Mix the chopped peanuts and demerara sugar for the topping, then sprinkle liberally over the top of the muffins. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until well risen and springy to touch. A knife inserted into the centre of a cake should emerge clean if the muffin is cooked through. 
Leave to cool a little on a wire rack, but serve while still slightly warm.
I have absolutely no issues in devouring cake when slightly warm, and they were very very very good. Mum wasn’t sure they needed so much sugar on the top, but I’m all about sweet and salty mixes so I thought they were perfect! A favourite sweet and salty combination of mine is a Nutella and Salami sandwich – don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
Have a go at Ruby’s other naked cake recipe for Lemon Rosemary Drizzle Cake here!
Harleigh Reid
Harleigh Reid

I write about food and eat a lot.

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