Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Bars

Hi everyone! Happy November! I love the fall. It’s my middle sister’s birth month, the air has that crisp autumnal smell, and Thanksgiving is approaching! What a nice way to celebrate the fall and our gratitude for #pumpkinspiceseason than with family, friends, and lots of food? Do you know what you’re baking/cooking/eating for Thanksgiving? In addition to a more traditional apple crumb pie, I’m also making these peanut butter chocolate cake bars. Are you surprised by this unorthodox addition? One taste and you won’t be.

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These bars are absolutely divine. The chewy chocolate cake bottom is layered with a creamy peanut butter layer and chocolate ganache. I top them with Reese’s pieces and fall sprinkles, and they’re pretty hard to beat. The chocolate-peanut butter combo is a winner and these have several elements of each flavor 🙂 And they’re easy to make too! The cake layer uses cake mix, you mix a handful of ingredients for the PB layer, and to make the ganache, you simply microwave your chocolate and cream. An easy-to-make and especially delicious showstopper? Sign me up!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Bars

Recipe slightly modified from Something Swanky

Serving Size: 12-16

Ingredients

  • 1 Devil’s Food Cake mix (ONLY the powder mix, not the other ingredients listed on the box)
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (I used smooth)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • optional: 2 tablespoons of milk for thinning if necessary
  • 2 cups chocolate (chocolate melts or chocolate chips)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Reese’s pieces and fall-colored sprinkles (optional)

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment (foil is ok too, but it will stick slightly to the bottom of the bars) and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
    2. In a very large bowl mix together cake mix, melted butter, and egg until a dough forms.
    3. Press dough evenly into the prepared dish. Bake for 12 minutes.
    4. Cool completely in pan.
Meanwhile:
  1. In a large bowl combine peanut butter and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar and whipping cream and beat until smooth (with the exception of crunchy peanut butter chunks), scraping bowl occasionally. If mixture is too thick, add 1-2 tbsp of additional milk to thin it.
  2. Spread mixture evenly over the cooled cake mix crust.
  3. Place bars in the refrigerator while preparing the ganache.
  4. For the ganache, mix cream and chocolate in a bowl.
  5. Microwave for 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. Let the ganache cool.
  6. Spread the ganache or frosting over the peanut butter layer. Decorate with sprinkles and Reese’s pieces if using. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or until ganache is set and peanut butter layer is chilled.
  7. Cut into bars and serve!

Let me know if you end up making these for Thanksgiving too! These are definitely something to be thankful for.

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