Easter egg cake



My grandmother was famous for her peanut butter eggs. Seriously famous! Every Easter the people in her town would order thousands of her candy eggs for their holiday baskets. Her eggs had a peanut butter filing, were dipped in chocolate, and then decorated with flowers and ribbons and bows. I usually make her eggs every year but I wanted to go bigger and better. That means cake! This cake was my homage to her. It was a chocolate cake with her peanut butter icing, (Icing recipe here) covered with a poured chocolate ganache, and decorated with buttercream.


I started with a half sheet cake, the 12 x 18 inch pan. After the cake was baked and cooled completely, I cut it in thirds. The first piece was 12 x 7, the second piece was 12 x 6, and the third piece was 12 x 5. Each piece was torted, iced, and stacked from the biggest on the bottom to the smallest on top. And then came the scariest moment…Carving an egg shape out of the mass of cake. I kept cutting away little bits at a time until I had the shape I wanted. I did two thinner layers of icing to contain all the crumbs then added a regular layer of icing. Even though this cake isn’t covered in fondant, I followed the same process of smoothing the icing by rubbing it smooth with a piece of parchment. It was even more important to have a smooth base for the poured ganache since it’s not a thick covering that would hide any bumps or lumps.


I can’t share the ganache recipe with you because I haven’t found one I love yet. And I certainly didn’t love this one. It was too thin and refused to thicken so the cake required many coats to cover it well. I put the cake on a drying rack over a sheet pan to catch the drips and then poured a coat of ganache over the cake. I set the cake aside to dry and harden and then poured another coat. I repeated this process until I had a solid covering of chocolate; maybe 4 or 5 coats. The finished egg sat for a day to harden.

The next day, I trimmed the cardboard cake board to the same size as the covered egg and attached it to the silver cake board with double-sided tape. Lots and lots of tape since that was the only thing holding this together. I piped a shell border but did it very thickly so it would cover the edge of the cardboard and where it met the silver board. Then it was time to decorate it with flowers and such to make it look like my grandmother’s eggs. You can’t really cut this like a normal cake. The dotted lines will give you a rough idea of how I did it.



Gran’s peanut butter frosting


My grandmother was a fabulous cook. Everything she made was good. Her chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting was amazing. At Easter she made peanut butter eggs. Think Reese’s eggs but on steroids! People would place orders months in advance to make sure they got some.  And her peanut butter frosting is in the same league. Out of hundreds of people who’ve tried this cake – a staple in our family’s cooking and in a family that cooks for others a lot – everyone has always loved it. You will too!


The light brown frosting on this cake is the peanut butter icing. The darker colors have gel coloring added to get the shades I wanted. There is a bit of a problem though. My grandmother didn’t measure things when she cooked. She added a bit of this and a handful of that and ended up with nirvana. So keep in mind that the measurements here aren’t set in stone. If you don’t like the texture, add some more sugar. Or maybe more coffee. Or whatever suits you. This is enough for a two layer cake. If you’re going to tort the layers (cut each layer in half) then you’ll need to make one and a half times or two times the recipe. This recipe can be doubled easily.
Mix ¼ cup butter with 1 cup of peanut butter. Add 3 tbsp of strong, cold coffee and mix well. Add 4 cups of confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth and spreadable. You might have to add more coffee or sugar to get a smooth result. You can substitute water for some of the coffee if the flavor is too strong for you.