Ever since I was big enough to see over the top of our kitchen worktop, I’ve been baking; and before that, I watched mum bake with a hungry interest (and a finger in the mixing bowl). For me, baking is about much more than simply food — it’s about enjoyment, passion, and creativity. It’s also about being able to put a smile on someone’s face with that latest creation: and smiles don’t come much bigger than this.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been making cakes that incorporate people’s favourite snacks — from Haribo sweets and white jazzies, to Oreo cake and now Reese’s. Whenever I visit Selfridges, I sort of gravitate towards their sweet section and make a beeline for that familiar orange packaging. The ingredients are a little pricey (£5 for the mini cups and a little more than that for the peanut butter), but you can cut down on costs by using regular peanut butter. I also add Guinness to the sponge to add a little richness, but you can substitute this for coke.
The whole thing tastes incredible, and if you have friends or family who are fellow fans of Reese’s, I can guarantee you’ll suddenly become their favourite person.
For the sponge
- 8oz self-raising flour
- 8oz caster sugar
- 8oz stork margarine
- 4 free-range eggs
- ½ tsp organic vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp coco powder
- ¾ cup Guinness
For the butter cream and topping
- 1x bag Reese’s mini peanut butter cups
- 3 tbsp Reese’s peanut butter (regular peanut butter will do just fine)
- Dark chocolate chips
- 8oz icing sugar
- 4oz butter
Making the magic happen
- Preheat oven to 180c and grease and line two round cake tins — preferably with removable bottoms
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and margarine with an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy
- Whilst still whisking, add one egg at a time — along with the vanilla extract — and keep whisking until you lose most of the feeling from your arms. This is really important: your arms are no longer a consideration; all that matters now is that your cake mixture is lighter than air and you can wow your friends with your baking prowess
- When suitably whisked into a frenzy, sieve in the flour and coco powder and gently fold until completely combined (note the use of gently: now that you’ve sacrificed your arms in the process, you don’t want to knock out all of that lovely air)
- When combined, stir in the Guinness and transfer the mixture to the cake tins. At this point, you may wish to weigh your mixture out between the tins to make sure they’re nice and even
- Bake for 30 minutes, then test with a skewer. If it comes out clean, turn the cakes out onto a wire rack to cool
- In a separate bowl, beat your butter until soft, then sieve in your icing sugar — along with a few drops of vanilla extract. Whisk together before adding the peanut butter
- When you’re happy with the texture and taste (you may want to add more or less peanut butter depending on your personal preference), add some of the butter cream to the middle of the cake to make a sandwich
- Leaving enough for the sides, cover the top of your cake and smooth the mixture out; then, using a knife dipped in hot water, spread the rest of the butter cream around the sides of the cake
- Before the butter cream sets, decorate with Reese’s mini peanut butter cups and chocolate chips. If you find this part a bit fiddly, you may want to use tweezers for the chocolate chips
Enjoy with a warming cuppa.