One early fall morning, while snacking on apple slices coated with peanut butter, I wondered how the classic flavor combination would taste in a seasonal dessert. After whipping up a peanut butter and apple cider frosting, and sandwiching it between two layers of apple butter cake sweetened with maple syrup and brown sugar, I had my answer: absolutely divine.
Apple & Peanut Butter Cake
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup olive oil (or a neutral vegetable oil, if you prefer)
1 cup apple butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
¼ cup all-natural peanut butter (I used chunky peanut butter)
¾ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup apple cider
½ teaspoon vanilla
Note: The frosting is very rich, so I think it works best as a thin layer sandwiched between two layers of cake. However, if you’d prefer to frost the top of the cake too, double the recipe. (To cover the entire cake, triple it.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease or line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Add apple butter. Stir in flour mixture until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake for around 30-35 minutes, until a fork or cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from heat.
- While cake is cooling, prepare the frosting: in a large bowl, cream together butter, peanut butter, and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in apple cider and vanilla until thoroughly combined.
- Once fully cool, remove cake from pan. Slice horizontally to form two layers. Spread frosting on one of the layers and cover with the other layer, as if making a sandwich.
- Dust top of cake with powdered sugar before slicing (optional.) Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.