I made a Smith Island Cake for Lloyd’s graduation. It’s an 8 layer cake that’s sprinkled with powdered peanut butter cups. Actually, this time it’s a 7 layer cake since I dropped one of the layers on the floor and we don’t follow the five second rule around here!
- 8 Reese’s peanut butter cups, frozen (not the mini ones)
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 – 18 1/4 ounce box yellow cake mix (Duncan Hines is the best)
- 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons evaporated milk
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 1/3 cup water
- 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1. In a food processor, pulse 4 peanut butter cups in to small chunks, transfer to a small bowl. Pulse the remaining peanut butter cups into a powder, transfer to another small bowl. Store bowls in refrigerator until ready to use.
2. Preheat oven to 350º. Spray 4 – 8″ cake pans with cooking spray, dust with half of the flour, and tap out excess.
3. Put cake mix, 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk, 1 stick of butter, vanilla, salt, eggs, and 1/3 cup water in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 10 minutes.
4. Divide half the batter between the four pans. Using the back of a spoon, spread the batter so it covers the bottom of the pan, and make it thicker around the edges than in the middle. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Set pans aside to cool, then remove the layers and cool on a wire rack.
5. Wash and dry pans, then repeat process with cooking spray, flour, and cake batter.
6. Make the icing – in a medium sauce pan, combine 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons of evaporated milk, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder and stir. Add 1 stick of butter, and cook over medium heat stirring constantly, until butter melts and icing is shiny – 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir well.
7. Spread a cake layer with about 1/4 cup of icing, and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of powdered peanut butter cups. Top with another layer and repeat process with the rest of the layers. Sprinkle the top layer with chunky peanut butter cups. Use the remaining icing to frost the sides. Store in refrigerator.