- 1 and 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of white sugar
- 3/4 cup of natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped semisweet chocolate (3.5 ounces)
- 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter (or Earth’s Balance vegan butter)
- 2 cups of icing sugar/confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup of chopped semisweet chocolate (1.5 ounces)
1. Preheat oven to 350′F. Coat the bottom and the sides of an 8 x 8 pan with non stick spray; line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Add oil, vanilla, and 1 and 1/4 cups of water. Whisk until smooth. Fold in the 1/2 cup of chopped chocolate.
3. Scrape into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean (about 35 minutes). Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Allow the cake to cool completely before icing the cake.
Note: If you don’t want to ice the cake the same day, make sure to wrap the cake in plastic wrap and then tightly with some tin foil. Leave on the counter for up to a day. I find this really keeps the cake moist.
4. For the frosting, beat the butter in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and beat until well incorporated. Add the salt and vanilla; beat for another minute. Add the icing sugar 1/2 cup at a time until all of the icing sugar is well incorporated & you have a nice smooth, fluffy icing.
5. Frost the cooled cake and top with 1/4 cup of chopped semisweet chocolate. You can also garnish with chopped peanuts.
Source: adapted from Bon Appétit Magazine – March edition