I’m an adult! {Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn}

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

This week has gone by so ridiculously fast! It’s been a good week – a celebration week:

- my cookbook announcement (thanks everyone (again!) for all the super nice comments and tweets. You’ve made my face hurt from smiling all week). Oh and a sneaky a little bit of info: it’s 75 recipes – sweet and savoury (all the courses, you know it!!). Of course there are some vegan and some gluten free recipes in there too.

- it’s the end of this half term! hoollliiddaaayyy! It’s only a week off but at least I get to sleep in for like 5 of those days.

- I kind of, sort of turned 18-years-old. Heeeyy provisional licence! (but also heyyy I’m legally an adult now. This is awkward seeming as I’m wearing slipper socks, drinking hot chocolate and singing Sound Of Music songs).

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

So because of all the things that have been going on, I thought we needed a cake.

A big, chocolate cake. Super indulgent with extra EVERYTHING.

It’s rare for me to make massive layer cakes because my cake layers always turn out domed so I have to level them and lose about 1/3 of the cake :( Losing that much cake makes me sad (although Cynthia pointed out that those cake tops are basically made for ‘cake frosting tacos’ which is a very good point)

But this 8-layer, two tiered monster was appropriate. Cake scraps and all.

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

It took me a while to come up with the whole concept of the cake because there are so many variants in the land of layer cakes: flavour of the cake, flavour of the filling ,flavour of the frosting,

how many layers? tiers?

frosted sides? ‘naked cake’ style? drippy frosting style?

other décor???

So I stood in the kitchen on Friday for about an hour freaking out and living an ALL CAPS life until I’d figured out everything. I was going to do chocolate, peanut butter + pretzel. Then my mum chimed in and was like ‘Noooo you need to do POPCORN.’

I was game. I’d made caramel corn before so knew I could do it pretty easily.

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

That is, until I burnt 2 batches of the stuff  (a.k.a Izy stop trying to use brown sugar when the recipe says white sugar. Brown sugar doesn’t work. No. Stop trying the brown sugar again, it didn’t work the first time so it’s not going to work now. Also no you don’t need to brown the butter. Stop browning the butter. Stop it. Browned butter caramel doesn’t work.)

Finally after I actually followed the instructions (insert guilty slanty-face emoji HERE) it then worked.

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

I took the photos of the cake but then de-stacked it so I could transport it (on the TUBE) to my friends house for dinner. In doing this I accidentally made the discovery that caramel popcorn is like edible packing peanuts for cake! So cool.

The WHOLE cake managed to survive a 40 minute journey, being carried sideways in a tin – even when I got crushed against the glass panel in the tube carriage by the 5pm hoards of football fans.

P.s I totally yelled at the guy who was crushing me. YEAH. Empowerment rush, boom. Utter Beyoncé moment.

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

It’s a superstar cake. Especially because if you utterly mess up the glaze on top, you just get to cover it all up with popcorn and nobody eeeever knows….

Pro tip though, if you’re going to make it – decorate with the popcorn like an hour max. before serving because the moisture tends to make the popcorn go chewy after a while.

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn


(Oh and side note:  My friends made a Llama cake with a cinnamon-stick cigar for me. It took 4 guys to make this masterpiece:



Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn
1/2 batch of this caramel popcorn (or about 4 cups of store bought caramel corn)
Chocolate Cake:
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup cocoa powder
4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups milk
Peanut Butter Frosting:
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp softened butter
1/4 cup cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
Chocolate Glaze:
6 oz bittersweet chocolate
3 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp water
4 tbsp butter

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Grease and line four 6" (or 3 8") pans and an 8" square pan.

For the chocolate cake:

Cream together the butter, sugar and eggs until pale and fluffy. Cream in the baking powder, salt and cocoa until smooth. Add 1/3 of the flour and stir in until just combined. Add half the milk and stir until just combined. Add another 1/3 of the flour and stir in until just combined. Add the rest of the milk and stir until just combined. Stir in the last 1/3 of the flour until just combined.

Divide the batter equally among the circular and square pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Leave to cool for a few minutes before turning out onto cooling rack to cool completely (remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cakes too).

For the peanut butter frosting:

Stir all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. If you need to, add a splash of milk to make the frosting thinner or add some more powdered sugar to make it thicker. It should be a spreadable consistency.

Assembly part 1:

Cut the cooled, square cake layer into four 3" circles using a pastry ring. Level any domed circular cake layers so that they're flat.

Stack up the 4 large (6") cake layers with about 2 tbsp of the frosting between each layer (don't frost the top layer)

Separately stack up the 4 small (3") layers with a heaped teaspoon of frosting between each layer.(don't frost the top layer)

Make the glaze:

Place the chocolate, water and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a simmering pan of water. Stir until melted then remove from the heat and stir in the butter.

Assembly part 2:

Pour the majority of the glaze over the top layer of the large (6") cake and spread it out to the edges. Place the small (3") cake on top of the large cake layer and pour the remaining glaze over the top of this small cake. Spread it out to the edges.

Decorate the cake with the caramel popcorn and serve.


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  1. Happy Birthday Izy! My fave way of decorting cake has to be with other baked goods e.g the cinnamon roll cake and mini ice cream cone toppers that I feature a month ago. Yes The obsession with brown butter and sugar sometimes is too much; following the recipe to the word is honestly better (especially with caramel)

    Layer cakes own my heart and your deep dark one has me in a trance.

  2. Oh wow. Oh wow oh wow oh wow. This is just BEAUTiful. I’d never considered popcorn on top of a cake before but why the hecky peck not?? I love popcorn, I love chocolate, I love cake (and I especially love anything to do with peanut butter) so this is just the ticket. The only problem I have now is replicating something as beautiful as this!! I can actually taste that slice in the photograph! mmmmm *drools*
    Happy Birthday and congratulations again on your cookbook news – so, so bloody exciting
    Bella xxxx

  3. Happy birthday! And congratulations on your recipe book, you totally deserve it – your photos and recipes make me hungry every time. Your cake looks gorgeous as always and why have I never thought of cake frosting tacos before?!!!

  4. Happy birthday, lady!! Your caramel corn situation sounds so like me. I’m so stubborn, I know it, and I keep doing whatever it is that I KNOW should be done differently even though it’s not how I WANT IT, goshdangit. This cake looks so amaaaaaazing! And the LLAMA CAKE. Oh lord, I die.

  5. Happy Birthday, Izy!! Have a spectacular day & weekend celebrating this milestone!
    What a spectacular cake! Love the clever popcorn garnish and the deep dark chocolate cake and glaze. Have to try your pb frosting recipe-really like that you include cream cheese in the recipe. You have the nicest friends and what an adorable llama cake they have made you. Here’s hoping that this year brings you further success and happiness in your life :-)

  6. Just few days ago i found your blog. It’s amazing. And today I saw that you just turned 18?! Congrats!! I wish I could take such amazing pictures like you.

  7. Happy Birthday!What an awesome cake – you know how to do birthdays in style! It basically contains all of my favourite things in a huge cake – what could be better?

  8. That. Cake. Jeezus. I just wanna implant my face in that and eat my way out. HAPPY BIRTHDAY IZY! What an amazing year and I’ve no doubt the next is gonna be even better.

    *Showering caramel popcorn and rainbow sprinkles in yo face*

  9. Happy birthday Izy! Your blog is such an inspiration, and I can’t wait for your cookbook to come out! Also, this cake looks amazing, and I might just have to make is for my “coming of age adult birthday” in a few months!

  10. What the heck. Best flavours all-in-one CAKE. Also happy birthday. The guys who made the llama cake just put a whole new standard for friends making me a birthday cake. If it doesn’t look like that, I don’t want it. Good job guys.

  11. Oh my GOD. Oh my god. I have no words for this layer cake … I’m in love with it. It’s like you were like, naked cake? drippy frosting? nahh Ima do ALL of that at once AND add caramel corn. And what. It’s just stunning, Izy :) Happy happy birthday!!!!

    PS Hahaha I’m so tickled by my cameo!! Cake tacos… they’re gonna be a thing.

  12. “Empowerment rush, boom. Utter Beyonce moment.” <– the perfect kind of moment to have on your bday! This cake looks so awesome, I'm usually scared off by layer cakes but this one is so creative. Pinned.

  13. The happiest of birthdays Izy! Welcome to the crazy world of buying booze (legally) and trying to work out who to vote for in the next election! This is a pretty spectacular cake, the absolute perfect way to celebrate.

  14. Happy birthday, Izy! Welcome to adulthood :)
    What an incredible cake, your layers look fantastic to me. And the cake your friends made is so funny! Llama cake should become more popular!

  15. Happy birthday, Izy! Your cake is stunning. :) I just want to reach a fork into the pictures and take a bite. Also though, that llama cake literally turned my day around, it made me laugh so much! Your friends did an amazing (/hilarious) job. Belated congratulations on your cookbook. I will definitely be getting my hands on a copy.

  16. Happy birthday! I was on the other side of the room when these images loaded, I stopped making my tea and stormed over to the computer to wonder in awe at your incredible cake. WOW! As for the dome of left over cake. I chop it up, soak it in home made chocolate or caramel sauce and bake it, pudding!

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  18. Oh my gosh you. This cake is PHENOMENAL. ahh I can’t stand it.
    I have never seen anything like it and I have never seen anyone do caramel corn on cake. (my life is changed.)
    Pinning this gorgeous masterpiece!

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  21. OMG, I saw this cake and just knew: this is my wedding cake. I might keep the popcorn on the side and switch them out for, say, pink roses, on top but yep. Definitely a wedding cake. Looks like you and I have the same idea Antonia @ Health Inspirations! Love it!!

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  23. Happy Birthday!
    This cake is totally awesome!!
    I’m making this for my sisters birthday this weekend, but I do have a question though.
    We get easily confused when using cups as a measurement in Norway, so how many ml or grams is one cup for this recipe?
    Hoping for a quick reply,

    Keep up the good work!

  24. These are the most amazing photos! And I just can’t believe you transported the whole thing on the TUBE! Well, it sounds like your beautiful creation lived to tell the tale … or rather to be scoffed down by some lucky partakers!

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