These are by far my top “to go” dessert. Rich chocolate cake, layered with crunchy peanuts and smooth peanut butter buttercream. It’s my favourite layer cake all prettied up in a simple jar ~ to go! For me, the flavor combination is to die for. This week I packed a few up to throw in our cooler as we made our way to Music City for 5 days.
Five days camping in sunny Tennessee, touring Music City with a sweet peanutty treat to enjoy after dinner each night.
Without the kids.
I’m not sure which part of those two sentences was my favourite. Don’t get me wrong, I love my babes, but a week away with my number one grown up is pretty awesome. And pretty rare.
Whenever I make cupcakes and buttercream, I always throw the extras in the freezer. It’s so easy to whip something up on short notice. Swiss Meringue Buttercream is a snap to make and freezes beautifully. These parfaits take minutes to assemble (put the cupcakes in frozen!), can be thrown in a cooler or fridge and they travel amazingly well. Use regular jars or invest in some Weck Jars, that look great and offer the most perfect serving size for dessert (see here). I can’t tell you the countless times I have used them for serving.
During the time I ran the bakery this peanut butter buttercream was always one of our most requested. It’s so light and creamy and tastes like a cloud of whipped peanut butter. If you’re a peanut butter lover like me, this is a must try!
I’m including the recipe for the Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Just layer your parfaits with your favourite rich chocolate cupcake (one of my favs is here) and some chopped peanuts. Or, to really switch it up, layer it with Banana Cupcakes made from this recipe here, my Best Ever Banana Cake. Just as awesome.
Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 5 egg whites
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 3/4 cups of unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (or more to taste)
1. Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with two inches of water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.
2. In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites and the sugar just until combined. Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 150 degrees). The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well. Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until whites have increased in volume, are thick and glossy and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes!).
3. Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment. Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled. Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time. Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick. It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify. Add vanilla flavouring, a pinch of salt and peanut butter and beat until combined. Use immediately. Will frost about 24 cupcakes. Icing can be frozen for up to two months, just allow it to come back to room temperature and re-whip for 5 minutes. It may look curdled but keep whipping!
Assembly of Parfaits:
1. Bake your favourite chocolate cupcakes. This is one of my most loved recipes here.
2. I find using a piping bag (or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off), is the best way to get the icing neatly in the jars. Simply pipe a small layer of icing in the bottom of the jar and top it with an unwrapped cupcake. Layer again with icing, some chopped peanuts and another cupcake. Top with a dollop of icing and chopped peanuts (if you’re not planning on closing the jars), or top with some chopped peanuts and put the lid on the jars.
2. Parfaits can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Simply bring to room temperature before eating (otherwise the icing is hard like butter).
Happy summer and enjoy!