Vanilla Cake with Carrot Cake Filling & Peanut Butter Frosting

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Vanilla butter cake filled with Carrot Cake Jam covered in peanut butter frosting and topped with toasted coconut.

Recently I made this cake for a friends’ birthday. It was an impromptu party just for the two of us and a spur of the moment baking session. After a couple of drinks we decided that friend needed a cake. Given the circumstances, we needed a recipe that was pretty fool proof.

I rummaged through my well loved recipe binder. Some of the pages were looking tattered and yellow. The binder fell open to this cake recipe page pretty easily as the page had been ‘bookmarked’ with batter spots and sugar spills. Twin (my talented pastry chef other half) sister gave me this recipe years ago and it has never once failed me. Now, a few drinks in, we were really going to test this “fool-proof” recipe & my ability to whip up a cake out of thin air.

I measured everything in rounded or otherwise inaccurate cups. We even substituted a few things on the fly because we missed a few items during our initial ingredient inventory. A quick mix and into the oven it went.  I set a timer to check the cake in 30 minutes because there was no guarantee that we would remember, and proceeded to top off our glasses.

The timer went off, the cakes were golden, and we were colored impressed. Not impressed at our own baking skills mind you, but impressed that try as we might, we couldn’t ruin the cake.

As the cake cooled, we toasted our success and began to whip up some frosting.  After the cake was filled and frosted we stepped back to look at our work. If definitely looked like it was frosted by a 5 year old so we topped it with toasted coconut to cover our mistakes.

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The cake itself was light in texture, had a moist crumb, & was very tasty. The jam filling was of course superb 😉 The peanut butter frosting is incredibly rich and really makes this cake decadent.

The recipe below is the infallible original, but like I said we made a few substitutions (which turned out great!). If you are wondering – Yes! You can use all purpose flour in place of self rising flour. Substitute scant 2 3/4 cups all purpose flower + 2 3/4 ts baking powder + 1/2tsp salt in place of the a.p. flour/ self rising flour mix.

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Vanilla Butter Cake

  • 1/2lb (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2c sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4c all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2c self rising flour
  • 1c milk
  • 1tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment; butter parchment as well.

Combine the flours in a small bowl and set aside. Add the vanilla to the milk and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer bowl. Add in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Alternately add flours and milk, beginning and ending with the flour.

Fill prepared pans half way with batter and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to rest for 5 minutes and then turn the cakes onto a baking rack to cool.

carrot cake jam


Carrot Cake Jam Filling

  • 1 8oz jar of Potlicker Carrot Cake Jam

Use your favorite flavor of Potlicker Jelly or Jam. Try Chocolate Stout, Pumpkin Ale, or Strawberry Chipotle!

ccj filling

While the cakes cool, prepare the frosting. To make the peanut butter frosting you will need:

Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1c peanut butter
  • 3c powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tbs milk
  • 1ts vanilla (optional)

Cream together the butters until smooth, add the sugar 1/2c at a time to prevent a cloud of sugar in your face, then whip in the milk and vanilla. Beat until fluffy.

To assemble the cake, place 1 layer on a cake plate and spread 6-8 ounces of jam on top. Naturally we used our own Carrot Cake Jam. Place remaining cake layer on top. Spread top and sides of cake with frosting. To finish, sprinkle with toasted coconut.

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Try these great jam ideas too!:

Old Fashioned Sunshine – a jam cocktail

Jam Scones

Carrot Cake Griddle Cakes