Tag Archives: Ganache

The Always Requested Birthday Cake

This past Sunday was the day of birth of my best friend, Allie. Chad and I knew we wouldn’t be able to see her and her husband, Dave, on her actual birthday so we did the second best thing. We had them over Saturday night for steaks and birthday celebration.


Allie and Dave are a huge blessing in our lives. Next to our physical family, I’m pretty confident I can say that Allie loves our Archie bear more than anyone. Her and Dave have babysat Archie countless times, whether it’s because Chad and I have a commitment, meetings or date nights. Allie comes to check on our kitty, Nattie, while we are traveling, waters our garden, brings me surprise cups of coffee, and drops meals and snacks off at our house when we need it the most. They care about our marriage and I know they will always be there to help out whenever they are able.


Now it’s just time for them to reproduce so I can love on their babe as much as they’ve loved on mine.

Ok, so let’s get back to the cake I’m talking about…. or wanting to talk about. I get off track sometimes because I like stories and I really like details. Actually, Allie and I both like details, mindless little details that no one else cares about but us. BFF’s for life!


Alright, alright, seriously, let’s talk about cake. I have made this cake 3 times for Allie. 2 of those times have been specifically for her birthday.


I totally gave her an option of dessert this year and she still requested this cake. She loves it, Dave loves it, I love it, Chad loves it. It just works people.


Do it as soon as you can. You will not be disappointed. And please do me a favor and eat the leftover batter and chocolate ganache leftover in your bowls. It will just brighten your day. Trust.


Peanut Butter Cake with Salted Chocolate Ganache

adapted from Eat, Live, Run

Cake Ingredients:

1/4 c butter, softened

1/2 c creamy peanut butter

1/2 c dark brown sugar

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 c all purpose flour

1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 c vanilla soy milk

For the ganache:

1/2 c semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 dark chocolate chips

1 Tbsp butter

1/2 c vanilla soy milk

3 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Sea salt for sprinkling


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease 8 inch round cake pan.

In mixer, cream together butter, sugar and peanut butter until well combined. In separate bowl, sift together flours, baking powder and salt. Now add your egg and vanilla to your mixer and beat well. Alternate your dry ingredients and soy milk into the mixer and beat until creamy and combined.

Pour batter into cake pan (don’t forget to lick the bowl clean of batter!) and bake in oven for 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Turn cake out onto plate after cooly slightly in pan.

While cake cools, prepare chocolate ganache. Bring your soy milk to a simmer on the stove. In another bowl, add your chocolate chips, butter and maple syrup. When soy milk begins to simmer, remove from stove and pour over chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Pour onto cake and spread evenly if necessary. Lightly dust ganache with crushed or flaked sea salt.

You may set in fridge if necessary to cool or until consumption.



Thin Mint Brownies

Every first Tuesday of the month a group of 16 of our closest friends get together for game night. Each couple takes a turn hosting dinner and games at their house and it gets rather wild. Picture a room of full grown adults playing catch phrase, pictionary and Mafia. It gets loud, out of control and is such a blast.


Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Dinner is always taken care of by the host/ess but I always like to show up with a dessert in hand. (I promise I cook regular food too but baking is my jam.)


This month I decided to make Mama Pea’s thin mint brownies that I had on my baking docket for quite a while now. Several of my girlfriends within this circle of friends either has to be or strives to be gluten and dairy free so these were perfect to make to please everyone.


I have re-vamped the brownie recipe because the brownies I originally made were rather dry which is totally understandable with gluten free recipes. You have to watch them close and be careful with ingredients. I knew I had to play in the kitchen and figure an alternative out for the sake of making these over and over for my sweet friendlies. I can’t be going and having my baking reputation tainted over a dry brownie, now can I?


I played around and while this isn’t your crazy, under baked gooey brownie, it works with these two icings piled on top.


Anyway… these are great. The mint flavor is just subtle enough in the icing to not overwhelm the chocolate flavors. And if you think like me, mint and chocolate just go together.


And you can modify this how you need. You can use regular all purpose flour, regular milk, butter, chocolate chips, etc. Adapt it to your needs!


Without further ado…

Thin Mint Brownies

adapted from Mama Pea


Brownie Layer:

1 c gluten free all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp xantham gum

1/3 c canola oil

1 egg

2/3 (heaping) c cocoa powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

2/3 c granulated sugar or cane sugar

1/2 c soy milk

1/2 c non-dairy butter (or coconut oil) melted

1/2 c non-dairy chocolate chips

Mint Icing Layer:

1 c powdered sugar

2 Tbsp melted non-dairy butter (such as Earth Balance)

2 Tbsp soy milk

1/2 tsp peppermint extract

Chocolate Ganache Layer:

2/3 c non-dairy chocolate chips

2 Tbsp non-dairy butter

1 Tbsp soy milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients of brownie layer in bowl and set aside.

Using a mixer, cream together sugar, vanilla and melted butter. Add oil and eggs, then beat in your milk. Add your flour mixture gradually and beat until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into 8×8 inch greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for 19-21 minutes (be very careful not to overbake). Cool in pan completely on wire rack.

After brownies are cooled, prepare your mint icing layer. Combine all ingredients in mixer and mix until smooth. Spread over cooled brownies and refrigerate to set if necessary while you prepare your ganache layer.

To prepare ganache layer, combine all ingredients in microwave safe bowl and microwave in 15-30 second increments (stirring in between) until melted. Let cool slightly. Pour over mint layer and spread evenly.

Brownies keep well in the refrigerator until ready to serve.