Graham Cracker Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

If you've ever had a snack of graham crackers smeared with peanut butter, then this cake is perfect for you. We added graham flour and a touch of cinnamon to the vanilla cake layers for the quintessential graham-cracker flavor. It's then stacked high with creamy peanut butter frosting for a fun and nostalgic treat.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

Graham Cracker Cake:

Nonstick cooking spray

2 cups graham flour (see Cook's Note)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (see Cook's Note)

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs plus 2 large yolks, at room temperature

2 cups buttermilk, well-shaken

Peanut Butter Frosting:

2 cups confectioners' sugar

2 cups creamy peanut butter

1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions

  1. For the cake: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly coat two 9-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottoms with parchment rounds; lightly coat parchment with nonstick spray. 
  3. Whisk together both of the flours, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a large bowl until combined. Beat the butter, granulated sugar and vanilla in another bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the whole eggs and yolks one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl, until the batter is completely combined, smooth and creamy. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.   
  4. Scrape the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Smooth the tops. Bake, rotating the pans from left to right halfway through, until the cakes are a light golden brown and a tester inserted into the centers comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let the cakes cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the cakes and invert onto the wire rack. Remove the parchment and let the cakes cool completely.  
  5. For the frosting: Beat the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until very smooth, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, then continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes longer. Set aside at room temperature until ready to assemble. 
  6. To assemble: Place one cake domed-side down on a platter. Spread 1 cup of the frosting evenly over the top. Place the remaining cake domed-side up on top. Spread the top with 1 1/2 cups of frosting. Frost the sides of the cake with 1 1/2 cups of frosting and smooth out completely to make an even crumb coat. (It's okay if some of the cake shows through. This is just a base layer.) Refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the frosting set. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides, smoothing it out with a large offset spatula.    

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)