This cake is great because it is so rich and peanut buttery that it does not need to be frosted. Of course, I won’t complain if you do frost it, but my point is, this puppy can be whipped out and ready to eat in very little time. It is idiotproof, hangoverproof, and can be made in even the most unequipped kitchens, for brunch dessert, lunch dessert, or dinner dessert. Memorize this recipe and make it if ever you find yourself bored in a foreign kitchen or around people you want to impress in a short-ish amount of time. It’s the tastiest with the least amount of effort. Top it with a plop of yogurt, whipped cream, berries, a dusting of powdered sugar, or nothing at all.
- Yield: One 8-inch square cake
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup flavorless oil
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup creamy unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter
- Powdered sugar, whipped cream or yogurt, and/or fresh berries for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease an 8 × 8-inch baking dish and line the bottom with parchment.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the egg, vanilla, buttermilk, oil, water, and peanut butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Pour into the baking dish.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Begin checking for doneness at 30 minutes.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool completely, or serve while it’s still warm. Serve plain or with desired toppings.