caramel peanut-topped brownie cake

I have a hard time believing that anyone who owns Dorie’s Baking book has flipped past the photo of this cake without their mouth watering at least a little. When most recipes for TWD are announced, I have to look them up to get an idea of what we’ll be making. But when Tammy chose this cake, I could picture exactly what it was. Dark chocolate cake with peanuts and dripping caramel is hard to ignore.

Although I think my 4-inch diameter springform is ridiculously cute, I wish the sides were a little higher. A 4-inch diameter circle has exactly one quarter the area of an 8-inch diameter circle, but my pan can’t fit one quarter of the batter because the sides are about an inch shorter. Plus I actually made a third of the recipe, not a quarter. The batter didn’t seem like it filled the pan very much, but it rose higher than I was expecting.

It did rise higher than the sides of the pan, but fortunately it didn’t spill over. I managed to overcook the cake part somehow, which is a bummer because a brownie-type cake had the potential to be amazing. It was still good, but definitely too dry.

The caramel portion of this recipe went smoothly for me, which was a relief because I hadn’t worked with caramel since the debacle with the filbert cake. Plus, Dorie specifically says that it’s difficult to work with less sugar than the recipe calls for, but I only made a third of the recipe anyway.

Before adding the peanut caramel topping, I carved off the top somewhat burned part of the cake. I didn’t put the cake back into the springform ring before adding the caramel – since my cake was higher than the sides anyway, I don’t think it would have made a difference. However, I can see why she recommends doing so – it gives the caramel a chance to set a little, so it doesn’t all drip down the sides and pool on the plate.

Even with overcooked cake and drippy caramel, this was a fun dessert. The ratio of caramel to peanut to cake was spot on. The cake was nice and chocolately, and the high rise made it attractively tall. For the recipe, go to Tammy’s blog.


  1. Looks fantastic! I love the mini-cake. And I like the oozing on the side of the cake. Yummy!

  2. c’est magnifique 🙂 je m’aperçois que quand on fait ce gâteau en mini, il ne creuse pas du milieu!

  3. So cute! This one was definitely a learning experience.

  4. The cake looks so cute in that tiny spring form!! I’m impressed that you were able to achieve such good results with the tiny bit of sugar in the caramel- I was really nervous about mine and I did the whole amount! beautiful photos!

  5. Wow, this looks amazing! I so admire your restraint.

  6. Too bad about the dryness, but I bet the caramel balnaced that out a little. Looks beautiful.

  7. Love the mini version. Nothing wrong with oozing caramel down the side. I think it makes it look more delicious! Great job!
    Clara @ iheartfood4thought

  8. I scrolled down a bit to quick on you page today… and ended on the sliced carrots… going back up… I said: Forget the carrots, check out the peanuts… mmmmmm caramle drips on that cake! LOL I know what I’m dreaming about tonight! LOL

  9. This looks beautiful! Your pictures are fabulous. I love the mini version. I have the urge to make this again, so it’s nice to see it made in mini pans. I definitely agree that the caramel to cake ratio was perfect.

  10. So cute! I made mine mini too, and it was a good idea given my self control 😛

  11. Very cute in it’s tininess! 🙂 Bummer that it was a little dry but it look good! 🙂

  12. My mouth is watering. I was about to go make a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting- but maybe I should change my mind. I have everything but the salted peanuts.

  13. Looks delicious–beautiful pictures!

  14. Your cake looks great. I made the mini’s too. I torted mine so they would fit back in the tin. My batter went from completely liquid to almost overdone in 3 minutes. Such are the joys of mini baking!

  15. teaandscones says:

    Mini cakes are great. Yours is adorable and it looks really tasty. Great job.

  16. Your photos are always so amazing. The 4″ pan is just a kicker – what a great idea!!

  17. Your cake looks just perfect – I love it!

  18. isn’t it cute! i made 1/3 recipe of caramel, too. not as difficult as dorie suggests.

  19. Looks great! My cake rose so far above the tin it wasn’t funny!

  20. Your cake looks delicious!! I agree that the cake was a tad dry, but I still really liked it!

  21. I love your mini version — perfect portion control!

  22. I over-baked my cake too! Such a bummer, it really made me not like this recipe. 🙁
    Nevertheless, your photos are gorgeous!

  23. i overbaked too, and it was dry… sad! your mini version is adorable, and your caramel drips are so decadent 🙂 great pics!

  24. This is one of the most perfect caramel-topped-brownie-cakes I’ve seen!!

  25. Wonderful photos!

    *Weekly Giveaways on my blog!

    *Sale in my Etsy Store!

  26. Oh, goodness. That first pic is just beyond decadent. So, would you make it again? Funnily enough I think the sauce dripping down the sides of the cake worked out extremely well for you 😉

  27. manggy – Well, that photo was taken in the beginning of the dripping – a few minutes later, it was peanut-topped chocolate cake in a pool of caramel. Still not such a bad thing.

    I’d make it again for someone who is into peanuts and rich desserts. It was definitely good, but I’m not all that into peanuts, so it wasn’t my ideal dessert. I like my chocolate fairly unadulterated.

  28. Oh My! That looks incredibly delicious!