Soft chocolate sunflower cake, layered with vanilla sunflower buttercream is exactly what my cake loving heart desires on a cold winter day. I’m talking a pillowy cake texture and rich creamy frosting with a wonderful sunflower butter flavor, that elevates the classic peanut butter cake recipe. Trust me, you’re gonna thank me later!
No special occasion required, just a cake loving heart, and an appetite. Especially when you’re trapped inside during those cloudy days and need something to do. I suggest making cake. Yep, a little baking is just what those winter blues need.
To bring a little sun into your kitchen, (yes I’m a dork) I partnered with SunButter to create a rich, but not heavy, nut allergy free, decadent layer cake. Incorporating SunButter into both the cake batter and the buttercream gives a delightful flavor punch of sunflower butter. Oh, I totally licked the spatula and mixing bowl, because I couldn’t wait for the cake to bake.
Since I’m using several types of sugar in this recipe, I chose the No Sugar Added SunButter. The creamy texture blends perfectly with the olive oil, creating a batter that resembles chocolate pudding. Even better, this recipe is soy and tree nut free. My peanut allergy neighbors will be pounding on my door for a slice of this one!
Tips for Making Chocolate Sunflower Cake:
- This recipe will work for three 6 inch pans or two 8 inch pans. Haven’t tried it as cupcakes, but give it a go and let me know!
- Follow the mixing directions in order.
- Sift the flour and cocoa powder to remove lumps.
- Use soft room temperature butter for your cake batter and buttercream.
- Don’t microwave the butter, just let it sit on the counter for 2-3 hrs prior to baking to soften.
- The finished cake batter should have the consistency of chocolate pudding.
- Evenly weigh your batter into the pans for perfect layers.
- Smooth the batter evenly into each pan with spatula.
- I take my cake pans and ‘carefully’ slam them on the counter to release air bubbles.
- The cakes should bake evenly without a huge dome and only small cracks on top.
- Let cake layers freeze for about 30 minutes to help with assembling.
- Mix your buttercream slowly. Add additional milk a Tbsp at a time if you want a thinner frosting and add additional powdered sugar to thicken.
- Store you cake in an air tight container for 3-4 days.
Chocolate Sunflower Cake
- 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
- ½ Cup Cocoa Powder
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- 8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- ½ Cup Light Brown Sugar lightly packed
- 1 Cup Granulate Sugar
- ½ Cup Olive Oil
- ½ Cup SunButter
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3 Eggs
- ½ Cup Milk
Vanilla Sunflower Buttercream Frosting
- 16 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3 Tbsp Milk
- ½ Cup SunButter
- 4 Cups Powdered Sugar
- Preheat Oven to 350 F and prepare three 6 inch cake pans. Lightly grease each pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl hand whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together room temperature butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar.
- Add SunButter, vanilla, and oil. Mix on medium low until creamy. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl as needed.
- Add each egg one at a time until incorporated.
- Pour in milk and water. Mix until incorporated.
- Slowly spoon in flour mixture, scraping bottom and sides of bowl as needed until cake batter is formed.
- Divide batter equally amongst the three cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out with just soft crumbs.
- Place cake pans on cooling rack until completely cooled.
- Remove cake layers from pans, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.
Make Vanilla Sunflower Buttercream
- In bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, mix together room temperature butter, SunButter, vanilla, and milk until creamy.
- Slowly add powdered sugar a cup at a time and mix until desired consistency.
- Remove cake layers from fridge, unwrap and peel away parchment paper.
- Level cake tops with knife if needed.
- Place a dollop of buttercream onto cake stand.
- Place bottom cake layer onto dollup.
- Cover top of cake layer evenly with buttercream, using an offset spatula.
- Add second layer and cover top with buttercream.
- Flip top layer upside down, with flat side as the top of cake.
- Using spatula cover top of cake and lightly spread buttercream across the sides.
- Use a bench scraper to smooth top and sides.
- Option to completely cover cake with buttercream.
- Transfer remaining buttercream into piping bag with desired piping tip and pipe a ring of decor.
- Slice and enjoy!!