If you are reading the post title and wondering, “What is a Best Friend Ever Cake?” then don’t worry I will explain it to you. But first, I have had a cookie on the menu at my bake shop since day one that was called the Best Friend Ever. It’s a peanut butter cookie with pretzels, chocolate chips, and dusted with sugar and sea salt. And, this recipe is also in my book Cookies for Everyone.
Flash back to years before I even owned a bakery, which is a long time at this point haha. But, before I had a bakery I just loved to bake cookies. I would make them for work, for friends, for parties, for anything really. And, I would always ask my friends what kind of cookie flavors they wanted me to make. I would always take requests and loved making anything but chocolate chip!
When I first started thinking of making a living from cookies – I made a website and offered about 15 cookie flavors that you could order online. Because I grew up in the action sports industry, and man of my friends from growing up ended up becoming professional athletes, I decided to give them all pro model cookies and name them with funny names. And this was before influencer marketing was even a thing! Social media was around, but not as prevalent as it is today. But, people always talk, and I used word of mouth and organic gorilla marketing in my early days.
A few of the ones that stick out in my mind were the PB & J-ack, created by and named after Jack Mitrani. You can probably guess that was a Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookie. I also had the Bent-chipler, created by and named after Chris Benchetler. His was a Mocha Almond Chocolate Chip Cookie. So, you get the idea. I would also name them after close friends for fun, like the Chubby Dougie. That was created for and named by my brother, Doug, who is anything but chubby! And it is a Frosted Snickerdoodle, and I urge you to try and make that recipe as it’s one of my all time faves!
One of my good friends who I used to hang out with all the time, we had a joke that we called each other our “best friend ever”. It started when I moved down to Newport, and he was one of the only friends I had there so we hung out a lot. Then he started dating my roommate and he was around even more, hence we spent a lot more time together and that’s how the nickname came about. We were out to dinner one night, talking about this cookie thing. And he said I want a cookie, and I want you to name it after me. The Best Friend Ever – well, the name came before the cookie. And I said sure, of course, I will do that! I’ll pick the flavor and you’ll get a special cookie. So, I actually came up with the flavor for this one – Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies. And that’s how it began.
These cookies are one of my all time favorite recipes, and they’ve gained a cult like following at the bakery, and they even still have them on the menu today. And, you can also make them if you have my book Cookies for Everyone. One of our friends who films in Mammoth frequently is obsessed with them, and he happened to be here for his birthday a couple weeks ago. Chris and I had the idea to make this cake for him, to nod to his favorite cookies. So, here you have a Best Friend Ever Cake which is a peanut butter cake with chocolate ganache, peanut butter frosting, and salty pretzels. The combination of sweet and salty gets me every single time!
Why use organic ingredients in this recipe? You all know I’m a huge organic advocate, and I bet you may be thinking sometimes, Why would I even bother to use organic ingredients in something that is so sweet and indulgent? But, that is the exact reason why you should use organic ingredients! Sweet things need to have flavor in order to be good, otherwise they are just sweet and they don’t taste like much else. Organic ingredients are more pure than conventional ones, therefore they actually have more flavor than the non organic options. Say it with me, organic means more flavor! And not just more flavor but a more true and pure flavor. And organic ingredients are much healthier for you to eat in general as they do not contain GMOs or anything artificial. Plus, you are being environmentally friendly when you choose organic ingredients!
So, I highly recommend that you buy the best organic ingredients for this recipe! You can also shop my Amazon Storefront for all my favorite organic ingredients here. Tip – hover over each ingredient to see the name. And if you want to learn more about organic foods and the difference, read my post here on Food Labels and What They Mean.
Best Friend Ever CakeDifficulty: Intermediate
This sweet and salty cake is made up of a peanut butter cake, peanut butter frosting, and it is filled with milk chocolate ganache and pretzels!
1/2 cup (113 grams) organic salted butter, softened
170 grams (3/4 cup) organic packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
64 grams (1/4 cup) organic peanut butter
2 organic large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup organic milk, room temperature
1/4 cup organic heavy whipping cream, room temperature
177 grams (1 1/4 cups) cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
454 grams (3 cups plus 3 tablespoons) organic powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup (226 grams) organic salted butter, softened
32 grams (2 tablespoons) organic peanut butter
2 to 3 teaspoons organic milk
organic pretzel twists
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
- To make the batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, light brown sugar, and vanilla extract and mix no low until combined and there are no chunks of butter. Add the peanut butter, eggs, milk, and heavy whipping cream and mix on low until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- In a separate bowl, add the cake flour, baking powder, and sea salt and whisk together. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Continue to mix on low until you don’t see any specs of flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans, about 255 grams each.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the cake pans.
- To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the powdered sugar, butter, peanut butter, and milk. Mix on low until combined, then speed mixer up to high for 1 minute or until light and fluffy.
- To assemble the cake: Place a dollop of frosting on a cake stand or cake spinner and add the first cake layer. Using a cake spatula add a thin layer of frosting to the top of the cake.
- Add a small amount of frosting into a piping bag, and pipe a circle around the boarder of the cake. Add chocolate ganache into the middle, the frosting acts as a wall so it doesn’t spill over the sides. Place the second cake layer on top, and repeat this process.
- Crumb coat the cake. Frost the cake smooth and a boarder of pretzel twists all around the bottom of the cake. Add chocolate ganache to the top, and chopped pretzel pieces on top of that.
- Store in a cake dome for up to 3 days.
- Gluten Free — Replace the cake flour with 177 grams (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) organic gluten free flour blend. Use gluten free pretzels.
- High Altitude — Bake at 350°F for 17 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
- To learn how to crumb coat a cake, read my tutorial How to Crumb Coat a Cake.
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Make sure to check out my Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, which I’m sure you’ll love too! And, share it with someone who you think may also like it!