Sunday Dinner Dessert – Brown Velvet Cake

Since my 85 years have started to catch up with me, I don’t cook as often, particularly experimenting with new recipes that I can share. I do still cook the family holiday meals, though, and every Sunday fix lunch for my two daughters which features a favorite recipe and is followed by 3 hours of various kinds of needlework and chatting. For these lunches, I always make something they especially like from my blogs of over 10 years and I thought it might be fun to share my Sunday desserts each week.

Dessert this week was Brown Velvet Cake from a 1988 recipe clipping. I won a ribbon for the cake at the Harvest Home Festival (Cincinnati area) and still agree with my notation from then: “My favorite chocolate cake.” From my 2010 post:

Brown Velvet Cake

  • Servings: 8-10 slices
  • Print

The Cake:

1 cup of chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate)
1/2 cup boiling water
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs plus 2 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 Tblsp. white vinegar in a standard measuring cup with milk to equal one cup)

To Make the Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease well and lightly flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

Combine the chocolate chips and boiling water. Let stand, stir and cool.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and peanut butter. Gradually add brown sugar and granulated sugar, creaming well. Add 2 unbeaten eggs and 2 unbeaten egg whites, plus vanilla and cooled chocolate mixture, mixing well.

Add dry ingredients to this batter alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Blend well after each addition.

Turn into the two greased and floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake @ 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes until a tester inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean. Let cakes rest in pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove from pans and let cool on the rack.

The Filling:

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 Tblsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup undiluted evaporated milk
1/4 cup water
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 Tblsp. creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla

To Make the Filling:

In a medium pan, combine the brown sugar and cornstarch. Add evaporated milk, water and egg yolks. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick and mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat, stir in all but 2 Tblsp. of the chopped peanuts, the peanut butter and the vanilla. Set aside to cool.

The Frosting:

2 Tblsp. butter
2 Tblsp. creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
4-5 Tblsp. evaporated milk, undiluted

To Make the Frosting:

Cream together the butter and peanut butter. Add the melted chocolate chips and vanilla. Blend in the confectioners’ sugar alternately with the evaporated milk to spreading consistency.

To Assemble the Cake:

Place one cooled cake layer on a plate and spread the top with the filling. Place the second layer on top of the filling and frost the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the reserved 2 tablespoons of chopped peanuts over the top of the frosted cake. 

This makes a tall (3-1/2 inches) impressive cake …. and it’s delicious.

Also served: A 1940s era Tuna Casserole, like the one my Aunt Mabel used to make. I didn’t have any cheese crackers on hand this time and used a topping of buttered breadcrumbs. Old-fashioned goodness.  From my 2010 post:


















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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

6 thoughts on “Sunday Dinner Dessert – Brown Velvet Cake”

  1. Thank you for this recipe. I have been looking for a cake recipe that uses peanut butter. I get jars of it from the food bank. I am retired and I now depend on the charity to help me through the month to make ends meet. It is a real challenge to use up the extra bread, dried beans, rice and peanut butter.

  2. The cake looks wonderful and the recipe sounds even better. That casserole looks delicious, too. I don’t have any tuna, but I have a whole lot of canned chicken we made before Zaycon went out of business, so I bet that would work, too.

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