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3 x 6 Inch Round Cake Pans
2 x Small Mixing Bowl
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray and parchment line three 6-inch round cake pans.
In a small mixing bowl combine ⅓ cup of milk and the vegetable oil. Set aside.
In the other small mixing bowl gently whisk together the remaining milk (½ cup), eggs, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer and with the flat beater attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and give it a quick whisk together.
Add in the butter and peanut butter to the dry ingredients and mix on low until it looks like sand.
Slowly pour in the milk and oil mixture and mix on low for 2 minutes.
Slowly pour the milk, egg, and extract mixture in and mix on low for another 2 minutes. Scrap the sides of the bowl when necessary.
Divide the cake batter into the three prepared cake pans and bake for approximately 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Allow the cake layers to cool for 10 minutes and then invert them on a cooling rack to fully cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter and shortening on high speed until light and fluffy. Approximately 10 minutes.
Add the icing sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and liquid smoke and mix on low until combined.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips in 30-second intervals until fully melted and smooth. Stir between each interval.
Add the melted chocolate to the buttercream and mix on low until fully incorporated.
Turn the mixer up to high and let mix for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl when necessary.
In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips and milk in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until fully melted and smooth.
Depending on the kind of milk, the drip may require a touch more milk to thin or a bit more chocolate chips to thicken. *I always test my ganache drips over the edge of the kitchen sink before applying to a cake to check the consistency.
Level each cooled peanut butter cake layer and then with the cake leveler cut each layer into half creating 6 total cake layers.
Place one leveled layer of peanut butter on a cake board, plate, and/or cake turntable and top with approximately ¾ cup of smoked chocolate buttercream.
Repeat with the remaining layers and apply a thin coat of buttercream all over the cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Cover the cake with another layer of buttercream and smooth the sides with a cake smoother.
Decorate the cake as you please. I carefully spooned the warm chocolate ganache drip over the edges of the cake and while it was still warm used my offset spatula and, with the tip, dragged it gently around the drip and cake starting from the top and going down to create the textured marbled chocolate look. I topped the cake with a border of chopped up Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, chocolate squares, peanut butter chips, and chopped peanuts. Enjoy!