PB&J Snack Cake

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Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly-Snack-CakeI’m jealous of the back-to-school kids.

Being a “grown-up” is overrated in so many ways, and I would very much be into a second round of, like, third grade. (I was tempted to say kindergarten because I like naps and sing-a-longs, but I like chapter books more.) I loved school. I was good at it. And every once in a while, I’ll have a bad day and think, “Screw this! I want to build a diorama and play Oregon Trail!!”

You know how it is.

I also really miss buying school supplies (I was the queen of subject dividers and jelly roll pens), picking out a “first day outfit” (i.e. agonizing over which color Juicy jumpsuit looked the most fetching), and the joys of after-school snacks. I can’t imagine I’m the only one that feels this way, especially when it comes to the snacks. After-school snacks were the best.

Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly-Snack-Cake-2In my mind, after-school snacks fell into three categories:

1.) The sports snack. On practice days, this was usually a Nature Valley/Chewy bar or a leftover sandwich half from my Spiderman lunchbox (which I carried ironically through 9th grade). On game days, it was whatever the designated “snack mom” brought, which ranged from Oreos (YASSS!) to orange segments (why?).

2.) The car snack. Occasionally, my mom or babysitter would stop somewhere on the way home from school and let my siblings and me get something awesome. Eating frozen yogurt or a giant slice of warm bread from Great Harvest Bread Co. in the back seat while listening to N*Sync was the epitome of ‘tween happiness.

3.) The at home snack. This was a toss-up. Sometimes I lucked out with grilled cheese (before the doctor-imposed ban), but it was usually fresh fruit and maybe some peanut butter or string cheese. Every once in a blue moon there were baked goods involved, and needless to say, cake/brownie/cookie and milk was the most glorious after-school snack ever. Duh.

Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly-Snack-Cake-3I’m not sure if you can relate to the above categories, but I will say that the PB&J Snack Cake you see on your screen qualifies as the most boss of “at home” after-school delights.

Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly-Snack-Cake-4I wish I could tell you that this cake is a recipe from my childhood—that would have been such a good segue—but it’s not. Most of my childhood baked goods came from Costco, and they were awesome, but I would have killed for this snack cake back in the day. It’s super moist (SORRY) and peanut-buttery with addictive swirls of sweet strawberry jam that sort of melt into the cake. Plus, it’s bursting with hidden health benefits! Each slice packs a respectable amount of protein and fiber (let’s hear it for rolled oats and whole wheat flour), and there’s zero butter involved. Mashed bananas and heart-healthy coconut oil are 100% responsible for all the moistness (sorry again).

Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly-Snack-Cake-5I’m sharing this cake now in the hope that you’ll feed it to your kids (some of you have those, right?), or eat it yourself as a sassy desk snack this back-to-school season. And if you’re not particularly into snacking, please note that it also makes a fabulous breakfast or dessert option. I just imagined serving it warm with a scoop of ice cream…You should definitely do that.

p.s. To any snack moms out there: I know peanuts and gluten are pretty much verboten in schools these days, but you could easily sub in almond butter and gluten-free flour to make it more allergy-friendly. (Look at me being all kid-friendly!)

PB&J Snack Cake (Serves 12)

2 ripe bananas
2/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/3 cup coconut oil in liquid form
½ cup honey
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking!)
½ cup whole-wheat flour
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup strawberry jam (or jam of your choice)

Preparing your PB&J Snack Cake:

-Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8”x8” baking pan with cooking spray and line it with parchment paper. You want to make doubly sure this cake doesn’t stick.

-Place the bananas in a large mixing bowl and mash with a fork until very smooth.

Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly-Snack-Cake-Step-1-Warm the peanut butter in the microwave for 20-25 seconds until soft and pourable, and add it to the bowl along with the coconut oil, honey, and eggs. Whisk until everything is well combined.

Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly-Snack-Cake-Step-6-In a separate bowl, combine the oats, flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder.

Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly-Snack-Cake-Step-2-Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until well incorporated.

Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly-Snack-Cake-Step-3-Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth the surface with a spatula. Drop small spoonfuls of jam on top.

Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly-Snack-Cake-Step-4-Using a butter knife, gently swirl the jam it into the batter. (Try not to over-swirl, peeps, or you’ll lose that sexy marbled effect.)

Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly-Snack-Cake-Step-5-Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is set and a tester (i.e. the tip of a sharp knife or a wooden skewer) comes out clean. Let your cake cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing.



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  1. hlapla1 on September 18, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    I made it and it was a little… moist. Did you make a version with more flour? Or is 1/2 cup the sweet spot, and I just needed to bake it longer, even though the tester came out clean?

    • Serena_Wolf on September 18, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      Hmmm, how moist are we talking? Like still mush? 1/2 cup has always been the sweet spot for me, BUT there can be a slight variability in types of peanut butter and banana size. If your bananas were super big and the peanut butter was oily, either could have been the culprit. Baking for the full 35 minutes should help, but if your batter is super wet, adding another 3-4 tablespoons of flour can’t hurt!

      • hlapla1 on September 22, 2015 at 4:53 pm

        That’s what it was- I didn’t stir the peanut butter in the jar, and used the slightly oiler bit on top. Lesson learned.

  2. Dixya Bhattarai RD on September 16, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    being raised in Nepal, i clearly did not eat PBJ sandwiches, ours were more like just jelly or with cheese on a white bread. I cant wait to try this as my sassy desk snack 🙂

    • Serena_Wolf on September 16, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      Is it weird that jelly and cheese on white bread sounds awesome to me? Hope you love this!

  3. CakePants on September 16, 2015 at 9:55 am

    This is like childhood encapsulated in cake form…excellent!! I may not be able to spend the day playing Oregon Trail (sadface!), but at least I can revel in the flavors of PBJ. One question: do you recommend using a natural peanut butter (the ones you have to stir) or regular (no-stirring needed) one? I know some recipes warn against using natural types.

    • Serena_Wolf on September 16, 2015 at 10:11 am

      SO, I’ve actually done this with both natural and regular PB, and both were fab. If you use the natural, I recommend stirring it up as much as possible beforehand–you don’t want TOO much oil, or the super hard stuff without any oil mixed in. With that said, if you wanted a really old school nostalgic cake you could use creamy skippy/jiff…

  4. Katherine p on September 15, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    i’ve been anxiously awaiting this since you posted that pic on instagram. can’t wait to make this ASAP

    • Serena_Wolf on September 15, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      HOORAY! I’m sorry I kept it from you for so long! xo

  5. Tster on September 15, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    This looks fantastic! Any high protein recipes for my supplement and health blog? http://www.talksupplement.com/

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