Lunch time was never my favorite part of school. I like the classes, learning. Yes, I was the girl that didn’t mind pop quizzes, although I can probably count the pop quizzes I’ve taken on one hand.
Lunch was crazy, loud, chaotic. Not to mention complicated. Where to sit. And with whom. Things I was never that good at. Really, if you put me in a cafeteria right now, I’d probably freeze in just the same way, clutching my lunch box and hoping for the best.
More often than not, especially when I was young, there was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in my lunch bag. It was sweet and comforting and my mom had made it. It was my little slice of bliss in a half and hour that was anything but.
The classic combination of peanut butter and jelly still offers me comfort as I assume it does for many people, young and old. But sometimes a simple sandwich doesn’t do the trick anymore. Sometimes I like to get creative. Like with this Peanut Butter and Jelly Snack Cake.
It’s adapted from Molly Yeh, who is basically a genius. And I would totally have wanted to sit at her lunch table if she’d have me. Okay, I’d still sit at her lunch table if she’d have me. I had her peanut butter sheet cake bookmarked because when put together those are pretty much the best words in the English language.
And then I maybe … kind of … sort of … made it even more addictive, if that’s possible. I swirled in some jam, swapped the water for milk, and used half brown sugar and half granulated sugar. Oh, and I doubled it because more peanut butter and jelly snack cake is always the right decision.
What resulted is a fluffy yet incredibly moist and peanut buttery cake with this jelly swirl that adds brightness and takes me right back to those awesome sandwiches. It’s a cake I want to make again and again not just to enjoy but to share with friends. It travels well, keeps well, and freezes well. It’s the cake of my dreams.
If peanut butter is not an option, a thin, creamy almond, sunflower, or other nut butter should do the trick and will pair well with any jelly of your choosing. Just be sure you make this cake!
Thanks to my friends at Jif for sending me some peanut butter and jelly to whip up something fantastic. Jif was what I grew up eating. To this day, every time I taste it, it brings me back to all the best memories of childhood.Print
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cup milk (I used almond, use what you love)
- ½ cup olive oil, plus more for pan
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter like Jif Natural
- 1 cup jelly or jam, I used Smucker’s Natural Strawberry Fruit Spread
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.
- In a large bowl, stir together the sugars, flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir in the eggs, vanilla, milk, and oil. A whisk may be necessary to break up the clumps. Stir in the peanut butter and pour into the prepared pan. Place drops of jam on the surface of the cake and swirl in using a spoon or fork.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until cake is risen, golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Serve warm or cool completely in the pan. Cake may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour or in the microwave 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Recipe adapted Molly Yeh
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes