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Acorn Brownie Cake

Total Time

Prep: 45 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling


12-15 servings

THIS TREETOP TREAT for birthday parties is the kind you can fix ahead of time, then squirrel away for later—but you might want to keep an eye on it. Why? With its popular peanut butter flavor plus a light texture, folks likely won't want to wait for a taste! To create the cake, our kitchen staff shaped Edie's recipe into an acorn and leaves using a pattern from Paula Del Favero. Then frosting and pecans capped it all off. Want to make this dessert yourself? You'll find it's no tough nut to crack—just follow the easy instructions here!


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons milk
  • Red and yellow liquid or paste food coloring
  • 1 tablespoon baking cocoa
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans


  1. In a bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Spread into a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake a t 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  2. For frosting, cream butter, shortening and vanilla. Beat in confectioners' sugar and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Place 6 tablespoons each in two bowls. Tint one red and one yellow; set aside. Add cocoa to the remaining frosting; mix well.
  3. Using the acorn pattern and folded waxed paper, trace bottom of acorn up to dark brown dashed line. Cut out and unfold.
  4. Trace the acorn cap onto folded waxed paper. Cut out and unfold.
  5. With a sharp knife, trace patterns on cooled brownie; cut out. Cut the remaining brownie into three to five leaves using a 3-in. maple leaf cutter; set aside. On a 16-in.-square covered board, position acorn cap over the acorn bottom in center of board. Frost top and sides of acorn with tan frosting. Sprinkle pecans over acorn cap.
  6. Frost leaves with remaining tan frosting. Using an icing spatula, randomly blend red and yellow frosting over leaves. Use a toothpick to form veins in the leaves. Arrange decorated leaves around the acorn.

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