I’ve found one thing to be very true for a large portion of Americans. It doesn’t apply to everyone, but it does hold true for the vast majority. As we get older, we’ll always have a special love for the sugary cereals we were raised on. They may not have any nutritional value whatsoever, but they’re packed with sugar-laced, food dye-covered childhood memories, and that tastes better than nutrients.
Even if you’re not one to sit down to a bowl of Fruit Loops or Lucky Charms on a daily basis, you might still crave some every now and then. It’s like PB & J sandwiches; those cereals are not culinary masterpieces; they just taste good and make us feel good too.
One of my favorite cereals as a kid was Cocoa Puffs. Today, I still think they’re one of the best. They have such an intense level of chocolatiness that’s so advanced for a cereal. But since I’m a big girl now, I know there’s more to do with a tasty cereal than put it in a bowl with milk. For one, you can turn it into cereal treats.
That’s right; Rice Krispies aren’t the only cereal hanging out with marshmallows these days. Not only did I turn Cocoa Puffs into cereal treats; I took it one step further and made this Peanut Butter Cocoa Puff Treat Cake.
It’s a lot to wrap your mind around, so let me break it down: Two layers of chewy, marshmallow-engulfed Cocoa Puff Treats, separated by and topped with a layer of creamy peanut butter frosting, then finished with a drizzle of milk chocolate.
I bet you’ve never seen a Rice Krispie treat like this.
The crispy, crunchy, chewy Cocoa Puff Cake is a great change from the plain old birthday cake, but it’s also good for get-togethers or serious snacking. Even if you’re not cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs (ha!), you’ll love this intensely chocolaty & peanut buttery cake-of-sorts from the gooey Cocoa Puff treats to the smooth PB frosting. Best of all? Throw this no-bake baby together in 30 minutes. I bet you never made a cake that quickly before!
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- You don’t have to go crazy if you don’t want to; just make the Cocoa Puff treats on their own.
- If you don’t feel like melting the chips down into a drizzle, just mix them into the treats with the Cocoa Puffs instead.
- You could skip the layering and make this in a 9×13, like a “sheet cake.”
Peanut Butter Cocoa Puff Cake
- 1 12-oz. jar peanut butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 stick butter, softened
- ½ tsp. salt
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 6 cups Cocoa Puffs cereal
- 1 bag large marshmallows
- 2 cups milk chocolate chips
- In a medium bowl, beat together peanut butter, sugar, butter, and salt on medium speed until light, fluffy, and well-combined. Set aside.
- Spray two 8×8 pans with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a large pot, melt the butter. Measure out the six cups of cereal in a separate bowl so it’s ready to go. When butter is melted, add the marshmallows and stir continuously until marshmallows are completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in the cereal until evenly coated.
- Divide cereal mixture evenly between the two prepared pans. Spray your hands or a piece of waxed paper with nonstick spray and press down on treats to flatten into an even layer. Let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, in a medium microwavable bowl, cook the chocolate chips on high in the microwave for 20 second intervals, stirring in between to distribute heat. This method will melt it faster but keep it from burning. You must do intervals or you will burn the chocolate. It should only take about three intervals to be able to stir the chocolate completely smooth. Set aside.
- Flip one pan of treats out onto a serving plate. Top with half the peanut butter frosting and spread out in a smooth, even layer. Flip the second pan of treats out directly on top and cover with the rest of the peanut butter in a smooth, even layer. Drizzle generously with the melted chocolate. Cut into squares and enjoy. Store in an air-tight container, keeping in fridge overnight, but letting come to room temperature before eating.