Better Living Through Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups


Has this ever happened to you?  You’re invited to an event – maybe a swanky affair, maybe a family dinner – and you want to bring a special dessert.  Your heart is saying, “I can’t go wrong with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups -everybody loves that chocolaty/peanut buttery goodness!”  But your head is saying “The hostess may not be too impressed that I picked up a bag of candy at the Stop ‘N Go on the way over here.”

What to do?

People will think you slaved for hours (because that’s how long it takes) when you make a…

     Peanut Tree Cake

-2 boxes yellow cake mix & stuff required for making them
-4 bags Reese’s miniature peanut butter cups*  (No cheating here by buying the cheap, waxy knock-offs from the Dollar Store!)
-Green food coloring
-Chocolate frosting
-Peanut butter frosting (you can substitute vanilla if you like)

Pay no attention to all that wine paraphernalia…

1) Prepare the cake mixes, using 1 box to make 2, 9″ round cakes and the other box to make an 8-1/2 x 11″ cake.  Take them out of the pans to cool.  The directions are on the box – I’m not reinventing the wheel, here.

2) Open the cans of frosting (you could also make the frosting from scratch as I did because, frankly, that canned stuff is not good.)

3) Put enough green food coloring in the peanut butter frosting to turn it, well, green.

4) Cut 2 long, somewhat flared pieces from the 8-1/2 x 11 cake, so it looks kind of like a tree trunk.  The rest of this cake can be wrapped up tightly and stored in the freezer for up to 8 months.  Then you can dig it out, stale and frostbitten, and toss it.

5) Put peanut butter frosting between the 2, trunk layers.

Cake Crafting – the final frontier

6) Round off the square edges of the trunk.  You can use a chain saw like one of those guys crafting a totem pole of bear cubs at the state fair.  Or you can go with a hedge trimmer.  Or if you’re the boring type, a bread knife would work as well. IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP: If using a chain saw or hedge trimmer, first be sure they are free of yard debris.  Safety goggles and leather chaps are recommended.

7) Put chocolate frosting between the 2, round layers.

8) Cover a piece of cardboard with aluminum foil, or have a cake stand specially crafted by a carpenter like on Cupcake Wars. (I love that show!  Except the smirking host is annoying.  You can tell he doesn’t know a darn thing about baking. Also that foreign judge; I cannot understand a word he’s saying.)

9) Assemble the tree on the board; trunk on the bottom, round part on top.

10) Frost the trunk with chocolate frosting and the top with the green, peanut butter frosting (I also dusted on green sugar for an extra punch.) 

11) Unwrap about a thousand of the miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.* You’ll just need to eyeball this. 

12) Embed the Reese’s “peanuts ” in the green “leaves” on the tree in an artful pattern that mimics the natural beauty of peanut trees in the wild.  Note how one “peanut” has fallen and is resting against the tree trunk.  Realistic, hmm?

The official seal of approval!

13) Stand back and bask in the compliments!

*You may not need the entire 4 bags to “peanut” your tree; in fact 10 pieces ought to do it.  But it’s best to have extras for “inventory shrinkage”.  (In retail this means  employees stealing. In our case, it just means the pastry chef may take a little nibble or two. Baking is hungry work.)

I brought this special cake to our Easter dinner, and you should have seen the looks of delight on the faces of the children.

Voila! (that’s French for “ooh, baby!)

“What is it?” one of my little nephews said.

“It’s a peanut tree” I replied with a big smile. “See the peanuts growing on it?”

 “Peanuts don’t grow on trees” another nephew chimed in, rather snidely. “They’re legumes. And they grow on plants that are only about a foot tall.  Besides, those don’t look anything like peanuts.”

So that’s what they’re teaching kids in our schools nowadays – botany?  How about some manners?  When did they stop teaching those?

“Oh yeah, well I bet the Easter Bunny put coal in your stocking!” I replied, cleverly.

                                                      ***TODAY’S SPECIAL***

On this historic day (otherwise known as Wednesday), 19 of your favorite humor bloggers are staging a WordPress coup. We have banded together to address the important topic, Better Living Through Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Yes, you read that right. Your eyes are fine. Well, they may not be fine – I really don’t know. But it does say “19 of your favorite humor bloggers” (or who SHOULD be your favorite bloggers). We are all presenting the same topic, each from his or her particularly unique perspective.

Why this topic? Why now?

Why not?

Click on the links below to gobble up the entire, yummy bag of 19 Reese’s Pieces.

Bon Appetite!

The Big Sheep Blog

Childhood Relived

Go Guilty Pleasures

Fifty Four and A Half

Fix It Or Deal

Play 101


Lenore’s Thoughts Exactly

Life In The Boomer Lane

Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings

Refrigerator Magnate

Running From Hell With El

She’s A Maineiac

The Byronic Man

The Good Greatsby

The Monster In Your Closet

The Ramblings

Thoughts Appear’s Blog

Unlikely Explanations

About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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107 Responses to Better Living Through Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

  1. Lenore Diane says:

    Hahahahahahahaha!! “So that’s what they’re teaching kids in our schools nowadays – botany?”
    Peg!! This is wonderful! I bow down to you for a couple of reasons, one of which is the Peanut Butter Tree you made, another is the fact that you pulled this together. Brilliance, my friend. Brillance.


  2. You’re right about the knockoffs. Any candy that’s chocolate and PB that’s not Reese’s just doesn’t taste right.


    • pegoleg says:

      I actually debated buying the cheap ones – what the heck, nobody will notice?- before I came to my senses. I’m so ashamed.

      Thanks for being part of the insanity!


  3. gojulesgo says:

    OMG how AWESOME is my WordPress reader right now, with every post title the same?!?! Tee heee heeeee Of course I had to read yours first, Peg, you brilliant overlord, you!!!

    This was the best recipe I’ve ever read. I’m with Lenore on the manners/botany line, HA! I also like any recipe that can potentially involve BOTH peanut butter cups and leather chaps.


  4. The Dollar Store has Resse’s? Seriously?


  5. bigsheepcommunications says:

    Any recipe that requires a chain saw has got to be good! off to the grocery store and the hardware store right now …


  6. Frank says:

    This series is making me hungry.


  7. Janu says:

    Thank you Peg for bringing that wonderful cake to our Easter celebration! It was very large and very yummy! If you just bring a big bowl of the Peanut Butter frosting next year, that would be fine too.


  8. Chris says:

    Fun recipe. I love the way you ended this post! You clever girl. This RPBC thing was a great idea, BTW!


  9. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    This is possibly the only recipe I have ever read through to the end! #6. Oh, sweet #6!

    Also, this is apt to be my first baked effort ever, after I’ve gotten to the store for my chainsaw. (A simple kitchen knife will not do!)


  10. I think Lisa will need the chainsaw as she decorates her house. I agree, Peg, the kids have to learn to play nice…and I know you will gladly loan out your chain saw to show them how to play nice. ooo…I would love just a splinter, please!


  11. Running from Hell with El says:

    Bwahahahaha!!! I am still cracking up about the chainsaw!! And like Deb above, I don’t usually find recipes as edifying or amusing. Thanks again for spearheading this.


  12. zen city says:

    yes, living is always better with reese’s!
    great post!


  13. Jackie says:

    the botany vs. manners line is stellar. so is the chainsaw pic. and hey, humor bloggers could change the world if they continue to band together for important topics like this.


  14. zannyro says:

    I found you through Lorna’s Voice…so glad I did..LOL, LOL!


  15. Peg, you are genius. This coup is so fun! And I knew you were dedicated to your posts, but a chainsaw? That’s true love, right there. This line, “Put enough green food coloring in the peanut butter frosting to turn it, well, green” reminded me of how my grandmother taught me to make a lasagne. “Put enough Parmesan in the Ricotta until it looks good.” 🙂

    Thank you for the instant reply I’ll now have ready when I talk to smart kids. “Don’t they teach you manners?” Perfect! Well done.


  16. Hahaha…
    Um, Peg… can you help me out with those ‘extras’?
    Because my tree looks a bit bare on the top.
    Downright autumnal.
    Post 60 MPH wind.


    • pegoleg says:

      The wind shakes the branches, the mini RPBCs fall to the ground where they burrow under the soil to start the cycle again. It’s nature’s way, SIG.

      I’m so glad you joined in on this – I knew your wonderful, artistic eye would come up with something great!


  17. But…I don’t own any leather chaps. How am I supposed to make this now?

    And, holy chainsaw, woman! That has to be the funniest picture I’ve seen in awhile (and I was just looking at Jimmy’s Toss Across photo so that’s saying a lot)

    I agree about kids’ manners these days. Sheesh. Legumes. Where in the world are they learning this crap?


    • pegoleg says:

      After all our desultory comment banter about RPBCs, it finally came to fruition. It would have been fun with just the 2 of us, but 19 is so, so much funner, isn’t it? Thanks for egging this on, Darliciousness!


  18. Chicks with Chainsaws…damn that’s hot! That’s going up on the wall of my garage next to last month’s centerfold from Women of Weed Whackers.


    • pegoleg says:

      Don’t forget the chaps – that kind of makes the outfit, don’t you think? Funny how you can say just about anything with a wink and a leer and it sounds dirty, hmm?


  19. …also worth noting that anyone who bakes with 3 or more bottles of wine nearby might want to consider letting an assistant handle the chainsaw duties


  20. Amy says:

    Dammit. I saw the wine in the pic and got excited. I thought maybe you were going to incorporate it somehow.
    Congrats on a successful coup, Peg! This was so much fun!


  21. This is great! But what really made it for me, the real “icing on the cake” – was that picture of you with the chain saw! You look like a woman with a serious intent, heavily armed, and NOT to be messed with! LOL 😀
    Nice color coordination with your jacket and the orange lettering on the chain saw too!


  22. Laura says:

    Congrats, Peg — it’s great to see this all come together! Now please put down the chainsaw and pass me a piece of cake.


  23. Ha! Nice “legume” tree – I love the creative, DIY, mash-up of store-bought and home-made. Sandra Lee of Food Network is on my boob tube as I type (on mute, thank you) – she should take some tips from you.

    Fun collaborative idea, great way to corral the funny. I’m enjoying checking out these other humor blogs.


  24. So thanks for organizing all this, and for including me in it!

    The big side-bonus is getting introduced to several new blogs, which were all terrific.


  25. Al says:

    I want one of these! Shipped directly to my house! Immediately! Money is no object!


  26. I absolutely love this! What a creative idea, I can’t wait to try it myself!


  27. judithhb says:

    i really wpondered what was going on – so many posts in my inbox with the same title. What a fun thing to get involved in and even if I don’t know these candies/cookies I can enjoy your antics. Love the chainsaw pic. 🙂


    • pegoleg says:

      I was a bit surprised that RPBCs haven’t made their way to your part of the world, but I’m sure you’ve got something equally tasty and bad for you to munch on. Thanks!


  28. Dana says:

    Too fun! My inbox is stuffed with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup posts. I hope I can read through them all without getting hungry… better rustle up some chocolate in advance, just in case. 🙂


  29. Tar-Buns says:

    What a perplexing and then entertaining discovery in my email inbox. Thought there was something really afoot with the subjects all the SAME title. I’ve now visited a number of your co-conspirators and have thoroughly enjoyed the clever banter being, well, bantered about on each blog.
    You truly have some neat ideas, Peg. Especially loved the picture of you with the chainsaw. Be ‘fraid, be very afraid! 🙂 Keep up the fun!


    • pegoleg says:

      Thanks Tar. It was supposed to be a WordPress coup, and that part didn’t come off so I’m a little disappointed. But it was still a lot of fun – there be some talented peeps on this here interwebz.

      I’ve got a rotten cold so I ducked out for home early yesterday, and probably will do so again today, after getting some actual WORK done.


  30. k8edid says:

    Well, Peg. After a hard day trying to impart knowledge into the next generation of nurses, I finally crashed on the couch to enjoy the offerings of your madcap scheme. All I can say is: I want peanut butter cups; I want them now; and I want to take the day off for the next (2nd annual?) RPBC challenge. I already have the next poem written…


  31. Elyse says:

    Now that I have come out of the diabetic coma induced by merely LOOKING at that cake, and having helped myself to one of your bottles of wine, I want to say thanks, Peg. For being the mastermind behind the Reese’s takeover of Word Press, 2012.

    You rock! You roll! You BAKE!

    Thanks for including me in the fun. It is amazing to see just how varied 19 posts about the same damn thing can be!


    • pegoleg says:

      It WAS amazing! Thanks so much for playing along. I am a tad disappointed that WordPRess didn’t play along with our scheme for world domination, but I guess you can’t always expect the object of a coup to just roll over and play dead. Next time!


  32. Angie Z. says:

    This looks so good — so good that I don’t know if I want to eat it or prune it or throw it into a dirt pile in my backyard. Maybe the latter because wouldn’t it be impressive to grow chocolate in a vegetable garden?

    You are the master of comedic culinary.


  33. All these peanut buttery blog posts are making me hungry!


    • pegoleg says:

      There may be a few RPBC eggs still in the 1/2 price Easter candy cart at the drugstore – go right on down and check! As for me, I ate so many doing research, I hope I don’t have to see one again for, well, 1/2 hour at least!


  34. pattisj says:

    I wondered why all the titles were the same in my Inbox! Lovely cake.


  35. egills says:

    Mmmm… I wonder if I could change the recipe to a strawberry tree, using foam strawberries… yummy! Lovely cake but luckily I can’t be tempted to try any because I suffer from the cruelest of aflictions… a nut allergy 😦


  36. meladjusted says:

    Wow! What a great idea for a cake -especially for our family of Tree Huggers. Such a pity our country doesn’t have these Reeses Peanut Buttercups – I tasted some once and I might have to immigrate to have the opportunity again – unless I get the import rights and become President, maybe if I acquire the chainsaw I’ll stand more of a chance too.

    Great post – thanks!


    • pegoleg says:

      There are two schools of thought on RPBCs. One school thinks they’re yummy candy delight. The other school? Well, they’re just wrong. Thanks for joining in the fun!


  37. Sandy Sue says:

    There goes my diet. Just when I thought we were through with chocolate for awhile. Oh, well…


  38. So cute, I love this cake and the whole thing. Of course the extra inventory from unwrapping the thousands of RPBC would not last long as I have no will power when it comes to those very squeaky and beckoning treats:)


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  40. Love the chainsaw! So unexpected. Nicely done ( and looks yummy)


  41. lexiemom says:

    Reese’s peanut butter cups hold all the answers to lifes questions! Or maybe it’s just that you don’t care about those questions once you start eating them…


  42. Barb says:

    Why taint a good treat with cake? Just roll peanut butter in chocolate, and if your kiddos give you any sass, you can hide the PB and chocolate from them more easily than hiding a cake.


    • pegoleg says:

      I actually bought a large (4 cup) pack of Reese’s yesterday, I had such a craving. They were kinda stale. I still ate them all, but what a disappointment. Came into my office this morning and the cleaning lady was kind enough to leave a plate of buckeyes – the candy like you describe, which I absolutely love. Everyone is conspiring to knock me off my diet!!!!


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  44. Shannon says:

    This goes against every fiber in my being telling me NOT to pick the brown fruit. It is so awfully nice fantasizing about having a Reese’s tree in the backyard. I’d plant it right next to the money tree the kids planted last year (which still hasn’t sprouted).


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