These peanut cake squares are a retro recipe loved by families all across America. If they aren’t already a favorite in your house, they soon will be! Squares of vanilla sponge cake covered in icing and rolled in chopped peanuts are a delightful sweet-and-salty treat. Plus, they’re perfect for parties and potlucks.
This is a from-scratch recipe, and although frosting and rolling the squares can take some time, they are quite simple from start to finish. For the cake, you’ll need eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, milk, butter and vanilla extract.
Using either a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a handheld mixer, beat the eggs for about a minute. Slowly add the sugar and then beat for four additional minutes until the eggs are pale and thick.
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, and add to the egg mixture. Mix on low just until combined. Whisk together the milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract and add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in two additions. Mix until combined. Be careful not to overmix!
Pour the batter into a greased 13x9-inch baking pan lined with overhanging parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until golden. Let cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes, then use the overhanging parchment as handles to lift the cake out of the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.
While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting. You’ll need powdered sugar, softened butter, milk and vanilla extract.
Beat on medium-high speed for a few minutes until smooth and creamy.
With a serrated knife, slice the cooled cake into 24 squares. If the cake is too difficult to cut, try chilling it in the fridge for 30-60 minutes to firm it up.
Spread the chopped peanuts out onto a small pan or plate. Hold the top and bottom of a cake square with your thumb and forefinger, and frost the sides of the square with the icing. Then frost the top. It’s okay if it’s a little messy!
Carefully set the square down on the peanuts and use your hands to press the peanuts onto the top and the sides. Set aside and repeat with the rest of the squares. Chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes, then serve and enjoy!