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Elvis Pancake Stack Cake

Elvis Pancake Stack Cake

Serves: 8 to 12

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2 cups all-purpose flour
1 2/3 tablespoons baking powder, sifted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup milk
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, plus more for the griddle

Toppings and Fillings
4 strips applewood-smoked bacon
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup creamy peanut butter
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
3 ripe bananas
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts


To make the pancakes: Heat a griddle over medium heat. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, milk, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Whisk the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture, followed by the melted butter. Don’t worry about whisking out all the lumps; it’s important not to overwork the batter. 

Brush the griddle with melted butter. Scoop 1 cup of the batter onto the griddle. Add additional pancakes, in 1-cup increments, to fill the griddle. (You will likely be able to fit 2 to 3 pancakes per batch.) Cook until bubbles have broken the surface of the pancake, about 6 minutes, then flip to cook on the second side until the pancakes are fluffy in the center, about 3 more minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining batter. Let all of the pancakes cool to room temperature.

To make the toppings and fillings: Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the bacon on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and coarsely chop.

Meanwhile, in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip 1 cup of the heavy cream until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and clean out the mixer bowl. Fit the paddle attachment on the mixer and beat together the peanut butter, cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until soft and fluffy, about 2 minutes. 

Stir about one third of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture. Add another third of the whipped cream and gently fold into the peanut mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream.
In a small saucepan, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup of the heavy cream and remaining 1/2 cup of the sugar. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, whisking occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.

Combine the chocolate and butter in a medium bowl. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate mixture and let stand until the chocolate and butter have melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk until the mixture is completely smooth and shiny.

Peel the bananas and slice into rounds 1/2 inch thick.
To assemble the cake, place one cooled pancake on a cake stand or large plate. Spread 1/2 to 1 cup of the peanut butter mousse to completely cover the top of the pancake. Scatter slices of banana on top of the filling, then top with another pancake. Continue layering until all of pancakes have been used, ending with a bare pancake on top. 

Using an offset or rubber spatula, spread the chocolate ganache over the top and sides of the cake until completely covered. Sprinkle with chopped bacon and peanuts.

Let the cake rest at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes to allow the layers to meld. Cut into wedges and serve.

About the recipe

This recipe is derived from the idea of an Appalachian stack cake, but the flavors reflect one of Elvis Presley’s favorite snacks: the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. You could prepare this recipe for breakfast or as a show-stopping dessert; The King would likely be happy with both.

It’s easiest (and most efficient) to cook the pancakes on an electric or stovetop griddle; however, you can cook them in smaller batches in a large skillet. It’s important to let the pancakes cool before assembling the cake so that the filling does not become too runny. When making the chocolate ganache, allowing the hot cream mixture to sit undisturbed for 5 minutes before mixing in the chocolate will result in a glossier glaze.