Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Recipe

Mary and Brenda Maher

By Brenda & Mary

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Chocolate is the friendly neighbor that gets along with every flavor, from vanilla and lemon to brown butter, especially when it comes to frosting! 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

I used to think chocolate wouldn’t vibe well with peanut butter, but boy, was I mistaken! The taste was simply mind-blowing. Trust me, you’ve gotta try out my incredible peanut butter chocolate cake recipe.

Why We Absolutely Adore Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Recipe

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake recipe
  • Chocolate and peanut butter — it’s the classic love story for our taste buds, you know? You’ve got the rich, velvety chocolate on the tongue, and then boom! Here comes the peanut butter with an awesome nutty twist that takes things to a crazy level. Crave a bolder chocolate explosion? My chocolate chip loaf cake will throw a chocolatey party in your mouth.
  • Some people like to kick things up with extra peanut butter right into the cake butter. That’s how you get yourself those little pockets of peanut buttery delight in every slice! Top it off with a chocolate ganache, too, ’cause why stop at just one dose of chocolate when you can have two?
  • This crowd-pleaser isn’t just for any old occasion — it’s for those moments when you really, REALLY want to treat yourself or wow the guests. Birthdays, parties, potlucks, you name it; the cake steals the show every time!

How To Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

What To Prepare

For The Cake

Alright, let’s break down what’s going into our cake batter!

  • Sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt: It’s all about the basics. 
  • Buttermilk and sour cream: This is our secret sauce for a fluffy, tangy cake!
  • Hot coffee and espresso powder: They take my recipe up a notch. Before you start panicking and think your cake will taste like a coffee shop, I promise you: it won’t! The coffee and espresso powder simply amp up the deep, rich chocolate flavor. 
  • Hot liquid: If you’re still not into the whole coffee thing, just swap the coffee out for hot water. No judgment here! Whether coffee or water, it will wake up the cocoa powder and give your cake extra oomph. 
  • Chocolate chips: They’re not just for show, you know? These guys will bring out some serious texture! My quick tip: toss the chips into 1 ½ cups of flour before mixing them into your batter.

For The Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting

It’s not going to be a laundry list; don’t worry. Just five key ingredients, and you’re good to go! 

  • Butter: Yup, our classic, creamy, buttery goodness!
  • Peanut butter: And not just ANY peanut butter; we’re talking about the good ol’ traditional kind like Skippy or Jif. None of the natural stuff here!
  • Confectioner’s sugar: Things get sweet here, but we’re not going overboard. You’ll only need about 3 cups, which is wayyy less than what you’d usually need for a towering layer cake!
  • Cream (heavy whipping cream or heavy cream): You’ll need it for the smooth chocolate ganache, too, so it’s pulling double duty.
  • Vanilla extract: A splash to tie it all together. 

For The Rich Chocolate Ganache

  • Semi-sweet, finely-chopped chocolate: Look for something around 60% cacao. This chocolate is gonna give your ganache that heavenly balance of sweetness and rich chocolaty flavor! 
  • Heavy whipping cream: It’s the magic ingredient that melts our chocolate into a silky, creamy sauce.

Baking Steps

Cake

Step 1.

Let’s get our cake party started!

First, preheat your oven to 350°F (or 177°C), then grab three 6×2 pans and give them a good greasing. We don’t want our cakes to get all sticky, so line them with some parchment rounds and grease those, too. Trust me, it’ll make your life a thousand times easier when it’s time to pop those cakes out of the pans! 

Step 2.

Now, onto the cake batter.

In a big ol’ bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt (plus some espresso powder if you feel extra!) Set that aside to move on to our wet ingredients. 

make Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake batter

Step 3.

Have a handy-dandy mixer? Great; it’s time to bring it out! Beat the oil together with sour cream and eggs at medium-high until they’re all buddy-buddy, then toss in some vanilla and buttermilk and give it another ’til everything’s nicely mixed. 

Next step? Pour those wet ingredients over the dry ones. Oh, and don’t forget to add hot coffee or water (whichever you prefer). Mix it all up at low speed ’til you’ve got a smooth, creamy batter. Don’t panic if you see air bubbles on top, ’cause that means everything’s coming together nicely, just like it should be! 

(Ảnh batter đã trộn đều) 

Step 4.

Fold in the flour-covered chocolate chips, spreading them evenly and gently throughout the batter. 

And speaking of batter, you should end up with 4 to 4 ⅓ cups. There you have it — your cake batter is all set!

Step 5.

Divide your entire cake batter between the three pans, spreading it out nice and smooth, then pop ’em in the oven and let them bake away for 24 to 26 minutes. 

But hey, every oven has its own rules, so watch out. Your cakes are ready when a small toothpick poked into the middle comes out mostly clean; that’s our cue!

Step 6.

Once they’re baked to perfection, take these babies out of your oven and let them chill on a cooling wire rack. Don’t freak out if they sink a bit at the center when cooling down. It’s all a part of the journey, trust me! 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake baking

Frosting

Step 7.

Let’s whip up some chocolate cake peanut butter frosting while our cakes are still chilling on the rack! 

Grab your trusty mixer and beat that butter at medium-high until nice and creamy, then mix in peanut butter. Don’t forget to scrape the bowl; we want every bit to get in on the action. 

Next, it’s time to sweeten the deal (literally): add some confectioners’ sugar, a bit of vanilla extract, and salt, then slowly pour in your heavy cream while mixing at low speed. Once the cream is all in, crank up the speed to medium-high and beat it until combined — took me 1 to 2 minutes to get there. 

Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake frosting

Step 8.

Now, if your frosting seems a tad thin, no worries! Just add about 2 ⅔   tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar until it’s perfect. You should end up with around 2 ⅓ to 2 ⅔ cups of fluffy, peanut buttery goodness; that’s plenty to fill, coat, or maybe even do some cute little piping!  

Step 9.

Place one of the cake layers on a cake plate or stand. Now, grab your icing spatula and paste about a cup of that delicious peanut butter frosting on top! Keep going with the second and third layers, and remember to spread the frosting as evenly as you can between every layer! 

Step 10.

Now that all the layers are stacked up high and looking oh-so-inviting, it’s time to give our cake a little jacket – a crumb coat, if you will.

Spread a very thin frosting layer around the cake’s sides and all over the top, then use your bench scraper to give it a smooth swipe; that’s how our chilled cake turns out sleek and pretty! 

Pop this baby in the fridge (uncovered) for 30 minutes to let this crumb coat settle. Make it 3 hours if you must. 

Chocolate Ganache

Step 11. 

Do not just sit around waiting for that crumb coat to work its magic; let’s whip up some chocolate ganache in the meantime!

Fill a medium bowl with chopped chocolate. In a medium saucepan, gently heat up some cream until it’s JUST about to simmer. Just nice and warm is enough; we don’t want it to boil like crazy here. Pour that cream over your chocolate and let it soften for a minute or two.

Step 12.

Now, grab an offset spatula or metal spoon and stir slowly until silky and smooth. The chocolate should melt pretty quickly if you’ve chopped it well, but no worries if it doesn’t. Just give it some extra stirring (and remember: NO. MICROWAVE). 

Step 13.

After your ganache is finally smooth as silk, put it in the fridge for 30 minutes to thicken up before spreading it over your cool, crumb-coated chocolate cake. 

Step 14.

Spoon or pour the thickened ganache all over our cool cake, then smooth out the sides (using your cake scraper) and the top (rubber spatula). 

Want a little extra pizzazz? Go ahead and pipe decorative swirls of peanut butter frosting on the edges! You can even garnish your cake with peanut butter cups.

Now, we’ve got options here. You can serve it right away and watch everyone’s faces light up with joy. Or, if you’re the plan-ahead type, just pop it in the fridge uncovered for 4 to 6 hours until it’s time to dig in.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake decorated

Note

Want to mix things up and go for cupcake versions? Go ahead!

Line your cupcake pan with some paper liners, then fill each about ⅔ full. Bake for 22-25 minutes until perfectly golden.

And here’s my fun twist: I take a small scoop out of each cupcake’s center (after they’re already cooled, of course) and fill those pockets with piped frosting. After all, who can say no to a sweet buttery surprise hidden inside these tiny cupcakes?

FAQs

Can I Use A Boxed Cake Mix Mix For My Cupcake Base?

Absolutely! It’s a huge time-saver. Just make sure to follow the instructions on the box.

Can I Make This Cake Dairy-Free?

I haven’t tried it yet, but I think you totally can. Just swap out the butter in the cake and frosting with vegan butter or another plant-based alternative. Don’t forget to tell me the results!

Have fun!

Discover More Unique Cake Recipes:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

This recipe is a dream come true for all chocolate lovers. And just when you think it couldn't get any better, the peanut butter adds a lovely, nutty hint that brings pure magic to every bite.
3.84 from 6 votes
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Course: Cake
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cooling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 4 hours
Servings: 12
Calories: 476kcal
Author: Brenda Maher

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 ⅛ cups spooned and leveled all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup natural cocoa powder
  • 1 ⅛ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ⅓ teaspoons baking soda
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream, full-fat, room temperature
  • cup buttermilk (room temperature)
  • 1 ⅓ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • cup hot black coffee or water
  • cup mini chocolate chips, semi-sweet, coated in ⅔ tablespoon flour
  • 1 ⅓ teaspoons espresso powder (optional)

Peanut Butter Frosting

  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) softened, unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ⅛ cups peanut butter
  • 1 ⅛ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream or heavy cream (room temperature)

Chocolate Ganache

  • 5.3 ounces finely chopped, semi-sweet chocolate
  • cup heavy whipping cream or heavy cream
  • Peanut butter cups (optional garnish)

Instructions

Cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (or 177°C). Grease and line three 6×2 pans with some parchment paper.
  • Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and optional espresso powder.
  • Beat oil, sour cream, and eggs with your mixer at medium speed, then add vanilla and buttermilk and beat again. Combine wet and dry ingredients, add hot coffee or water, and mix until smooth at low speed.
  • Fold in flour-covered chocolate chips. The smooth batter should yield about 4 to 4 ⅓ cups.
  • Divide batter into pans and bake for 24 to 26 minutes until a small toothpick comes out mostly clean.
  • Cool your baked cakes on wire racks.

Frosting:

  • Beat butter until creamy, then mix in peanut butter. Add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt, then slowly pour in heavy cream. Beat until combined (1 to 2 minutes).
  • Adjust frosting consistency with more confectioners’ sugar (2 ⅔ tablespoons) if needed. That should yield around 2 ½ to 2 ⅔ cups of frosting.
  • Spread frosting between cake layers.

Crumb Coat:

  • Spread a layer of frosting around the cake’s sides and top. Chill the cake (uncovered) for 30 mins to 3 hours.

Prepared Ganache:

  • Fill a bowl with chopped chocolate. Heat cream until warm but not boiling. Pour over the chocolate and let it soften, then stir until smooth. Let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes to thicken.
  • Spread and smooth the ganache over your chilled crumb-coated cake. Optionally, pipe extra frosting on the edges and use peanut butter cups as garnish.
  • Serve immediately, or let your frosted cake chill in the fridge for 4 to 6 hours (uncovered) before serving.

Notes

For cupcake versions:
  • Line paper liners around the cupcake pan, filling each about ⅔ full.
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes until golden.
  • After cooling, scoop a small portion from the middle of every cupcake.
  • Fill the pockets with piped frosting

Nutrition

Calories: 476kcal | Carbohydrates: 45.9g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 366mg | Potassium: 213mg | Fiber: 2.7g | Sugar: 22.9g | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 3mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @cakegirls or tag #cakegirls!

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Mary and Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher, are the founders of Cake Girls, a Chicago-based online baking shop specializing in cake supplies, party decor, and DIY cake tutorials. They are known for their elaborate and artistic cake creations, which have been featured on the Food Network Challenge and in a reality show, Amazing Wedding Cakes.

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