Loaded Peanut Butter Layer Cake

This Peanut Butter Layer Cake is loaded with peanut butter in the cake, frosting and decorations. It’s a dream cake for any peanut butter lover!

Loaded Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Loaded Peanut Butter Layer Cake recipe

I think the biggest peanut butter lover in our house is probably Jessie, our black lab. There are few things that get her attention quite like the smell of peanut butter. She can be up in our bedroom fast asleep and I’ll open a jar and all of sudden she appears right beside me.

Her favorite days are ones where I’m baking with peanut butter. I let her lick the spoons and measuring cups and when I get to the bottom of a jar, she gets to finish that off too. Such a spoiled pup!

Of course she couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t feed her this entire cake. She followed me everywhere as I carried it between rooms so that I could take photos of it. The drool was out of control.

We definitely loved this cake too, but we’ve got nothing on her level of peanut butter obsession.

Best Peanut Butter Layer CakePeanut Butter Layer Cake recipe

This cake is truly meant for those who love peanut butter just as much as Jessie. It’s full of it! There’s peanut butter in the cake and frosting and then it’s decorated with peanut butter chips and drizzled with more peanut butter ganache. The final cake just screams peanut butter and is so good!

The cake itself is fairly straight forward. It starts by creaming the butter, sugars and peanut butter. To enhance the peanut butter flavor a bit, this cake uses both regular white sugar and brown sugar.

Then you’ve got vanilla extract and some sour cream for adding additional moisture. I’m a big fan of using sour cream. It adds moisture like nothing else and I love the additional flavor it adds.

Next up are the eggs, dry ingredients and some additional milk and water for more moisture. Why water? It adds some additional moisture without adding heaviness. You’ll find I usually have a bit of water in my cakes for that reason.

The frosting is a typical peanut butter american buttercream and it’s delicious! The peanut butter chips and ganache just add to the loaded peanut butter flavor. The final cake is pure heaven and so good! Time to grab your jar of peanut butter and indulge a bit! 🙂

Loaded Peanut Butter Layer Cake sliceDecorated Loaded Peanut Butter Layer Cake


Read transcript

SHOP THE RECIPE

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Recipe

Loaded Peanut Butter Layer Cake

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 23 minutes
  • Total Time: 53 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Slices
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Peanut Butter Layer Cake is loaded with peanut butter in the cake, frosting and decorations. It’s a dream cake for any peanut butter lover!


Ingredients

PEANUT BUTTER CAKE

  • 1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups (155g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (108g) brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 3/4 cup (210g) peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (115g) sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
  • 2 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water

PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING

  • 2 cups (448g) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (350g) peanut butter
  • 9 cups (1035g) powdered sugar
  • 67 tbsp (90-105ml) water or milk
  • 10 oz peanut butter chips

PEANUT BUTTER GANACHE

  • 6 oz peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream

Instructions

TO MAKE THE CAKE LAYERS:

1. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugars and peanut butter together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
3. Add sour cream and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until just combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
5. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine the milk and water in a small measuring cup.
6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined. Add the milk mixture and mix until well combined. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
7. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for about 21-23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
8. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

TO MAKE THE FROSTING:

9. In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter together until smooth.
10. Slowly add half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
11. Add 5-6 tablespoons of water or milk and mix until smooth.
12. Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add additional water or milk, as needed to get the right frosting consistency.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:

13. To put the cake together, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes so that they’re flat. Place the first cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round.
14. Spread about 1 cup of frosting into an even layer on top of the cake.
15. Add the second layer of cake on top of the frosting.
16. Add another cup of frosting on top of the cake and spread into an even layer.
17. Top the cake with the remaining layer and frost the outside of the cake. Refer to my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake, if needed.
18. Press peanut butter chips into the sides of the cake.
19. To make the peanut butter ganache, add the peanut butter chips to a medium sized bowl.
20. Heat the heavy whipping cream until it begins to boil.
21. Pour the hot cream over the peanut butter chips and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
22. Drizzle the ganache around the edge of the cake.
23. Use the remaining frosting to pipe swirls around the top of the cake (I used Ateco tip 844), then fill in the center with the remaining ganache.


Keywords: peanut butter dessert recipe, peanut butter cake recipe, peanut butter lovers dessert

Enjoy!

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Favorite Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Loaded Peanut Butter Layer Cake! Peanut butter in the cake, frosting and decor!

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Recipe rating

104 Comments
  1. Abby Roane

    I was asked to make a birthday cake for a peanut butter lover and immediately went to your website. It was an absolute hit and I received a special thank you from the 79 year old birthday boy.

    1. Lindsay

      You certainly can. I don’t always need to, but if your powdered sugar seems lumpy, that would probably be a good idea.

  2. Kris

    Hi Ashley,
    When I came across your magnificent cake I was elated. PB cake is my favorite, but your take on this is awesome. I had so much frosting left over I made cup cakes for the school and everyone went wild over it and complimented the frosting. The next time I made this cake I use unsalted peanuts on the sides. It, too, was amazing. Thank you for making my birthday special.

  3. Whitney

    I’m wanting to attempt a thin multi layer peanut butter cake. Do you think this cake recipe will work for that? Sounds delicious!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not really sure I know how to help with this since I don’t really know what you’re trying to make.

  4. Thomas

    Hello Lindsay,

    I wanted to echo Carina’s question to you but from a larger level. My wife and I have made several cakes from your site. We just love them. My wife has a better eye at looking at ingredients to know if it will be dry or moist. One comment that she has made repeatedly is that a cake with buttermilk seems to be more flavourful and moist.  However, she is not a fan of sour cream at all. She cringes seeing it in cheesecake recipes. How do you decide whether to go sour cream over buttermilk in a recipe? Is this something you test or more instinctual? Would they be interchangeable?

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad to hear you’ve enjoyed the cakes! I think using buttermilk instead of sour cream should be fine. As for your question, I don’t remember specifically what I was thinking when I made this recipe since it was a while ago. But generally speaking, these days anyway, I tend to use sour cream when I need a slightly more dense cake/batter and buttermilk for when I want things a little lighter and more tender. And it’s interesting to me that there are a number of people who don’t love sour cream in baking. I personally like the flavor it gives sometimes and notice it more than buttermilk. And in cheesecake, it definitely gives a different texture than using cream and overall I prefer it. As for being interchangeable, it would depend on the recipe. Most times, it should be a fine substitution. I hope that helps!

  5. Olisa McKenzie

    I’m loving this recipe, but I have a food sensitivity to peanuts. Would sunflower seed butter work as a replacement for the peanut butter?

  6. Sofie

    Used this recipe for a part of a chocolate peanut butter cake I made and it was fantastic. It is very dense, but in the best way, and has a wonderful flavor. My batter fit perfectly into two 8 inch pans so I don’t know if that was a mistake I made or if I just gravitate towards thicker layers. I will definitely make this again, thanks for the great recipe!

  7. Cornellious Parthenopaeus

    I am making this cake this weekend and, instead of making three 8 inch cakes I would like to make three 9 inch cakes. 
    Should I change the recipe For a 9 inch cake? Do you know what those would be?

  8. Susan

    I looked everywhere for a peanut butter cake recipe and landed on this one. Your presentation is GORGEOUS!
    Like other reviewers, I had a problem with the cake turning into a dense cookie-like cake. So I remade it! The second time I added more moisture (increased the water to match the milk), used 1/2 cake flour, 1/2 regular flour, and also beat the egg whites and folded into the completed batter (egg yolks went into the batter). This produced a delightful cake that rose over three times as high as the first bake. The flavors were peanut butter everywhere. Luscious!
    One final note – the weight on the brown sugar looks off. Brown sugar should weight slightly more than white sure for the same amount. I’m guessing it should be 168g, not the 108g shown in the recipe.

  9. Lyanna

    Hey Lindsay! Is it ok to whip the egg whites and folding them into the cake? I like my cakes a lil’ fluffier you see. Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t ever tried it, but people have said they’ve tried it with similar versions of this cake and had success.

  10. Dayna Schultz

    i made this today to the letter however my cakes seem very dense. what did i do wrong? i haven’t actually tasted it yet, it is in the fridge for my grandson’s birthday tomorrow.

    1. Lindsay

      It’s hard to say. It’s possible that you didn’t do anything wrong. If something is off, it could be from not fully creaming the butter and sugar together, could be from over mixing the batter after the flour has been added, or possibly something else.

  11. Joni

    Fabulous recipe! I live in Colorado so I added a bit of extra flour and water for the high altitude. I made 6” layers and some cupcakes. I did not use the frosting recipe but the cake itself is really moist with a nice dense texture. I’m testing peanut butter recipes for a birthday cake I’m making a friend, this one is a keeper!   Made a swirl of peanut butter and chocolate buttercream frosting and topped with a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup.

  12. Kendra

    Hello,

    I am really excited to make this cake. I am just curious about the type of peanut butter you used. Is it jarred (Jif) or homemade?? If you used jarred, do you think I would have to adjust the amounts of peanut butter needed if I use homemade??

    Thank you.

    1. Lindsay

      I used the smooth Jif. I haven’t ever made homemade peanut butter before, but I’m going to guess it’s a little thinner. I would think it’d be ok though.

  13. #theoldnewbaker

    Made this cake for my daughters 25th birthday!   Her first words were, “It’s outstanding!”.   The cake was so moist and delicious.   I did vary, using a chocolate butter cream (per her birthday cake request) and covered with my first ever chocolate mirror glaze, topped with bubble sugar.

    Thanks so much!

  14. Andrea

    Followed the recipes for the cake and frosting to a T and was left a little disappointed. The cake was denser and almost a touch drier than I typically prefer for cake textures. The frosting was too sweet for my taste and left me wanting more peanut butter flavor. Granted, I usually prefer less sweet frostings but my roommate also thought the frosting was too sweet and lacked peanut butter flavor.
    I will say that this was, overall, a very easy recipe and the cakes released easily from pans that were greased and floured. Using my KitchenAid mixer, I was able to make the cakes and frosting in about an hour and a half, and assembly only took 10-15 minutes after the cakes were cool.

  15. Veronica Soler

    Made this for my birthday today. It was so yummy.  I did add a bit of black berry preserves to the filling. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Regina

    I’m planning on using this frosting recipe with the recipe I have for extreme chocolate cake, and using equal parts cocolate and peanut butter chips on the outside, and both chocolate and peanut butter ganaches….. for a very special birthday boy – a young 48 years old!

    I’ll let you know how it comes out.

  17. Sasha

    Made this for my hubbys bday. Came out really good. But I don’t know how you got the chips on the sides so beautifully. Maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough. Still, I loved it. 

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12