Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake with Reese’s

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An easy chocolate cake with creamy peanut butter frosting that’s to die for, topped with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!

It is SO good to be back after the holidays! Between my family and my husband’s, we had family visiting for 2 1/2 weeks straight. Fortunately, my sister-in-law likes to bake with me, so there will be some our baking adventures on here later this week.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake with Reese's

But today is all about the peanut butter. I never thought I’d see the day where I would love peanut buttery treats, but I dare say it has happened. The peanut butter icing in this cake is to die for. So creamy and peanut buttery. I could not stop eating it. I’ve decided that when sugar and peanut butter mate, amazing things happen. Like this cake. And I have my co-worker who requested chocolate and peanut butter for his birthday to thank.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake with Reese's

You are going to want to make sure you have a glass of milk handy – it’s a rich one! You should also get a pillow, because nap time will soon follow.

Super chocolatey and dense with just enough peanut butter, it’s like eating a giant Reese’s cup. Seriously. And for extra richness and chocolate, I added a thin layer of ganache in with the peanut butter cream cheese icing, but you could easily forgo that and not miss out.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake with Reese's

There’s no doubt in my mind that you will love this cake – peanut butter lover or not. And if not a peanut butter lover, you might become one. It certainly made me one. Now I’m going to have to stock a jar of peanut butter for my dog and a jar for me. 🙂

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake with Reese's

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake slice

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake with Reese’s

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Slices
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


An easy chocolate cake recipe with a creamy peanut butter frosting that’s to die for, topped with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!



  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup boiling water


  • 10 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup smooth peanut butter


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 8-oz block cream cheese
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder (I prefer Hershey’s Special Dark)
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 35 tablespoons water, depending on consistency


NOTE: You’ll need 2 recipes worth. One for the layers inside the cake and one to pour over the top of the cake. You could easily forgo the ganache altogether though if you wanted a slightly less rich cake.
  • 8 oz dark chocolate chips (I used Hershey’s special dark)
  • 8 oz heavy cream


  • half a bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped



Preheat oven to 300 degrees
1. Put all dry ingredients in a large bowl and combine.
2. Add eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients.
3. Add vanilla to boiling water and add to mixture.
4. Mix at medium speed.
5. Pour into 2 8-inch pans and bake 1 hour.
6. Once cooled, slice each cake in half to get 4 total layers of cake.


1. Beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
2. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
3. Add the peanut butter and beat until well blended.


1. Beat the butter, shortening and cream cheese and mix well.
2. Add 4 cups of powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
3. Add the cocoa and peanut butter and beat until well blended.
4. Add final 4 cups of powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
5. Add a tablespoon of water at a time, mixing well after each, until you have a nice consistency for icing the outside of the cake.


1. Place dark chocolate chips in a bowl.
2. Microwave heavy cream until it simmers.
3. Pour heavy cream into bowl with chocolate. Immediately cover with saran wrap and allow to sit for about 7 minutes.
4. Whisk until smooth.
For the inside of the cake, you’ll want a thick, spreadable ganache. For that, refrigerate the ganache for a few hours, or overnight.
For pouring over the cake, you’ll want it to be only slightly thickened. If too thin, it will just pour down the sides. If too thick, it won’t pour. I refrigerated mine for about 5-10 minutes before pouring over the cake.


1. Spread about a third of the Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing onto the first layer of chocolate cake.
2. Top with a thin layer of Dark Chocolate Ganache.
3. Add next layer of chocolate cake.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 until you have all three filling layers complete.
5. Ice the outside of the cake with the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing.
6. Pour the dark chocolate ganache over the top the of the cake.
7. Pile on the Reese’s peanut butter cups.

Get a big glass of milk and enjoy!


  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 1598
  • Sugar: 137.3 g
  • Sodium: 602.4 mg
  • Fat: 101.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 168.7 g
  • Protein: 15.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 158.1 mg

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Get a big glass of milk and enjoy!

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Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you and seeing what you made!

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  1. Shellie

    Turned out absolutely delicious but outside of the cake itself, everything needs some adjustments.

    There was a commenter questioning the one hour cook time – it’s correct! The batter is extremely liquid and it’s only being cooked at 300. The cake came out perfectly moist.

    Now for the adjustments..
    I cut the peanut butter frosting down, using 80% of the measurements called for (essentially just adjusted it down to an 8oz block of cream cheese). It ended up being just about the perfect amount. I used less than 1/3 between the layers, but used the rest as a crumb coating and to fill in the gaps from the rounded edged of the layers (i did cut off the top to flatten the cakes but there was still a bit on the outer edge that wasn’t fully flat, so the extra frosting

  2. Jaclyn Blazanovic

    Just want to make sure about the 300 degrees temp and 1 hour baking? Is that correct…it just seems very long baking time. Not 350 degrees for half an hour?
    Thank you

    1. Lindsay

      It’s been a VERY long time since I made this cake. The 300 degrees is correct. The 1 hour does seem like a lot. I bake this cake as three 8 inch layers often and bake for 30-35 minutes. All that said, you might want to check out my more updated Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake.

  3. Michelle Green

    I made this for my husband’s 50th birthday because he is a huge Reese’s peanut butter cup fan. It was such a moist and delicious cake. Every single recipe I’ve made from your site has been a hit. Thank you for sharing your talents and wonderful recipes! 

    1. Lindsay

      Depending on how tall you want the cake to be you might want to do 1 1/2 recipes worth of the batter, maybe even double it.

  4. Kerrie

    Just made this cake. A few notes: The chocolate peanut butter frosting is excessive, I cut it down by 1/4 and still had way too much. I was afraid the cake would collapse under it’s own weight! Left out the shortening, as I do not like a greasy frosting. It has held up very well without this. The cake itself is beautiful, but good god is it decadent. It’s over 6″ tall and weighs at least 12 pounds. A very, very tiny slice is all that’s needed. Definitely for special occasions! It is an impressive cake for sure.

  5. Phylicia Talbott

    You make some really good cakes and while the instructions are all there, I am no cook lol. I wish you could post videos of you doing it. That would be easier for me. I’m trying to bake my boyfriend a cake for his birthday on the 10th of August. I know how to bake a regular cake but Ive never gotten creative like this before.

  6. suzieq

    I used 8 inch pans and there was way too much batter and overflowed in my oven. It was very hard to get cake out of the pans because of this. The recipe made too much of the chocolate peanut butter frosting. The cake was very hard to assemble being held together with tooth picks and the layers sliding. I finally managed to get it together but know it will not slice and serve well. For me it will get the “ugly” cake award but hope it tastes good!

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  9. Meghan

    Hi Lindsay

    This is a great recipe! I’m making it right now. I’ve used other Dutch process cocoas and this is my first time using the Hershey’s special dark. My frosting does not seem to be as dark as yours even though I know I measured correctly. Does it darken with a little bit of time?

    Thank you


      Hi Meghan! I’m glad you like it! It’s definitely my favorite chocolate cake. The icing does darken a bit after it sits.

  10. Bill

    Hi Lindsay, this masterpiece contains my all-time favorite sweets combination… chocolate and peanut butter. Reese’s are my favorite candy too! This one is a keeper. Thanks for another great post!

  11. Bill

    Hi Lindsay, this masterpiece contains my all-time favorite sweets combination… chocolate and peanut butter. Reese’s are my favorite candy too! This one is a keeper. Thanks for another great post!

  12. Bill

    Hi Lindsay, this masterpiece contains my all-time favorite sweets combination… chocolate and peanut butter. Reese’s are my favorite candy too! This one is a keeper. Thanks for another great post!

  13. Marcus Watt

    it’s my birthday next weekend and this would be the prefect present to myself! Just got home from a holiday on your side of the world and brought home a Kitchenaid (I finally have one, yay!). Is it sad that I’m excited by that? haha!

    1. Life, Love and Sugar

      It would definitely be a great birthday cake! Happy Birthday! And it’s not sad at all that you’re excited about your KitchenAid – I was too when I got mine! They are the best!

  14. foods for the soul

    Can I be your co-worker and request this cake for my birthday too?? It looks absolutely amazing! So rich, so decadent, so chocolatey and peanut buttery… I’m thinking of skipping dinner tonight and diving straight into dessert!

      1. foods for the soul

        I agree!! People sometimes make fun of me for it, but I always say that dessert is the most important meal of the day. It’s worth eating at least once, if not twice or three times every day!

  15. Janelle

    STOP IT with your naughty chocolaty peanut butter talk! I almost want to eat this SCREEN that sounds so good!!!!! I looked at all of the ingredients and directions and have to give you props for your patience- I don’t think this is a recipe for the quick-results oriented-kind-of-kid, no? Maybe I’m wrong, but you have patience and SKILL my friend, and when you mate THAT with sugar you get amazing Live, Love and Sugar creations like THIS. Dreaming of this cake tonight..

    1. lifeloveandsugar

      Haha, thanks Nelly! I love you! Making any cake from scratch takes longer than a box or store bought, but it’s really not bad and the results are totally worth it. This one in particular is even easier if you loose the ganache – although truthfully ganache sounds scary, but really isn’t. I hope you enjoyed your dreams 😉

  16. Geraldine

    Wow, that looks amazing and delicious! And how do you get the frosting to look so smooth? I can’t get it to look like that, no matter what I do.

      1. Geraldine

        Thanks! I’ll need to try it, because I’ve tried everything else. Wish me luck! 🙂

    1. BRIGITTE Couture

      Making it a second time within a week!!! So so good! I was lazy and did a two layer so I still have enough frosting left 😉 skipped the ganache too but I might do it this time since my icing is all done!

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29