Peanut Butter Chocolate Layer Cake
This Peanut Butter Chocolate Layer Cake recipe is made with layers of moist chocolate cake, peanut butter frosting and chopped Reese’s! It’s rich, delicious and so fun!
While taking some photos yesterday of a cake, I was reminded of something that the hubs regularly tells me and demonstrates through fearful looks my way – I am one photo away from seriously injuring myself. One of the tables, counters or chairs I stand on to get just the right angle will one day not cooperate the way I want and I will fall and either break the camera I’m holding or some part of my body. It’s bound to happen.
I have a three step stool that I use all the time for overhead shots or something that’s at a more dramatic angle than I can achieve just by standing. Yesterday, I was standing on that stool taking photos and teetered and tottered a bit while stepping down from the top stair. Then I was in the kitchen taking some photos and didn’t feel like walking to the other room to grab the step stool so I grabbed a chair. I stood on the seat and started to sit back on the back rest to get the angle I wanted and suddenly realized I was starting to tip backwards. Luckily I realized it before it was too late and caught my balance. I was dangerously close to falling back into the wall and onto the dog bowl stand (with sharp corners).
Who knew food blogging carried such job hazards?! Not to mention the extra calories that come along with it. 😉 I suppose it’s worth it when I share cakes like this one. I’m so in love with it!
How to Make Peanut Butter Chocolate Layer Cake
The cake starts with moist, delicious layers of chocolate cake. I used my Easy Moist Chocolate Cake from a couple weeks ago in layered cake form. It truly is such a moist cake and so easy! You basically mix the dry ingredients, then wet ingredients, add them together, then add the hot water at the end. One of the quickest cake batters to make and hard to mess up.
Between the layers and covering the outside of the cake is a peanut butter frosting. On top of the frosting between the cake layers are also chopped Reese’s – every peanut butter and chocolate lovers favorite, am I right? They take the peanut butter flavor up a notch and I’m a fan.
After the cake is covered with frosting, ganache is drizzled down the sides and covers the top. The stripe pattern on the sides of the frosting creates a neat ripple effect in the drizzled ganache. Then I added more Reese’s and frosting – for good measure. 🙂 The final cake is not only delicious, it’s SO fun! I was in love with the look of it! If you’d like to recreate the same thing, check out the video just above the recipe to watch what I did.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Layer Cake
- Yield: 12-14 Slices 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
- 1 3/4 cups (228g) all purpose flour
- 2 cups (414g) sugar
- 3/4 cup (85g) cocoa
- 2 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup (240ml) milk
- 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (240ml) hot water
PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING
- 2 cups (448g) salted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups (350g) peanut butter
- 9 cups (1035g) powdered sugar
- 6–7 tbsp (90-105ml) water or milk
- 6 reeses, chopped
CHOCOLATE GANACHE AND TOPPING
- 6 oz (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream
- 8 reeses, cut in half
- Crumbled reeses
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare three 8 inch cake pans with non-stick baking spray and parchment paper in the bottom.
2. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. Set aside.
3. Add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and eggs to a medium sized bowl and combine.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined.
5. Slowly add the hot water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
6. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
7. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
8. To make the frosting, combine the butter and peanut butter in a large mixer bowl and mix until well combined.
9. Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
10. Add 3 tablespoons of water or milk and mix until smooth.
11. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
12. Add remaining water or milk and mix until smooth, keeping an eye on the consistency of the frosting so it doesn’t get too thin.
13. To build the cake, use a large serrated knife to remove the tops of the cake layers so that they’re flat. See my tips on how to level a cake and how to stack a cake.
14. Place the first cake layer on a serving plate or cardboard cake circle and top with about 1 cup of frosting. Smooth frosting into an even layer.
15. Add about half of the chopped Reese’s on top of the frosting and press into the frosting. Spread a small amount of frosting on top of the Reese’s so that it’s sticky on top for the next cake layer.
16. Add the next cake layer and top with about 1 cup of frosting. Smooth frosting into an even layer.
17. Add remaining half of the chopped Reese’s on top of the frosting and press into the frosting. Spread a small amount of frosting on top of the Reese’s so that it’s sticky on top for the next cake layer.
18. Add the final cake layer to the top of the cake.
19. Smooth out the frosting on the sides of the cake, creating a thin crumb coat.
20. Add about 1 cup of frosting to the top of the cake and smooth into an even layer.
21. Frost the cake using my tutorial for a smooth cake. Stop just before using the paper towel, which won’t be necessary with the pattern on the sides of this cake.
22. Use an offset spatula to create the stripes around the cake. For guidance, see the video above starting at about 1:40.
22. Set the cake aside and make the chocolate ganache (see my tips for making chocolate ganache). Put the chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl.
23. Microwave the heavy whipping cream until it just begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
24. Use a squeeze bottle or a spoon to drizzle the chocolate around the edges of the cake, then fill in the top of the cake and smooth it with an offset spatula. See my tips for making a chocolate drip cake.
25. Allow the ganache to firm a bit, about 10 minutes, then top with remaining frosting, additional Reese’s chopped in half, and Reese’s crumbles.
26. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve. Serve at room temperature. Cake is best for 3-4 days.
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