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 peanut butter cups! It’s rich, delicious and so fun!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Layer Cake

Peanut Butter Chocolate Layer Cake recipe

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Layer Cake

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!

Best Peanut Butter Chocolate Layer CakeFavorite Peanut Butter Chocolate Layer Cake

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.

Homemade Peanut Butter Chocolate Layer CakePeanut Butter Chocolate CakePeanut Butter Chocolate Layer Cake slice

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Recipe

Peanut Butter Chocolate Layer Cake

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 47 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Slices
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Peanut Butter Chocolate Layer Cake recipe is made with layers of moist chocolate cake, peanut butter frosting and chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups! It’s rich, delicious and so fun!


Ingredients

CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • 1 3/4 cups (228g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (414g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (85g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 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
  • 67 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

Instructions

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.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 1097
  • Sugar: 112.1 g
  • Sodium: 774 mg
  • Fat: 61.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 133.4 g
  • Protein: 13.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 109.8 mg

Keywords: peanut butter chocolate dessert, moist chocolate cake recipe, the best chocolate cake recipe, homemade chocolate cake recipe, moist chocolate cake, the best chocolate cake

Enjoy!

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Recipe rating

347 Comments
  1. Jill

    This is my family’s new favourite cake! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. The chocolate cake recipe is now the one I use for any chocolate-based cake too. Perfect!

  2. Autumn

    Holy Toledo this cake is AMAZING! The base cake recipe is so good on its own that I am going to use it for all my cakes from now on-I can’t wait to make a vanilla based cake next. On top of that, the frosting is insanely good and the ganache is a beautiful and delicious touch. I made my own peanut butter for the frosting with Hubs peanuts and I had to stop myself from eating the bowl of frosting on its own…WOW is all I can say about that. Well done Lindsay, thank you for sharing these amazing recipes!

  3. Natasha

    Hi I love the recipe, I’m wanting to make an 8in by 3inch cake for my partners birthday.
    So you have the batter recipe for this please.
    Thank you.
    Can’t wait to try it

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not really sure what you’re asking. This makes an 8 inch cake and it should be about 3 1/2 inches tall when finished.

  4. Lisa Thompson

    Several years ago, my son asked for a chocolate peanut butter cake for his birthday. I found this recipe and for the last four years, this is the birthday cake he requests! It is a hit with everyone and it always turns out beautifully!

  5. Meyanna Fairbank

    I made this cake for my husbands birthday! It was a hit! I did read comments/reviews before making it and saw that several people had said it was really sweet. I was worried about it being too rich. I noticed that the frosting called for 9 cups of confectioner sugar, that to me seemed too much. I only used about 3.5 cups and it was perfect! I also used Reeces Pieces instead of Reece’s pieces buttercups. It was a mistake on my husbands part, he grabbed the wrong candies, but it actually ended up perfect! I will definitely make this again!

  6. Shyla

    I’m planning to bake this cake this weekend for my boyfriend’s birthday he is a Reese’s junkie…would it be ok to use two 10 inch cake pans just don’t want it so tall

    1. Lindsay

      I guess it depends on how tall you want it. I’m not sure you’d have much batter for 10 inch pans. I might do 9 inch, but that’s up to you.

  7. Nancy

    I’d give it a 5 if the peanut butter frosting were better. The cake itself is fantastic and I continual requests for it. I’ve only been successful getting 2 layers with the batter and that leaves way to much extra frosting. The peanut butter frosting in this recipe is way to sweet with barely peanut butter taste. I tweaked the frosting recipe significantly I use half the butter, twice the amount of peanut butter and about half the powdered sugar. It makes for a smoother consistency frosting and gives the frosting a more intense peanut butter flavor. I don’t bother with the ganache it wasn’t particularly liked in my family (although does proved great aesthetics. I garnish with mini Reese’s peanut butter cups crushed and whole or peanut butter m&m’s. It has become a family favorite.

  8. Sherri MacDonald

    Tried this last Halloween and the whole family loved it! Especially good if you use crushed up Reese’s Pieces in the frosting on the outside of the cake!

  9. cherell n williams

    I just love how moist the chocolate cake is. My family died over how good this cake was. I will make this cake all the time. 🥰

  10. Jill

    This cake is AMAZING. I made it for my boyfriend’s birthday last year and, almost a full year later, we still talk about how great it was. His birthday’s coming up again this week, which means I’m gearing up to make this cake a second time. I made 4 6-inch layers instead of 3 8-inch; works great. Thank you for this recipe!!

  11. Denna

    Made this for my adult son’s birthday. Truly delicious and turned out very pretty.
    Followed the recipe and watched the videos and it was a sweet success. I need to tweak the ganache dripping part for the looks but it still tasted great. Thanks so much!

  12. Destiny

    I made this for my daughter’s birthday and everyone loved it! I dare say it’s the best cake I’ve ever made! We’re not big ganache fans so we went without but it was still absolutely delicious.

  13. Ashley B

    LOVED it but not going to lie, I tempered the icing recipe… did only 5 cups of powdered sugar and little extra milk with no Reese’s IN the icing. ALSO for the layers I mixed in a little whip cream to give it more of a lighter taste. OVERALL, everything else is great especially the cake itself, very moist and perfect!

  14. Tanya

    This recipe (and the links to the “how to”) were amazing! The cake was delicious and due to all your tips, people at the event couldn’t believe it was homemade. Thank you so much! I’m already looking up other recipes of yours to try.

  15. Rebecca Williams

    I am desperate to know what tip to use to get the right height on the frosting added on the top of the cake! Mine look like sad cow pats!!

  16. Melissa Fox-Austin

    I made this cake today and it was delicious. It turnout better than any cake I’ve ever made.

  17. Jay

    It’s beautiful, it’s Amazing.. it’s SOOOO SWEET!! unfortunately too sweet 🙁 the Chico cake was heavenly by itself, just waaay too much sweet between the icing, candy crumbles and ganache. Cut into small pieces.. like 2” squares..? That’s Amazing with a hot cup of black coffee. Very, very rich!!

    (Made this per instructions-exactly-)

  18. Brenda Hughes

    A friend made for me … looks delicious.. cant wait to try it.,:
    But do to illness if 4 family .. 2 Nd shot… too ill to help eat it
    Can I freeze it????

    1. Lindsay

      I don’t typically freeze fully frosted cakes, but it should be ok. Just wrap it well and thaw it in the fridge.

  19. Stephanie

    I made this for a kids birthday and everyone loved it and me as well!! Thank you so much for sharing it!! Also I was wondering if I could make cupcakes out of this recipe and if so how long should I bake them and can I fill them with the frosting inside as well ? Thank you so much in advance!

    1. Lindsay

      Glad you enjoyed it! Cupcakes should be fine. They would probably bake for between 15 and 18 minutes. And yes, you can use the same frosting. You probably won’t need as much of it though.

  20. Nicole

    My son picked this out for his birthday on Sunday. My question is we only have natural peanut butter. Is this ok to use or should I get regular peanut butter

  21. Melanie

    Hi! I am making this cake as a test for my sister’s upcoming wedding and a possible flavor! Would you recommend keeping it refrigerated until we are ready to serve? I am making it Friday night before we get together on Saturday evening. Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      The baking time wouldn’t be as long and your cake wouldn’t be as tall with a 9 inch pan. But if you do one and a half recipes worth, that should make up for it.

  22. Michelle C.

    I saw this cake and had to try making it for my daughter’s 17th birthday. It did NOT disappoint. This was by far the easiest and most delicious cake I’ve made yet! The chocolate cake recipe so moist and flavourful… it’s a total keeper, and I’ll definitely be using the cake recipe for future cakes. Awesome video instructions too!

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