Peanut Butter Chocolate Layer Cake

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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 CakePeanut 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 1x
  • 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!


Scale

Ingredients

CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • 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
  • 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.

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

302 Comments
  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. Mandy

    Hi there – I notice my cake layers are not as high as yours even though I measured the ingredients accurately. Why would that be please?

    1. Michelle C.

      When I was grabbing my round pans to make this cake, I had two sizes, 8” and 9”. Could you have used 9” pans instead of the recommended 8”? That would have cause your layers to be thinner 🤷🏻‍♀️

    2. Lindsay

      It’s hard to say for sure from a distance. Are you sure that you used baking soda and baking powder properly? Because cakes to rise differently. Otherwise, I would think the mixing method should be pretty straightforward.

  5. Mandy

    Hi there. I plan to make this cake next week for my stepsons birthday. Could you advise of measures for a 3 layer 6 inch cake in metric please? (UK baker) I would really appreciate your help. Thank you.
    Mandy 🙂

    1. Lindsay

      I don’t really bake 6 inch cakes, so it’s hard for me to say. You could probably use the full cake recipe and just have a very tall cake. Or you could probably reduce it a bit and have a shorter cake.

  6. Janice

    I made this for my son for his birthday. He’s a big Reese’s peanut butter cup fan. This is one of the best, if not the best, cake I have ever made or had and I’ve been baking for a lot of years. The family absolutely loved it! We gave a little to my two year old granddaughter and she licked the plate 🙂 Can’t wait to try some of your other cake recipes!

  7. Jackie

    This looks amazing and my son has picked it to make for his 21st birthday. I only have 9″ pans (I do have 3 of them actually). Should I just do two layers? Would it be too thin with 3 9″ layers?

    1. Lindsay

      I used Ateco 844 for the swirls on top. The sides aren’t a tip, but I used an offset spatula. If you watch the video, I show you what to do for that.

  8. Niamh Keane

    Hi, really need help. Is the x3 for the 1 whole cake or to make 3 separate cakes. I’m just worried I’ve bought enough ingredients to make 3 separate cakes. 3kg of icing sugar seems alot for 1 cake! I plan on making this today for my sons birthday tomorrow!

  9. Kimberly

    Can this recipe be scaled down to produce a 2-tiered 8″ round or even a single-tiered cake? Thank you for the video as it really shows the simplicity of making this!

  10. Melanie

    Hi! What would be the temperature and how can/would I adjust the recipe to bake this in a 6in. Set of pans?

      1. Melanie

        Hello do you know what temperature I would cook this cake at In the 6″ pans if I was using 3 of them? I do not want to screw up this delicious looking cake 😋

      2. Melanie

        I guess what I am trying to say is I am looking for a length of time for cooking not so much the temperature but should I decrease the cooking time by like 5 or 10 minutes?

  11. Christy Sloat

    This is the second cake I’ve made from scratch, both of which were your recipes (the other was the best chocolate cake). I really wish we could share photos because not only was this super delicious, but it actually looked exactly like your photos!

    I truly believe that this is thanks to your incredibly detailed directions, photos, and videos. I study them ahead of time, make sure I have all the baking supplies and tools you suggest, and then re-read or watch one last time before I give it a go. I will admit, this is all new to me and sometimes I get frustrated, especially with the frosting process, but I stuck with it both times, and both times the cakes came out amazing AND beautiful!

    Thank you so much for sharing your talent and your time to help those of us who would otherwise not have a clue come out looking like professionals to our family and friends!!!!

    This cake was moist, delicious, and stunning to present. Baking time always seems to be longer than listed on your recipes, but that’s probably something with my oven temp, so I just keep checking it along the way. This week I’m trying the Cannoli Cake for Valentines Day…can’t wait to let you know how it turns out. Happy Valentines Day to you Lindsay!

  12. Vickie

    Just made this for my grandsons birthday. Way too much icing for a 3-layer cake. Also ganache never hardened. I used Ghirdelli semi-sweet chocolate and followed directions. I don’t know what happened but I should’ve made sure it would harden before putting on cake. Otherwise, great recipe! Thanks for sharing! 

  13. Liz

    Just made this yesterday and WOW. What a stunner. Super delicious, moist cake and the PB icing and ganache just take it over the top. I used Hershey’s special dark cocoa for the batter and dark chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet for the ganache and was super happy with the taste. Everyone was very impressed!

  14. Emmy

    This is a tasty recipe that can please the crowd in general, but if you follow the recipe as-is, it will be a very typical American style cake, meaning way too sickly sweet for people who prefer delicate French bakery-style sweetness.

    I made only 2/3 of the listed amount of frosting, and even within that, I reduced the powdered sugar portion (I used 4.5 cups powdered sugar, total, in the end.) This made perfect frosting, thin layers of which were rich and complementary to the cakes without being grossly sweet.

    For the cakes themselves, I used 1.5 cups of sugar but I wish I reduced it all the way down to 1 cup. That would’ve made a cake that one can enjoy for more than 2 bites at a time. Overall very tasty results, especially for how easy it was to follow the instruction.

  15. Kereisha

    Today i tried your chocolate cake from this recipe.. While cutting down the amount of sugar by half and adding other substitutes to my liking to see how it will turn out… I love experimenting. And i would love to say it turned out great… The 1 cup coffee instead of hot water really carried out the chocolate flavour..

  16. Hannah Stanton

    Hi Lindsay,

    The mixture tastes great before and after cooking however the three layers are very thin compared to any other cake I have made. I actually binned the first attempt as I thought I did it wrong, but second time was the same, the mixture did not raise that much, is this the case? Each layer was not like your video or other other cake I have made. I did you a 8 inch tin as well. Any thoughts?

    1. Lindsay

      It’s a fairly straightforward chocolate cake. It seems like if it’s not rising properly you may want to check your baking soda and baking powder and make sure that they are good and that you used the correct amount of each. If those are off, the cakes won’t rise properly.

  17. Julie

    Hi Lindsay,

    I have 2 -10″ pans or 2 – 8″ pans. Can I use 2 – 10″ instead of 3 – 8″?

    Thank you so much!   I am so excited to make this cake!

  18. Savanah Jackson

    I made this for my family twice now ! the first time my fam fell in love and my dad requested it for his birthday. i love all your recipes and i’ve made so many of them ! ❤️

  19. Heather L. Beadles

    I just made this cake. It might be the best thing I’ve made so far… <3 <3 <3
    Thank you! 😀

  20. Aixa

    Made this recipe for the family-exceptional recipe. The chocolate cake is awesome! I used half cup of coffee and half hot water for the additional cup of hot water. I also added cream cheese to the buttercream and used just half of the confectioners sugar. Great recipe! 

  21. Nicole R Rowland

    Made this cake yesterday and I screwed up and mixed dry and wet without mixing separately first. I went ahead and baked it anyway. The cake didn’t rise and was full of holes. I attempted to make it again today and followed the directions and measurements exactly. The cake came out just about the sane. The center is sunken and the cake full of holes. Everything im finding says too much moisture or baking soda could cause this???? Not sure what I’m doing wrong but I’m scared to try this a third time.

  22. Jessica

    Hi Lindsay,

    Making this cake today…are all of your wet ingredients room temperature? Or does that not matter in this particular recipe?

    Thanks!

  23. Annette

    Hi Lindsay!

    Should I use natural or dutch-process cocoa for this recipe? Does it matter?

    Can’t wait to try this!

  24. NYFiremanMom

    I want to put a fondant on top of , so thats why I ask.  Is it very dense? It just looks so good and I like the three layers

  25. Kaitlyn

    Hi! I’m looking to make this cake for my fiancé’s birthday! 
    Did you use unsweetened cocoa powder? 
    Can I use dark unsweetened cocoa powder? I have the dark unsweetened Hershey cocoa powder. 

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, I use unsweetened cocoa powder. In the past, I’ve used the dark Hershey’s cocoa and would’ve said yes, but they have changed the formula for their dark cocoa recently and it’s not the same. I find that result it gives now is not ideal. Super dense. I wouldn’t recommend it.

  26. Donna Belvin

    Thank you Lindsay my family loves your chocolate cake and iam sure the vanilla one is delicious to. I ordered one of your cookbooks yesterday cant wait to get it. Thanks again Donna

  27. Donna Belvin

    Yes I was wondering if you could make this a vanilla cake instead of a chocolate cake by leaving out the cocoa the chocolate cake is very delicious would it make a difference in the batter. Thank you.

  28. Ashleigh

    I made this cake 4 different times and each time, it stuck in the pan. The cake tastes so good, but I can’t get it to come out clean! I tried butter flour and also parchment paper and crisco. What am I doing wrong? Thanks!

  29. Sonia

    This was amazing!  I made this cake today for my neighbor and he was kind enough to let my family try it. Perfect combination. The frosting is heaven!  Another great recipe Lindsay!   Can’t wait to try more recipes. 

    Thank you for step by step recipes. 

  30. Melissa

    Made this for my son’s birthday. Amazing! The frosting was light and fluffy. The ganache was a perfect match. Very rich!!

  31. Judith

    Hi

    Love this cake but I couldn’t get plain flour (all purpose), so could I use self raising flour instead and omit the baking powder?

  32. Judith

    Hi, I’m in the UK, I’m just wondering if I can use self raising flour instead of the plain flour (all purpose) and omit the baking powder/soda as these are raising agents? There was a shortage here and so I only have the SR flour but really want to try your recipe for peanut butter cake.

    Thanks!

    1. Judith

      Carla, if this is for an 8 inch pan then divide everything by 8 (or if 9 by 9 etc) then multiply each of those figures/ingredients to the pan size you require i.e. x6. My daughter studied Food & Nutrition and this is the method they were taught.

      Kind regards
      Judith

  33. Adrienne

    I made this today for my husband birthday, It was wonderful and it looked beautiful. He loves peanut butter and chocolate. Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe. I especially liked the video…it helped me during the decorating, especially the ganache drip.

  34. Lynette

    This cake is amazing!! Used half the amount of powdered sugar in the frosting and it was plenty sweet. Your cake recipes never disappoint!

      1. Leen

        I made this cake..got to say the cake mix is the best cake i have ever tasted or made..so rich so delicious 😋😍👌
        Thanks for the recipe..you rock girl

  35. Audri Barthel

    Wow, Lindsay! I am new to cake decorating and I was so pleased when I stumbled across your website. You make everything easy to follow and the cakes are extremely moist and have a delicious flavor. I get rave reviews from my coworkers. The only thing I  did differently was adding a layer of chocolate ganache on the pre-existing peanut butter buttercream frosting and crumbled Reece’s peanut butter cups. The layers were beautiful to look at once the cake was cut.  I truly enjoy your videos. Thank you for sharing your recipes and knowledge of baking. 

  36. Jennifer

    Hello. I made this cake the other day for a friend’s son’s birthday. I have a quest from another friend to make it with white cake instead of chocolate. Do you have a cake recipe that I could replace for the chocolate cake?

    Thank You,
    Jennifer

  37. Jennifer Pepler

    I made this cake for a second time recently and although it didn’t look as nice as my first attempt it still tasted amazing!
    I made it for a girlfriend’s birthday and brought it to the restaurant/bar to serve after our meal. My goodness, I could have sold this cake to 3 or 4 people who walked by! One person came by twice to admire it but I actually think he really wanted a piece. It was so funny. I got so many compliments on it. A couple people even said they weren’t cake ppl but said they really enjoyed this cake.

    The only thing I did differently was cut back on the sugar.
    I just felt you deserved another 5 star review from me! Thank you so much for ther great recipe and fantastic details on how to make it.

    1. Lindsay

      LOL! Thank you! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed it so much and that it was such a hit at the restaurant! That’s awesome!

    2. Dina Jacobson

      I’m very new to baking, but recent events has opened up time. I love your blog and recipes. Made this cake 2x and it’s sooo good. Donated second one to ER staff at last cal VA hospital. They send their thanks! Also congratulations on your pregnancy.

    1. Tamara Baughman

      It was my 16 year old son that made this cake for the PA farm show. It is such a fantastic recipe. To get to the farm show, you have to win at your local fair first. He competed against 76 other first place entries from fairs all over the state of PA. He has been baking since he was little, but these contests was his first attempt at making a layer cake. It was a resounding success!! Thanks for sharing!!!

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t ever used a full Dutch processed cocoa for this cake but I’ve used one that is a mix of the two and it works well. I think a full Dutch processed cocoa would be fine.

  38. Virginia Ellen

    Hi Lindsay! I am attempting to make this cake today. Have you ever used a cup of coffee rather than hot water to more deeply intensify the chocolate flavor? Was considering doing that. 🤔 Can’t wait for the finished result! 🙂 

    1. Lindsay

      You can certainly do that. But I personally find that hot water has pretty much the same affect as hot coffee. The heat actually helps the chocolate bloom.

  39. Virginia Ellen

    Hi Lindsay! Just wondering if this cake can be made ahead of time and frozen – frosting and all. Or wondering if you have recommendations to prep it ahead of time. Thank you!

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t really experimented with freezing whole cakes. I kind of think it would be OK if you just did the chocolate cake and peanut butter frosting and then decorated it after thawing it. How long are you looking to prepare it? This cake lasts quite well for several days.

  40. Jessica Sheeler

    Followed the recipe to the letter but my cakes puffed up in the middle but remained thin at the edges. Any recommendation on baking time at 325 instead of 350?? As a side note, the taste and texture of the cake is to die for – I just need to get them a little more level!!!

      1. Jessica Sheeler

        Unfortunately the sides were so narrow leveling them would have only yielded micro layers. I’m trying the recipe again – it might just be a practice makes perfect kind of thing!

  41. Kimberly Anastasi

    I just made this yesterday for my boyfriend and two other friends’ birthdays. I did switch the flour to Pillsbury’s Best Multi-Purpose Gluten Free Flour since 3 people in attendance are celiac and I wanted to make sure they could enjoy it as well. Every single person there was obsessed with the cake. Thank you for making such an amazing recipe!

  42. Michele Denison

    I’ve made this twice now and both times it’s been a huge hit! Delicious and feeds an army! Thanks for the recipe❤️

  43. Holly

    SO GOOD!

    I made this to celebrate my husbands homecoming from Afghanistan. He was so pleased, he kept asking me to bake another cake. 

  44. Laura

    Thank you for the great recipe! I made it last week for a graduation party and subbed the chocolate cake with your vanilla cake and it turned out perfectly! I tagged you on Instagram and it’s getting rave reviews 🙂

    1. Joyce

      Hi Lindsay, i would like to make this cake a little more Weight Watchers friendly by exchanging the oil for unsweetened applesauce and some of the sugar (half) with Splenda.   Do you think these changes will greatly change the consistency of the cake?  Also, would it be possible to use a light margarine  in the icing instead of all butter (maybe do 50/50)?

      1. Lindsay

        I haven’t ever tried those substitutions so I can’t say for sure how it’ll turn out, but I do think it’ll give you a pretty different result. Replacing sugar does more than just reduce sweetness because sugar also add moisture to baked goods. I’ve also never use margarine to bake anything, so can’t speak from experience. I imagine it’d be fine, although it might affect the texture or consistency of the frosting.

  45. Christina

    I own a cottage bakery and sell only cake pops. I have tried dozens upon dozens of cakes and work with many professional bakers. This is hands down the tastiest cake anyone can make from home. I have made it at least 6 times now, and family always asks for it. Great recipe!!

  46. Sarah

    This looks amazing! I love the chocolate and peanut butter combination, but I was wondering if this would be good with chocolate frosting just between the layers but keeping the rest exactly the same (I really love chocolate frosting) or if the chocolate and peanut butter balance is best as is? Thank you for sharing this delicious looking recipe! I can’t wait to try it.

    1. Lindsay

      You could definitely do chocolate frosting between the layers, the peanut butter flavor just won’t be as obvious.

  47. Stephanie Hunnicutt

    I made this for my boyfriend last year for his birthday and he said that it was the best cake he has ever had. I have now decided I will make this cake for him annually on his birthday 🙂 Thank you!

  48. Bee

    What a perfectly cake! Looks delicious; I’ll be making this for my husband’s birthday. He will love it!

  49. Melissa

    This cake is AmAzInG!!! Extremely rich, chocolaty, and peanut buttery! It turned out beautiful! I made it for a surprise birthday party. They guests thought it was from a bakery!!

  50. Brandi

    Making for my Father In Laws birthday today – making it a day in advance. How would you recommend keeping it fresh overnight? Should I refrigerate it, or keep it out? Thank you 😊

  51. Lou Anne

    Delicious cake! The birthday guy asked for a peanut butter and chocolate creation and this made for the perfect dessert!

  52. Sarah Weasel

    It’s in the oven now.. only question. .. I have a 10inch cake pan, & poured all of it in there. What would be the recommended cooking time?

  53. Megan

    I made this for my friend’s birthday! It was a huge hit! I used 7 cups of powdered sugar, instead of the recommended 9 cups because I wanted a stronger peanut butter flavor. Thanks for sharing! I’ll be using your butterscotch cake recipe and your chocolate cake recipe for my daughter’s birthday coming up!

  54. Hannah Welch

    Made this cake for a Women’s Banquet at our church and got so many compliments! I’m 14 and got asked by so many people of it was from one of our local bakery’s! Super easy gorgeous delicious cake will definelty be trying more of your recipes!!!

  55. Ellie

    WOW!! This is gorgeous!! I’ve been looking for a cake that looks good and tastes good, and this cake looks to be both! I definitively have to try this! 
    By the way, I think it’s great that you use scripture on your blog! 

  56. Jamie Adkins

    I have made this cake many times. It’s a definite crowd pleaser and my personal favorite cake of all time. I make cakes frequently…from wedding, to birthday, and beyond. This one takes the cake! ????

  57. Ali

    Wow! This cake turned out fabulously. Tastes amazzzzzing! I’m not kidding one compliment I received  was from a guy who said and I quote, “In 44 years of living this is the best cake I have ever had!” Not to mention how beyond gorgeous this was after decorating (simple steps but all together looked professionally done!) This cake will impress your guests and tastes incredible! Thank you thank you thank you!!!

      1. Kaniel

        Hi, I wanted to make this cake for my hubby’s bday and I was wondering, we’re your pans exactly 8 inches ?and also,could I double the ingredients for the frosting ( just to have extra,just in case ). Thanks

      2. Lindsay

        They were 8 inch pans. You could double the frosting, but it does already make quite a bit.

  58. Niha

    Hi Lindsay,

    I am looking forward to making this cake and wanted to know if I could add coffee instead of the hot water for a mocha taste to the cake?

    Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      You can add coffee, but it won’t really add a coffee flavor. It wouldn’t be strong enough. Most people add coffee to chocolate cakes to help enhance the chocolate flavor. You could try adding a few tablespoons of powdered espresso to the hot water and see if that would strong enough, but I’m not sure without trying it.

  59. Brenda Howard

    Hello, my grandson make this cake and it tastes really good. When he went to put the ganache the cake fell apart. Do you know what could have gone wrong? thanks.

  60. Jennifer Pepler

    Hi Lindsay
    I just found your recipe for Peanut butter chocolate layer cake. I want to make this for my hubby on Mon, I am not at all experienced with cake making, however your tutorial looks easy to follow and is causing me to drool just looking at your pictures. It is a beautiful looking cake. I am confused as to why I need 8 Reese’s cups cut in half though because your picture shows only 8 halfs (which would equal 4 whole peanut butter cups, 8 cut in half gives me 16 halfs)? Are you using the extra 8 half pieces and crumbling those up to put on top to finish the cake? I get that the 6 peanut butter cups are chopped up and half is put on the bottom layer and the remaining half goes on the second layer. So are the remaining halfs then chopped for on top? I don’t want to buy a bunch extra if I don’t need them, so if you can clarify I would appreciate it. Small detail, I know:) Thanks so much!

  61. Taylor Williams

    Hi there! So I have to make this for about 40 people. Any suggestions on how to go about doing that?! Maybe use a 12 inch pan? Should I double or triple the recipe?

    1. Lindsay

      It depends on how big of slices you plan on serving. A 12 inch should certainly be big enough. I’m not sure how much batter or baking time though. I haven’t ever made this cake that size. I’d guess you’ll need to triple it – or so.

      1. Tamara Baughman

        This recipe is fantastic!! Back in July my son used this in a competition at our local county fair and won first place. Winning first place in that contest grants the winner a chance to make the cake for the PA state farm show (January 4 through 11 2020) At the farm show he competed against 76 other experienced bakers, and won first place!! He got a beautiful blue ribbon and a $500 prize. His picture was in several papers, on lots of local websites, and he even made the tv news.
        He was the first male to win the contest, and the youngest, he is 16. He has been baking since he was 8, but the cake he made for the fair was the first multi layer cake he has ever made. He had a very limited amount of advice from me during the process. I couldn’t be more proud of him!! Thank you for such a great recipe. We will definitely use this one again in the future.

  62. Anna Gros

    A flop. I used pan release on the pans which works on any other cake I ever made and I couldn’t get
    the layers out the pans in one piece.
    And I have made thousands of cakes in my life time. Look at that recipe for the frosting when did you
    ever use a whole pound of butter and 2 pounds of powder sugar to frost one cake.
    Something is definitely wrong with this recipe or should many things are definitely wrong.

    1. Lindsay

      Many people have made success with this cake, so it’s not the recipe. Did you line your cake pans with parchment paper? That’s a big help with making sure they don’t stick to the pan.

  63. Michael K

    I made these tonight and used two 8″ X 1.5″ deep pans and it was really scary to watch them. I thought it was going to rise so much an spill. Didn’t happen. Domed a lot though but it was done in 25 minutes. I let the cakes stay in their pan in the oven for an extra 5. Then I used a clean towel to press the dome into the cake till it was leveled cos I want to make layer cakes and don’t want to have to cut off the dome. I hope that I’ll remain moist and fluffy when it is cut into. I intend to assemble the cake tomorrow.

  64. Cary

    Hi! This recipe sounds delicious and I’m thinking of making it for my family members birthday! Do you think it would taste alright if I used chocolate mud cake for the layers instead ?(as my family adores mud cake) 

    Thanks !

  65. Karen

    Worked great. I split the two layers into four. Baked for 35 min. The cake was a huge hit. My son was over the moon happy with it, even if I forgot the ganache! wish I could post a pic here of how it turned out.

  66. Karen

    I am making this recipe now but I don’t have 8 inch pans. I am hoping two 9 inch will work. Fingers crossed.

  67. Lara Watters

    How thick do these cake layers bake ? I like thick layers – 2 inches or so. Should I multiply the recipe by 1.5 ?
    Thanks !!

  68. Cindy

    The peanut butter chocolate layer cake was AMAZING! I bake ALOT and have tried many recipes, this one is definitely top of the list! I followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfect! Really delicious. Especially the frosting, it was perfect balance of peanut butter flavor but not too sweet.
    Thank you! 

  69. Kathy N.

    Hi Lindsey, thank you for the awesome recipes!! Is there any easy way to print a copy of them so I can have it in the kitchen with me? I don’t have means to view it electronically in the kitchen 🙁 Thanks for letting me know 🙂

    Kathy

    1. Lindsay

      Each pink recipe card has a print button within it so that you can print just the recipe. I hope that helps!

  70. Megan

    So I’m going to make this cake this weekend and I’m nervous about the chocolate ganache. I’ve made it before and whenever I pour it in the cake it just runs down the sides and is super messy.. do you have any tips? 

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not sure what ganache you’ve made it the past, but it depends on the ratio of chocolate to cream. The ratio used here should give you a nice consistency to work with. You can let it cool a bit before using it too, to let it firm up a touch, if it seems like it needs it.

  71. Vivian

    I want to make this cake for my boyfriend’s birthday coming up. Is the peanut butter frosting recipe really sweet and peanut buttery? I’m not too crazy on peanut butter.

    1. Lindsay

      I’d say it’s both sweet and full of peanut butter, though you could reduce the amount of peanut butter and sugar and it’d be fine.

  72. Kim Lester

    I made this cake last night for someone’s office farewell. It was a hit. I chose this recipe because the guy who was leaving told me that he loves peanut butter and chocolate and also, Reese’s is his favorite candy bar.  Well, as I was walking out the door at the end of the work day, he told me that this cake was the best cake he’s ever tasted. Mind you, I bring in desserts at least once a month so he’s had a lot to choose from. 
    I used three 8 inch pans, made a butter/cream cheese peanut butter frosting, topped it with a simple ganache and crushed Reese’s. I was a little concerned about the batter because it was so thin/runny but other people made comments that this was normal and didn’t effect the cake at all…and it didn’t. 
    This is a keeper. 

  73. Belinda

    pictures indicate the frosting is an off-white color.  However, my frosting was much darker.   Also, cake layers thinner than those pictured in the video.  cake layers had to cook 40 minutes.  I plan to make the cake again.  However, any suggestions for the issues I encountered?

    1. Lindsay

      Not sure about the color. It could be the way the photos look, a difference in the settings on your computer screen or even something about the different brands of peanut butter. The frosting generally should be light, but be a little light brown like peanut butter. It would be hard for me to say about the cake layers without being there or having any context. The difference in cooking time could simply be a difference in our ovens.

  74. Maily

    This cake was AMAZING. i made it for my little brothers (he’s 22 so not very little lol) birthday celebration and my entire family was raving about it. They really thought I had went to a good bakery and just claimed it as mine haha. I ended up only having a cup of butter for the buttercream so i cut that recipe in half and i had a good bit still left over. I can’t wait to make again (my family’s requesting me to make it for another birthday lol)

  75. Anastasiya

    I ended up making this cake for my son’s birthday because I couldn’t find chocolate peanut butter cake at any store in our area. I followed the direction and the cake turned out great! My son was in love with it and said it’s his favorite cake ever! I have to say that the frosting had a bit too much sugar for me. And I know that some people like it that way. I made this cake 3 more times and used less sugar in the frosting (2 cups less). And it still turned out perfect and very yummy. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  76. Sheena

    Thank you for sharing your recipes and cake design I made this tonight and it was a huge hit!  I’ll never use a chocolate box mix again!

  77. Ash

    Just made this today for my partner’s birthday, looks great, yet to taste it as it’s not her birthday till tomorrow. The chocolate ganache needs time to cool down otherwise it is too thin and runs straight off

  78. Katie

    I made this last week and it turned out incredible!! I was so impressed! I made it in two 9in pans and it was perfect 😉

  79. Sammy

    I just wanted to say that I made this for my husband’s work and it was amazing. I got to try the cake after leveling them and it was the best chocolate cake I ever had. The only thing I did differently is I reduced the powdered sugar in the buttercream to 7.5 cups, and consequently the water to 5 TBSP.  This cake looked exactly like the picture and tasted devine! Thanks for sharing 

  80. Suzie

    Question!! I am making this cake for a friend’s 40th next week (Looks divine!)
    I am not doing the Reese’s on top, instead I piped white chocolate to write out a message on the top.
    My question is, how would you recommend adhering the chocolate words to the ganache? Do you think it would be OK to lay down the letters after refrigerating 10 minutes? I’m afraid it will melt. I could wait until the ganache is completely set, but not sure what to use to attache the decorations (all wording). Thoughts?

  81. Gaylene

    Hi
    I love your blog and follow you and your wonderful recipes. I made this cake today and posted on Instagram with your hashtag!! Can’t wait to eat it!! All your recipes are awesome. 

    Cheers 
    Gaylene

  82. Rebecca Willett

    I made this cake for a friends birthday and it was amazing! I have another friend wondering if I could make this but with a white chocolate cake. Do you know how I could go about doing that? 

  83. Nicole

    I have made this cake twice now and it was amazing! My very picky husband even asked for it again. Will be making it again. Thank you for the great recipe!

  84. Jo Jo

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe, and decorating idea.  I made this for my son’s birthday.  The peanut butter frosting was absolutely marvelous.  I put aside some for the pastry bag flowers and thinned the remainder and it was perfect.  I did take short cut and used boxed cake that was too dry, so next time I’ll use your recipe for the cake.  

  85. Marion

    Can this be made as just a two layer cake? Three layers might be a little too much for me! Can’t wait to make this, though! Looks delicious. 

  86. Megan Jones

    Beautiful looking cake, I cannot wait to give it a go.
    I’m planning on making this cake for a friend’s birthday this weekend. Would adding mascarpone to the peanut butter frosting work? I want to keep the peanut butter flavour, but not be too sickly as I like to use a lot of frosting!
    Thanks

    1. Lindsay

      I’ve added mascarpone to frostings before, just not a peanut butter one. It should be ok, just be careful – over mixing mascarpone can make it watery.

  87. Alejandra Barger

    Hi there!

    Cake looks super delicious. I might try making it for my son’s birthday coming up. How long did it take you to make? And would this be too hard to make for a beginner? 🙂

  88. smilegirl

    Hi Lindsay.  I made this cake for my husband’s birthday and it was delicious!  The frosting ended up drier than I hoped (the cake was still beautiful and frosting tasted great).  I am wondering if you typically use milk or water for the frosting?  And if milk, what percent?  Thank you!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I usually use water since I prefer not to refrigerate the cake. Peanut butter frosting is one I’ve noticed can tend to be drier than others. You can always add a little more milk or water to help it along.

  89. Patricia A Harmon

    I made this last week for dessert for a dinner party. Everyone absolutely loved it and thought I bought it at a local bakery. I had some frosting leftover so today I am making cupcakes for a church bake sale, repurposing it. Thanks for the recipe. Hope you can see the photo. This is a real show-stopper!

    1. Trinity

      I just made this today and it was the easiest most stress free cake ever 😝 I had huge doubts but it’s great. Thank you! The only thing that didn’t really work was the ganache, it came out pretty thick but I’m not complaining. 

      1. Lindsay

        I’m so glad you enjoyed it! My ganache recipe does tend to be a little thicker than some others, but if it’s used at the right temperature it should still work great. That said, you could always add an additional tablespoon or so of cream to it.

  90. Krystle

    What sugar did you use? 
    I’m from the U.K. And we have caster, granulated, brown etc 
    I’ll be making this on tues and want to get it right as it’s a leaving cake 🙂 
    Thank you 

  91. Becky

    Loved this recipe! This Is the first time I ever made a later cake and it turned out great! I only had 9 inch round pans and baked them for 30 minutes. they collapsed a little in the middle but we’re cooked all the way through and tasted great! The frosting was a little sweet for me but o think a 3rd layer of cake would have balanced it out. Thanks for such a delicious and easy go follow recipe. I got compliments all night!

  92. Jillian

    This cake looks so delicious that I want to make two of them! I’m hoping to make one today and one next week. Do you think the cake and the frosting can be frozen and thawed?

  93. Clarissa

    How long will the frosting last in the fridge after it’s made? I made so much I would like to use it on another cake in a few days. Thank you!

  94. Clarissa

    Can you use 2 9 in pans? Would baking time change? To prepare pans, you only cover the bottom with parchment paper and spray just the sides? No need to flour the pans? Do you recommend spraying the sides or using shortening to grease? Very excited to make this cake!!!

    1. Lindsay

      The baking time would likely be similar, I’d just keep an eye on it. And no I don’t use flour, just parchment and baking spray. I use Bakers Joy brand spray. I hope you enjoy the cake!

  95. Lindsay A.

    I made this cake this past weekend and it was a huge hit!! Thank you so much for sharing! And your video was so helpful. I made a sheet cake so I made 2 batches of cake, each with 2 9×9 square pans. I used a full 9×9 and laid about 2/3rds of the 2nd one next to the first (probably about 14 inches long total). A few things to note that may help others… If you intend to double the recipe, the frosting makes a lot, so depending on your mixer size, you may need to make one batch twice. The frosting wouldn’t all fit in my kitchen aid mixer (from the 90s!) so I had to separate it. I used 7 cups of powered sugar instead of all 9 for one batch. For the two batches, I had 16 cups of frosting. I used about 12 cups total. Not sure what size frosting tip you used, but I know I used the largest one I had, maybe it’s a 2F? The smaller tips didn’t look right. Hope this helps! Thank you again for this awesome recipe and presentation!! Beautiful!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing your tips! I used an Ateco 844 tip – I definitely like my big piping tips!

  96. Lindsay

    This looks amazing! Love the video tutorial, too! I plan to make this next weekend as a sheet cake for a friend’s birthday. (Will bake 4 9×9 pans and lay the cakes side by side.) Do you think I should do 1.5 times the frosting recipe or double it? Thank you for posting, will definitely check out more of your cake recipes!

    1. Lindsay

      Hmm, not entirely sure. It’s a fair amount of frosting, so if you’re just doing one cake layer, you might be fine with the amount listed.

  97. Kaylen

    Hello! I’m making this cake this morning and was wondering if you let the butter for the icing get to room temp before using or if you use it cold right out of the refrigerator?

    Thanks!

  98. Rachel

    This looks amazing! I cannot wait to make this for my husbands 35th Friday this Friday!! I know he will love it!

  99. Joann Marks

    Lindsay, I have now made two of the cake recipes you have posted. This one, for my husband’s birthday tomorrow, and the “Mint Chocolate Chip Layer Cake” in February for my daughter’s birthday. Both have been/are amazing, so moist and delicious, with layers (excuse the pun) of flavor, and a perfect balance of flavor without being over the top sweet.

    Your instructions and tips, along with the videos have been so helpful. Thank you so much for the recipes and the terrific help in giving me the ability to show my family love through some pretty spectacular cake making. Keep up the great work.

      1. Karen

        This is my favourite chocolate cake recipe. Never added hot water to a cake before – do you have other recipes like this?  I’d love to try other flavours. I made this for my 50th two years ago and just made it for a friend’s birthday. Your video instructions make assembly so easy and I was able to make mine look just as beautiful. 

  100. Christine

    I made this as a birthday cake for a nurse I work with and it was a huge hit with the staff. Even the custodian asked if he could have a piece even though he is “not a cake person.” I have to say, I opted not to ice the sides of the cake, just between the layers and the top. The frosting is incredibly sweet and I think enough to cover two cakes in entirety! I will be making it again as I already have three requests for this cake!

  101. Camille

    Made the cake for my super picky husband and he LOVED it! I am not a big chocolate cake fan but the cake was delicious! I was wondering if you have any strawberry cake recipes ?

  102. Whitney

    I only have 9″ round cake pans. Could I just do two 9″ rounds stacked?? How would the baking times differ? 

    1. Lindsay

      You can. I haven’t made this particular cake as 9 inch rounds, so I’m not sure exactly. I’d guess around 30 minutes.

      1. Ashley

        I’m making this and using 9” round baking pans, your guess is cooking it for 30 minutes?! Thank you!

      2. Lindsay

        Are you using three 9 inch pans? If so, the layers will be thinner, so they’ll need less baking time than the 8 inch recipe calls for.

  103. Ann

    I’m going to make this cake for my husband’s birthday. Can you tell me if you use natural peanut butter or a sugary brand – like Skippy?
    Thanks!

      1. Lani

        This was delicious! I made it last night and the cake was moist and held it’s form. I hate when cakes are crumbly and fall apart, and this all stayed firm on the fork. The frosting made wayyyyy too much but I saved the leftovers to use later. I used half salted and half unsalted butter (I misread the amount and didn’t buy enough salted), but it was still perfect. I don’t usually leave recipe reviews, but this was excellent. I will definitely make this again!

    1. Michelle

      Made this cake and loved it!! I was wondering how you got your peanut butter cups chopped up so fine? Thanks!

  104. Jan

    I made this cake for our January monthly office birthday lunch and it was a big hit! I usually make a different cake each month, but now I have been requested to make it again for our March lunch! Can’t go wrong with Peanut Butter and Chocolate!

  105. Bella

    Well it sure doesn’t look as perfect as yours but I’m kinda proud 😀
    The frosting is so sweet though, I couldn’t enjoy it.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Lindsay

      Did you use some salted butter in the frosting? I usually use half salted butter and half shortening. The salt cuts down on the sweetness and adds some flavor as well.

      1. Kim

        Wondering if that’s what you usually do why isn’t that in the recipe? Does shortening refer to crisco? So half butter and half crisco in the frosting?

      2. Lindsay

        Actually Kim, I was a little confused when responding to this comment. It can be confusing with so many recipes to keep everything straight. Most of my frostings use half butter/half shortening. When I use all butter (as I did in this one), I tend to use either half salted/half unsalted or just all unsalted and add my own salt. In this recipe, it specifically says that I used all salted, which is correct. And as far as sweetness goes, salt cuts down on the sweetness a bit.

  106. Zsofi

    Dear Lindsay, 
    How could I make the peanut butter? Where I live, we know only the salted version, but I suppose this is not salty. Can you help me? Thank you,
    Zsofi

  107. Alexandra Stawick

    Hello! Can this be made with a Swiss meringue buttercream instead of an American buttercream? Thanks in advance!

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, that should be fine. I haven’t worked with SMB a ton so I can’t say what recipe to use for it, but I would think it’d be fine to swap it out.

  108. Jessica

    Is this meant to say nine (9) cups of powered sugar? The grams say 1,035 but there are 3,060 grams in 9 cups. Just double checking. Trying this recipe as I type actually lol. It looks delicious!

  109. Lysa

    Love your beautiful cakes! Really enjoy all of your blogs! Is there a particular reason you chose this chocolate cake recipe over your Best Chocolate Cake? Would they be interchangeable or are the flavors more suitable for this recipe combination? Thanks again for sharing!!

    1. Lindsay

      Thanks Lysa! Both chocolate cakes are terrific. I have found that some people are thrown off by the slow bake version (Best Chocolate Cake) and the long bake time. This cake is just an alternative. They have similar flavors and textures. It’s hard to beat the Best Chocolate Cake, but this one’s pretty darn close. 🙂 You can definitely swap it into this cake if you wanted.

      1. Lysa

        BTW, the peanut butter frosting is to die for!!!! I did use this version of the chocolate cake and was thrilled with it! I do like the combination, and the hubs loved it! He does not like cake, until this recipe. Thanks!

  110. Natalie

    Lindsay, this cake was fabulous! I made it for my Bible study tonight and everyone loved it. Some even said it was the best cake they’ve ever tasted. I had some trouble with the frosting being too thick, but I think I should have just added more milk. Also, do you have any tips for creating the stripes? I think my problem was my frosting was too thick, so my offset spatula had a hard time gliding on the frosting.

    1. Lindsay

      Awesome! I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it! 🙂 You are correct that it probably just needed more milk. I find peanut butter frosting tends to be drier than others so I usually add a little more moisture than usual. And that was most likely the issue with the stripes – you are right on. 🙂 With it being dry, it’s hard for the the spatula to move the frosting smoothly.

      1. Crystal

        This cake was so delicious! I made it for my Hubby’s 40th birthday and he loved it!! Thank you for the helpful video!!

    1. Lisa

      I made this for my daughter’s 4th birthday. It’s the first cake I’ve made completely from scratch and it was beautiful and delicious!

  111. Melissa Howell

    Just another incredible cake added to your repertoire! Amazing! I am also like you when taking pictures of my food for my blog! Sometimes I’ll even find myself standing on top of my table thinking, “This is not such a great idea. I could really hurt myself or my camera getting down from here!”

      1. Juli

        What icing top did you use for the frosting on top and how hot was the water you put in the cake batter

      2. Lindsay

        I used Ateco tip 844. For the hot water, I usually let it come to a boil. The hot water helps to intensify the flavor of the chocolate, but it’ll bake fine no matter the temperature.

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!

Scripture I’m Loving

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