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

404 Comments
  1. 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. 

  2. 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.

  3. 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? 🙂

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 

    1. Kieran

      Bit late for your purposes but I tried granulated and it was much too grainy. I tried again with icing sugar, which came out perfectly. Granulated is definitely not the way to go!

  7. 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!

  8. 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?

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