This Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake is dangerous! The layers in this peanut butter and chocolate cake might cause you to lose all control. But I guess that is to be expected with chocolate peanut butter desserts. So enjoy!!!
Best Chocolate Cake
I love chocolate, so I have been looking for a chocolate cake recipe that I could use in a sheet pan or stack in layers. And friends, I have found it.
After years of testing and tweaking recipes, this chocolate cake is absolutely perfect. Yes, it does have coffee in it, and no you cannot taste it. So, why use it you may be wondering? Coffee is the secret ingredient to making a chocolate cake taste even better because it enhances the flavor.
There is no doubt this is one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever made. Here is why we love this chocolate cake from scratch:
- Completely homemade!
- Moist, yet fluffy crumb texture.
- Easy to follow directions.
- Thick layer of chocolate sour cream frosting inside. If you love dark chocolate, try this Dark Chocolate Fudge Frosting instead.
- Covered in our creamy Peanut Butter Frosting.
- Lots of peanut butter cups all over!
Ingredients for Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cake
This chocolate layer cake calls for standard ingredients that you may already have on hand. (See the full amounts in the recipe card below.)
For the Chocolate Cake
- Butter – Unsalted and room temperature.
- Sugar – A mixture of brown and granulated sugar sweetens the batter.
- Eggs – Add structure and richness to the batter.
- Vanilla & Salt – Adds flavor and balances the sweetness.
- Flour – This recipe uses all purpose flour. Make sure to spoon it into the measuring cup and level off with a knife.
- Dark Cocoa Powder – Gives it the dark rich color and taste. Regular cocoa powder is fine too.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda – Provides the lift as it bakes.
- Milk & Coffee – Provides the liquid in the batter. Coffee enhances the chocolate flavor. Don’t have a coffee maker? Use instant coffee in hot water.
For the Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
- Butter – Unsalted and softened
- Chocolate Chips – We usually use dark chips, but semisweet or milk chocolate are fine too.
- Sour Cream – A full fat sour cream adds creaminess and tang to the sweet frosting.
- Powdered Sugar – Sweetens and thickens the frosting.
- Dark Cocoa Powder – Adds a dark and rich flavor. Regular cocoa powder will work too.
For the Peanut Butter Frosting
- Butter – Unsalted and softened
- Peanut Butter – Use any brand of creamy peanut butter that you like.
- Honey – The secret ingredient to this sweet peanut butter icing.
- Vanilla & Salt – Adds flavor.
- Powdered Sugar – Sweetens and thickens the frosting.
- Heavy Cream – Gives the frosting a fluffy texture when it is whipped in.
And of course, a whole lot of peanut butter cups make it a fun and decadent dessert. If you love Reese’s, this is the recipe for you!!!
How to make Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
If you are looking for an impressive chocolate and peanut butter dessert to make, this Reese’s peanut butter cup cake is worth the time in the kitchen. (Printable recipe is at the bottom of the post.)
Step One: Make the Cake
- Preheat the oven and grease a 9×13 baking pan.
- Beat the softened butter until light and fluffy, then add the sugar and beat it again.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and mix it one more time.
- Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternately with the milk and coffee.
- Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean, and the cake is pulling away from the pan.
- Let the chocolate cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Flip it out carefully on a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.
Step Two: Make the Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
- Melt the chocolate chips and butter in a pan over low-medium heat, stirring constantly. Let it cool 5 minutes.
- Mix in the sour cream until creamy.
- Stir together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Slowly beat it into the chocolate mixture.
Step Three: Make the Peanut Butter Frosting
- Beat the butter and peanut butter in a large bowl until light and creamy.
- Add the honey, vanilla, and salt and beat again at medium speed.
- Mix in the powdered sugar and heavy cream until incorporated.
- Beat on high speed for 2-3 minutes until it is light and fluffy.
Step Four: Assemble Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
- Cut the homemade chocolate cake in half, making two 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch cake layers.
- Set aside 1/2 cup of the sour cream chocolate frosting. Spread the rest of the chocolate frosting on top of one layer. Place the other layer on top.
- Frost the cake with the peanut butter frosting. Use the tines of a fork to add some fun decorations to the frosting before it develops a crust.
- Spoon the reserved chocolate frosting into a piping bag fitted with icing tip 21 or 27. Pipe a border around the top of the cake
Step Five: Decorate and Serve
- Add chopped up peanut butter cups all over the top.
- Press peanut butter cups halves around the bottom for a fun decoration.
- Serve slices with a big glass of milk.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to use coffee in this chocolate cake recipe?
The coffee in the batter just enhances the chocolate flavor. You will not taste the coffee in this recipe, but if you are opposed to it, use water instead.
How long will this cake last?
This cake is good for 2-3 days if properly covered. Although, once you taste a bite, I doubt it will last that long at all.
How do you store this chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting?
- Unfrosted – Store in a tightly covered container on the counter for 2-3 days.
- Frosted – Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator because of the sour cream frosting.
Can this chocolate recipe be made ahead of time?
Yes, the cake will keep for 2-3 days, so it is a great dessert to make ahead of time. Keep it tightly covered in the refrigerator until needed. Remove from the fridge and let come to room temperature before cutting. Although, it is also very delicious served cold.
More chocolate dessert recipes
- Mini Chocolate Cheesecake
- Chocolate Lava Cakes
- Cookies and Cream Cheesecake
- Hot Chocolate Cookies
- S’mores Cake
- Coffee Brownies
- Thin Mint Cheesecake
- Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
- Easy Chocolate Brownies
- Best Flourless Chocolate Cake
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For the Cake
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3/4 cup cooled strong coffee (or water)
For the Chocolate Frosting
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
- 1 batch Best Honey Peanut Butter Frosting
- Peanut Butter Cups
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick baking spray.
- Beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugars and beat again.
- Add the eggs one at a time and beat until mixed in. Stir in the vanilla.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir together the milk and coffee.
- Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk mixture to the butter mixture. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
- Cut the cake in half and set aside. You will have two 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 rectangles.
- Melt the chocolate chips and butter in a saucepan. Let cool for 5 minutes. Beat in the sour cream.
- Sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Slowly beat into the mixture. Set aside 1/2 cup of the frosting for later.
- Spread the rest of the chocolate frosting on top of one side of the cake. Place the other layer on top.
- Cover the cake with the best honey peanut butter frosting.
- Add chopped peanut butter cups to the top, and halved peanut butter cups to the sides, if desired. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Recipe adapted from BHG's Best Ever Chocolate Cake
Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 815Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 371mgCarbohydrates: 108gFiber: 3gSugar: 88gProtein: 10g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and are not guaranteed to be accurate. If you need special diet advice, please see a registered dietician.
*The post and recipe for the Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake was first published on February 4, 2015. The photos have been updated, and it was republished on April 9, 2019.