Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake marries decadent dark chocolate with rich cream cheese and peanut butter frosting.
Chocolate and peanut butter were obviously meant to go together. This recipe is like a peanut butter cup in cake form. You can’t go wrong with this classic combination.
This chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting is a crowd favorite and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion (just like your favorite sweater!). Bake this cake in a 9×13 pan to keep things simple, or make it a 3-layered cake for birthdays and holidays. Either way, it’s sure to be a hit!
Why KJ Loves
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
What’s not to love about chocolate and peanut butter? They’re a match made in heaven! I absolutely love this chocolate cake recipe (the addition of coffee sets it over the top!) and smearing a luscious peanut butter frosting in between all the cake layers is a win-win. You’ll definitely want to lick the beaters on this one!
Dark Chocolate Cake Ingredients
Believe it or not, this ingredient is useful for more than mainlining energy into your system on a sleepy morning. Coffee highlights the chocolate and makes the cake richer. If you don’t like coffee, don’t worry—you won’t even taste it.
Use hot coffee and whisk in the cocoa powder. This allows the cocoa powder to bloom and come to life in an explosion of robust flavor.
Dutch-processed cocoa powder
This is my secret to baking the best chocolate cake ever. Dutch-processed cocoa powder has a slightly different function than regular cocoa powder. It’s alkalized—meaning the acidity of the cocoa bean is neutralized. This results in a darker, more mellow flavor.
Dutch-processed cocoa powder also doesn’t react to baking soda, which is why I’ve included baking powder in this recipe. If you need to use regular cocoa powder, you can. But since baking is a precise science, you won’t get quite the same result.
You can usually find Dutch-processed cocoa powder at your local grocery store. They sell some larger bags at Costco, and you can also try ordering it online.
This keeps the chocolate peanut butter cake moist and flavorful.
Use a light, neutral-flavored oil to make the chocolate cake moist and fluffy.
And, of course, we need flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to make this delicious cake.
You can make this cake gluten-free by using a 1:1 ratio of gluten-free flour.
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
The creamy base of the frosting! It has a classic tang that can’t be missed and makes this frosting rich and decadent.
Use creamy peanut butter. This is getting whipped into the frosting, and you don’t want any chunks.
This sweetens the frosting, all while keeping it smooth.
A Pan For Every Occasion
To decide on the pan, answer: How much do you want to impress your guests?
I just wanna get this cake in my mouth fast.
Make this into a chocolate peanut butter sheet cake with a 9×13 pan.
It’s a birthday cake. I need some pizazz.
Try making this cake in two layers by using two 9-inch round cake pans. You can make it a naked layer cake by not frosting the sides. Or you could cover the whole cake in creamy peanut butter frosting.
I want to impress my mother-in-law.
Time to bring out the piping bag. You can use three 8-inch round cake pans for a three-layered cake. You could even try decorating it or topping the cake with crumbled peanut butter cups.
Need to make the cake layers in advance?
Allow the cakes to cool completely before wrapping them in plastic wrap. Then store them in the refrigerator. You can do this a couple of days in advance if you need to.
You’ll probably need to issue some sort of threat to anyone who dares to eat the cake before the proper time. Just saying.
Make the frosting and frost the day of serving.
Storing Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Since the frosting has cream cheese in it, you’ll need to store the chocolate peanut butter cake in the refrigerator.
I recommend setting it out to come to room temperature before serving.
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