Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

  • By KJ

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!

A chocolate peanut butter cake on a cake stand with slices cut out of it.

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!

A chocolate peanut butter cake on a cake stand with slices cut out of it.

Why KJ Loves

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

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!

A bowl of heavy cream, oil and eggs ready to be whisked together.
Coffee and cocoa powder whisked together in a bowl.

Dark Chocolate Cake Ingredients

Coffee

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. 

Heavy cream

This keeps the chocolate peanut butter cake moist and flavorful. 

Oil

Use a light, neutral-flavored oil to make the chocolate cake moist and fluffy. 

Baking essentials

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

A whisk in the chocolate cake batter.
Cascading chocolate cake batter into a bowl.

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

Cream cheese

The creamy base of the frosting! It has a classic tang that can’t be missed and makes this frosting rich and decadent.

Peanut butter

Use creamy peanut butter. This is getting whipped into the frosting, and you don’t want any chunks. 

Powdered sugar

This sweetens the frosting, all while keeping it smooth.

Cream cheese, butter and peanut butter in a bowl ready to be whipped together to make the frosting.
A close-up photo of peanut butter frosting.

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. 

Two, round chocolate cake layers cooling on a rack.
The chocolate peanut butter cake being layered together and frosted on a cake stand.

Need to make the cake layers in advance?

Here’s how.

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. 

An over-head photo of the top of the frosted chocolate peanut butter cake.
A head-on photo of the frosted chocolate peanut butter cake.

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. 

A slice of cake being lifted out of the chocolate peanut butter cake.
A close-up photo of a slice of chocolate peanut butter cake.

Looking for other Chocolate Cake Recipes? Check these out!

Hot Fudge Bundt Cake

Chocolate Espresso Bundt Cake

Classic Chocolate Cake

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A chocolate peanut butter cake on a cake stand with slices cut out of it.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake


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  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x

Description

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!


Ingredients

Scale

For the cake:

  • 1 cup brewed coffee, hot
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder, Dutch processed preferred
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

For the cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the coffee and the cocoa powder until smooth, set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Slowly whisk in the coffee/cocoa mixture until combined.
  2. Add in the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk until a smooth batter forms. Evenly pour the cake batter into two well-greased and parchment lined 9-inch round cake pans.
  3. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let the cakes cool for a couple minutes in the pans before turning them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Allow to cool completely prior to frosting.

For the frosting:

  1. In a bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese, butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy, about a couple minutes.
  2. Mix in one cup of powdered sugar at a time on low speed, and then cream the frosting on medium speed until light and fluffy, about a couple minutes.
  3. Set the first, cooled cake layer on your desired serving plate or cake stand and evenly frost a 1/4 inch thick layer of frosting over the top. Top with the second cake layer and use the remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake. Slice, serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • This cake can be made in a 9×13 pan, two 9-inch round cake pans or three 8-inch round cake pans or cupcakes.
  • Since the frosting has cream cheese in it, the cake will need to be refrigerated for storage. Bring to room temperature prior to serving.
  • Nutritional information for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 784
  • Sugar: 76.8g
  • Sodium: 570mg
  • Fat: 40.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 102.5g
  • Fiber: 3.4g
  • Protein: 10.2g
  • Cholesterol: 98mg

Keywords: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

A close-up photo of a slice of chocolate peanut butter cake with a bite taken out of it.

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If you made this recipe and love it as much as I do, I’d love to hear from you! Comment below, rate the recipe, or share a picture tagging @kjandcompany or using  #kjandcompany so that I can see your fun pictures! Thanks for following and cooking along with me.

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