Some say that peanut butter and jelly are the perfect match for each other, but I say peanut butter and chocolate are even better. It’s the best blend of salty and sweet ever, and the sole flavor inspiration behind this Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake. If you’re a chocolate peanut butter fan, this is the cake of your dreams! Behold:
It all starts with a peanut butter cake that’s just as moist and flavorful as it is light and fluffy. It’s flavored with creamy peanut butter and a little brown sugar to send your tastebuds to heaven. You can use any brand of creamy peanut butter in this recipe, but I opt for Simply Jif because it has less sugar than regular Jif. It makes the peanut butter flavor come through beautifully without being too sweet.
To top this delicious peanut butter cake, I originally thought to use my favorite Chocolate Buttercream recipe, but had an epiphany at the last second: why not add a little peanut butter to the chocolate buttercream? The result was AMAZING and really helps the peanut butter flavor take center stage! Simply whip some creamy peanut butter along with the butter and use it as a base for the chocolate buttercream, and voila.
After frosting the peanut butter cakes with a smooth finish of the chocolate peanut butter buttercream (say that five times fast!), I used Wilton Tip 4B to pipe some open stars around the cake in an ombrè style, then used the same piping tip to create two rows of open stars around the top edge. I finished decorating with some mini peanut butter cups and a few SprinklePop sprinkles in the Gold Sprinkle Mix.
You can choose to decorate this cake however you want, because at the end of the day, the flavors are what takes this Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake beyond. It’s perfect for any fan of this flavor combo (who isn’t a fan though!), and so easy to whip up. A total crowd pleaser!
3 1/2 Cups (370g) cake flour, sifted before measuring
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/8 Cup (254g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Cup (308g) granulated white sugar
1/2 Cup (94g) packed brown sugar
1 Cup (250g) creamy peanut butter
4 eggs, room temperature
1/3 Cup (75g) sour cream, room temperature
1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 Cups (360ml) whole milk, room temperature
Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream
1 1/2 Cups (339g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 Cup (83g) creamy peanut butter
4 1/2 Cups (540g) powdered sugar
3/4 Cup (63g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
6 Tbsp (89ml) whole milk, room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Make The Peanut Butter Layer Cake
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare three 6-inch cake pans by spraying the sides with a cooking spray (Baker’s Joy is my favorite) and a wax paper circle fitted to the bottom of the pan. Alternatively, you can grease and lightly flour the pans.
Sift the cake flour and then measure by spooning and leveling it in your measuring cup. Add the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer (a handheld mixer works fine too!), cream the butter for on high for two minutes until it’s light and fluffy. Add in white sugar, brown sugar, and peanut butter and continue to mix on medium-high for another three minutes, scraping down the bowl and paddle as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add vanilla and sour cream and mix for one minute on medium-high, scraping down the bowl and paddle once more.
With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the whole milk and mix until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and give it a few stirs to make sure there are no lumps. Batter will be thick.
Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pans (no more than 2/3 of the way full), smooth the tops, and bake for 35-40 minutes. They’re done when they spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pan for five minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack for an additional few hours of cooling. Make sure they’re entirely room temperature before applying any frosting.
Make The Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip the butter and peanut butter on medium speed until very creamy and well combined, about three minutes. Scrape down the bowl and paddle and turn the mixer to low, then add powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Increase the speed to medium and beat for two full minutes.
Fill and frost the Peanut Butter Cake layers with the Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream. If you want to recreate the look that’s pictured, frost a smooth finish with the buttercream, then refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes. Prepare a piping bag with Wilton Tip 4B, fill it with more Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream, then pipe open stars in an ombre pattern on the sides of the cake. Use the same piping tip to create a buttercream border on top, then top the cake with mini peanut butter cups and gold sprinkles.