Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Cake

July 3, 2024

A peanut butter and chocolate lover’s dream! My new Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Cake has layers of Nutter Butter cookie crusts, chocolate cake, peanut butter Reese’s cookie dough, salted caramel and chocolate caramel buttercream.

Peanut butter chocolate cookie layered cake on a pink cake stand.

This cake! Oh my goodness, this cake! Not only is this cake SO freaking good, it was so fun to make. I originally planned on using a graham cracker crust and putting Reese’s peanut butter cups in the chocolate cake batter. That didn’t end up working the way I wanted it to. As I rethought it and talked about it on Instagram, I got several suggestions and requests to do a Nutter Butter cookie crust instead of the graham cracker crust. I loved this idea! I’ve never done a Nutter Butter crust – which is crazy because I’m truly obsessed with peanut butter.

My mind then started to rework the cake and I landed on a Nutter Butter crust, chocolate cake, peanut butter Reese’s cup cookie dough, salted caramel and chocolate caramel buttercream.

I’m so excited for you to try this one! Below are some tips for moist cake layers, how to heat treat flour for edible cookie dough, and instructions for making homemade salted caramel.

Peanut butter chocolate cookie cake cut open.

Pro Tips for Moist Cakes

Don’t forget to follow my go-to tips for getting your cakes to rise and bake well:

  • Preheat your oven for 30 minutes prior to baking.
  • Use good quality pans like Fat Daddio.
  • Spray your pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper. 
  • Don’t overmix your cake batter once you add the dry ingredients.
  • Use room temperature wet ingredients.
  • Use fresh baking powder.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
A slice of cake on a plate.

This edible cookie dough is truly a dream. I love the variety of texture it adds to the cake with the crust and buttercream. Make sure you take a bite of everything all at once!

To make edible cookie dough, you will want to heat treat the flour in the oven to kill any harmful bacteria.

  1. Preheat oven: Set the oven to 300°F–350°F.
  2. Prepare baking sheet: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  3. Spread flour: Pour more flour than the recipe calls for into an even layer on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake: Bake for 5–12 minutes, or until the flour reaches a temperature of at least 160°F. You can use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature in a few different spots. Stir the flour once or twice during baking to help break it up.
  5. Allow the flour to cool completely.
Chocolate cake on a pink cake stand.

Chocolate Caramel Buttercream

This chocolate caramel buttercream is so incredibly delicious. You’ll first make the homemade salted caramel, which you use between the layers, as well as in the buttercream.

How to Make Homemade Salted Caramel

To make homemade salted caramel, you actually don’t have to be too hands-on. In fact, I want you to keep your hands off for the majority of the time!

  • You’ll start by combining the sugar, water, and corn syrup (or honey) over the stove on medium heat.
  • Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves and then step back!
  • Allow the mixture to boil and cook. Stirring the sugar mixture at this point will encourage crystallization and we don’t want that!
  • It will take a few minutes for the mixture to change color, but once it does, stay close by.
  • You’re looking for the mixture to turn a dark golden brown, amber color. Check the pictures below for guidance.
  • Once you’ve reached the right color and your mixture is about 380 degrees F., you’re ready to start SLOWLY adding warm heavy whipping cream.
  • Using warm heavy whipping cream will decrease the chance the mixture hardens.
  • Once you’ve added all the cream, you can stir in the vanilla and salt.
  • Allow the mixture to cool completely before using in your buttercreams and cakes.
A slice of cake on a plate.
Peanut butter chocolate cookie layered cake on a pink cake stand.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Cake

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Chocolate cake layers baked on Nutter Butter cookie crusts, with peanut butter Reese's cookie dough, salted caramel and chocolate caramel buttercream.

Ingredients
  

FOR THE CRUST

  • 30 (400 g) Nutter Butter cookies (this is best done in a food processor or blender, but can be done by placing the graham crackers in a zip-lock bag and rolling over the crackers with a rolling pin)
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, melted

For the Cake

  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups (88.5 g) dark cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 1 cup (240 g) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (109 g) vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (236.6 g) hot water

Peanut Butter Reese’s Cookie Dough

  • 6 tablespoons (84.75 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (160 g) smooth peanut butter, I use Skippy
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (110 g) brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 teaspoons (8.4 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 15 mini Reese’s peanut butter cups, quartered (the wrapped ones)

FOR THE SALTED CARAMEL

  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (118.3 g) water
  • 4 teaspoons (27 g) light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup (173.25 g) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoon (8.4 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon (12 g) salt

For the Buttercream

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup (57.75 g) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter slightly chilled
  • 6 cups 750 g powdered sugar measured then sifted
  • 1/2 cup salted caramel, recipe above
  • *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping you’ll want to make an extra ½ batch.

Instructions
 

FOR THE CRUST

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray and then line with parchment. Spray again. Set aside.
  • In a medium sized bowl combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter. Stir until all the cookie crumbs are damped by the melted butter.
  • Divide evenly between the three pans and press down firmly with your hand or the back of a spoon. (About 5.5 oz)
  • Bake for 7 minutes. Let cool while you make the chocolate cake batter.

FOR THE CAKE

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
  • In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, water and vanilla.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Pour the batter into the pans on top of the cookie crust (about 15-16 ounces in each 8-inch pan), and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
  • Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.

For the cookie dough

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F–350°F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Pour the flour into an even layer on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 5–12 minutes, or until the flour reaches a temperature of at least 160°F. You can use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature in a few different spots. Stir the flour once or twice during baking to help break it up.
  • Let cool before using in the cookie dough.
  • Combine the butter, peanut butter, and sugars in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat for about 2 minutes–or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Next, add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  • Slowly add in the flour and salt and mix until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Lastly, stir in the chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups.

FOR THE SALTED CARAMEL

  • Mix sugar, water and corn syrup in a small saucepan
  • Bring the water and sugar mixture to boil over medium heat, but DO NOT STIR. (Stirring encourages crystallization). Let the mixture cook until it caramelizes into a golden brown color (as seen in the photo above). It happens quickly, so keep an eye on it.
  • Remove the caramelized sugar syrup from the heat and slowly mix in the cream. Pour in just a tiny bit at a time, especially at the beginning, and mix to combine. You can start adding more and more as you go along.
  • Mix in salt and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  • Set the caramel sauce to the side and let cool completely before making the frosting.

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  • In a microwave safe bowl, combine the heavy whipping cream and chocolate chips. Microwave for about 60 seconds and stir until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature before using.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth. Add the chocolate ganache and beat until smooth.
  • With the mixer on low speed, gradually add powdered sugar and the caramel and beat until smooth.

Assembly

  • Place the first cake layer, crust side down, in the middle of your cake board or cake plate.
  • Divide the cookie dough into two portions. Form an 8-inch cookie dough round on a parchment paper. Place the layer of the cookie dough on top of the cake layer. Drizzle with salted caramel.
  • Repeat these steps with the next layer of cake, cookie dough, and caramel.
  • Place the final cake layer, crust side down, on the second layer of cookie dough and caramel
  • Apply a thin coat of frosting around the entire cake to lock in the crumbs. Freeze for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • After the crumb coat is set, continue frosting and decorating the cake with remaining buttercream.

Notes

Notes
Feel free to sub the Nutter Butter cookies with graham crackers, Oreos, shortbread cookies, or your favorite crunchy cookie.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cake
Keyword: cake, chocolate, Peanut Butter

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