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With chocolate and peanut butter in the tender, thick cake layers and in the silky, smooth buttercream, this Ultimate Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake is the real deal!
Chocolate and peanut butter are my love language! Separate or together, there’s really no day or time I’ll say no to either. Put them together and I’m even more obsessed! I’ve used these flavors in two other cakes: Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Peanut Butter Cake with Chocolate Buttercream… but it was time to finally combine both flavors and add them both to the cake layers and buttercream.
How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
You will love how easy this cake is to make. We have two elements: cake layers and buttercream.
We’ll start by making the chocolate peanut butter cake batter and baking it in three 8-inch cake pans for about 30 to 35 minutes.
Ingredients You’ll Need for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
- Unsalted butter
- Peanut butter
- Granulated sugar
- Cake flour
- Dark cocoa powder
- White distilled vinegar
- Baking soda
I’m sharing my go-to tips for making moist cakes from scratch below but just wanted to take a minute to talk about number 4 on that list: beat butter, sugar, and eggs on high for a few minutes.
With this type of cake batter, it is super important to spend some time beating these three ingredients on medium-high. We want to create volume in the batter at this point, so mix at a 6-8 on your Kitchen Aid, until the mixture is lighter in color and bigger in volume.
Once you add the dry ingredients, however, make sure to mix on low so you don’t over-mix your batter. Over-mixing your batter will cause it to be dense.
At the end, you’ll fold in the baking soda and vinegar mixture. This will help the cake layers to rise beautifully.
HOW TO MAKE MOIST CAKES FROM SCRATCH
- Preheat the oven 30 minutes before baking.
- Use room temperature ingredients.
- Spray your pan. Line with parchment paper.
- Beat butter, sugar, and eggs on high for a few minutes.
- Turn the mixer to LOW once you add dry ingredients.
- Bake at 325 degrees F. (This is my new normal and gets beautifully level cakes!)
- Don’t overbake your cake layer. When you insert a toothpick into the center of the cake it should come out with a few moist crumbs on it.
Other Cakes You’ll Love
- Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
- Peanut Butter Cake with Chocolate Frosting
- Peanut Butter Oreo Cake
- The Most Delicious Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream
This chocolate peanut butter buttercream is pure decadence! We’re using my favorite chocolate buttercream recipe and adding peanut butter to it. It’s simple and it’s delicious.
Ingredients You Need for the Frosting
- Unsalted butter
- Peanut butter
- Dark chocolate chips
- Heavy whipping cream
- Powdered sugar
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
To get a light and fluffy homemade buttercream frosting for this cake, I have a detailed post: HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BUTTERCREAM to give you in-depth instructions for making your buttercream unreal! Here’s a quick overview.
- Sift your powdered sugar
- Use slightly cold butter and mix on its own for 2 to 3 minutes
- Use heavy whipping cream
- Beat for 5 minutes
- Stir by hand
The Ultimate Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Chocolate peanut butter cake layers with chocolate peanut butter buttercream.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CAKE
- 3 1/4 cups (373.75 g) cake flour
- 3/4 cup (75 g) dark cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (8 g) salt
- 3/4 cup (169.5 g) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup (240 g) smooth peanut butter
- 1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 cups (480 g) buttermilk at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (21 g) white distilled vinegar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons (10 g) baking soda
FOR THE CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BUTTERCREAM
- 1/4 cup (60 g) heavy whipping cream
- 8 ounces dark chocolate
- 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter slightly cold
- 5 cups (625 g) powdered sugar measured then sifted
- 1/2 cup (120 g) smooth peanut butter
- *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.
FOR THE CAKE
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch round pans with nonstick spray, line the bottom with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, peanut butter, and sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for another minute.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, being sure to mix and scrape down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Once all of the eggs are added, continue to beat on medium-high speed for about two mintues, until the mixture gets lighter in color and bigger in volume.
- With the mixer on low speed, add ⅓ of the flour mixture, followed by 1 cup of the buttermilk. Continue with another ⅓ of the flour, the second half of the buttermilk and then the remaining flour mixture. Stir until combined.
- In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and baking soda. The mixture will bubble. Add the mixture to the cake batter and stir on low until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for another 20 seconds.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans (21 ounces in each of the 8-inch pans). Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. Allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes before inverting onto wire racks to cool completely.
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
- Heat the cream and chocolate chips together in the microwave for about 45 to 60 seconds. Stir the mixture until the chips are melted. If the chocolate isn't melting enough, heat the mixture again for another 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool. We want the ganache to be close to room temperature before adding it to the butter.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and peanut butter on medium-high until it's light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add the ganache mixture, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat until silky, smooth.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar. Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat the buttercream for about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Place the first cake layer top side up, in the center of the cake board. Evenly spread 1 cup of the buttercream over the cake layer.
- Repeat for second cake layer.
- Place the final cake layer, top side down, on the second layer of filling.
- Apply a thin layer of buttercream around the cake. Freeze the cake for 15 minutes to set the crumb coat.
- Once the crumb coat is set, continue frosting the cake with the remaining buttercream.