Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake

This moist, deep, rich chocolate peanut butter cup cake is filled with a creamy, light peanut butter frosting and chopped peanut butter cups, and it’s topped with a luxurious chocolate ganache.

Today I’m sharing one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations – peanut butter and chocolate. This Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake is three layers of decadent cake, filled with a light and fluffy peanut butter frosting, and topped with chocolate ganache.

large slice out of a layered chocolate cake

And what’s even better? Reese’s cup candies inside the cake itself. Because how could I even think about making a chocolate and peanut butter cake without including that iconic peanut butter and chocolate candy?

100% homemade…but you can do this!

When I first started baking (a long, long time ago), I used to shy away from making cakes. They intimidated me. But this peanut butter cup cake is perfect for any level baker. Here’s 3 bonuses to give you confidence:

  • It’s only 6-inches in diameter, so it’s a breeze to stack and frost.
  • Plus, there’s no frosting covering the sides of the cake, making frosting a one-step process.
  • And pouring that ganache over the top of the cake can hide any lumps and bumps on that top layer of cake.
peanut butter frosting in a layer cake

Here’s the layers:

  1. Cake.
  2. Peanut butter frosting.
  3. Reese’s cups.
  4. Cake.
  5. Peanut butter frosting.
  6. Reese’s cups.
  7. Cake.
  8. Peanut butter frosting.
  9. Chocolate ganache.
  10. Frosting and candy decorations.

Tips for Making the Cake

  • We made our cake in 3 6″ round cake pans. You can use two 8 or 9″ pans if you’d like. Just watch the baking time.
  • If you happen to have coconut oil, use that in place of canola. It’s delicious!
  • You can use hot coffee instead of the water and espresso powder. Or if you don’t want the coffee, just use water.
  • Don’t overmix the cake. Mix just until combined.

Chocolate Ganache

Making chocolate ganache is easier than you think! It’s super easy to make it in the microwave.

  • Heat the heavy cream in the microwave until it is very hot and steaming, but not boiling.
  • Place the chocolate in a small glass bowl.
  • Pour the hot cream over the chocolate.
  • Cover the bowl with a plate and allow the bowl to sit for 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove the plate and stir the chocolate and cream together. This will take maybe 2 minutes of stirring to get it completely combined, but eventually you’ll get a smooth, dark, silky chocolate.
chocolate peanut butter cake on a plate

You’ll want to allow the ganache to cool and thicken slightly before pouring it over the cake. You don’t want it to all run off!

It’s also important to chill the frosted cake before pouring the ganache on top so the warm ganache doesn’t melt the frosting.

three layer chocolate cake with peanut butter
three layer chocolate cake with peanut butter

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake

5 from 3 votes
This moist, deep, rich chocolate cake is filled with a creamy, light peanut butter frosting and chopped peanut butter cups, and it’s topped with a luxurious chocolate ganache.
Servings 8 servings
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the Cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa regular or Dutch process
  • 2 ounces good-quality chocolate chopped (60% or more cocoa content)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or Greek-style yogurt
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

For the Peanut Butter Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk

For the Ganache:

  • 4 ounces chocolate chopped
  • 4 fluid ounces heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To Assemble the Cake:

Instructions
 

Make the cake:

  • For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Line 3, 6-inch circle cake pans with parchment and spray with cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa.
  • Melt the chopped chocolate and set it aside to cool until it’s warm to touch (not hot).
  • In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and oil until combined.
  • Add the melted and slightly cooled chocolate.
  • Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, and whisk until just combined.
  • Add the vanilla and sour cream (or Greek-style yogurt and mix until combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  • Mix the warm water and the espresso powder. Add the coffee mixture to the batter. Mix until just combined.
  • Fill the prepared cake pans evenly with the batter.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the cake pan on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, turn the cakes out of the pans, and allow them to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Make the peanut butter frosting:

  • While the cakes cool, make the peanut butter frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and peanut butter until well-combined and light and fluffy.
  • Then add the vanilla and salt. Mix until combined.
  • Next add the confectioners’ sugar. Mix until combined.
  • Add the milk and mix until light and fluffy.

Assemble the cake:

  • Before filling the cakes, using a serrated, level each of the cakes.
  • Stack the cakes, spreading about ¼ cup of frosting between each layer and sprinkling each layer with chopped peanut butter cups.Using a large tip, pipe a border on the edge of the cake layer.
  • Repeat this process with the next layer of cake. Once filled and stacked, use the tip of an off-set spatula to flatten the exposed frosting so that it is flush with the edges of the cake.
  • Spread an additional ¼ cup of frosting on top of the cake, but do not add peanut butter cups to the top layer. You want a smooth peanut butter frosting for the ganache to sit on top of the cake.
  • Chill the cake for about 15 minutes in the refrigerator.

Make the ganache:

  • While the cake chills, make the ganache by warming the cream until simmering.
  • Pour it over the chopped chocolate (which is in a bowl) and add the vanilla. Place a plate over the bowl and allow it to sit for 3-5 minutes.
  • Mix the cream and chocolate until smooth and creamy.
  • Allow the ganache to cool and thicken for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Once cooled, remove the cake from the refrigerator. Pour the chocolate over the top of the cake. Use an offset spatula, smooth the chocolate on top of the cake. Place the cake in the fridge to chill for about 10 minutes.
  • Once the ganache has chilled a bit, pipe dollops of peanut butter frosting on top of the cake. Top each dollop with a mini-peanut butter cup.

Video

Notes

The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 8 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Serving: 206g | Calories: 879kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 58g
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 879
Keyword bake sale, birthday

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Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel
7 years ago

5 stars
Aida, this cake is phenomenally beautiful and looks so sinfully rich & delicious! I love all the layers and that drippy, gooey chocolate on top. Pinned!!

Lisa | Sweet 2 Eat Baking
7 years ago

Wow, that cake looks so moist and decadent! Not to mention beautiful too. I totally adore the chocolate/peanut butter combo, so this would be right up my alley!

Sarah @ The Gold Lining Girl
7 years ago

GORGEOUS CAKE. Can’t get over it. It’s amazing!

Deb@ Cooking on the Front Burner
7 years ago

I want to eat this all myself! My favorite flavor combo!

Cathy@LemonTreeDwelling
7 years ago

Oh MY! These are all such amazing looking cakes!!!

Sherri@ The Well Floured Kitchen
7 years ago

Oh wow- this cake looks amazing! My husband totally would have said the same thing – this wouldn’t last long at our house 🙂

Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes
7 years ago

I *need* this in my life!! Best flavor combo, ever! 🙂

Sandy Van Dyk
4 years ago

Hi, I don’t have 6″ pans. Would 2- 8″ pans work? Thank you!

Sylvia
1 year ago

5 stars
This made the perfect birthday cake for my husband, who is a fan of Reeces pieces. I’ve never seen a chocolate cake method like this before, but it turned out delicious. Had a rich chocolate flavour and a dense fudgy consistency. Great recipe. Thank you for sharing. I baked this with my 3 year old daughter and hope to keep this going like your family has 😊

Dave
1 year ago

On the chocolate peanut butter cup cake: if I wanted to make 3 9 inch instead of 6, would doubling the recipe amounts give me the desired yield ??

Lesley
3 months ago

5 stars
This cake was absolutely delicious!!