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.
Hi Everyone! My name is Aida, and I blog over at The Crafting Foodie where I share decadent desserts and healthy, easy weekday meals. I’m so excited to be hanging out here at The Tastes of Lizzy T’s with Julie, Maddie, and all of you! 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.
Not only is the cake chocolate and peanut butter, check out what’s sandwiched between the layers of cake:
When I was thinking about making this peanut butter cup cake to share with you today, I knew I had to include some actual peanut butter cups in the cake. How could I even think about making a chocolate and peanut butter cake without including that iconic peanut butter and chocolate candy?
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. 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.
I love giving away my baked goods just about as much as I enjoy making them. So while I was making this Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cup Cake, my husband texted me asking what I was up to. When I texted him a photo of this cake, his response was, “Don’t give a single slice away. I want to eat it when I get home.” I told him not to worry because this cake made it to the 1% of desserts that will go into our bellies rather than out the door!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake
For the Cake:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp 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 neutral flavor oil (I used cocoa oil melted and cooled)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup sour cream or Greek-style yogurt
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 tsp 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 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbs whole milk
For the Ganache:
- 4 ounces chocolate chopped
- 4 fluid ounces heavy cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
To Assemble the Cake:
- 8 full-sized peanut butter cups unwrapped and each candy cut into 6 pieces
- mini-peanut butter cups, for garnish optional
- For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line 3, 6-inch circle cake pans with parchment and spray with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking powder, 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 yogurand 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.
- 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.
- Before filling the cakes, using a serrated, level each of the cakes.
- Stack the cakes, spreading about 1/4 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 1/4 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.
- While the cake chills, make the ganache by warming the cream until simmering.
- Pour it over the chopped chocolate and add the vanilla.
- Mix 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.