Peanut butter fans, rejoice! This chocolate peanut butter cake is one that you will go NUTS for! It starts off with a light and fluffy chocolate cake that is slathered in a rich and decadent peanut butter frosting. Then we finish it off with some smooth chocolate glaze.
Guess what tomorrow is? It’s my husband and my 15th wedding anniversary! I can’t believe that a decade and a half has gone by so quickly. In our 15 years, we’ve accomplished a lot of things: buying a house (and selling it), buying another house, having a beautiful daughter, and traveling across the globe. I feel like he and I just met yesterday. Fun fact: We were dorks and exchanged business cards the first time we actually met. Nerd alert!
One thing that hasn’t changed during this time is my husband’s love of peanut butter. If I could declare someone a peanut butter king, he would be it. Our pantry always has a jar or two. Thankfully for him, I don’t eat peanut butter (yes, I am weird). It’s good news for him because there is nobody to share his precious jars of the stuff.
When I saw this recipe in the Everything Chocolate cookbook, I knew that I had to make it for my husband. The cake alone seemed really incredible (and something I am definitely bookmarking for future stacked cakes). I knew that he’d love the peanut butter frosting throughout. Addie especially enjoyed the gorgeous drips of chocolate glaze all around the cake. She and my husband both adored the cake and went to town.
Me? Well, I got satisfaction just watching them eat it. It’s OK that I didn’t have any. I’m saving my calories for some ice cream instead.
Husband’s rating: 4 out of 5 (he actually said it was TOO peanut-buttery. Is that even possible?)
Addie’s rating: 4.5 out of 5
My rating: N/A (I don’t eat peanut butter)
Chocolate peanut butter cake
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate finely chopped
- ½ cup hot water
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 and ¾ cup granulated sugar divided
- 1 and ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 and ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks room temperature
- 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
Peanut butter frosting
- 22 Tablespoons (2 and ¾ sticks) unsalted butter cut into 22 pieces and at room temperature
- 1 and ⅓ cups creamy peanut butter do NOT use all-natural peanut butter
- 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces and at room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
Make the cake
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Generously grease and line two 9-inch or three 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl set over a pot of simmering water, mix together the chopped chocolate, hot water and cocoa. Continue stirring until the chocolate is melted. Add ½ cup of the granulated sugar to the mixture and keep stirring until it gets thick and glossy, about another 2-3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside to slightly cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a measuring cup, mix together the buttermilk and the vanilla and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and yolks on medium speed until well combined, about 10 seconds. Add the remaining 1 and ¼ cups of granulated sugar and whisk on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Swap out the whisk attachment with the paddle attachment. Slowly add the cooled chocolate mixture into the bowl and mix on medium speed until well blended. Then, add the butter, one piece at a time, until the butter is fully incorporated.
- Alternatively add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Turn the mixer to low and beat for another 15 seconds or until the batter is smooth and contains no lumps.
- Evenly distribute the batter amongst your prepared baking pans. Bake in your preheated oven fro 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Allow the cakes to cool for about 10 minutes before removing them from a pan to cool fully on a wire rack.
Make the peanut butter frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the butter, peanut butter, cream, vanilla and salt on medium high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
- Turn the mixer down to low speed and slowly add the powdered sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and continue to beat for another 4-5 minutes. Your frosting should be pale and fluffy.
- The frosting can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Just let it come to room temperature and re-whip it on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes.
Make the chocolate glaze
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat up the chocolate, butter and corn syrup in the microwave for about 45-60 seconds until the chocolate melts. Vigorously stir with a spatula until the chocolate thickens but is smooth and free of lumps. Allow the chocolate to sit for about 5 minutes so it thickens more.
Assemble the cake
- Place 4 strips of parchment paper on a cake plate. Take one cooled cake layer and place it on top.
- Add about 1 cup of the peanut butter frosting on top, making sure to spread it all the way to the edges of the cake. Add another cake layer on top and frost. Add the final cake layer on top.
- Apply a thin layer of frosting to the top and sides of the cake. Place the entire cake in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to allow the frosting to set. Then add the remaining frosting on the top and sides of the cake.
- Pour about ¼ cup of the chocolate glaze to the center of the frosted cake. Spread evenly with an offset spatula. Then pour ¼ cup of the glaze onto the edges of the cake and allow it to drip down the sides. I used my offset spatula to push some of the glaze down the sides. Add the remaining glaze on top and smooth the top with your spatula.
- Decorate with candied nuts, chocolate curls or whatever makes you happy. Place the cake back in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to set. Slice and enjoy.