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tan peanut butter frosting over a round cake with peanut butter cups on top

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths-Bless This Mess
  • Total Time: 2+ hours
  • Yield: 12-16 servings 1x


 Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake that is moist, beautiful and easy to decorate. This is such a fun cake to make for your next celebration.



For the Chocolate Cake:

  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Peanut Butter Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural peanut butter)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Optional mini and regular Reese's cups for decorating



  1. Line the bottom of 2, 9-inch round baking pans with parchment paper and spray with baking spray (I like to trace the size of the pan on the paper first and then cut it out.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together buttermilk, water, oil, eggs and vanilla.
  5. Add wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir together until a smooth batter forms.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans.
  7. Bake 25 minutes until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (I also like to check the cake by gently pressing on the top. If the indent left by my finger pops back up, they are don. If the indent remains, the cakes need a few more minutes to bake.)
  8. Let cool for 5 minutes then remove from pans onto a cooling rack. Let the cakes cook completely before frosting them.
  9. To make the frosting, in large mixing bowl cream together butter and peanut butter until like and fluffy (I find it best to use a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer for this job).
  10. Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  11. Add the vanilla, salt, and milk and beat to combine. Mix an additional 1-2 minutes until the mixture is very smooth. You can add a teaspoon of milk at a time if the frosting feels to thick.
  12. Place one layer of the cooled cake on your serving dish and place about 3/4 of a cup of frosting on top of it and spread it around. Add another layer of cake and the frost the top and sides of the cake.
  13. If you'd to make the big swirls of frosting on the top of the cake you are going to need to make a batch and a half of the icing, you won't have quiet enough with just one batch. Sometimes I like to mix in those tiny mini Reese's cups (the ones that aren't wrapped and come in a bag, about the size of a big chocolate chip) into the icing that I put in the center of the cake. You can decorate the top as shown with mini and regular Reese's cups if you'd like too for a little more peanut butter chocolate fun. 


  • It is important to use unsalted butter. This is one of the few places where this matters and it will takes too salty if you don't.
  • Use normal sticky peanut butter and not the runny natural kind that you have to stir. The more traditional commercial peanut butter works best for this recipe. 
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chocolate peanut butter cake, Reese's peanut butter cake, chocolate cake with Reese's, peanut butter chocolate cake recipe, chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting, peanut butter frosting recipe