The layers of delicious chocolate cake, peanut butter icing, and chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups make up this recipe for peanut butter chocolate layer cake. Rich, tasty, and a lot of fun!
Peanut Butter & Chocolate Layer Cake
I was recently reminded of something my husband frequently tells me and again shows to me by casting me scared looks: I am one photo away from gravely hurting myself. One day, one of the countertops, chairs, or tables I use to attain the ideal angle won’t work out the way I want it to, and I’ll fall and damage either the camera I’m holding or some part of my body. It has to take place.
For overhead photos or anything that requires a more dramatic angle than I can obtain just by standing, I frequently utilize a three step stool. When I was shooting pictures on that stool yesterday, I teetered and tottered a little bit as I descended the top stair. I then grabbed a chair while taking some photographs in the kitchen since I didn’t feel like going to the other room to get the step stool. To reach the desired angle, I stepped on the seat and began to lean back on the back rest when I abruptly became aware that I was beginning to tip backward. Fortunately, I caught my equilibrium before it was too late. I was in grave risk of tumbling into the dog bowl stand, which had sharp edges, and back into the wall.
Who knew food blogging included such risks to one’s career? Not to mention the additional calories it brings. When I share cakes like this one, I suppose it’s worthwhile. I adore it so much!
How to Make Peanut Butter & Chocolate Layer Cake
Chocolate cake layers in the beginning of the cake are tasty and moist. I created a tiered cake using my Easy Moist Chocolate Cake from a few weeks ago. This cake is really delicious and simple to make. Basically, you combine the dry ingredients first, then the wet components, put them together, and last, add the hot water. One of the easiest and fastest cake batters to prepare.
A peanut butter icing is spread in and around the exterior of the cake. Each and every peanut butter and chocolate lover’s favorite, chopped Reese’s, is placed on top of the icing in between the layers of cake. They intensify the peanut butter flavor, and I like it.
The ganache is dripped down the edges and over the top of the cake after the icing has been applied. The ganache sprinkled on top has a nice ripple pattern thanks to the frosting’s striped edges. For good measure, I later added extra Reese’s and icing. The finished cake is SO much fun in addition to being tasty. I adored the way it appeared! Check out the video directly above the recipe to see what I did if you want to reproduce it.
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- 1 3/4 cups (228g) all purpose flour
- 2 cups (414g) sugar
- 3/4 cup (85g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup (240ml) milk
- 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (240ml) hot water
Peanut butter frosting
- 2 cups (448g) salted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups (350g) peanut butter
- 9 cups (1035g) powdered sugar
- 6–7 tbsp (90-105ml) water or milk
- 6 reeses, chopped
Chocolate ganache and topping
- 6 oz (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream
- 8 reeses, cut in half
- Crumbled reeses
For the chocolate cake layers
- Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare three 8 inch cake pans with non-stick baking spray and parchment paper in the bottom.
- Add the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. Set aside.
- Add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and eggs to a medium sized bowl and combine.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined.
- Slowly add the hot water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
To make the frosting
- Combine the butter and peanut butter in a large mixer bowl and mix until well combined.
- Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
- Add 3 tablespoons of water or milk and mix until smooth.
- Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
- Add remaining water or milk and mix until smooth, keeping an eye on the consistency of the frosting so it doesn’t get too thin.
To build the cake
- Use a large serrated knife to remove the tops of the cake layers so that they’re flat. See my tips on how to level a cake and how to stack a cake.
- Place the first cake layer on a serving plate or cardboard cake circle and top with about 1 cup of frosting. Smooth frosting into an even layer.
- Add about half of the chopped Reese’s on top of the frosting and press into the frosting. Spread a small amount of frosting on top of the Reese’s so that it’s sticky on top for the next cake layer.
- Add the next cake layer and top with about 1 cup of frosting. Smooth frosting into an even layer.
- Add remaining half of the chopped Reese’s on top of the frosting and press into the frosting. Spread a small amount of frosting on top of the Reese’s so that it’s sticky on top for the next cake layer.
- Add the final cake layer to the top of the cake.
- Smooth out the frosting on the sides of the cake, creating a thin crumb coat.
- Add about 1 cup of frosting to the top of the cake and smooth into an even layer.
- Frost the cake using my tutorial for a smooth cake. Stop just before using the paper towel, which won’t be necessary with the pattern on the sides of this cake.
- Use an offset spatula to create the stripes around the cake. For guidance, see the video above starting at about 1:40.
- Set the cake aside and make the chocolate ganache.
Make the ganache and decorate
- Put the chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl.
- Microwave the heavy whipping cream until it just begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
- Use a squeeze bottle or a spoon to drizzle the chocolate around the edges of the cake, then fill in the top of the cake and smooth it with an offset spatula. See my tips for making a chocolate drip cake.
- Allow the ganache to firm a bit, about 10 minutes, then top with remaining frosting, additional Reese’s chopped in half, and Reese’s crumbles.
- Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve. Serve at room temperature. Cake is best for 3-4 days.