chocolate peanut butter cake

Alex’s birthday was this past weekend and in case you are new here, let me give you a loose outline of a Standard Dessert Alex Politely Requests: Chocolate. Chocolate with chocolate. Chocolate with caramel. Chocolate with toffee. Chocolate with coffee. Chocolate with hazelnut cream. Chocolate with Oreos. Chocolate cheesecake with brownie chunks. Chocolate icebox cake. Chocolate with raspberries. Chocolate with white chocolate. Chocolate with dulce de leche. Chocolate with banana cake.

What, can you sense a theme or something?

cake batter

This year we added one more to the chocolate cake pile: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake. Well, actually, the technical title of the cake is Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze, though it is actually a Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze, but all you really need to know is that if you know a chocolate-and-peanut-butter lover, you must make this cake.

peanut butter cream cheese frosting

Because did I mention the chocolate cake? With the chocolate-peanut butter ganache (I bet you didn’t even know such a thing existed, I sure didn’t and my life may never be the same again. I wish I could quit it.) And the cream cheese peanut butter frosting and filling? Actually, let us pause on that last part. If you’re anything like me, the thought of cream cheese and peanut butter intentionally mixed probably gives you a bit of pause. I don’t know cheese + sweetened peanuts? That can’t be right, I thought. Well, I was wrong. They are perfect together, with the tangy/saltiness of the cream cheese helping the peanut butter hit all the right notes.

peanut butter filling

You might be noticing a recurring theme here this summer, but what can I say? I’m in love with this book. I brought up Sky High for the first time after making my own birthday cake this year, that glorious Pistachio Petit-Four Cake. You heard me yammer about this book again when we were in the midst of Project Wedding Cake, where both the vanilla and chocolate cake recipes were from this wonderful book. And here we are at it again.

pouring the coatingand then we did thiswhoopschocolate feet

If you like baking cakes, especially celebration cakes, you really want to get this book. What drew me to it was that the cakes are so interesting–no plain chocolate with vanilla frosting here but petit-fours and blue cornmeal with caramel cream and gingerbread beer with bittersweet chocolate and bananas with praline and white chocolate.

chocolate peanut butter birthday cake

But here’s the other best part (you know, if the notion of a boston cream pie cake wasn’t enough to convince you)–a lot of these cake recipes are one-bowl. I even mixed the one below with just a whisk, no electric mixer. My dishwasher thanked me. Okay fine, of course I gave him the night off; it was his birthday, after all. Which means that I applauded the smaller sinkful of dishes even more.


Peanut butter, previously: Peanut Butter Brownies and Peanut Butter Cookies
One year ago: Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Adapted, only barely, from Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes

This cake is INTENSE. Serve it in the thinnest slices possible, and keep a glass of milk handy.

Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake; serves 12 to 16 (the book says, I say a heck of a lot more)

2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups (500 grams) sugar
3/4 cup (about 65 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (235 ml) neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup (240 grams) sour cream
1 1/2 (355 ml) cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs

1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanut brittle (I skipped this)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. (Deb note: These cakes are very, very soft. I found them a lot easier to work with after firming them up in the freezer for 30 minutes. They’ll defrost quickly once assembled. You’ll be glad you did this, trust me.)

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. (Deb note 1: Making a crumb coat of frosting–a thin layer that binds the dark crumbs to the cake so they don’t show up in the final outer frosting layer–is a great idea for this cake, or any with a dark cake and lighter-colored frosting. Once you “mask” your cake, let it chill for 15 to 30 minutes until firm, then use the remainder of the frosting to create a smooth final coating. Deb note 2: Once the cake is fully frosted, it helps to chill it again and let it firm up. The cooler and more set the peanut butter frosting is, the better drip effect you’ll get from the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze.)

5. To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving. Decorate the top with chopped peanut brittle.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes about 5 cups

10 ounces (285 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (115 grams, 4 ounces or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups (600 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup (170 grams) smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

8 ounces (225 grams) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons (50 grams) smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons (40 grams) light corn syrup, honey or golden syrup
1/2 cup (120 ml) half-and-half

1. In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

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1,475 comments on chocolate peanut butter cake

  1. Kimberly

    Thank you so much for getting this up so quickly! I am going to try it Saturday for a (Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup addict’s) friend’s birthday.

  2. My boyfriend recently showed be a recipe you posted who knows when about peanut butter brownies with chocolate on top. It was the first time I’d heard of your blog. I made it and it was delicious.

    Now I’m pretty sure he’s going to request this one, too. I wonder if I could use this to convince him to help me move my furniture…

  3. I hate you a little bit for posting this recipe. One because I am on a peanut-butter chocolate streak that won’t quit. Two, because it’s too late for me to go to the store and buy anything that will gratify the craving these pictures has awakened (hate, hard) and three because of the merciless teasing I will endure from my non-chocolate-fan husband when I do find an excuse to make this cake. Oh well…I’ll do it anyway…

    Now if I could just figure out how I ended up in a house that doesn’t have chocolate on hand…

  4. Oh my goodness, thank god that the summer is almost over because this will ruin me in trying to keep the bathing suit season!!!!! What could be better, chocolate and peanut butter! I am tearing up just typing about it…..

  5. Yum! I was on here earlier bc I’m making the lime melt-aways as I type and this post just popped up! I agree with the description “food porn”–that describes all your pictures! I’m drooling now!

    1. Susan

      I hate to ask this, but can you recommend a non-dairy substitution for the cream cheese? I have been making buttercream instead of cream cheese frostings at our house because my husband is lactose intolerant. He can eat Greek yogurt so I sub that for sour cream, perhaps it might work in the frosting as well (well-drained)?

  6. Mireille

    Perhaps I will try making the ganache using hazelnut butter, since I’m not a P.Nut Butter fan. Another good alternative to all-chocolate ganache.

  7. Firstly, this cake looks AMAZING and I must make it.
    Secondly, odd cowinkedink but my older brother, Alex, loves peanut butter and chocolate and his birthday passed by recently. Maybe he’s living a secret double life and he’s also your husband? In any case he’s getting this cake for his birthday next year.

  8. Marie

    Alex — Happy Birthday! I think you’re one lucky guy. Deb — Just wish I was a relative! I have to try the chocolate cake recipe. Now!

    1. Lindsey

      Perfection. I made this cake for my boyfriend’s “passing the bar” celebration. Everyone loved it and I may have kept an extra big piece for myself and ate it during Sunday football.

      So glad I made this one. One adjustment I made since I ran low on peanut butter was used pb2 in the frosting and it still turned out just as lovely. Thank you for sharing your recipes and talent with us all! The hardest part is always deciding which recipe to make!

  9. wendyr

    Oh my gosh. I want to eat this. I don’t even like chocolate and this looks like heaven.

    But GAH! My non-American husband doesn’t understand peanut butter and doesn’t approve of its usage. I fear that I will never get to sample this cake….

  10. We have a chocolate bar over here called Kit Kat – do you have that? Anyway, it’s just a wafer with chocolatey goodness inside and out and now they have a peanut butter version – Oh my God. It’s totally converted me to the combo. The way that chocolate is oozing off the sides!

    Also, does Alex really do the dishes like, all the time? Can you arrange for some sort of posting about this so that i can forward it to my man? Oh what a sweet arrangement, I cook, he cleans…..

  11. I think i have to get this book as a present to self for the move i’m about to embark on. I think it’s a perfectly justifiable purchase, despite the abominable amount of $ i’ve spent already on furniture and what not, don’t you? A new home DOES need an accessory….

  12. so, uh…yeah, I just bought this book after reading this last recipe, though you had me at boston cream pie cake ;) I cannot wait to make this chocolate peanut butter cake this weekend! Now I just need to make up an excuse…

  13. Maureen

    Ok, I’m gonna do it! That cake looks awesome. I didn’t post on the “kitchen fears” posting, but my fear is baking from scratch…I think I will need to overcome it. I can do it!

  14. emma

    Oh. My. Gosh.
    My feelings are so torn. Stay on a diet or enjoy absolute bliss?

    Oh, heck. I’m getting out the peanut butter.

  15. Sue


    I wish I had had this recipe for my son’s birthday two weeks ago. He would have been in 7th heaven. It has all his favorites. Chocolate, peanut butter and cream cheese.

    I think he deserves a second birthday cake this year.

  16. Amy

    that looks amazing, unfortunately I’m the only one in my house who would eat it. So that wouldn’t be good.

    do you think the cake would work as cupcakes? my daughter has requested chocolate cupcakes with “Pink” icing for her birthday, and I want a cake recipe that is really good.

  17. Dear Lord… is it possible to put on kilos just LOOKING at a picture of a cake 100000km away?? I am going to have dreams about this concoction tonight… and the whole one bowl thing?? I’m IN!!!
    PS Hang on a sec? What is half-and-half??

  18. i think i just drooled on my keyboard. this looks phenomenal, especially all that lusty, dripping chocolate! i too made my husband a peanut butter chocolate cake for his birthday. it was luscious, but, i have to say, this looks as though it takes the cake!!!

  19. Andrea

    Yay! My birthday is around the corner and this recipe will be e-mailed out immediately to an unsuspecting family member to make it for me. Or maybe I’ll just make it myself . . . This looks incredible. And chocolate AND peanut butter, is there any better combination?!?!?!

  20. deb

    Bush — Half and half = 1/2 milk + 1/2 cream = 10.5 to 18 percent butterfat. I’ve got this information and more on the “Tools” page.

    Chocolatechic — It would be sprinkled on top of the finished cake–Step 5.

    Amy — This would indeed work as cupcakes. However, if you’re just looking for a chocolate cake recipe, how shall I say it politely, this isn’t the strongest chocolate one. The mildness of the chocolate works perfectly with the peanut butter combination, but you’re just looking for a simple, killer chocolate cupcake, I’d advice you to go with her Chocolate Butter Cake (with or without the cinnamon) or this Epicurious favorite.

  21. Erin

    Hi Deb! This looks awesome . . . do you think it would work as a two layer cake with 9″ cake pans? Or a three layer with 9″ cake pans? How would you adjust the ingredients or cooking time? Thanks!

  22. Allie

    Cake looks great! I just bought that book, and can’t wait to try it out. You might want to try the peanut butter cake with chocolate/peanut butter ganache and cream cheese frosting at Epicurious (Bon Appetit). It’s amazing. Not as much chocolate, but it’s truly wonderful – especially once the flavors have melded after 24 hours. It’s been my birthday cake three years in a row now! (without the candy on top).

  23. deb

    Erin — Totally forgot to mention that I don’t have more than one (oh, and I left it somewhere) 8-inch circle pan so I used 9-inch ones–it’s fine. Probably a tad thinner than the super-tall picture in the book, but I’m not showing you that because it might make mine look bad. ;)

  24. Erin

    Oh, my husband will thank you SO MUCH when I finally come up with an excuse to make this cake. (Is it bad to consider throwing a party just for an excuse to make cake?)

    Looks awesome! Thanks, Deb!

  25. OMG, thank you for this recipe! I am going to make this for my husband’s birthday next month (hopefully I can get someone to watch the kids!). He’s going to love it!

    (And I’m going to love that book …)

  26. Oh Deb, you bad, bad girl you! This is hitting my “weakness” button way too hard! All of my restraint to enjoy a quiet, baking free Tuesday just flew out the window. The commitment to finish necessary documents for a major obligation have perished as my chocolate and peanut butter obsessions have taken control. My friends will thank you profusely, and I will “begrudgingly” admit complete and total defeat. Great work!


  27. I make a very similar version of this, but in cupcake form. I pipe the peanut-butter/cream cheese filling into the center of the cupcake, and then do a whipped chocolate ganache frosting on top. Delightful!

    I’ll have to try this recipe – and get that book. I’m intrigued by the blue cornmeal with caramel cream that you mentioned in your post.

  28. WOW!!!
    This cake looks amazing….. I am with Alex, everything tastes better when paired with chocolate……My husband likes dipping chocolate pieces in peanut butter. I think he might enjoy this cake……

    Thanks for sharing!

  29. Oh my oh my… I couldn’t click over from my google reader fast enough when I saw the words chocolate & peanut butter next to each other! My two favorite things! I can’t believe I’ve never heard of any recipe like this before… if only I didn’t have to spend the day in the office, as I would much rather go home and bake!
    Thanks for always putting together such lovely posts with amazing pictures. I’m drooling here at my desk :)

    ps. happy birthday alex!

  30. Rachel

    OH MY. I need to find a large gathering that I could take this to. Unfortuately I have a blueberry cobbler, a plum clafouti and some scones before my baking queue empties enough for this.

  31. I’m new to your blog, but I love it! Your writing is fresh and engaging, your pictures are mouth watering, and your content is so informative!

    I’m sharing an Arte y Pico award with you to say “Thank you” for sharing so much of yourself with us and making the blogosphere a sweeter place to be!


    This post, is a perfect exemplar of what makes this blog so absolutely fantastic and keeps me coming back for seconds…and thirds!!! :)

  32. Incredible recipe. Cream cheese and peanut butter do go well together, though I too was unsure at first. I used cream cheese peanut butter frosting for cupcakes and they were out of this world. That cake looks unbeatable though. Thanks for sharing!

  33. Oh. My. God. That’s all I can say.
    I found myself cataloging my cabinets to see if I could make this tonight. Because it’s Tuesday, and that’s all the occasion one needs for chocolate peanut butter I’m drooling now cake.

  34. Slack

    This will be my 30th birthday cake. I will have to make it myself but that’s quite fine.

    Also, I make a peanut butter pie with pb, cream cheese, and powdered sugar that it delicious so a frosting that has that plus butter sounds perfect to me!

  35. SAS

    Okay, I think I need whatever knife, spreader you are using in the 4th photo to spread the chocolate ganache! I never have the right kitchen tool to spread frosting whipping cream, lemon curd or preserves on a cake. What do you call that??

  36. I don’t think I’ve ever been so sold on anything in my entire life… and I’m one of those people who’s “not that into” chocolate!!! I’m seriously ordering this book from Amazon while I simultaneously try to come up with a holiday to make this cake. “Random Afternoon Day?”

    Seriously. You are incredible.

  37. Nancie

    I think I got a cavity just looking at those pictures. My baby brother has a birthday, that this will be perfect for, thanks, for sharing.

  38. Stella

    Do you think the cake part of this recipe is better than the cake part of your double chocolate layer cake? Because that cake is the best one that has ever come out of my kitches, so I’m tempted to try it with this frosting, unless you recommend otherwise.

    Thanks for this, Deb!

  39. Susan

    Mmmm..the frosting/filling sounds like it would be enough peanut butter flavor for the whole cake. Leave the ganache without PB. In the cake, I would probably nix the vinegar and use coffee instead of the water. I’d also melt butter and use it instead of the oil. There’s something about oil in cakes that just seems to neutralize some of the flavor to me. But, that’s just me!

  40. deb

    Allie — There isn’t one. Just scoop it into a measuring cup, press it in really well to make sure there are no air pockets and use a rubber or silicone spatula to get it out. The only easier way would be if the recipe had weight measurements, but unfortunately none in the book do. It’s the only thing I’d want to change about it!

    Stella — Actually, no. It’s just as soft and moist (and a bit hard to handle, like the other one) but not as chocolate-y. It works with this recipe, but if you’re pulling out a chocolate cake recipe, as I mention above (#45) either your favorite or the chocolate wedding cake have more chocolate pow. The wedding one is more dense and sturdy, but seriously amazingly good. (And one bowl!) Hope that helps.

    1. Vedika

      Hi Deb!
      I’m not a big fan of using vegetable/canola or soy cooking oil. Can I replace the same with butter. If so, what quantity of butter? And is there any alternative for the vinegar as well? Can’t wait to try out if the recepie! My sister’s coming into town for her birthday in a couple of weeks and she loves peanut butter!

  41. Kelly

    72 – you can always do the water displacement method like you can do for shortening, but it’s totally not worth it, just make the mess!!

  42. Liz

    That peanut butter frosting is basically the recipe for Paula Deen’s PB pie, which is amazing and super rich. This recipe is basically having you frost a cake with pie filling. Which I’m totally behind.

  43. PB could be my all-time favorite food. And with chocolate, wow. Can’t wait to think of a reason to make this.

    I have converted to the natural PB (you know, the one that’s just peanuts and salt). I know the recipe says to use commercial PB so the oil doesn’t separate, but if you stirred the natural stuff up really well, would it still work?? I just wonder if it would be OK since the ‘commercial’ stuff has sugar added (and possibly other things). Anyone know?

  44. I made a chocolate peanut butter cheesecake kind of thing recently. (The entire cake was made of cream cheese and peanut butter, then ganache on top.) While it was delicious, I felt really sick after eating it. So sick that I would never make it again. Just too rich. Maybe this one would be a better solution.

  45. trace

    I love the one-bowl stuff.

    So I only have two 9-in pans. Do you think it would be better to halve the recipe for thinner layers or go for the full recipe for 2 thicker layers that hopefully won’t overflow? I would bake the 3rd layer separately except for the fact that there’s vinegar in the recipe…

  46. trace

    okee thanks, will do 3 layers then :)

    another question I forgot to ask – at what point did you freeze the layers? After they’ve cooled completely? Or after 20 min cooling in the pan?

  47. Susan

    I bet the natural peanut butter would be okay if you chilled it well first, then cut back on about a tablespoon of the regular butter.

  48. Oh oh…not another excellent-looking Smitten Kitchen recipe. We’ve just posted two of your recipes in the last week alone. With this post, I envision a third one in the near future…

  49. Happy Birthday to your favorite man! Umm… thanks for picking this cake so Deb is forced to share with everyone! I hope you both had a wonderful birthday and gobbled up all the cake. Must make this. Must make this. Must make this.

  50. Tammy

    I have been CRAVING peanut butter and was thinking of making peanut butter cookies. That has all changed. Can’t wait to make this cake. yum! Thanks Deb!

    Happy Birthday Alex! I think you two are made for each other and both very lucky.

  51. I love the inclusion of the cream cheese. What a wonderful texture this cake must have! My sister, also a chocolate and peanut butter fiend, requested a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup cake for her birthday. Though I’m not much of a baker by comparison, I was proud to present her with my take on the theme. The oversized peanut butter cup on top was the crowning jewel.

    Though, my peanut butter filling was too peanut buttery. It didn’t have the same taste as the Reese’s filling. Do you have any idea how to reverse engineer that glorious Reese’s flavor? In addition to cakes, my depression-induced homemade McFlurries will thank you :-)

  52. Michelle

    Oh yum. I made a cake very similar to this last month. I made a chocolate cake and used a peanut butter frosting from the Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten). I also poured a ganache on top and then smothered the sides with crushed Reeses cups. I will have to try it with this cream cheese PB frosting!

  53. This looks really decadent. I have a picky boyfriend that only eats chocolate buttercream and yellow cake. Each year I have to try a new recipe. Each year it isn’t quite perfect. But maybe I could convince him that he should try the peanut butter and chocolate cake.

  54. Gaby

    Haha Kaitlin I thought of that one too. I love nutella… but I fear in this cake it might overpower the chocolate instead of complement it like the PB would. or the hazelnut would get lost?

    and well i this kind of cake i think BOTH chocolate and the pb should be spotlighted..YUM!!!!

  55. Trufflesteph

    I have been a dedicated (obsessed) Smitten Kitchen lurker for ever and ever and now I am de-lurking only to tell you that my absolute favorite growing up snack was a piece of bread topped with cream cheese covered in peanut butter then broiled in a toaster oven. And sometimes topped with some chocolate chips. Which I have entirely forgotten, and which you now bring me in cake form. Words cannot express my thanks. And also all those people who need an *excuse* to make a cake, especially this cake, oh my, how sad for them!

  56. sunny

    two ways I know to measure peanut butter:
    one- line the measuring cup with plastic wrap, fill, then just pull up the plastic wrap and wipe the peanut butter off the plastic wrap.

    two- get an adjustable measuring cup. it has a plastic sleeve around a cup, you lift up the plastic sleeve to the desired measurement, fill up the cup created by the sleeve, then push up on the cup, scrapes the sleeve clean as it empties. You can find them by searching “adjustable measuring cup” on amazon, I got mine from pampered chef.

  57. This cake is for me! I am a peanut butter – chocolate LOVER! One of my favourite things to do, simply yet delicious, is melt peanut butter and chocolate chips together and then drizzle that over vanilla ice cream. Yummy! I can’t wait for an occasion to make this cake.

  58. this cake looks absolutely amazing, and it feels like you read my mind – my husband’s birthday is coming up and he LOVES peanut butter, so i was looking around for a peanut butter/chocolate cake recipe when you posted this. thanks!

  59. deb

    Scott — You know what I think the secret to the awesomeness that is Reeses peanut butter cup filling? Salt. Quite a bit of it. If you try to isolate the taste–and I know this is hard what with the must have it right this very second temptation of one–you’ll find that its surprisingly salty, and the chocolate is, like most candy bar chocolate, surprisingly sweet. The sweet plays off the salty and it’s like crack (um, bad analogy, I know) to those of us who love them.

    Kaitlin — As for nutella, of course the caveat is that I haven’t tried this and if you’re so inclined, who knows, it may work. That said, my instincts are saying no. Nutella and peanut butter are wildly different substances. Nutella is almost all sugar and syrup, peanut butter is ground nuts with oil. They’re not a natural swap in recipes. However, if it is the chocolate-hazelnut taste you’re going for, you might want to pick up Hazelnut Butter. I know Whole Foods used to make some but I haven’t checked in eons. It’s consistency is slightly different than that of peanut butter, but it’s a fairly close match. They also made Almond Butter back in the day, and I think they still do.

  60. toni

    When I saw the first picture I physically gagged..and quickly minimized the screen.
    Not because it wasnt beautiful (b/c it is) but because Ive been forced into a chocolate peanut butter craze by my bf.
    I made the double chocolate peanut butter ice cream from earlier today and had a bowl about an hour ago. Im a huge fan of chocolate but not so big on peanut butter.
    My boyfriend (who rarely cooks or makes requests) saw the kitchn page picture, bookmarked it, and started looking up ice cream machines on ebay the same night. This was Thursday evening and by Saturday morning we had a new Cuisinart machine (which we got fr. Craigslist for $25!!)

    God forbids he sees this recipe. I’ll have to bake this cake and theres no way I can stomach more choc.+ PB for at least a few months.

    So, thanks to that gorgeous photo, I’ll have to sneak to read your blog for the next week or so..


  61. I live vicariously through your pictures. It looks so delicious I could eat the picture lol.

    This will be added to my recipe collection, we have a birthday coming up as well, perhaps this will be the cake that is prepared.

  62. Kirsty and Shell

    Aaaaaargh – I saw this recipe this morning, well before the crack of sparrow fart and decided that I had all the ingredients and NEEDED to make this cake… OH suggested that it isn’t really diet food, but it is brown and brown has no calories so I have categorically ignored him, invited a great friend around and we’ve made it, frosted it and eaten our first slices… NOW I’M GOING TO HAVE TO EAT MORE!!! My tastebuds thank you, my cravings thank you (my thighs have put a contract out on you…. LOL)

    What a fantastic recipe! Thank you so much for sharing. Pure heaven in a slice.

    Now I’ve just read the poached eggs post and NEEEEEED to make some of those too@*&%$

  63. Ok, this is going to be my ace-in-the-hole if my husband ever tries to leave me! Or I guess if he’s really good I’ll make it for his birthday if I can wait that long. Thanks so much for the post and the amazing pictures.

  64. You are a goddess. That looks delicious though I think I would die after just one slice. The thought of eating a lot of PB at once makes me queasy even though I love it. =)

  65. SNACKeR

    Re the peanut butter and cream cheese combo, I used to make peanut butter and cream cheese sandwiches all the time. I have no idea who introduced me to them, but it is a great fix. And then there is my preferred hangover sandwich, which is peanut butter, mayo, sliced tomato, and generous sprinklings of salt and pepper. Another classic!

  66. This looks delish. I bought the book after seeing the Petit Four cake on your site (and made the cake!), and I love it. I have only used the lemon curd recipe from it so far, but can’t wait until a special occasion to get stuck in.

  67. It took me a while to scroll to the bottom of your gaggle of comments but, my damn, that looks good.
    It’s a little after 9am and I’m thinking cake might be the perfect breakfast of champions.

  68. Lo

    I’m glancing at the photo of that chocolate peanut butter glaze dripping down the side of the cake… and I’m having a difficult time controlling myself. And I’ve not even had breakfast yeat!!

    This looks like a sure winner for DH’s birthday!

  69. deb

    I mentioned a few comments up that you might try this cake instead with hazelnut or almond butter. But honestly? I mean, if you’ve got a kid or a kid in the room that is allergic to peanut butter, there have just got to be better cakes to serve than this, given how crazed people are these days about peanut allergies. I link to a whole bunch of them at the top of this post.

  70. PatW

    It’s nice to know that somebody besides me makes their own birthday cakes! There’s a special caramel icing that I’ve had on mine since I was a little girl. It’s a little labor intensive, and can’t be gotten commercially, so doing it m’self is the only way!

  71. Neesha

    Deb, you have convinced me to get that book. and i will. do you know how much batter that recipe will make? the previous recipes you posted from the book stated the amount of batter in cups. it helps me to figure out how much to put in each pan. i’m challenged like that. thanks!

    it looks really yummy. and i’ve been toying with peanut butter/chocolate combo but haven’t had the guts to try it.

  72. deb

    Actually, yes! Mine made about 8 cups of batter, which I know because I combined it in a large pyrex measuring cup. I put about 2 2/3 cups of batter in each pan (and they were still uneven, grr, but oh well).

  73. MMC

    This looks delicious!

    I am not that experienced with cakes from scratch, but have baked a few, and vinegar is new to me as a cake batter ingredient. Do you know anything about the food science behind this; what does vinegar do for a cake? Just curious…

  74. Holy crap. OMG. I have got to think up an excuse to make this beauty. The peanut butter/ chocolate combination is one of the only ones that I can’t resist. You can imagine how many Reese’s cups have been consumed by me (especially the eggs at Easter). So… Happy It’s A Rainy Wednesday Day So We Need A Cake Day? Sounds good to me.

  75. This is just the nicest post since your wedding cake! I just love it/enjoy it when you post sweet rather than savory. WOWOWOWOWOW – this cake is just amazing! I bet it was yummy!

  76. Mistry

    I was set on making a plain old chocolate cake with white chocolate icing for my birthday which was yesterday.. Until i read your post.. within a second of looking at that first picture i was sold and choose to make this instead, thank goodness i did cause this cake was orgasmic good.

    This was my first attempt at making a layer cake.. so it didnt quite turn out as pretty looking as yours did, i guess that takes practice and then right tools. I’m looking forward to trying more of the recipes in your blog.

  77. Tried commenting to tell you how scrummy this looked, but for some reason my post wont show up. Hope this one gets through!

    I have always shied away from making layer cakes — the last one i made was a coconut cake sometime in 2000 — but I am totally reinspired.

  78. Um, YUM. I am obsessed with peanut butter (and chocolate obviously) and this is soo pretty. Not that it would stay very pretty once I got my hands on it!!!

    WANT. NOW.

  79. Winker

    Deb ~
    Once again I want to say I can’t believe how much your photos bring out the “get in the kitchen NOW!” I made the blueberry pancakes they turned out PERFECT!- DELICIOUS – LIGHT AND FLUFFY! The funny thing was, was that my husband didn’t care for them – he likes the dense ones I’ve been making all these years- HA – I can’t believe it!
    I am making two of your PB cakes for two events this weekend. I liked the idea of peanut brittle and made two batches last night. Believe it or not I’ve had the britlle ingredients in my cupboard for WELL over five years now waiting for a Christmas when I’m motivated enough to make it. I thought the peanuts would be stale and nasty, but the brittle is delightful – I just have to keep the humidity down and stop snacking on it so there’s enough fot the cakes.
    Thanks Again Deb!
    ~ Mary

  80. laura

    I made this cake last night, and it is so good…and so rich. I did play around with it though. I made two 9 inch layers. Then I cut each one of those so that I had four thinner layers. I made a little more icing by just throwing a little more of everything into the mixing bowl. I figured since I had four layers I’d need more icing, but I don’t know if I would’ve actually needed more. Anyway…I decided to salt the icing after tasting it and thinking “What does this need?”. I must say it was even better than it was originally. In reference to Scott and the Reese’s cup discussion…the salt really makes the cake, in my opinion, much more interesting. There’s no doubt about it, the cake is ridiculously sweet with or without the salt, but it helps cut the sweetness somewhat. It tasted more like a Reese’s cup. Also, I didn’t use the peanut brittle, and I left out the corn syrup in the ganache too. Overall a fabulous cake!

  81. Stephanie

    I stayed up late last night to make this after my little one and hubby went down for bed. It came out beautifully. This is my new favorite cake. I cut two slices for after dinner and took the rest to the office with me(I can’t have so much cake in the house, I will gain 5lbs). My Cake stand was clean by 10:30 am. This cake was loved by everyone. I followed your diections and everything was just right. I even had the perfect amount of icing for the 3 layers (I was worried). Also, the cake batter was more runny than I thought it should be, but the cake baked up perfectly. Thank you for another amazing recipie.

  82. Oh, my this looks wonderful! I have to try it. I could say its for someone’s birthday, but i think i will just make it to look and eat! I can’t wait until this weekend to try it out! Thanks so much for tempting me! You take such wonderful pictures. Thanks!

  83. I’m new to your kitchen and oh boy – new addiction alert! I’ve lost 40 pounds in the past year so most of what you have here is just food porn to me – and I have no problem with that. None – At. All.


  84. Okay, already a huge flurry of comments, but had to add in my 2 cents. I made this last night for the one year anniversary of our weekly Craft Night – there wasn’t a crumb left at the end of the night!
    I do have to warn others, though – just because you’re running late and started making the cake at the last minute does not mean it’s ok to put together and serve before giving it time in the fridge. The cake arrived to the event looking like the Leaning Tower of Pisa – but all was forgiven once everyone had a bite of it!

  85. makyo

    i made this earlier in the week just because i had the time. it was a phenomenal success in the tasting department, although it leaned a bit (one of the cake layers didn’t raise evenly). i brought it to work and it was declared a success and polished off rather quickly. i loved that the taste was not too heavy on the peanut-butter; it was rich, but not to the point where i couldn’t finish my slice :)

  86. Jen B

    Yummity yum.

    First, I’ve already ordered the cookbook.

    Second, I’ve got one of these chilling in the fridge right now. It looks just wonderful. I have some thoughts, though. I only have 9-inch cake pans, so I ran with them, and it is still a sky-high cake. Also, I thought some of the methods were unusual. The cake directions have you mix the oil and sour cream in, first. I tried, but my inner-anti-over-beating bell was screaming, so I ended up combining water through beaten eggs and adding all at once, so that I could minimize the stirring. Cake ended up delicate and tasty. I’m not saying that it wouldn’t, following the directions, but if you are concerned, or just don’t want to add everything bit by bit, I think you could do a standard-issue dry ingredient/wet ingredient mixing job and still get a great result.

    Then, when making the PB frosting, I though it would be weird and deflating to add the PB at the end, after you’ve mixed for 3-4 minutes to be fluffy. So I added it to the cream cheese and butter before the sugar. Love the texture. Again, I don’t know if it is an improvement; it is just that the directions as written sort of went against my Scooby sense in the kitchen.

    But this cake is gorgeous. Can’t imagine people not thinking it rocks (and I’m decidedly not a choc/PB person).

    Thank you!

  87. Samantha

    I love the flavours of this cake, but it really is the ugliest cake I have ever made. It just fell apart, even after I froze the layers — one was in the freezer for over an hour and it still wouldn’t stay together. The cake literally fell apart as I was frosting it. I haven’t glazed it yet or tried to cut into it — but I have serious reservations that one can even cut a piece from this absolute disaster of a cake. I don’t know what I did wrong, but this cake is beyond soft. It can’t even bear the weight of the layers — there’s severe subsidence on one side. I’m beyond frustrated — I love the combo of flavours and wanted nothing more than this to work. Suggestions for the next time (if there is one) would be appreciated.

  88. oh this looks absolutely fantastic. i love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter! i made a chocolate peanut butter pie a few weeks ago and then peanut butter nutella brownies last night. this recipe is definitely going to make it’s way to my kitchen ASAP :)

  89. i’m in the process of making this cake (the layers are cooling and the PB frosting is done) and i think i over-mixed the frosting, as it went from smooth to a sort of… like the consistency of cream when you over-beat it. so, just a warning: don’t overmix the frosting!

  90. This cake looks amazing. I’ve made brownies with a layer of cream cheese-peanut butter on top, so I’m hoping that this will be similar, except maybe a thousand times better.

  91. Dwilah

    Hey there. My boyfriend found this recipe via digg–and he said I should make it. Since he rarely ever shows interest in the recipes I make, I decided to make it. I’m glad to have found your blog, though. I had ideas of making a recipe blog and about a year ago, filled a MySpace blog once a week with recipes and photos. I kind of forgot about it after awhile and haven’t been keeping it up. I wish I could do something as nice as this!

    On another note, I only had two cake pans, so I made the last in a smaller copper stewpot (just prepared the bottom the same way). Seems to have turned out fine, but the cake is tiered in a weird way. The cake’s in the fridge now, but I took some pics of what mine looks like, just on the off-chance you’re interested. Links are below…long, but should work. I did want to note that it seemed like there was a whole, whole lot of the ganache. I ended up having enough to give the cake a whole layer over the frosting…mostly because I hate to waste. I was curious if your recipe gave you extra. Anyway, off now, but I will be checking out your blog a lot more later. Thanks for the recipes.

  92. Oh. My. God. How did I miss this one? I looked at your site the other day, said “ew, tomatoes” & scurried away…but in my haste I missed the most amazing cake I’ve ever seen! That will teach me to avoid vegetables…

  93. Dustin

    This was the FIRST cake I’ve ever made. It turned out delicious! It looks AWFUL though, haha. It’s falling apart and looks like an earthquake hit it. The cake is super moist and fluffy and delicious though.

    The only thing I’m happy with is that I added sad to the icing and it’s a little odd now. A TINY amount of salt made it better I think but just a hair more made it a little too salty. Very very fine line. I’m quite happy with it for my first cake though! Super yummy, super rich. Also, this cake is MUCH LARGER than I expected! It’s quite huge! haha

  94. Emily

    OMG, this cake was to die for!! I made a lighter version and it came out fantastic. It wasn’t as pretty as yours, but I’m sure it tasted just as good!

  95. Veronica

    I made this and it was AMAZING! The whole cake was finished within the hour… which is saying something because it is RICH. It was very time consuming (maybe because I’m such a perfectionist…), but actually quite simple. I -strongly- recommend this recipe. I already have requests to make it again.

  96. Although my cake looked nothing like yours, I have to say that I believe it’s the best cake I’ve ever made! In my life! Wow! I compensated for my 9″ pans by 1 1/2 times the cake recipe. Oh my! It was a monster! I gave so much of it away and I ate so much of it. I’d be at work and tell my friends (who I’d taken cake to) “I can’t wait to get home and get into that cake!”

    By the way Deb, I didn’t even own cake pans until you put up the wedding cake. Everything I’d ever made went into a 9X13 pan. Thanks for getting me to do a bit more exploring.
    http://www.myspace/aliciad54 for a picture

  97. Oh good heavens! That looks so good. My mouth is seriously watering. I wish I could be like Jean-Luc Picard and say, “Computer, chocolate peanut butter cake,” and it would be so.

  98. Nancy

    Intense” isn’t quite the right word. I couldn’t get past four forkfuls. Yet another keeper.

    Someone… me…..I’ve fallen and can’t get up.

  99. Stephen Cashman

    One complaint – who lists amounts of chocolate chips in ounces?? I don’t have an analytical balance in my kitchen.

    Other than that the cake as pictured does look incredible. I’m making it tonight and hopefully it ends up tasting as good.

    Sorry, that ounces thing just really annoyed me, I didn’t notice it until I was in the middle of the recipe. (BTW 1 ounce of chips turns out to equal 1/6 of a cup so you need 1 1/3 cups for this recipe)

  100. Cate

    But Stephen, you don’t want chocolate chips for this recipe. Chips contain less fat and added lecithin to keep them from melting into goo in your cookies. Chocolate in bar form melts much more smoothly, which is what you want for ganache.

  101. Fran

    This cake made an ENORMOUS hit at the 3-yr-old birthday party (adults snatching half eaten plates from the hands of distracted children, etc.). If it leads to a proposal, I’ll make it for the wedding too.

    You rock.

  102. Amy

    AMAZING. I had two grown men watching over my shoulder in anticipation of getting a bite. Because of that, I skipped putting the cakes in the freezer, but after piecing them back together because they were so soft and hard to handle, I can see where that would REALLY help!

  103. WOW! This looks sooooo wonderful. YUM. I just discovered your blog and you are making me very hungry. Beautiful photos. I bet you have so much fun with this. I can’t believe you do all this in a tiny kitchen. You go girl!

  104. Karen

    Adding to the 186 comments about how wonderful this cake is… I just threw a big birthday bash for my 24th where this cake was the center of attention… not me! It was themed “all chocolate… all the time” and so I also used your truffle recipe and the Dulce de Leche cheesecake recipe. Just wanted to let you know that the party should have been named “all smitten kitchen…. all the time”. Thanks for the amazing recipes! Keep um coming!

  105. Carol

    I made this for my sister’s 40th birthday party last night and it was a big hit!!! I agree with someone else who skipped the freezing of the cakes–skipping that step didn’t work so well for me, either. But only because the cake is so moist and delicate and not at all like a commercial sponge. All of my sisters are bakers and all agreed that the cake was delicious. If you are hesitant because you think that peanut butter flavor can be too much, this is the right cake because the peanut butter flavor was tempered with the cream cheese and was just awesome. I am going to use each of the recipes separately at times, they were so good. Excellent recipe. Thanks a bunch!

  106. Jeanne W.

    Just thought I’d let you know that today I made a banana cake and used that peanut butter frosting and chocolate peanut butter glaze.
    It was an awesome combination, thanks for the inspiration!

  107. Michelle

    To #179 — the recipe probably says ounces for the chocolate glaze because baking chocolate ( i.e. Bakers or Nestle Chocolatier or some of the more expensive brands like Scharffenberger ) is sold in ounces. 1 square = 1 oz. Of course, the chocolate chips will work also. But often recipes call for a higher quality chocolate than chocolate chips.

  108. Patty

    My 20 year old son is a chocolate peanut butter lover and last week presented me with a printout of this recipe. I have three teenage boys and they all loved this cake. My first attempt was a bit sloppy since I didn’t have three identical cake pans or parchment paper, but yesterday I went shopping to get all the necessary tools (who knew what an offset spatula was?) Anyway, my second attempt which I assembled on a lovely cake stand was an absolute work of art. This is undoubtedly one of the best cakes I’ve ever tasted, bar none. It will be my offering at any future gathering where I happen to be invited. Thanks for this recipe! (Next time I will use the higher grade chocolate for the glaze, but honestly, the glaze tasted yummy with just the nestles chocolate chips.)

  109. emmyalex

    Ok now that i have seen this amazing peanut butter cake i am going to buy all the ingredients and then buy FITNESS magazine and use every darn workout in that awesome magazine to make your awesome cake. wow.

  110. Ieare

    I just thought I’d mention I AM having a party specifically to eat this cake! Of course, it’s also nice to have friends get together… but I’ve been trying to find an excuse to make this cake since it posted.

  111. Daniel

    The first cake I ever made in my life, and it worked! I only had quite large cakepans so it was just a 2 layer cake, but amazing! I made it at work and all the stoners now love me hehe.

  112. Winker

    I forgot to get back to you on my results.
    YUM! It was stunning with the large pieces of peanut brittle on the top.
    The cake by itself was something else – I could’ve just eaten that it was so delicious! Since I was going to two events and traveling a good bit of the way (7 hour drive) I made a double batch and baked it in 9×13 pans and froze them for the trip. When I got to my destination I cut them in half and made two 9×6 cakes. I also added an extra cup of peanut butter to the cream cheese frosting.
    At the first dinner party we ate the cake RIGHT AWAY! No one wanted to be too full to eat cake after a big meal and alcohol.
    THANK YOU Deb for a STELLAR recipe!

  113. Kathryn

    Deb, I thought you were exaggerating when you said to serve it in the thinnest slices possible. I mean, we’re not dessert lightweights around here. But you were right. I’m still in a blissful state of sugar shock.

  114. Nicole M

    GREAT recipe — I made it for my friend’s birthday. Had some issues getting it to rise (I’m not the world’s best cake baker) but it still came out nicely. I see what you mean about freezing the layers — maybe I’ll freeze ’em for a bit longer next time. I was a little worried that there might end up being TOO much peanut butter but I was totally wrong — the PB and chocolate complemented each other PERFECTLY. This TOTALLY goes in the “keep” recipe pile. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!!!

  115. melissa

    I made this cake for my brother’s birthday in August. It was a huge hit. Really delicious and rich. My only comment is that I used Peter Pan peanut butter for the frosting and glaze and found that it was so sweet and un-peanutty that I wished I had tried another brand. Any suggestions???

  116. Julia

    Wow- this cake is a show-stopper!! As Deb promised, it is easy to make and comes out looking oh so professional. Like others have said, it is VERY rich, which is why it serves many more people than it seems. I added at least a cup less powdered sugar than the recipe called for and added salt to the peanut butter frosting. I also used only 2 layers. One sugesstion- make sure to serve this at a cool temperature, as the heat can make it sort of greasy tasting. YUM!

  117. Munchkin

    My word…this is quite possibly the best cake I’ve ever made. Thank you! I’m so glad I read this post thoroughly as the cake really benefits from being in the freezer for a bit. I also put in a cup less of icing sugar and it was perfect (for us). The flavours all blended so well together…who knew that cream cheese and peanut butter would be such good friends?!! Definitely a foodgasm moment!

  118. Raif

    Gorgeous !!! Im a Tv Director for a Food Channel. I was surfing about for some good looking food, etc. Stumbled upon yours.
    Its Beautiful. lol @ Shawna for licking her monitor :):)


  119. shayna

    I made this for the Boy’s birthday over the weekend, since he is a big time devotee of peanut butter. Honestly, the first slice was a little much, but I think it’s actually gotten better as it’s been sitting in the fridge since Saturday night. If I were going to make it again – wait, when I make it again – I think I’ll do it a day or so ahead. It seems moister now, and cream cheese/ganache toppings hold up well anyway.

    And the peanut butter frosting? My god. Mmmmm. There’s some left in a tupperware in there and it’s taking a lot of willpower to not go eat it with a spoon. What? It’s got protein! and calcium!

  120. Omigod… that is one sexy cake! If it wasn’t for the three huge bags of peanutbutter M&Ms that my husband just brought back from the States, I’d be diving into the kitchen to bake this!!

  121. YUM! I have this cookbook too and made the chocolate-peanut butter cake recently (who could resist!) I am curious though–how did you get the peanut butter frosting looking so pretty! My cake was super crumbly and I could barely ice it without pulling off big chunks. It sure tasted delicious, but it wasn’t exactly winning any beauty pageants!

  122. Oooops, haha, I should read more carefully! I assumed the recipe was just the recipe from the book that I followed, but I now see your note about freezing the cakes! I will definitely try that next time! :) (And try to read more carefully!)

  123. Lindsay

    I just made this for a friend’s birthday (I halved it, and used three little cake pans) and it turned out AWESOME. The best cake I’ve ever made. Thanks, Deb!

  124. I just made this cake this afternoon. I think it’s the richest thing I’ve ever made (and I bake a lot of cakes, having gone thru a professional pastry chef course). A little too rich for me, but my husband loves it.

    I’ve cut about 10 slices of it (to give to friends) and it’s half gone. Next time I’d halve the glaze recipe: I made 8″ layers and that amount of glaze covered the entire cake, with spillage. And yes, the cakes were very soft. I didn’t freeze them but kept them together with careful handling and judicious use of cake circles. Cut this cake with a knife run under hot water and wipe the knife with a cloth between cuts.

  125. this looks amazing! Just looking at your pic on the screen makes me want a tall glass of cold milk…and I’m lactose intolerant! LOL Thanks for sharing the recipe. It’s definitely going in my ‘make soon’ pile!

  126. So could I get away with making this in TWO 9″ pans instead of three? I’m not all that interested in buying a third cake pan, but I’m worried that the cakes are going to be even softer with more batter in each pan. Pour off extra batter into cupcakes? Thoughts?

  127. Tina

    I saw you this morning on the martha show and they showed the peanut butter cake.
    I had to go to your web site just to fine the recipe to print out so I could make it.
    I love PB and chocolate it’s a true blessing thank you for sharing God bless you.

  128. Kristine

    Just made this cake for my sister’s birthday. OMG. The entire room was silent. It was so rich people could not finish their slices, HOWEVER, everyone requested a plate to take the rest home to eat later on!!

    Everyone said it was the best cake they have ever had. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe and beautiful photos.

  129. Kellee

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe. My best friend and I are big fans of your blog – I actually found it about 2 years ago through your friend Jocelyn’s blog. My best friend made this for my birthday 2 weeks ago and it is AMAZING. I had no idea that cream cheese and peanut butter could make such a perfect combination. Your recipe made this the most memorable cake in awhile. I haven’t enjoyed a birthday cake this much since a little bakery in Banksville, NY used to make the most wonderful Grand Marnier cake.

  130. Sue

    I’m halfway through my second making of this magnificent cake. The first time I made it my teenage boys said it was the best cake they had ever had in their life. I’m making this one for a surprise for a friend’s birthday, but I’ve already told her husband that I will have to take some of it homw with me after I give it to her or my kids will never forgive me.

  131. Diane

    My only real problem when I made this cake was getting the glaze to look as pretty as your pictures. Well, you know, not all over the cake plate anyway. I poured about half of it on and it looked just gorgeous, but I couldn’t resist trying to put more and more on… Did I just pour it when it was too warm? Should I have put it in the refrigerator sooner? (I’m sorry if this was mentioned in the comments already… I tried to look through most of them.)

  132. deb

    The best trick to get the ganache to cling but not run too much is to chill the frosted cake before you use it. Cold is your best friend when assembling cakes. Because the peanut butter icing will be cold, it will dribble down more slowly. Just only pour a tablespoon or two at a time–you can always add more if it doesn’t drip down enough.

  133. Mitch

    Oh. My. God.

    I made this cake this morning, and we just had it for dessert after dinner. Quote from my 3rd grader, who is a good eater: “I can’t think of a way to make this cake any better.”

    And my kindergartner, who is quite a fussy diner, was motivated to eat his BBQ chicken, blue cheese potato salad and steamed green beans by the prospect of devouring a slab of this unbelievable cake.

    Finally, my wife, for whom I made the cake, and who is a chocolate and peanut butter-a-holic, was moaning at the dinner table in ecstasy.

    My entire family thanks you!

  134. I made this cake this afternoon to take to a church function this evening! It was such a hit! Everyone wanted a piece! I didn’t put the peanut butter into the chocolate glaze, I was afraid it would over-power the chocolate. I used Reese’s peanut butter chips on top of the glaze. It was gorgeous and I can’t wait to make it again! I loved all the helpful hints you put throughout the recipe, very helpful. Thank you Deb for the fantastic recipe! Have you ever made Paula Deen’s Chocolate Creme de menthe cake? You MUST try it! Google that recipe – you’ll thank me!

  135. Xenko

    I just made this cake… and learned a few lessons. I only mangled one of the three layers taking it out of the pan (running a knife around the pan before inverting it onto the cooling rack really helps). My only other problem was frosting the thing. Apparently I need more practice because my “crumb coating” took a lot more icing than I anticipated. I think I read somewhere that you can coat a small amount melted butter onto the sides of a cake and it will help prevent the crumbling when frosting. Putting the cake in the freezer before pouring the ganache really helps! I poured the entire lot of ganache onto the top of the cake, and it didn’t even flow over the sides without some spreading on my part. In the end though, the cake tastes great!

  136. Sarah

    I wanted to make this cake as soon as I saw it posted. I finally got the chance this weekend and it turned out beautifully. Putting the cake in the fridge to firm up, as the directions say, is really a must. The frosting and the glaze turned out beautifully with the cooling time. I’m not one to be daunted by too much chocolate, but as Deb says, this cake is really rich. I served the cake with some vanilla bean ice cream, that was the perfect complement to cut through the sweetness. I enjoyed every bite.

  137. kea

    I saw this cake on Martha’s show Monday, September15. My son and daughter loves reeses cups, so I decided to try it for a reunion we were to attend on Saturday. Needless to say it was a great hit. Thanks for the recipe.

  138. Erika

    This cake made absolutely delicious cupcakes – just half the recipe for all three components and it will make about 18-20 cupcakes. I made the cake as well (obsessed much?!) a week before, and anyone who had a bite agreed it was the most awesome cake in the universe. Once you go triple layer, you’ll never go back!

  139. Just wanted to share that I finally had an occasion to make this cake and everyone fell apart over how good it was. Thanks for sharing it and making me a hero for a day!

  140. Thespian Libby

    I’ve made this cake three times now, and it’s an absolute hit! It looks so much more complicated than it really is. Last week I made cupcakes instead of the three-layer cake. Worked like a charm.

  141. Sarah


    I made this cake for my husband as well and brought the rest into work. Everyone loved it and it was gone by the end of the day. As I was leaving, one co-worker stopped me and scrapped off the very last bit of cake and frosting and shoved it into her mouth! It’s been almost two months and my co-workers are still talking about the cake!

  142. Kristin

    I saw you on the Martha Stewart show and decided to take a look at your website. I found this cake and made it today for my husband’s birthday. Your helpful hints were very “helpful” and the cake was just amazing!! A tall glass of milk is a must : )
    Thanks for the recipe!! It was a hit with my family!!!

  143. Asimah

    Hey Guys! I am Asimah from Pakistan. I made this cake yesterday and like it says: it was succulent but way too heavy. And do, I did serve a glass of milk with it. But I had slight problem with the peanut butter filling. My peanut butter mixture was not smooth. It has granules of sugar and when you ate it, it make the ‘krunch krunch’ sound of sugar in your mouth. That was the only flaw. I have uploaded a pic of the cake too. If anyone could help, I’d be obliged.


  144. I missed the show but heard all about it! This cake looks amazing and I just bookmarked it since we have a birthday coming up next month and I was already wondering what to make. It’s just so beautiful! {gasp!}

  145. Sarah Jane

    Thanks for posting such a beautifully delicious cake. Made it for my parents 30th anniversary party. It was inhaled within seconds. Made many referrals to your blog. Thank you thank you thank you.

  146. johopo

    I just made this cake for a friends birthday and it is insane, in a good way!!! if you love chocolate cake and peanut butter, make this cake! It will be the tastiest cake you’ve ever made. I heart you smitten kitchen!

  147. Lee

    I just made this cake for my crazy-for-peanut-butter boyfriend, and it did not disappoint. I mean, WOW. Guest comments ranged from “wow, where did you buy this?” to “this cake is OUTRAGEOUS.” And it was.

    Instead of peanut brittle, I chopped up some mini peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s and sprinkled them on top of the cake for added oomph. HIGHLY recommended. Click on my name to see pictures on Flickr.

  148. errol

    bangin’ recipe, turned out just like the pics and tasted so good. thanks for the tips on the crumb layer and chilling instructions, made the process go smooth.

  149. Carolyn

    I want to make this cake for my husband’s surprise birthday this weekend. Do you think it would be ok to make it, including frosting it, and freeze it? Then I could make it several nights in advance, when he’s out, since I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to get him out of the house on Saturday.

  150. Sarah

    Found you for the first time two days ago, followed a link for the squash and onion gallette. I saw the cake and new I had to make it. Everyone who has tried it has given it AWESOME reviews. My SO told me it was “THE BEST CAKE HE HAS EVER HAD!”
    Not only is it an amazing cake, but it is straight forward, easy to make, and forgiving. Case in point, I only had two 9″ pans so I put the two in the oven with the third still in the bowl. A couple minutes later I realized I had forgotten to add the eggs to the batter. I pulled the pans out of the oven, scraped them back into the bowl, added the eggs then poured the batter back in the pans. Many cakes would have been offended this one took it right in stride!

  151. Danielle

    I read this blog all the time, and when I saw this cake I knew I had to make it sometime soon. I am the unofficial birthday cake baker in my office and finally a self-professed chocolate peanut butter lover’s b-day came up! She is lactose intolerant so I made a peanut butter swiss meringue buttercream for the frosting. The cake was AMAZING. It earned rave reviews, and three others requested the cake for their birthdays as well. I’ve put the Sky High book on my christmas list already! Thanks for the great recipes!

  152. Brian

    AMAZING!! I made this for my wife’s birthday today and it turned out PERFECTLY!.. This is the first recipe I have tried from this site and I will now be sure to come back for more. Thanks Smitten Kitchen.

    Brian (Los Angeles)

  153. John

    Call me crazy for trying to make this even richer, but would this work if i crushed up some peanut buter cups, and added them to the cake batter or mabye? butterfinger? im just trying to add some PB flaor to the make itself and cake a one layer cake
    thanks for the help!

  154. I made this for my sister’s birthday yesterday and it was absolutely amazing. Not only was it incredibly tasty, but EASY and pretty cheap.

    I’m so impressed and can’t wait to do it again.

  155. I just got this cookbook and that ws the first cake I marked. PB and Chocolate. What could be btter than than???? Glad you said it was easy. And rich. Small slices. Thanks for this one. Yummy!!!

  156. Ryane

    Okay, I’ve been drooling over this recipe for the past month or so and have finally found an occasion to make it! However, I’m a bit of a novice – at least equipment wise I guess. I don’t have a double-boiler, do you think it would be okay to just either nuke the chocolate bits for the drizzling, or would it even be all right just using like chocolate sauce (ice cream sauce or similar) mixed with PB be okay?
    Very excited nonetheless to do this tomorrow!

  157. Erika

    Ryane – just put a heatproof bowl with your chocolate/peanut butter/corn syrup mixture over a couple inches of simmering water, and there’s your double-boiler. No equipment needed! (besides a pot, and bowl…)
    Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the simmering water though, and be careful of the steam when you lift the bowl up. I always wear an oven mitt, just in case.

  158. mike

    seriously the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted…besides my grandma’s.
    I am a noob when it comes to baking and cooking, and was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to make it. I got over my fear, after looking at the pictures 3 times a day, and finally made it. It was pretty easy and I followed the recipe exact.
    will make this again, certainly soon…before the holidays.

  159. alisa huntsman

    WOW!!! how amazing it is to see that so many people are excited about this cake. It is definitely a family favorite. Sky High represents 6 months of just testing recipes, that does not include all of the other steps taken to produce the book. Nothing makes me happier that hearing people get excited about trying the recipes. The photographer and the food stylist did an amazing job making the cakes look a beautiful as they do in the book. Thanks to all that have given Sky High such wonderful praise, I truly appreciate it.

  160. Angel

    I just made this for my husband for dinner tonight (as a something special!) He isn’t a huge cake fan, so I always have problems getting him to move beyond my carrot cake, but he can’t wait to try this. Unfortunately, mine is no where near as beautiful as yours because my ganache was too thick and smooshed the cake a bit – I really need a double boiler! But I can’t wait to try it and I’ll see what I can do for the duplicate I’m making for him to take to work tomorrow.

    I found your blog through some friends, and I have to say you’re my new favorite! Thanks!

  161. Karen

    Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe. I had spent some time looking for a recipe for a cake for my husbands birthday which was on Sunday – its been a few years since I baked a cake, usually I buy one from a store … this worked out perfect, it was a lot easier to do than it looked and my husband said it was the best cake he has ever eaten by a country mile …. here are my pics – thanks again Deb.

  162. Candace

    This cake was a huge hit! Mine was a bit unconventional, as I left out the ganache and shaped it into a… well, I… I made a bachelorette party cake (fyi- the pb icing makes for easy molding and a great color!!) In any case, I dream of making this cake in it’s full triple-layer glory. I have recently stumbled upon your website, and am now addicted! Plans to make the chocolate stout cake and the orange chocolate cake (can you say “Halloween Cake”??)….. oh, and also some substantial foods as well, in the near future!

  163. Eva

    This cake is a MUST DO for me. Since there are only 2 of us at home, I am going to make it and freeze each layer. I will then assemble one at a time when we desire it. The WOW factor of 3 layers will be saved for entertaining and it will be a WOW!!!! The ganache firms up and will stay in the fridge indefinately if tightly wrapped. Just take out as much as needed for the top and warm it to the “dripping” stage. I love to bake and this cake is a winner.

  164. rissykay

    I made this for my birthday last week and it was delicious! Thanks for the tips on frosting the cake, very helpful. Mine was not as pretty as the pictures, but it still tasted great! I put white chocolate reeses PB cups on the top. Thank you for the great recipe!

  165. JENI

    I made this cake last week and it was a very good cake! I baked this cake for my running buddies and OL (office Ladies). The cake is super moist and even “moistier” the next day. It is super rich – I only made half the frosting knowing that it will be too rich. I frosted thinner on the top but reg on the sides. I wonder if the cake will be okay with half the oil and possibily subing the oil for butter?

  166. Jenn

    I tried this cake over the weekend for a family birthday and it was a huge hit! It was beautiful, and tasted amazing. Thanks for all the tips — they helped make the recipe so much easier!

  167. Amber

    I made this cake in the shape of an acoustic guitar for my brother’s birthday . It was perfect, the icing was the right color and my family loved the cake. The actual cake part is very moist and extremely good.

  168. Dawn

    Oh. My. God. This is the absolute best ever peanut butter chocolate cake and quite possibly the best cake ever! I made it for my dad who loves peanut butter so much he eats it by the spoonful. Awesome!

    You rock!

  169. Caroline

    This cake is the very best chocolate cake ever, and so so easy…It’s a one-bowl wonder! I’ve always baked Hershey’s Black Magic Cake, but this recipe is even better! I think it might be the addition of the sour cream. However,rather than the 1-1/2 cups of water, I added 1-1/2 cups of cooled, freshly brewed, strong coffee which was leftover from the morning (just like the Black Magic Cake)! This is now my “GO TO” chocolate cake recipe, forever. Try the addition of the coffee instead of water…I think you’ll like it. So glad to discover your website. I LOVE IT!

  170. joylynn

    Can someone help me, Deb, maybe? My daughter’s birthday party is tomorrow afternoon & she has requested this cake. Do you recommend making the cake layers & then freezing them & assembling the whole cake with frosting tomorrow? Or making the whole cake today and refrigerating until tomorrow? Advice from anyone would be appreciated. I’m making the cake part right now.


  171. deb

    Hi Joylynn — You could easily make the whole cake today; it will keep fine assembled and ready to go. Alternately, you could do everything but the ganache, leaving that for the last minute so it looks as fresh and shiny as possible. Or, you could make all three cake layers today, flash freeze them (this cake is so soft, it is much easier to lift and stack the layers frozen), then wrap them well in plastic overnight and frost it in the morning. Hope that helps.

  172. joylynn

    Hi Deb,
    Thanks for your help and quick response. I have the first two layers in the oven now and will bake the third after they are cooled since I only have 2 pans. I think I will plan to do all of the frosting in the morning. I’m sure it will be easier with the frozen cakes because I’m kind of a layer cake novice. I’m glad you have lots of tips listed with the recipe–it will help me greatly.


  173. joylynn

    Update: The cake was very moist and extremely delicious. Everyone at the party loved it. I made the cakes yesterday & froze them overnight. That made it very easy to frost them today and I didn’t need a crumb coat for the top. I made the ganache in a glass bowl in the microwave–I put all of the ingredients in the bowl at the same time and used very low heat & checked & stirred it frequently. It worked perfectly.
    Thanks, Deb! I will definitely make this again.

  174. Lyra

    I made it for a party, and this cake was delicious and a huge hit. I also froze the cakes overnight and then did the assembly the day of, and it worked out great.

    The only thing was, my cake was very soft and liable to collapse on itself when cut. Did I just leave it out too long (3~ hours)?

  175. deb

    Hi Lyra — If it was warm where you were, 3 hours might have been too long. The cake is so soft and tender, I find that having it a bit chilled–or at least not out more than an hour in a warm place–helps its flavor and sliceability.

  176. This cake is chilling in my fridge with the crumb coat on it right now. The glaze is next. My heart is pounding, my palms are sweaty:this cake IS intense.
    Hopefully I survive all the cream cheese PB frosting I just ingested.
    Thanks for this.

  177. Simone

    I made your peanut butter icing from memory. I had promised my husband a chocolate cake. I made the chocolate cake from America’s test kitchen TV show and didn’t have any heavy cream for ganache but I had an open package of cream cheese, a stick of butter, confectioner’s sugar and you totally saved the day!

  178. I made this for my roommate’s birthday, and everyone loved it! The cake was so dense and moist — the complete opposite of a box mix (which I despise). Thanks for all of your tips! We cut very small slivers! Also, I was not skeptical of the peanut butter cream cheese combination at all. We make a peanut butter pie like that, and it’s just fabulous!

  179. Andrea

    My boyfriend made this cake for my birthday, and it was awful. I totally lied to him, because he is not very good in the kitchen and he went on and on about all the work he put into this. I didn’t have the heart to be honest. However, I’m afraid he will make this is “signature cake” and start making it for other people who will also be forced to lie. The cake part was really, really thick–almost like a super-thick pudding. Over all it just didn’t taste right. I kept cutting myself a piece and then proclaimed that it’s just too rich to finish. Any ideas on what could have gone wrong? I am considering making it to see if it’s his fault or if it’s just that I (and my mother) don’t like this cake.

  180. Angela

    I made this cake for my mom’s birthday party and it was an ENORMOUS hit. I’m by no means a super experienced cook, but I had no trouble at all with this recipe. It was fabulous and I’m trying to devise a reason to make it again this weekend.

  181. Corinne

    This cake was slightly time consuming (probably because I made it on a lazy Sunday and had fun with it) but SO WORTH IT. I made it for the boyfriend’s birthday and he was very impressed. If you even remotely like Reese’s cups, this one’s for you.

    Note: I freaked out when I realized I had used the last of my white vinegar and hadn’t replaced it yet- no time to go get more! I used apple cider vinegar to replace it and it turned out fine.

  182. Deb-

    This cake looks amazing (and the few crumbs that I’ve had tasted it too). I am in the middle of making it, just need to add the chocolate glaze. Your tips about freezing the cake periodically are totally essential! I didn’t freeze the middle layer enough and it was almost disastrous! Other readers should definitely follow your notes.

    I’ll let you know how it tastes when I’m done with it. Thanks again for sharing your insights.

  183. usha

    Deb –
    This cake was great! However, I didn’t realize the cake layers would be so fragile, even with partial freezing (removing them from the plans was – um – interesting), and I would skip the brittle next time. Also, I thought the glaze was a bit too much – can one describe a glaze as “clunky”? Next time I’ll make one more like the ganache glaze topping to your mosaic brownie cheesecake.
    And speaking of that cheesecake: It showed up as the “one year ago” recipe the day the peanut butter cake recipe appeared, and now I’ve made both for the same friend’s birthday dinner. Please continue the tradition next year, so I can make her another fabulous dessert!

  184. Kinsey

    Whoo-eee, powerful stuff! I was very pleased with the results and this cake was so fun to make. I want to try a cupcake version with an injected peanut butter frosting center next.

    But next time it is necessesary to slam-dunk the competition, the whole cake it is!

  185. Denise

    I found this peanut butter cake recipe and was impressed with your narrative and beautiful photos. I chose it for my 10-year old daughter’s birthday — she’s been saying that peanut butter cups are her favorite candy lately. And all I can say is — WOW!! This may be the best cake I have ever made, and that’s saying a lot, since I pride myself in cake making, and I make a homemade cake for every family member’s birthday, plus the occasional cake for a friend’s birthday, and other special occasions. This was rich, peanut buttery, and absolutely delicious. I must admit that I just used a cake mix devils food cake as the base, since I find from-scratch cakes are rarely better than cake mix cakes (and I have tried many – I really am serious about cakes!) Anyway, thanks, and bravo! P.s. — I believe you have convinced me to buy the book, too.

  186. Andrea

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I made this cake for my fiance’s birthday and blew away the whole family- the best chocolate cake I have ever made!! Thank you for sharing your DELICIOUS talent with us all!

  187. Mary

    Hi deb – i really kind of love you for posting this recipe. My hips, however…maybe not so much.
    Anyway, i was planning on making this cake for a lab potluck monday. I’ll be gone this weekend so i was going to make the cake layers today and finish it up on sunday night. However, my dear husband mentioned to me just(!) last night we will be attending a thanksgiving-ish potluck this weekend and could i please make something for that? Would this cake travel well, or would you (could you) make any recommendations for other delicious (and similar) cake recipes that i could use instead? I am basically a lazy baker and would hate to make two separate recipes for the potluck monday and potluck saturday.
    I am SO EXCITED about the peanut butter frosting, though.

  188. Cathy

    I <3 this recipe! It’s rich yet the cake is still light and fluffy. Everyone who tried the cake loved it. I’m definitely making this one again for my bf’s birthday – he inhaled the pieces he had. :)

  189. Shekenah

    About a year ago for my birthday I wanted a chocolate peanut butter cake but I couldn’t find a decent recipe or even a store-bought cake so I lived in a state of disappointment until this past October. A friend recommended your blog and while browsing your spectacular site, I found this recipe. I swear the clouds parted and angels started singing “Hallelujah”. I made this and it was FANTASTIC. This was my first cake that I made from scratch. I made it as a bundt cake to make it easier on myself, and I was thrilled when it turned out. I’m making it for my family this Christmas and I can’t wait for my mother’s reaction as her two favorite things are chocolate and peanut butter. Thank you for posting this recipe and making my chocolate peanut butter cake dreams come true :)

  190. novilla

    Ok, I have made this cake twice, and rave reviews…love it. Not really difficult, I already have 2 birthday requests for it. One in January and one in July.

  191. Anne

    Hi Deb,

    I am planning on making this for a party on Friday, but Thursday is Thanksgiving and I am spending all day Friday preparing the rest of the food for the party–do you think I could make the components on Wednesday, keep the cake in the freezer and the frosting in the fridge until Friday, and assemble after 2 days?

  192. Hey its my birthday, so I made this cake for myself. Its in the fridge!!!! I cant wait to taste it, all the ingredients throughout were tasty. My son shares my sentiments!! Thanks for the recipe, my plating is far from as spectacular as yours!

  193. Bocagegirl

    I realize this is Thanksgiving day and so respond whenever you get time again…but my cakes tend to rise more in the middle and I couldn’t help notice how even your layers seem to be. After I had frosted the first layer and laid down the second,there was quite a gap on the outer edges. I just filled them with more frosting for now, but in the future, how could I prevent this?

    P.S. I’m thankful for Smitten Kitchen :-)

  194. Sue

    Since others are commenting on this recipe, I guess I should too. I have just made this for the third time and I am sure it will be met with just as much appreciation as the last two.

    Many thanks for this wonderful (and highly impressive, although basically easy) recipe.


  195. Diana

    Good God you were not kidding. I made a four layer cake and NO ONE could finish their slice. I also topped it with Reece’s Pieces. They’re not kidding about the softness of the cake though, fridge or freezer for at least 30 minutes is required before iciing.

  196. Mary

    In any case…I ended up using the Best Chocolate Cake Recipe Ever instead of this one, it traveled beautifully, this cake dissappeared within about an hour of being set out and OH MY GOD that ganache really sends the whole thing over the moon, doesn’t it?
    (My husband happened to catch me while I was making a double recipe of the frosting and was all “My god, are you sure you should be using that much butter?”. He is henceforth banned from the kitchen while I am baking for his own good.)

  197. Gretchen

    I am planning on bringing this cake to a party, but I need to decorate it. (specifically, with a red snapper made out of sprinkles) Do you think the cake will be really delicious sans ganache, or do you think the ganache is necessary? Also, how well do you think decorations will show up on that dark ganache? Thanks so much, this looks amazing!

  198. deb

    Hi Gretchen — I have only made it as you see above. I do like the chocolate topping in there–I think it works, but I’m sure nobody will be pushing their plates away if you deprive them of it.

  199. Amber

    need to knw what’s half-half??? the internet says it is 50-50 proptn of MILK n CREAM, n in other places its written half half is 50-50 proptn of MILK n BUTTER. What do u say???

  200. I’m glad to know that the recipes in that book work. I also have it but haven’t gotten around to baking anything from it. Your cake looks beautiful. I can only imagine how terrific the peanut-cream cheese flavors go together.

  201. Andrea

    I did find a better peanut butter frosting. It’s Ina Garten’s. It has a cup of peanut butter and NO cream cheese. It is SOOOOO much better. I also used a Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe instead of this one which turned out much more like cake. It was truly amazing and not as difficult as this one.

  202. Sarah

    I am planning on making these as cupcakes. Two questions:
    1. Should I still include the ganache ? I worry that would be overkill and make frosting tough.
    2. Do I need to freeeze the cake if I am going the cupcake route?

  203. Courtney

    Wow, awesome stuff. I just made this for the first time as a test run for a friend’s birthday, and everyone in my office is now both praising and cursing me for sending them into food comas!

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  204. syl

    can anyone help me, possibly deb? i don’t know why but i’m having some problems with the glaze. the first time i did the cake it came out just wonderfully, but then this second time around it’s not looking as it should.

    after melting everything together and making sure everything’s smooth, i added the half-and-half after removing the bowl from the heat but the entire thing comes out chunky (kind of fluffy) and not liquidy pourable at all. what did i do wrong? i unfortunately have the worst memory in the world and don’t remember how or what i did the first time around, so i’m completely baffled…

  205. deb

    Your chocolate may have split, or burnt. It can happen when it gets too hot. If so, there is nothing that can be done do repair it. Otherwise, I’m stumped. Not being in the kitchen with you, I’m just staggering a guess.

  206. I love this cake!! My mom made it for church and evreyone there loved it too! We have now made it three times and it is always a huge hit. I’m 14 and it is one the must fun cakes to make and truly worth the time it takes to make. The icing is the best. It tatses just like peanut butter fudge!! Thank you so much for putting this recipe up!

  207. Kid’s chef

    I made this for my two daughters. Their birthdays are Dec. 29th and 30th. They wanted something with peanut butter and chocolate. I came upon this recipe and made it for them. I was delicious. My family-and they can be quite snobby with desserts- said it was the best cake they have ever had. I am going to try the brownie cheesecake in a few days. It looks divine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks for the recipes. Keep them coming-

  208. This cake has become part of my life!!!! My brother in law is in love with it (all he wanted for his recent 30th birthday) and my kids, and son’s friends ask me to make it for them all the time!!! Since I’m the mother of three under 6-
    (one being 10 weeks old) I’ve had to make some changes to cut time- The first is I use Betty Crocker butter recipe chocolate cake(I use a little vanilla in the mix)- I also have cut the amount of sugar in the peanut butter frosting to 3 cups, added a cup and a half of peanut butter (instead of 3/4 cup), and a pinch of salt (this makes it a little less sweet and more peanut-buttery) and I drizzle the chocolate ganache over the top- that way the chocolate isn’t over-powering-
    Thank you for this amazing cake!!!!! You’ve made me very popular among family and friends….

  209. Jennie

    I have just watched the Martha show on bloggers and I could not belive the look of this cake. I immediately went searching on line, and I can see SOOOOOO many others have been here before me drooling over this sensational cake. I just wish someone would make it for me!!

  210. Christina

    I made this cake last weekend for one of my boss’ birthdays. It was a HUGE hit! The other boss (non-birthday boy) had 5, count them, 5 large-ish pieces! He later complained that he didn’t feel so good….duh! Absolutely wonderful and made me look like a rockstar at work. Thanks! Keeping this one handy. :-)

  211. Victoria

    Have been dying to try this recipe and finally got around to it today. I was so worried because the cake batter was a little runnier than I’m used to, but it baked up fine. All the individual components tasted wonderful once made, the cake looked absolutely amazing after everything was put together. I almost didn’t want to cut it up and serve it, but I’m so glad I did. The cake tastes FANTASTIC, everyone had rave reviews. Best eaten with a glass of milk. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

  212. JB

    My friend sent me this recipe in August with the subject line of “I’ll love you forever if you make this.” It’s become my go-to dessert for game nights, last days of classes, birthdays, etc! I’ve made it in cupcake form several times, which gives it a fun spin. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  213. v

    I found this recipe months ago and just had to save it for my birthday this past week, and it was absolutely delicious. All of your tips were perfect, thank you for being such an inspiration with your food! The only thing we did wrong was negelecting the advice about the thinnest slices possible- this was a fantastically rich cake!!

  214. Cuteoverlord

    I made this cake today for my son’s birthday. It was so good. Since discovering this blog about six months ago it’s been a huge inspiration to me. I even twitter’d the whole experience! Thank you again for your work on this blog and you definitely have my vote for every possible award.

  215. Chelsea

    I made this cake but substituted almond butter for peanut butter. It was so so good. I can’t wait to do it with peanut butter… now all I need is a reason.

  216. Mira

    This cake has cursed me! It is so delicious that it is now that ONLY cake that is requested for birthdays! I have made it twice and have another occasion coming up where it has been made clear I am only welcome if I come with the cake. Luckily it is the best cake ever, and watching the eyes of the unanointed widen with joy and disbelief is one of the best feelings ever.

  217. Danielle

    As I type, I am making this beautiful chocolate peanut butter dream for my dad’s birthday tomorrow. My kids want a piece now and my mouth is watering, I hope I can resist the temptation!

  218. Christine

    I just made this cake yesterday, and Seriously, it is delicious. Worth the extra effort. The Peanut butter frosting works wonderfully to hold the soft layers together if they break apart as you stack them. A new FAMILY FAVORITE… I also thought of making it in cupcake form or even a 9 x 13, if i am being lazy..

  219. Jessica

    OH MY GOD! This cake is something else, let me tell you. Chocolaty, perfectly moist,subtly peanut buttery and a hit of cream cheese at the end. I used 3 cups of icing sugar instead of 5 in the peanut butter icing and it was plenty sweet. Also, I omitted the corn syrup in the chocolate ganache. And do follow the cake chilling and the crumb coat steps for the icing.
    You have to make this cake! *****

  220. Rebecca

    I tried your recipe and it was the best chocolate cake I have ever had!!I filled the cake with your peanut butter filling and then used chocolate cream cheese icing.It was so good I had to have everyone try some.And they all agreed that it was awesome!!Thank you for posting this recipe!it is now my go to when I need a chocolate cake recipe!Thanks again!

  221. Erica

    I visit this recipe (or, more specifically, the pictures!) on your site at least weekly, and today I am making it for the first time. It’s such an easy recipe – I can’t believe I didn’t make it sooner…then again, I know it will have been worth the wait. The smell coming from the oven right now is heavenly.

  222. Kim

    I have to tell you, I made this cake on Wednesday for my birthday and it is HEAVENLY! Oh my gosh, thank you so much for adding this to my arsenal. I love it a thousand times over.

  223. Going to make this today for Valentine’s Day substituting the wedding cake for this chocolate cake recipe in hopes that I won’t break it! I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  224. I made this over the weekend for my boyfriend David (Valentines Day Birthday Boy). He loved it! Rave reviews all around. I have already purchased a copy of this book on Amazon and can’t wait to try more recipes from it.

  225. Kelly

    Hot damn that’s a RICH cake! And delicious! I made it today for my boyfriend’s 30th birthday and took it into his work — I’ve never seen this group of gluttonous guys unable to finish a slice of cake. (I warned them to cut thin slices, but no one listened.) It got rave reviews, then everyone promptly snuck off to take a nap.

    The peanut butter frosting was a little too sweet for me, probably because I accidentally bought salt-free peanut butter. I was really pleased with the consistency of the cake — my bf is a baking snob and always complains that cakes are too dry, but this had a really moist, heavy consistency.

  226. Winter

    I helped my friend Noe make this cake. We turned it into cupcakes and it was a truly beautiful experience. The cupcakes were very dense and intensely chocolatey, and the peanut butter icing really balanced it out. The glaze was hard to put on a small cupcake, but it tasted insanely good! This recipe is officially my favorite dessert :) The only thing is when you make it cupcakes, you end up with a ton of extra peanut butter icing (like that’s a bad thing)

  227. MissionBakingGal

    This sounds fabulous!!!!! One question I always have when peanut butter is involved – are you using natural peanut butter or “Kraft” sugary peanut butter? No one ever specifies! Thanks!! My mom told me about you and now I’m hooked!!!

  228. Marcia

    I have made this cake twice with wonderful results and rave reviews both times. The first time I put it into the freezer for a hour or so before I frosted it. The second I made the cake on Monday and let it set until Tuesday and then I put the frosting on it. It dried out a little Monday night but after I put the frosting on Tuesday and served it Wednesday it was great. I also doubled the receipe and made 2 – 13×9 cakes, instead of the round layer cakes, just let it bake 15 minutes longer.. It will easily searve 40 people this way and I needed it for a large group. This is a cake I will be making for a long time.

  229. Jessica

    So, I made this cake for my husband’s birthday and he absolutely loved it! All he could say was, “Oh, Baby.” :) His request is usually the same as your husband’s, “Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate”, but when I saw this I knew I had to make it for him. He’s begged me to make another one ever since! Thanks!

  230. Kelly

    I’m making this for the second time, only I’m cheating and using a cake mix for the cake. I figure I am making up for it with the frosting, because I’m using Amish butter and the new fancy peanut butter from JIF that’s supposed to be more organic or something or other. In any case the peanut butter is less sugary, and the Amish butter plus the slightly oily, less sugary peanut butter has made something DE-VINE. It’s not as sweet and rich as it was the first time around, but I learned my lesson then and am just using the frosting as filling. Sure, a layer cake without the sides frosted isn’t as pretty, but it’ll have ganache goop drizzling down the sides to hide that part. I am really looking forward to my fiancee’s (last time I made it, boyfriend’s) birthday tomorrow…because I want to taste this cake. Now my only dilemma is whether or not I should, in the rush that will be tomorrow morning, try to make a second set of layers to go on top of this cake. It looks rather dinky when I consider potentially ten people eating this thing. Hmm.

    Maybe I will try to work some magic and add two layers for dramatic effect.

  231. debbie

    I just bought the book and am really excited to start baking. Is there a group out in cyber space that bakes one recipe per week out of this book? If so, I would love to join since I plan on baking every recipe.

  232. Dianna

    I just made this for a coworkers birthday and it was a HUGE hit. I like that the peanut butter flavor wasn’t over the top or ‘in your face’ like some of the cakes that use peanut butter cups in the layering or on top. It WAS SUPER rich, but not to peanut butter-y. AND, it looked delicious. Refrigerating the cake before adding the ganache made a huge difference. I’ll be trying that with more of my cakes that have a similar recipe. I loved this recipe. I’m now thinking of all kinds of cream cheese frostings (maple, maybe strawberry, oh, the possibilities!) that I could do next time instead of peanut butter. THANKS!

  233. holy wow there are a LOT of comments on this post!
    and now i know why. i made this INCREDIBLE cake for my son’s birthday this weekend and it was so so so good.
    thanks for sharing this recipe – my life (and waistline) will never be the same.


  234. I defied all cooking odds and pulled off making this cake last Saturday for my boyfriend’s birthday. Though not as beautiful and straight as yours, it did the job and got resounding kudos from everyone who couldn’t resist its temptation. Thanks for the great tips (like putting the cakes in the freezer) and the descriptive way you relayed the steps. Awesome!

  235. mae

    Hi Deb,
    Ive made this cake twice already and it was a huge hit. Everyone loved it!
    Im going to make it again for a friends baby shower, but was trying to bake it in a bigger pan and possibly doubling the recipe if necessary. I wanted to ask if you could suggest which size pan to do this in (preferably square) and if a 13 by 9 inch glass one would be ok? And if I did do it in the glass pan, would I need to double the batter? Thank you so much! The cake is soooo delicious and popular among my friends, I just wanted to make it again but bigger!

  236. I guess your Alex and my Alex have similar tastes! I made this cake in cupcake form for his birthday, and they mysteriously disappeared before I even had the chance to get the main dish on the table! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  237. Carla

    I made this for my company open house……it was a huge hit. I actually dressed it up a bit and people were asking where we bought it because they wanted to go get one. This cake is so amazing thanks for sharing!!!!

  238. Lauren

    I made this yesterday for my husbands birthday this cake is to die for so delicious looks like its from a bakery and is definately a blue ribbon cake very rich could feed up to 30

  239. noni

    Hi-You wrote that you made first two layers then the third. Does anything happen to the batter while waiting?
    IOW, am I better off placing two layers on the middle shelf of the oven and the third layer on the top shelf (Of my relatively small oven) and switching the layers midway or am I better off baking two layers and when those are done the third? Or the third option, dividing the recipe and making first two thirds of it in two layers, and then mixing up 1/3 of the recipe for the third layer (which sounds like a pain in the neck)

    Your cake looks gorgeous and I’ve been eyeing it for some time. I am thinking to make it for a birthday after Passover.

  240. Erin

    I made this cake last night for my husband’s birthday today and it was my first attempt at a truly homemade cake. It went great! Honestly, the hardest part was getting the soft cakes out of the pans and peeling off the paper. They were definitely crumbly and fragile, so I took the recommendation to freeze them for a time and it was super easy to ice them! I am so proud of myself and it looks AMAZING, so I know my husband is excited to try it. He specifically requested a peanut butter cake and I am thinking I found a winner here. Thank you for posting such a delightful recipt and for including helpful tips for guiding novices along the way!

  241. Debra

    Fantastic. I made it for my sister in laws baby shower. With a table loaded with desserts, this was everyone’s first choice. It was finished before the end of the shower!

  242. Hayley

    I have been lurking for a couple of months and have tried a few recipes that were fantastic. This one, however, was beyond words! I made this for my entire family (my parents/sister as well as my in-laws) this past weekend. I chose it because my brother-in-law loves peanut butter and it was his birthday. Well, I was nervous starting out because in my experience chocolate cakes can be very dry but this was ANYTHING but! I could not believe how moist and delicious the cake was! The icing was also exquisite as well as the ganache (my first time with ganache). I served 16 people with this cake. I even gave the last piece to our server at the restaurant where we were celebrating and she told me it was the best cake she had ever had in her life. Thank you for introducing me to this and all of the other wonderful recipes that I have found on your site. Your tips have been very valuable as well!!

  243. My wife is gluten free and doesn’t always get to enjoy treats like this. However, I made this cake using gluten flour. It was incredible. Very moist, very, delicious, and it looked amazing as well. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I really appreciated the tips on frosting the cake by placing it in the freezer and making a “crumb” layer as well. Thanks again!

  244. Amanda

    I made this cake for my husband’s birthday and it was unbelievable! So rich, so delicious, and perfect for a celebration! Pictures are here.

    In case anyone is wondering: the consistency and flavor of the cake itself is very similar to a devil’s food box mix, and since the frosting and glaze are so spectacular, I think you could totally get away with cake from a mix on this one. (I mention this because I wondered about it and decided to go with the recipe for the first try… next time I think I’ll try a mix!)

  245. Linda

    I made this cake last night and it was amazing! My first try at ganache and it’s super easy. I even got to impress the future in-laws with my Skillz ;) So, thanks for that. I posted some pics here

  246. Jenny Montford

    I just made this for my daughters 13th birthday. This cake is so good it should be illegal. The frosting is heaven in a bowl!!

  247. Katie

    I’ve been making cupcakes like this for years and have never made the frosting with cream cheese. I can’t wait to try it!

  248. Lane

    I made the cake for my husband’s birthday, and he wants it every BD for now on he said. He took a picture of it! That was very sweet I think! It is a fabulous cake.

  249. April

    OMG! I dont even like Peanut Butter… but I couldnt help but lick the bowl of frosting…lol… I found this recipe for my fiance’s 40th birthday..he is a a reese’s peanut butter cup freak and I think he is going to love this cake…If I even let him cut it, It looks to perfect!…lol….And can I suggest setting aside a little frosting and a little glaze. It makes for a wonderful little treat. Just put some frosting on your spoon and dip into the glaze…lol….And remember, this is coming from someone who doesnt even like Peanut Butter!

  250. JC


    After a rousing success with the “Devil Dog Cake” made as a traditional layer cake (hoo boy that was CAKE!) I’m going for THIS cake for our next celebration — 2 weeks away. Gotta love back to back birthdays.

    I’m going to make “Deb’s Favorite Chocolate Cake” recipe again, and this time frost and fill with the Peanut Butter Cream Cheese frosting from this ensemble.

    Piping suggestions for the decoration and the birthday text? I’m kind of lost there, I don’t have a chocolate buttercream recipe that I love in my back pocket.

  251. deb

    I use whatever frosting contrasts. If you’re doing the ganache topping, save a little peanut butter frosting to pipe. If you’re skipping the ganache, just make a small amount to chill enough to pipe.

  252. Dina

    Is it possible to substitute the distilled white vinegar with white wine vinegar? Will it have any affect on baking, and/or the flavor?

  253. Renee

    I made this for my boyfriends birthday. He is obsessed with peanut butter whoppie pies so i figured this would be perfect. Ohh it was!!! He loved it! Every one did!

  254. Lily

    I made this cake for Easter dinner a few weeks ago and it was AMAZING!!! Everyone loved it and I got so many compliments on it! A little bit goes a long way too since it’s so rich! It’s also very moist which I loved since there is nothing I hate more than a dry cake. I took some back with me when I returned to college in a tupperware and it was pretty much my breakfast and dessert for the next couple days!

  255. Jaclyn

    On measuring peanut butter….yes, there is an easy way. A miraculous, wondrous easy way. Maybe someone else mentioned this and I missed it, but does anyone else have a plunger cup? Like the ones Alton Brown used on Good Eats? Best. Thing. Ever. Peanut butter, yogurt, corn syrup, honey…all easy peasy. I paid more than I should have for mine at Williams & Sonoma I think, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them go for around $10. You just adjust the cup to the level you want it (mine has a bunch of different units of measure all the way around it to choose from), pack the contents in up to the fill line, just like you would with a regular measuring cup, then push in the plunger and scrape the bottom of the cup(which is now even with the top, so a flat surface). The plunger-action scrapes the sides for you. Then the two pieces come apart and you can pop it in the dishwasher. I’m a kitchen gadget fiend, but this measuring cup has got to be my favorite.

  256. Michelle

    Just made this over the weekend for my husband’s bday, big hit! Actually very easy to make I surprised myself! I noticed though that there was was more choc. topping than needed, so Ill just use less of it next time. If you love pb & choc make this cake asap

  257. Geenie

    Dear Deb,

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I made it for my husband’s birthday this weekend and everyone loved it including my three year old. And thank you so much for the advice on freezing the cake before frosting, that really helped!

  258. Lynn

    I thinned the p/b frosting when I made the crumb coat and then refrigerated as recommended. Made less of the ganache. Used yogurt instead of Sr. Cream.
    wonderful recipe

  259. Grace

    Amaaaaazing cake and directions were so easy to follow. I added a touch of expresso powder to the cake batter to enhance the chocolate, and also used a combination of cocoa powder and black cocoa powder from Baker’s Catalog. I used two 9 inch pans and made 6 cupcakes with the remaining batter. The cupcakes were a perfect serving–used the large chocolate brown tulip cupcake liners from Baker’s Catalog–so pretty!
    Appreciate so much your “tested, tried and true” recipies Deb!

  260. Nicole

    I just found your site when looking for a cake to bake for my brother’s birthday. Let me say that I AM NOT A BAKER! Everything I make usually turns out inedible. However, this cake was FANTASTIC!!!! It turned out perfectly moist and delicious. THanks so much!!

  261. I made this cake yesterday to celebrate my blog’s one year anniversary and it was incredible! I had a little trouble with the first layer sticking to the pan, but other than that it was perfect. Thanks for sharing!

  262. Susan

    I am a 52 year old wife, mother & grandmother and am known for my love of cooking/baking. I was looking for a recipe for my youngest daughters 19th birthday, she asked for a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. Wanting to try something new, I got online and read countless recipes. Your recipe for this cake and the picture for it caught my attention. I made this and there wasn’t a crumb left to be found. It is absolutely delicious! It looks hard but is not at all. Just a wee bit more time involved but……oh, sooooo well worth it. This is on the top of my list for favorites now. Thanks so much for sharing it!

  263. Kathryn

    Hi there, just wondering if the water amount is appropriate? I followed directions to a t, but the batter was incredibly watery – poured right out into the pans without any bowl scraping – and I am now at 35 minutes of cooking and not remotely close to done. Complete water in the center. Any tips would be appreciated. Thank you!

  264. Vicki

    I’ve made this cake twice before and it’s become a favorite of my friends and family! I do have a question for you though- I was planning on making this as cupcakes for a baby shower this weekend, would you recomend that I use this cake recipe or another one for the cupcakes? I was going to skip over the ganache and just frost the cupcakes, but I’ve never had the cake without the ganache, have you? I image it will still taste great and no one will thing anything is missing, but I guess I just want a second opinion. Thanks for this recipe, it’s fabulous!

  265. deb

    If you scroll through the comments, you can read from dozens of people who have successfully adapted these as cupcakes. I have not tried it yet. In comment #45, I make two other suggestions of chocolate cakes that I like even more, and that can be used with these frostings.

  266. ses

    This cake is delicious. I just followed your instructions and had no trouble. It’s really not hard. The cake is soft, but I had no trouble freezing it and then frosting, freezing again after a crumb coat and then before pouring on the ganache. Came out beautiful! It’s very rich. We still finished most of it. Delicious. thanks for the great recipe.

  267. Julia

    Deb – thank you for sharing Alisa Huntsman’s recipe with us! I made it for my mom’s birthday today and it was wonderful! I also made some banana ice cream (Alton Brown’s recipe) to go along with the thin slices and it was a terrific combination.

    Quick question though – do you put the ganache on right after incorporating the half and half? I’m pretty sure it was a mistake to wait a few minutes (which is what I did). It was delicious, just didn’t spill over as nicely as yours did. Mine was more like cooling lava – very thick LOL ;) Thank you!!!

  268. deb

    Two options: You can let it cool a bit so it thickens or you can do as I did, and pour it over a chilled cake. I always chill my frosting layers so they set, this slows down the dribbling (I mention this in step 4). I think the second option is the better way to go. I have other cake tips in this post.

  269. I just made my first post on my new blog and it was all about this cake that I made for my 25th birthday. I’d been wanting to make it since you posted it originally. Since I’m new to the blogging scene and I don’t know the etiquette. I just wanted to let you know I’d used your recipe on my blog, and make sure its cool with you. I know I’ll be wanting to site you in the future since you’re one of my main go-to’s for good recipes. thanks so much for what you’re doing! And if you have any advice for starting up a blog I’d love to hear it.

    My attempt of the recipe went really well and I had rave reviews from my guests, I’m still getting them actually. It works well with just two layers also. I only had two pans to work with at the time. Needless to say its kind to the eyes, tongue and the belly!

  270. janie guetzow

    I just made this cake yesterday and it was a big hit. You’re right, it’s VERY rich and one sliver at a time is best. I had no problem with the bread, I placed it in the freezer for about 30 mns to set up before frosting. The ganache was not as “runny” as I would have liked it and so it didn’t run down the sides as nice as your pics, but I helped it along and it turned out great. Thank you for posting such a beautiful recipe-I’ve already ordered Sky High!

  271. Mei

    Thank you for the recipe! I made this for my boyfriend’s bday (he loves peanut butter and chocolate) … It was sooo good!! Thanx again! I used all the tips… very helpful.

  272. bf lover

    wow..i made this for my bf for valentines day and put heart shaped reeses on top and he was amazed! chocolate-peanut butter is his absolute favorite and hes having a party and he begged me to make it for him again so he can show off to all of his friends how amazing i am :)

  273. Julie

    I just had this cake. A co-worker made this cake for a staff birthday party. Can I just say that after eating this cake, I sat in a stunned silence. I’ve found my happy place!!! DIVINE!!!!!!

    If you ever want to bribe someone to do something for you… make this cake!!!!

  274. Gabrielle

    My step-daughter and I are going to make this for her Dad for Father’s Day…the man LOVES chocolate and PB. Should be an intersting feat for myself and my 6 year old non-cooking counterpart…especially while juggling the care of a 4 month old and trying to hide it from Daddy, too! It looks so good, we can’t wait to eat it!

  275. I made this yesterday for my husband’s first Father’s Day! It made him so very happy, it was absolutely gorgeous, and I think it will be a favorite to make again and again. It tasted great too, although I accidentally used powdered sugar in the cake instead of granulated. I was going to throw it out, but I decided to try a bite (by slicing off a tiny bit of an uneven layer). So glad I didn’t! Delicious!!

  276. Sophie

    Deb, my daughters and I made this for Father’s Day, for our peanut butter and chocolate loving Dad. He was in heaven! So were we all. It was absolutely incredibly delicious. Thank you!

  277. Braedon

    So I just made this over the weekend for Father’s Day and it was amazing. So delicious! You are right, it is so rich it is hard to eat without a glass of cold milk in the other hand. I took my time and made this cake over the course of three days, refridgerating over night when necessary – worked perfectly! Our expanding tummies thank you!

  278. Claire

    I made this one for my dad’s birthday. He’s a choc-aholic and it was a huge hit. I don’t think I’ve ever made a cake so flavorful or moist. Love it!

  279. Christie

    Awesome cake. Before, I made a hersheys cake with similar filling, but I like this version better. I looks awesome and my friends go nuts!

  280. This was a-mazing. best thing to pass my lips in awhile ;)

    i used greek yogurt for the sour cream (fat free), mostly WW pastry flour, and smart balance 50/50 sticks for the frosting and it rocked my world.

  281. NancyB

    This caught my eye just as I was contemplating my birthday cake, and then the decision was made. I did substitute almond butter, and it worked great. I may have to try it with peanut butter sometime, but for my tastes the almond butter would be hard to beat. LJ entry with photos

    Thanks so much!

  282. Hannah

    MMM MMM GOOOD! I made this cake for my girlfriend’s 21st birthday. She and all of her friend LOVED IT (and so did i). GREAT RECIPE.

  283. Lauren Kessler

    I made this cake for my Husbands 26th Birthday, Everyone loved it very rich but the best cake ive ever made. It definitely is a project and takes alot of time to make I cooled it crumb coated the cake each layer stuck in freezer to cool and then frosted and stacked stuck it back in the freezer to get hard then the chocalate and back in the freezer but let me tell ya it looked like it came from a bakery and tasted like it to definately a keeper
    Thank You For Sharing the Recipe

  284. meg

    Ok, even though there are already 408 comments, I have to comment! This cake was seriously amazing. Yes, rich. Hello, that is not a problem – its cake! With frosting and ganache! I am actually most impressed with how moist the cake was – that always seems to be the hardest thing about cakes.

    It was made for my husband’s birthday last Saturday and I think I’ve eaten a piece every day since then. We clearly need more friends!

  285. Anita

    This is amasing!!! First time I didn`t have too much time on my hand so made cake out of box but used this frosting and chocolate glaze – it was still amasing. Today I will make a whole thing. Everybody loved it!!!

  286. Nicholas

    My mom made me this cake for my birthday last year and it was amazing! I can still taste the moist,chocolatey,warm, cake and the rich,creamy,peanutbutter filling. It’s so good it’ll be like your tastebuds took a detour and ended up in paradise! And when the slice is done you can’t resist reaching over and having another! So go ahead,make some. Just make sure you tell your friends. Bon Appatite!

  287. Hi Deb, 2 questions, rather 2 parts of the same – What does the vinegar do to the cake and what is the role of the corn syrup? Can I replace them or simply skip? I am not very comfortable using these, but if you suggest they are ‘musts’, would just have to stock up my shelves.

    1. deb

      You are of course welcome to tweak the recipe any way you see fit, but it works fantastically as it is. The vinegar adds an excellent depth of flavor (think buttermilk versus regular milk, always better in baking). Corn syrup is an invert sugar, it works smoothly in ways that regular sugar does not. There’s no reason to be uncomfortable with it — it’s not like we’re talking about (gasp!) HFCS, a totally different beast. You can read more about why it works best sometimes over here.

  288. Megan

    Deb – I made this yesterday for my boyfriend’s birthday. He too is a peanut butter addict. Man was it good and super rich. It’s the kind of cake that you get to the last few bites and don’t think you can finish but then just bite the bullet:) Thanks for the great recipe. Now we will have cake for days…

  289. Haha, true.. it’s just that never used these ingredients earlier.. but you gave the boost with the prompt reply. Thanks a lot. Preparing to try this out soon.

    PS: Your strawberries and dumplings have become so much regular in my kitchen this summer, at least once a week. Easy and delicious. So are the pizzas and tarts. I am a self learner (internet based, so to say), and you are doing a wonderful job. And 100 percent dependable. Thanks can’t say how much.

  290. Christie

    I saw this recipe and thought that I just had to try it… yep another peanut butter and chocolate addict here!! Anyways, I had a little mishap with one of the cakes due to how moist and soft they are. Instead of getting upset like I wanted to do, I threw the mangled cake in a trifle bowl, then I thought “hey why not just make the whole thing into a trifle!” I layered it the same way as I would have with the original cake and it turned out to be perfect! Who would have guessed my oops would end so well!

  291. Denise

    So I am planning to make this for my husband’s birthday next week. Is this one of those cakes that tastes better the next day? or do you think i should make it day-of the party? thanks!

  292. Amy

    My mouth has been open probably the whole time i read this blog. Reese’s are a weakness of mine and this looks absolutely AMAZING. I’m going to try it out as soon ASAP!

  293. I made this today for a good friend’s birthday party and everyone loved it! A couple people loved it so much they had 2nds and even 3rds. It was also ‘officially’ requested for next year. It is extremely rich and delicious. It was phenomenal!! No leftovers whatsoever. I can’t wait to try out more of your recipes.
    Thank you so much!!

  294. Stephanie

    I made this today for my husband’s birthday and it was beyond delicious. This was my first time making a recipe from the site. The instructions were easy to follow and the results were to die for. A++, would make again!

  295. Ann

    Thinking of making this for a SNICKERS bar fan (my boyfriend)’s birthday. Do you think the tastes are about the same? Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  296. Meg

    After seeing this cake, i immediately bought the Sky High Cakes cookbook. Its amazing! I just made this choc pb cake this weekend and it was, of course, absolutely delicious! moist and rich and addictive. I accidently only bought 4 oz of chocolate for the ganache and didnt have enough time to buy more, so i just went with it. Turned out better than i think it would of if i had used the correct amount! It spread and dripped perfectly, i know people were having trouble with it being too thick so i think this is the secret! 4 oz semi sweet choc and the same amount of the rest of ingredients. hope that helps!

  297. Janna

    Just had the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, made by someone else, when attending an open house this weekend. It was absolutely spectacular, and very showy!

  298. Kathie

    I made 6 cakes this weekend and this one was the stand out winner! I didn’t change a thing about the recipe!! YOU HAVE TO TRY IT- Super easy to make- great presentation.

  299. Okay – my husband and I just stared at this cake with our mouths wide open. I think this may be what I want for my upcoming birthday! It looks *too* amazing.

  300. mybigblackdog

    My 15yo son thanks you from the bottom of his heart – as does the rest of the family – i just spent the afternoon making this for Connor’s 15th birthday today. The peanut butter frosting is a revelation. We haven’t eaten it yet, but are looking forward to it greatly. Thank you.

  301. Christina

    It seems like every time I post a comment here, I am saying the same thing.

    BUT, thank you for posting this. I think this was the best thing I have ever baked!

    I only made two layers because I don’t have 3 cake pans, but I am more fond of cake than frosting, so I loved the extra thick layers of perfect chocolate cake.

    I have a good amount of leftover frosting, so I may make a little cake this weekend and just have it with the frosting, if it keeps.

  302. AMAZING! I made this as cupcakes. I cut the cake and frosting recipe in half. The glaze was delicious, but I thought it was too messy for the cupcakes, so I left it off. Someday I’ll make the cake in it’s entirety, but the cupcakes with just the frosting are delicious. I’m a huge peanut butter/chocolate fan and this is a very grown-up and decadent version of my favorite combination. Oh, and one cupcake will knock you out! Thank you, I love your site!!!

  303. Caitie

    I made this cake for a friend’s graduation party in late June. I was lucky to pull it off, because an enormous (ENORMOUS) storm knocked out the power for days. I had made the layers in advance and stored them in the freezer, and I didn’t need electricity for the frosting, but had to go to a friend’s house while she was in the middle of moving to make the icing and assemble the thing. It was rather monstrous to handle and nearly reduced me to tears while my friend’s brothers lurked in the shadows for dropped crumbs.
    Regardless, the cake was BEAUTIFUL to behold and absolutely DELICIOUS. It was a huge hit and some people said it was the best cake they’d ever eaten :)

  304. Jenn

    Second, I was going to make it for a block party this coming weekend, but I got to thinking that it might be easier to eat as cupcakes. What do you think about doing it kind-of like your Irish cupcakes where you core out a bit in the center for the ganache and then frost over it with the regular peanut butter frosting? Do you think the cake will hold up for that? I remember the cake being crumbly. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  305. Rachel

    i’m always making peanut butter chocolate desserts for my boyfriend’s birthdays because it’s his favorite. i plan on making it for friday- what can i make ahead? will the frosting collapse in the fridge?

  306. amy

    Holy hell. This cake is fantastic. I am definitely not a baker … I clicked on this via your espresso cake post just before my husband’s birthday (who could -and used to- live on peanut butter) and thought, ‘ok, let’s do it.’ We just happened to have received a care package of homemade peanut brittle from my mom (with secret ingredient puffy rice paper layer, I know!). After being confused to find not just one or three but 4 (four!) cake pans in the depths of my cupboard, one of the cakes got stuck so it ended up a two-layer masterpiece. The ganache spread & dripped just right (also chilled the cake a bit). My husband said it was his best birthday cake ever & I was incredibly happy to succeed at my first “real” cake! Yes, so super-duper-rich but absolutely delicious. Second on serving slivers though with plenty o’ milk. :) I also shared a piece with our landlords who deemed it restaurant-worthy. Yay!!! Thank you AGAIN Deb!

  307. Jamie

    I just found your wonderful site & LOVE IT! This is the first recipe I tried & it came out WONDERFUL! My family loved it. I followed your recipe, the pictures & instructions were right on. I did bake the cake in two 9″ rounds vs the three 8″. Saw were some people said the cake was so fluffy it was unsteady while icing so since I didn’t have three 8″ rounds I did the 9″ with great turn out. Thanks for giving us a new family favorite.

  308. Max

    I didn’t read through any of the comments on this post. There’s just too many. So if you’ve answered this question before, I apologize,

    In step four, when you talk about chilling it so the frosting has a better drip effect, do you suggest the freezer or the fridge to chill it in?

  309. Emily L.

    Made this cake on Mon night for my husband’s bday yesterday! Many of our guests said it was the best cake they have ever eaten! Thanks for sharing!

    I made the cake then crumb coated & frosted on Mon night, refrigerated overnight , then put on the choc glaze just before the party. I topped it with quarters of Reese’s PB cups for decoration… But I am MOST grateful for your suggestion to serve it in smaller wedges – it is so rich & yummy – after cutting a large piece for my husband, I served 24 people this cake!

  310. TommyG

    Just made this for my colleagues at work.

    Looks fit, but I did it as a 2 larger layers cake.

    Also my choc glaze was a bit fin as I onlt had 200g of Choc, and forgot to reduce the amount of cream & milk (half and half as I am British!)

    But looks amazing!


  311. Elise

    This cake absolutely flew together– one of the easiest multi-frosting cakes I’ve ever made without a mix. And it is AMAZING. Even cutting quarter-inch slices and serving with tall glasses of milk and cups of black coffee does *nothing* to cut the overwhelming sweetness. Gorgeous, delicious, and likely to feed all my neighbors as well. Thank you for the recipe!

  312. Alison

    Forgive my ignorance, but are we supposed to use UNSWEETENED or SWEETENED peanut butter (I get the “commercial” and the “hydrogenated” in order to prevent separation, but it’s not obvious to me if this means commercial like the sweetened stuff my parents never let me eat or not. Sky High, which I happily own, doesn’t make this explicit either.) Thanks so much for your help.

    1. deb

      I have never seen peanut butter labeled as sweetened or unsweetened but I know that most packaged peanut butter does have a small amount of sugar in it. So, yes, I guess “sweetened” then.

  313. Made this for a friend’s birthday, and then brought the leftovers to the office. People went absolutely apesh*t. There was a line down the hall to get one of the remaining slivers. People have offered to pay me to make it again.

    Couple of notes from me. I would have made more frosting, getting it completely covered was difficult near the end, another cup or so would have been handy. I used the Reese’s peanut butter and Hershey’s chocolate, which made it a true peanut butter cup flavour (which I love). Lastly, I cannot agree enough with the note to chill the cake before frosting it and then before glazing it… it I hadn’t it would have been a nightmare.

  314. F

    I made this cake over three days, I baked the cake layers on Tuesday night, froze them and then made the frosting and layered the cake on Wednesday night and let it sit in the fridge till this morning (Thursday) when I made the chocolate ganache and poured it over. The ganache had a wonderful consistency and the way it poured over the cake was beautiful. We’re eating the cake for my brother’s birthday tonight and I’m looking forward to tasting it!

    Alison, I made the frosting with unsweetened peanut butter (and cut down on 2 cups of the sugar) and it was fine.

    Deb, I found my cake layers each had a slightly darker, moist looking area in the centre even though they were fully baked and a cake tester came out clean. Did I do something wrong with the way I mixed the batter? I don’t think it will affect the taste though.

  315. I made this for my sister-in-law’s birthday and it was amazing. I made it as a two-layer cake because I only have two pans and it still worked flawlessly. You made me look like an incredible baker today, and for that I thank you!

  316. I absolutely LOVE your blog, and frequently repeat things you make. Last night was my friends 21st birthday, and there is nothing she loves more than chocolate and peanut butter. Let me tell you, if I hadn’t come across this recipe I would have been lost. THANK YOU!! It was freakin’ amazing!!

  317. Sarah

    I just have to let you know that I found this recepie last year right before my peanut butter and chocolate obsessed boyfriends birthday- and my entire family rejoiced after eating this cake. We all loved it SO much that it has now become a tradition to make it on his birthday. I can say we will be eating it on that day for the rest of our lives since he just became my fiance (and I’m sure it’s partly because of this cake recepie LOL!) THANK YOU FOR SHARING!!!!!! It is very time consuming, but the end result is nothing short of the best cake I have EVER tasted!

  318. Interesting that this recipe calls for vinegar, baking soda AND eggs. I thought vinegar and baking soda were an egg replacement. I’ve seen many eggless chocolate cakes that include vinegar. Any idea what purpose the vinegar serves here? Just makes the cake extra springy? More moist?

  319. grace

    OMG, this is an amazing cake. i love the flavor of the sweet peanut butter in contrast with the chocolate glaze. Definitly this is going to be on my top 10.

  320. Suzie

    Making this for my son’s 18th birthday. Um… Good thing it has a purpose. I may have just scooped the frosting on the layers and eaten them like that. This is going to be so good.

  321. Rosanna

    Just made this wonderful cake…surprised myself since I am not a baker….the batter was thin but baked up fine…re the choc/peanut butter top frosting…I only used 1/4 cup of half and half then put it in a baggie cut the corner and drizzled back and forth…it looks like it cam from the bakery…:) Yeah…for my daughter’s boyfriends BDay this afternoon…hope it tastes as good as it looks ! :)

  322. Wow! Just made this last night for a staff party. It tastes better than the cakes we usually buy…and it was SO simple. Really decadent and over the top. Btw, I am officially obsessed with your lovely blog!

  323. First of all, I love your blog! SO many great recipes with such great photos that I sit here and lick the screen on a daily basis ;)

    I made this cake last weekend and absolutely loved it! It is SOOO GOOOD. Thank you so much for posting this recipe :) My cake doesn’t look nearly as good as yours, but I tried haha. You can see my sorry attempt here:

    On my post I said that this cake was special to the holiday I was celebrating, but I think I’ll be making it very very soon!

    Thanks! And never stop blogging, please.

  324. Susan

    I made this cake today exactly as written. It’s a peanut butter cup lovers, dream cake! It is so very, very good. The cake itself is so moist and tender. That was good advice about chilling the cake to firm it before putting on the crumb coat. I also brushed the loose crumbs off with a pastry brush before chilling. The peanut butter and cream cheese frosting was delicious. I’d have never imagined that combo, but the peanut butter flavor was good and pronounced in it. The ganache was also delicious with just enough PB flavor to remind you of a peanut butter cup. I have the book, but thought I’d reviewthe recipe here since this is where I initially picked up the recipe. Thanks, Deb.

  325. Carol

    I made this cake in two 9″ pans and did not make any changes to the recipe. It was AMAZING. It turned out picture perfect and everyone raved about the taste. Thanks for such a great recipe!

  326. Smitten with Smitten

    I made this cake for my Mom’s 75th birthday. What a hit! A less mature birthday girl might have been jealous of the attention it received!

    I have to agree, though, that this is a very moist cake. Without placing it in the freezer / frig along the way, the construction would have been a lot more fussy. My ganache seized up (at this point I had too many helpers in the kitchen!) so I heated the cream and added it to the chocolate/PB mixture. Smoothed out nicely.
    I made fondant leaves in fall colors ahead of time and scattered them around the top edge. It looked almost as good as it tasted!

  327. Nida

    I’ve made this cake before. It was my first attempt at layer cakes (and a massive disaster, btw) but I promised myself I’d try it again and am planning on baking it for my birthday next Saturday.

    I have one question about confectioner’s sugar/powdered sugar in frosting. When I add sugar (it says powdered sugar on the box) I get a mildly crunchy taste in the frosting. This has happened every time (cupcakes, cakes, cookies). Everyone ends up saying I used too much sugar, but I always use the amount in the recipe. Is it because I’m not beating it enough and it’s no dissolved or am I really using too much sugar?

    Would love to get this cake right for my birthday, so anyone who can offer advice is welcome to comment.

  328. Nida

    So it won’t be the smooth frosting that you have in professionally made cakes? The kind where it’s perfectly smooth? Even when fresh?

  329. Julie

    I have made this cake twice & it was a huge hit both times. I baked the cakes one night, iced it the next & served it the next day. I kept it in the fridge in containers. It was delicious! And since it got to sit for a while all iced the flavors really melded together. It is a very moist cake & can easily fall apart, but just take your time – it is worth it!

  330. dan

    I’ve had birthday cake success with this cake two years in a row. This year I read the directions better and it was a lot easier. The freezing part: essential. Wax paper on the bottom: life saver.

    I made it as a two layer and used the leftover batter to make a mini two later cake, by baking the leftovers in ramekins.

  331. Jill

    I’ve been wanting to make this cake for a long time and it is in the oven at this very moment… However, I am dubious about my success. That is a LOT of water and this is by far, the thinnest “cake” batter I’ve ever made. I can’t imagine how two lowly eggs are going to thicken this batter. Sigh.

  332. I used unsweetened peanut butter with great success, but I think the trick to avoid the oil separation is to use fresh pressed not something that has spent months sitting around in a jar. The consistency was a bit chunky, but everyone who ate it was pleased with the results. I ended up making two layers and cupcakes with the extra batter. Maybe next time I’ll have another cake pan or not be too scared to assemble and frost a three layer cake. Deb, your frosting tips and recipe advice are most excellent!

  333. Ooops, I forgot to mention that I only used four cups on sugar in the frosting, and it was still plenty sweet (even with the unsweetened peanut butter). I think I may only use three cups next time.

  334. Emily

    At 11:30 tonight, I did a search for “chocolate peanut butter” and came up with this. It’s Now oh, 2:46am and the cake is frosted and ganache’d in my fridge for tomorrow. What can I say? I’m a late night baker and THIS was right up my Chocolate Peanut Butter lovin’ husbands alley. He’ll thank me tomorrow.

  335. Emily

    Alright just an update. I just ate some and man oh man was it fabulous! Insanely rich- my husband said it was hands down the best cake I’ve ever made. Thank you for this fabulous recipe.

  336. Ashley

    This is AMAZING. I have entered our church bake off the past 3 years and have only come in 3rd or not placed at all. Determined to win this year I ran across this recipe last minute and was so thankful. First place ! I would agree with doing the ‘crumb layer’ , it was hard to frost without it. I also used regular chocolate chips instead of semi sweet. Either way its a great recipe, thanks!

  337. I’ve been waiting to try this for a goodly while now … our son’s one-week birthday seemed the perfect occasion! (Have a look at my Flickr site if you’d like to see how impressed he was.) It was soooooo wonderful, such a treat for this brand-new mama. Thank you.

  338. Kathy McCrea

    My very kind co-worker and friend made this for me for my birthday and OMG DELICIOUS. The cake was so moist the peanutbutter filling was not sweet but fantastic in it’s own right and the chocolate glaze topping pulled the whole thing together in a wonderfully playful dance in my mouth. As I have not been able to stop talking about this cake my family is insisting I make it for Thanksgiving. Not sure I can hold out that long…

  339. Eryn

    Easily the best cake I’ve ever made in my entire life.

    Since my husband *glare* left one of my cake pans at his work, I only had 2 and made a double layer cake instead. Worked out fine, but possibly led to one of the best problems I’ve ever had in my entire life…

    Nearly 2 cups of left over peanut butter frosting…

    I’m thinking cupcakes ;) Actually I’m thinking about using it in your oreo recipe…

    thanks SO MUCH for the recipe, it made my husband’s 30th just fantastic.

  340. Leisa

    I made the cake layers last night and iced them today. This cake turned out perfectly!!! I can hardly wait to take it to our Christmas dinner tomorrow.

  341. I made this cake twice in 2 days, thanks to a bonehead moment on my part! (Forgot to add the baking soda the first time around. Zoinks!)

    Since I used disposables for disastrous attempt #1, I had to cheat and make my 2nd try in a 9 x 13 cake pan. It needed an extra 12-15 minutes of baking time, but it came out fine.

    Actually, I think “divine” was the word of choice! :o)

  342. Benton

    Made this for my wife’s birthday yesterday – amazing! I used two 9″ rounds instead of three 8″. Increased the cooking time a little, but otherwise still turned out perfectly. Thanks for the recipe!

  343. Lucy

    I just finished making it! Thanks for all the extra helpful notes! It’s for my birthday and I am so excited to have one fancy cake for once!
    Everything came out perfectly!

  344. Lauren Lincoln

    I believe the solution to the crumbly overly moist cake is to cut back the water by 1/2 cup. I have not tried this yet, but I believe that the cake recipe has way too much liquid in it. I have just finished baking the cake, and have allowed it to cool completely and the cake is literally falling apart and sticking to the cooling rack. The flavor of the cake is wonderful . . . it is just the texture that needs a little fixing.

  345. anonymous

    Lauren Lincoln, I haven’t had that problem with this cake. I had to make the cake mixture twice though, because it just wasn’t enough for the pans. I could only really fill my smallest pan once with it, which sucked.

    Everyone LOVES this cake, and i’m sad I haven’t been able to have a piece yet:(

  346. Carol

    LOVED the cake… served it for New Year’s Day and everybody raved about the cake AND my baking abilities (thank you smittenkitchen) but I couldn’t taste the peanut butter in the filling. I admit I added 1 less cup of powdered sugar– could that have reduced the peanut butter’s intensity?

  347. Anne

    Made this cake for New Year’s Eve. I was concerned about spending so much time on a nice cake for a bunch of 20-somethings who were … uhm … enjoying their champagne, but everyone was blown away. My boyfriend said (not to tell his mother) that it’s the best cake he ever had, and one of his friends will not stop talking about it. Amazing, amazing cake!

    Also, Carol — I wonder if the sugar would make a difference, because maybe there would still be a strong cream cheese taste? It could have also been the peanut butter. I used Jif Natural Creamy, and that peanut butter is VERY peanut-y and not very sweet, so it worked really well in the frosting. Just a thought!

  348. Carolina

    Since I am on a commenting streak, I had to come to this page and let you know how I did. THIS WAS A FRIGGIN HIT. Luckily, I make a tiny pan for myself, or I wouldn’t have had any. I just added chocolate mousse (the easy no egg kind) into the layers along with the peanut butter frosting. I doubled the recipe and it was GINORMOUS. But delicious. and rich. it hurt my belly after I was done. . .it also hurt my feet when I got up to get some more…

  349. Lisa in France

    The first time I made this wonderful cake, everything was perfect. Today however, my peanut butter frosting wasn’t smooth, it looked a bit grainy so I added a few tablespoons of whipping cream and it fixed it. Just saying :)

  350. Michaelina

    Made this cake for my family…super rich! Forgot to tailor the recipe for for 2 layers instead of 3. Will definitely make again…loved it!

  351. Margie

    I plan to try this Peanutty cake on my ‘old ladies’ bridge group this week. But WHAT IS THIS “LIME MELT A WAYS’ one of the comments spoke of? I need that recipe….How can I acquire it ? Thanks for all the great recipies. I baked/decorated Wedding and special occasions cakes when I lived in California
    (and was some 40 years younger…I’m now 75) I still keep looking for new recipies in every catagory as I entertain a great deal still. I especially would like some VEGAN recipies for my grandson who doesn’t touch, meat, fowl, fish, or ANY dairy products or biproducts. Thanks !

  352. C Ho

    Hi Deb,

    What is “commercial” peanut butter?

    Can I use normal Kraft peanut butter (the one that people put on their toast)?


  353. William

    I just made this today for my graduate school get-together and it was a huge hit. There was one sliver left and everyone couldn’t believe I made it instead of my mother. I would definitely recommend sticking the layers in the freezer for a while, it would have been much easier to handle. Oh and make more frosting than called for, I started to run low near the end. I’m not sure if its from too much coverage or from my mom and sister sabotaging me by sneaking spoonfuls out of my mixing bowl.

  354. I made this for my boyfriends birthday, it was amazing. I ended up with more chocolate glaze so I covered the whole thing. I did burn one of the layers a little (our oven can be a bit mental at times) and thought I’d spoiled the entire cake…but it turned out fine and the two of us ate cake everyday!

    Thank you so much for the post, I am now an avid follower!

  355. I made this cake for one of my cosmo friend’s graduation and it not only looked perfect it tasted divine…. I have been asked to make this cake several more times (like tomorrow)… I love it… I’m not sure if my convection on my oven wasn’t working or not but the cakes baked uneven… puffy on the perimeter and sunken in the middle… I evened them out with frosting! SOOOOO GOOD! I LOVE THIS CAKE! I wanted to make a peanut butter, chocolate cake so I googled and this fit the bill!

  356. kaitlyn

    1. Do you think I could sub shortening for the oil?
    2. Do you think this would survive as mini-cupcakes? I find sometimes minis come out either like wet sponges or very dry.

  357. kaitlyn

    nevermind 2! i think i’d better double layer slab this than mini cupcake it. unless you have a better recommendation for a smashing dessert to feed 30?

  358. Chuck

    I think this is almost better than sex! Just kidding. I made this for my sisters birthday on last Christmas Eve It was the biggest hit of the night

  359. Elizabeth

    Hi, sorry in advance if someone asked this already. I tried my best to screen, but 500 comments are quite a bit to scan through, so it’s definitely possible I missed it.

    In you cake tips section you recommended baking cakes at 300 degrees so they would be flatter and easier to trim. This recipe listed the baking time as 350 and I tend to be horrid with temperatures; I always over or under bake slightly. Needless to say the idea of guesstimating how long to bake this cake for terrifies me. I was wondering if you could recommend a jumping off point, so to speak, for how long I should bake this cake.

    Thanks so much, and sorry if this is a stupid/previously answered question,

    1. deb

      It’s the same rule. However, this cake did not dome particularly much, so you may not need to worry much about leveling it even if you do not reduce the baking temperature.

  360. I went to a birthday party last night and this cake was such a hit! For the rest of the evening, it was the topic of conversation. I’ve been off of sugar for the past three weeks and after eating a small slice of this…sugar shock!!! It took me over 20 minutes to savor all the goodness in that piece of cake! Love it!

  361. v

    I made this cake for a second time (I think its going to become a yearly birthday tradition!) Instead of making three layers, I poured the full amount of batter into one large circular pan, and frosted and glazed, as dictated. Just fabulous and delicious….: )

  362. Ilana

    I made it in two loaf pans (plus 6 cupcakes to finish the batter), and it became a two layered train cake for my 6-year-old’s birthday. I have a photo of it here:

    I think it was the best cake I’ve ever made. Incredibly rich, and still impossible to stop eating. The inspiration of the presentation is from AllRecipes:

    Thanks for the recipe and the tips!

  363. Rach

    I have made this cake twice now. It was dubbed “Orgasm Cake” at my husbands work!! It is now a forever tradition to make this cake for my husbands birthday.

  364. Charles

    This is definitely the best cake I’ve ever made or even eaten for that matter. Only problem I have is, it broke into 3 overnight! It seems like my cake rounds didn’t flatten so overnight it slowly slid apart. It seemed so beautiful, if only for a day.
    Deb, do you have any tips on how to keep that from happening? The only thing I didn’t do was cool the cakes on a wire rack, and instead did it on a plate. Should that keep it from happening? Thanks for this amazing recipe.

    1. deb

      I’m not sure I followed… did they split once stacked and iced? If so, then you would want to level the cakes before you stack them, so they’re not “bending” as they are stacked on top of a curved top.

  365. I’ve never baked a cake before, but I promised my best friend I’d make her something chocolate & peanut buttery for her 21st birthday. Even though it didn’t look as pretty as yours, it turned out so delicious and amazing. Now I can’t wait to start my next cake-baking endeavor!

  366. Charles

    The cake split once it was stacked and iced because the tops of all 3 layers remained rounded. What is the best way to level the tops before stacking them? Squashing the round down or cutting it flat. I figure it would of flattened out if I had used a wire rack while cooling, as opposed to a dinner plate. Could the layers just be more rounded than they should of been from a mixing error?

    1. deb

      Hi Charles — No squishing; the cake will always want to bounce back. You can use a long, serrated knife (or even a piece of non-minty dental floss, a trick I have picked up from readers) to bevel the tops of the cakes so that they will be flat. I’ve got more tips like this in this post.

  367. Charles–

    I usually cut mine flat the best I can. Or, my grandmother uses a piece of thread to even them out, that works pretty well too. It stinks when a cake splits at the very end!! :(

    This cake looks fantastic for those peanut butter lovers!

  368. chrissielynn

    this looks PERFECT for my fiance’s upcoming birthday. do you have any recommendations for scaling down the recipe into 6 inch pans instead? it will only be the two of us, and we’re both sugar addicts, so if we make the whole thing, it will be gone (and it shouldn’t be)!

  369. Anna

    I think I was potentially cursed when I was making this ganache — I burned no less than 4 batches. Four! I’m not even sure how that’s possible. I tried a double boiler, a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water, a plastic bowl held six inches above a pot of boiling water, and the microwave in ten second intervals. It went from slightly melted to a glue-y, dull mess in ten seconds flat.

    Eventually, I heated up the half and half and used the residual heat from that to melt the chocolate, and that finally did the trick. It had to have been the chocolate I was using, right? The first two batches were made with Ghirardelli bars, and the second two were made with Ghirardelli chips. I’ll have to try this again with a higher quality bar (or, you know, never attempt it again because obviously the gods don’t want me making it).

  370. thewheeler

    This cake is amazing. I agree that making the frosting a little saltier is a plus – also I made it once with Jif and once with fresh ground roasted peanut butter from whole foods and it was waaay better the second time. I think the brittle on top gives a nice crunch, and might even try mixing it into the frosting that goes between the layers. I also made this into cupcakes. The batter made a little less than 2 dozen, filled to the top. I let the ganache cool a bit and spread it on top of the cupcakes, then refrigerated them and piped on the frosting when they were set, sprinkling some brittle on top. Amazing!

  371. Sarah

    Just made this. There are no words.
    I couldn’t assemble it because I demolished a considerable slice of one of the layers straight out of the pan shmeared with a good 1/4 cup of the oozy, nutty icing. I am in sheer bliss. Off to finish the rest of that pan…

  372. Anne

    I make this for my husband’s birthday last week. I don’t think I’ve made a birthday for him in about 5 years. (I am perpetuating the rumor that I hate baking…it saves me a lot of time and aggravation). His favorite candy is Reese’s peanut butter cups. he even steals them from our kids at Halloween. This cake was just the ticket! He loves it. It was easy. I didn’t even break out the kitchen aide. I have been trying to convince him to give some to our neighbors to remove the temptation from our house but he won’t part with any. I think if I had this recipe in my arsenal when we were dating, we would have been married much sooner! I topped our cake with toffee coated peanuts — yummy.

  373. Stacey

    I saw above that you used 9-inch cake pans – that’s what I’m trying at the moment, however my cakes are turning out … somewhat less than high & fluffy – the pic that you’ve got of the slice of cake is at an angle so it makes it hard for me to see, but roughly how high did your layers come out?

  374. deb

    My layers were maybe an inch or so tall each. The total cake with all of that filling and ganache was pretty tall, however. I remember it bumping into the top of the cake box!

    C Ho — Just check the volumes of your heart-shaped pans. Compare them to the volume of an 8- or 9-inch round and adjust the recipe accordingly.

  375. Meera

    This cake is just heavenly amazing! Just baked it for my friend’s birthday tomorrow and turned out great! She’s gonna love it! :D

  376. This is one of the most amazing cakes I’ve ever made. I didn’t top it with the chocolate ganache since it was for a low key afternoon lunch with friends, and it was still out of this world. I can’t wait to use this frosting on cupcakes. It is SO good. I had some leftover and ate by the spoonful all week.

  377. Psyche1226

    Wow…I’ve been keeping this one in the back of my mind ever since I read about it. My husband thinks peanut butter was created on the 8th Day, and I was just waiting for a chance to surprise him with this…so yesterday was Valentine’s of course, and I DID IT.


    Turned out just like the pics (HUZZAH!!!) and was just as excruciatingly delicious as promised.

  378. Kc

    I am a little late to this party, but I must concur with the comment about using commercial PB. I only buy organic because I can’t in good concious buy a commercial brand knowing all the other ingredients/chemicals they put in it when the only one should be peanuts. That being said my frosting tasted delicious but was not light and fluffy after adding the PB and was difficult to to ice with and ended up looking like a child’s play doh project. Even though I thoroughly mixed the PB so there was no separation it was still flat and hard to work. Thank God for the Ganache to hide all the ugliness.
    Cake is delicious and getting wonderful reviews.

  379. Louise

    I just wanted you to know that I made this for my graduate school department bake-off (a VERY competitive affair) and it won best in show! Thanks for the great recipe- it was FANTASTIC!

  380. Thank you, Deb! I love your website and have tried many of your recipes – they’re all so good!! I came across this cake just after my roommate had asked me what kind of cake I wanted for my birthday. I immediately showed it to her (and everyone else I knew!). I was so excited about this cake that I wondered if I’d be let down. Nope – it lived up to its expectations! It was pure peanut butter/chocolate birthday bliss! :)

  381. hi deb… just wondering if I can substitute whipping cream (35%) instead of using half & half for the chocolate-peanut butter glaze… i ask only because I have a bunch of whipping cream to use up in the fridge… i definitely don’t mind getting (or concotting) the half & half if you think using whipping cream instead is ill-advised… looking forward to making this cake for my husband’s birthday next week… thanks again for a terrific website and recipes…

  382. Sarah

    Although I have been a reader for about a year now, I made this over the weekend as my first recipe off the site, and it was beyond delicious. I brought it to a party and it was a huge, huge hit!!! Everything about this thing is rich and peanut buttery and wonderful. And the cake really is one bowl. I was shocked.

    I don’t know if I read more for the food or the baby now. I keep telling my friend if she can manage to have one as cute I will quit my job as an accountant and be her full time nanny. Jacob is seriously the cutest kid I have ever seen. Ever.

  383. Kelli

    Wondering if this cake can be stored at room temp in a glass covered cake plate? It’s already chilled and set in the fridge for 30 minutes, the glaze looks perfect, but wondering now if I can keep it at room temperature or if it’s supposed to be kept in fridge all the time except for serving.

    This recipe is to die for, and very user friendly, I thought. Thank you so much for sharing!

  384. Kelli

    Oh awesome, thanks for the quick response! I’ve never made a homemade cream cheese frosting before today, so I wasn’t sure. After I put my 2-yr old down tonight I cut a big piece and had a big glass of milk – YUM! Thanks again=)

  385. Michelle H

    I have made this cake many times and every time people go crazy for it! I have yet to come across a recipe that rivals it! Perfect combination and so much fun to make. It’s beautiful to the eye and a party in your mouth!! LOVE IT :)

  386. Camille H

    Deb! Would like to start by saying thank you so much for sharing so many wonderful recipes with us. This blog is freaking amazing. I enjoy it and your thoroughly NYC tone immensely. Your son is also gorgeous beyond words, your photies of Mr J make my hormones go through the roof, lady! Those cheeks and mop of hair are the best thing you’ve baked.

    I finally got around to making this cake, although being short on time, I went the cupcake route. I slightly hollowed them out, filled with the peanut butter stuff, pipped more peanut butter stuff on top, then pooled over some of the chocolate stuff. This recipe yields the most ridiculously amazing cake EVER, and I bake a minimum of weekly. I have also replaced my standard chocolate cake with this version. I have gotten non stop raves, even from those who claim to hate either chocolate (whaaaa?) and/or peanut butter, so, thank you very much!

  387. AmandaPG

    Made this cake for my husband’s poker night. SOOOOOO good! I will continue to make it for many special occasions!

  388. Made this cake yesterday for a friends birthday.

    It was the first time I’ve ever made a layer cake. Not too hard!

    My only advice is that you have to work fast with the ganache. I read the tips on spreading it over a cold cake for the gooey look, but I think I was too cautious and moved too slowly, so it didn’t drizzle quite as nicely. I’ll remember it for next time.

    Very moist, everyone loved it.

  389. Johanna

    Soooo good, Deb. Thanks for sharing. I made this for my 28th birthday this weekend and everyone gushed over the cake.

  390. Laura Bee

    I just made this cake for my dad’s birthday, and it was so well received I’ve been told I have to make it for his birthday every year.

    I used Yoghurt instead of Sour Cream, and cut the icing sugar in the frosting down to just 2 cups. As well, I used Kraft Natural Peanut butter and didn’t have any problems with the frosting being too thick.

    I also used two rectangular glass pyrex dishes to make this into a 2 layer cake, and baked it for 35 minutes.

    All of these substitutions still resulted in something that is to die for.

  391. Aubrey

    I know this post is from a while ago, but I’ve been eyeballing this cake ever since you first posted it. I FINALLY had an opportunity to make it for a birthday party yesterday and it was a serious hit! Thanks for all the useful tips. I’ve referenced your Project Wedding Cake post several times.

  392. Jessica

    I made this Monday for my cousin’s birthday Tues, she’s a big choc/pb fan. It was delicious! I didn’t bother making it look great with the crumb layer and it didn’t end up horrible looking and of course didn’t affect the taste! Thank you so much for sharing this.

  393. Bernadette

    my gawd! the house smells soo good! I’m surprising the husband with this tonight for his birthday. but- my chocolate peanut butter glaze does not look like the picture. it’s a bit runnier & not as dark. should I be concerned? it’s chilling now & my hope is it just sets up in the fridge…

  394. Chari

    I labored over this last night as I decided to enter it into a Dessert Bake-Off at work today. All that work paid off as I won 1st place! Not terribly surprising as, once I saw the finished masterpiece, I had a good feeling it would win. I can’t tell you how many kudos I received. I topped the glaze with chopped pieces of Reese’s Miniature Peanut Butter Cups. It was simply incredible. Thank you for posting this recipe and for sharing your pictures!

  395. I made this yesterday for my best friend’s 20th birthday and it was UNBELIEVABLE. I used coffee and instead of water and eliminated the vinegar. The cake was so moist (definitely a good idea to refrigerate or freeze the layers before frosting), and the frosting was delicious. The ganache was perfect, like eating fudge. Such a cool presentation also, everyone was impressed. I bake constantly and everyone said this was their favorite thing I’ve ever made. I will make this again and again and again.

  396. I cannot tell you how many people loved this cake. I made it twice in one week–first as a practice round for a friend’s birthday, then for the actual birthday party. Friends, neighbors, colleagues–everyone RAVED about it. For days. Weeks. I still have people mentioning it to me. It has given me newfound baking confidence, and I really appreciate you sharing this recipe!

    Now for the bad news: The cake takes a lot longer to bake than the recipe indicates (20-30mins more), and the center falls in. Both times I checked the cake at the appropriate time that it was supposed to come out, and the center was still practically liquid. It was in that last 20-30mins that the center sinks. I checked, and my oven temp is accurate. I also mixed the batter thoroughly. I’m baking in two 9″ round pans on the center rack.

    I did a quick search above and didn’t see anyone else with the same issue, but I’m hoping there’s someone out there who can offer advice…?

  397. Lisa

    This will be made again and again in my house as it is, hands down, the most delicious, rich and satisfying cake, ever. If you are a chocolate+peanut butter fan, it may be fair to say this cake will ruin you for all others.

  398. Katie

    I made this cake a couple weeks ago and let me tell you it was perfect. I did it in 3 9-inch cake pans (would you believe Target doesn’t sell 8 inch cake pans? WTF?). I do believe the words “tastiest food item of the night, nay year” and “you’ve ruined baked goods for me” were uttered. Of course I have to find something to make for the NEXT birthday in the lineup but I’m sure I’ll work something out… and leave a comment on your blog to thank you for the recipe :-).

  399. Jilly

    So I made this cake for my 30th birthday today. My boyfriend had some, too. He’s a 250lb bald headed, muscle bound, motorcycle riding bruiser who eats peanut butter cups like it’s his part time job. And he wanted me to let you know that this cake kicked his @ss. Thanks for the recipe!

  400. TL

    I made this birthday cake for my boyfriend, coincidentally his name is also Alex and he’s a huge peanut butter/chocolate fan, and he loved it. And there is plenty leftover. Thanks!

  401. Kristi

    I just made this cake for my friend’s birthday party and it was an absolute hit!! It is a very time consuming cake, but completely worth the effort. The directions were all very helpful. My only comment is that I think you meant that you should use 1/3 of the icing when doing the first layer, instead of 2/3. Thanks for such an amazing recipe!! Keep ’em comin’! :)

  402. Beth

    My son had requested a Peanut-Butter / Chocolate / Pretzel Cake for his birthday. I made this cake and sprinkled broken Pretzel Sticks over the top and then added unbroken (small) Pretzel Sticks standing up / leaning on each other all over the top for a striking appearance.

    We had it last night to rave reviews. My daughter said she looked at the piece on her plate and thought she couldn’t eat it all, then after trying it decided she could very well eat the whole cake.

    The cake is fabulous and will become one of my regular celebration cakes, with or without the pretzels, although the saltiness was a nice countertpoint to that rich, rich cake.

  403. Tara

    I just made this decadant cake to take to Easter Supper tomorrow with my family. My Aunt who is hosting the dinner requested Choc w. PB frosting -her favorite. For how much I bake (weekly) I have never ever made PB frosting. LOL. I am liiterally just finishing up the cake now and am sad I am going to have to share ;) Thanks for a rich and decadant dessert that I am sure to be making again!

    Happy Spring!!

  404. Erica

    I’m making this cake right now to take over for my boyfriend’s mom’s 50th birthday party tonight. We’re having lobster and Prosecco, but I’m thinking this over-the-top cake might overshadow everything else. Nom nom!

    @Kristi (commenter 561) – the recipe says 2/3 cup of frosting, not 2/3 of all the frosting. :)

  405. Jenny

    Holy cats! This cake is good. Or actually, I think it’s the combination of cake and frosting that makes it so perfect. I found myself wanting the cake to have a bit more oomph…a chocolatier flavor? More salt? I often think this about oil-based cake recipes versus butter-based ones, but I also concede that this cake is SUPER-RICH as it is and doing a butter-based cake might push it over the edge.

    As usual, I made changes:

    – 1/4 cup less sugar
    – 1/4 cup less water
    – 1 teaspoon more vanilla
    – extra pinch of salt

    – used salted butter
    – 11 oz cream cheese
    – 1 cup or more pb, and I DID use a grainy, salted, natural brand (Adams)
    – added 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    – a few extra pinches of salt

    I kept pb out of the ganache and topped the cake with chopped, roasted salted peanuts. Freezing the layers is very good idea. MAKE SURE TO CHECK IF YOUR OIL IS FRESH! Mine was rancid and I had to bake a second cake….. but it was totally worth the sleep deprivation. Seriously. This might be the most deliciously Reese’s PB Cup-like cake, or ANY kind of cake, I’ve ever eaten. MAKE IT NOW, before it’s too late!!!!

  406. jennifer tuttle

    Do you think by chance that I could use mashed bananas in place of the oil???? I’m looking for a banana chocolate cake with pb frosting or some sort of combo like that. Guess I could try…. just curious. Looks wonderful!

  407. I am making it tonight for my father in laws dinner party i am hosting tomorrow, he is a chocolate and a peanut addict so its a great excuse to make it and not eat it all by myself , thank the gods for leftovers.

  408. Sheeka

    Hi Deb

    Tried your recipe the 1st time and the result was excellent. But when I did today, after baking the cake, when I turned over the cake, the whole cake fell apart. Where did I go wrong?

    1. deb

      Can you give me more info? Did it break because it was soft? Underbaked? Not firm enough to be lifted? Did it seem like there was an ingredient missing, like it was bound well?

  409. Seeka

    Thanks for responding fast Deb. The cake tasted perfect but whenever aft baking,
    when inverted onto wire rack and peel off the paper liner, the cake cracks and opens up. Otherwise, the cake is fine. I did the cake 3 X last nite and all the cakes turned out the same.

  410. Seeka

    I really do not know why it started cracking but the cake was well baked. Everyone loved the cake but I was just dissapointed that it was cracking up in the middle.

  411. Andrea

    I did a search looking for a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting to make, that my husband requested for his birthday. Your site was the first that popped up, but I think I’ve found the perfect cake, this looks delicious!

  412. Tammy

    This cake is so delicious. We have made this for my husband and daughter each year on their birthday for the past few years. They LOVE it and request it every year!

  413. megan

    Your so right I baked this yesterday for my sister’s birthday and everyone agreed that it was the best cake ever! I love your site!

  414. Jacyn

    I just made this cake for my dad and he absolutely loved it! It was such a rich cake but he had to go for a second helping (it was his birthday cake after all) even though he was still stuffed from dinner.

    And you’re definitely right about the cake feeding a lot more people than 12. We barely made a dent, so he’s taking half the cake to feed his colleagues at work today. Thanks for a great recipe!

  415. Kari

    We don’t keep PB in the house, so i was a bit worried that the significant other would turn his nose at the cake… I made this one for a winter-ending bbq with friends and it was a hit!! Little slices only, as dinner was filling, so the leftover cake was sent into the freezer and has since been turned into a go-to “we have to have this at all times” sort of snack! Your directions and pictures helped me out so well!!

  416. priz

    im so glad ive found this!

    my best friend doesnt live in my country anymore but hell be coming this weekend for his bday!!! and i really wanted to surprise him with his favorite flavour (chocolate peanu butter) cake!

    i so looking forward to do this!!!

  417. priz

    oh and one question ( i hope you read it before friday)

    is it possible to make the cakes on fiday and the rest on saturday to ensemble it for saturdays night?

    or is better to do the whole cake at the same day is gonna be eaten?

    1. deb

      priz — You can do either. It’s a moist cake, and fairly forgiving of a day’s rest. That said, I prefer to bake the cakes in advance, stash them well-wrapped in the freezer, and frost and fill them the day I need them. More layer cake tips, if you’re interested, over here.

  418. I baked the cakes yesterday, stored them in the fridge overnight and iced it this morning for my sister-in-law’s birthday. We all swooned over this cake. I wanted to follow your recipe to a T, but the sour cream I thought I had on hand was a figment of my imagination. Using plain yogurt in it’s place worked splendidly. The cake was incredibly moist and tasty, the icing and ganache, incredibly rich- perfect for a special occasion. Thanks, Deb. You never cease to amaze me:-).

  419. Sarah E

    Made this today because we just bought our first house and it was our “we just bought a house” cake. My boyfriend loves chocolate and peanut butter. This was so easy to make especially because of your tips on chilling it. Thanks for posting such awesome recipes.

  420. Tricia

    When I saw this cake, I knew it was going to be on my list of possibilites for my birthday cake this year. I just made it over the weekend and it was AMAZING!!! If I didn’t like trying new things so much, I’d make it for my birthday every year :o) Needless to say, it goes into my repertoire to make for special occasions in the future. I followed the recipe exactly and it came out beautifully. THANK YOU for such a great birthday cake!

  421. I made this last weekend, and everyone loved it! I changed it up a little, and just made a double layer cake to bring to a friends house, and 12 cupcakes so I could keep some at home, worked out perfectly! Thanks for the recipe :)

  422. I asked my sister to make this for me for my birthday, and it was one of the best cakes we’ve ever had. The cake itself is just sooo moist and perfect, everything about it was excellent, we wouldn’t change a thing. I especially love the double layer of frosting, each layer having a unique consistency. We sat down to slices of it 4 times in less than 48 hours (I was visiting for the weekend). Definitely a recipe that will stay in our family forever! Thanks.

  423. Lauren

    Just made this for my boyfriend’s 30th birthday! It’s actually currently setting in the freezer — we ended up not having enough time before our dinner reservation to finish frosting it. It looks AWESOME — can’t wait to snack on it! However, my ganache sucks! After I added the peanut butter and tried to stir it over the double boiler, it just seized up. It’s more like dry, crumbly fudge than a sauce. Not liquid at all. How did I “break” it?

  424. Lauren

    Never mind — I added the milk (didn’t have half-and-half) and it immediately broke back down and melted into a lovely glossy goo! It was a last ditch attempt — I thought for sure the cold milk would ruin it! Looks gorgeous, we are hungry now!

  425. Lisa

    I made this yesterday for a friends birthday. It was fabulous. Everyone LOVED it! The only problem I had was with the PB frosting. Once I added the PB the frosting kind of separated and I couldn’t get it to a smooth consistency. It almost seemed like it had air bubbles in it. I was able to wet the spatula and smooth out the frosting, but am wondering where I went wrong. (The PB was Peter Pan brand). Would love to make it again and have it turn out right. Thanks and love your site!

  426. Jocelyn

    OMG, this cake is like a giant Reese’s peanut butter cup. I am a chocolate and peanut butter addict, and I made this cake for my OWN birthday yesterday. Everyone loved it, and I can’t get enough! YUM! Thank you thank you thank you.

  427. Madeline

    I made this cake the other day for a friend, turned out great. I used Maranatha peanut butter for the frosting, which is what I always use for recipes that call for commercial brands. It has a much richer peanut-buttery taste than commercial, but the oil does separate out as much as brands like Adams. It has the closest consistency to commercial that I’ve found, but doesn’t contain yucky things like hydrogenated oil. I use it often for baking and it has never let me down…just thought I’d pass that along.

  428. Jaime

    WOW…made this cake for my Hubby’s birthday…it is ridiculously good. I got comments like “best cake ever” and “best thing I ever ate”. My guests are still talking about it 2 weeks later. It was a little labor intensive but I followed all of the tips provided and I got a pretty and fairly level 3 layer cake. I am going to make it for Father’s day, for my own birthday next month and any other occasion I can come up with…Thank. You. Deb.

  429. Stephanie

    Deb- I’ve made this cake, and it is absolutely delicious! I need to make a birthday cake this weekend for a chocoholic, so I’m thinking about doubling this cake recipe and making it in two 9 x 13s for a giant double layer sheet cake to feed a crowd. How do you think this would work? It’s a soft cake, so do you think it would be manageable? (Also, any estimates on baking time would be greatly appreciated!) I wouldn’t make the peanut butter frosting and ganache, but would use your raspberry filling recipe (the one on the double chocolate layer cake post- I think one batch should be enough?) and the ganache recipe on that post also (1 1/2 recipes? 2 recipes? Any ideas?). However, how stable is the ganache frosting? Can it handle being left at room temperature for a few hours or does it need refrigeration? I was going to make and assemble this cake the day before and refrigerate it until the party- do you think it would keep moist and fresh overnight? Sorry for bombarding you with questions, but I would really appreciate advice from the master baker! Thanks!

  430. Stephanie

    I was just reading through the comments and noticed that you frequently recommended both the chocolate butter wedding cake and the chocolate layer cake for an even more chocolatey cake than this one. Which one do you prefer in taste and think would be more manageable for a large double layered cake? The only reason I was hesitant to use these two recipes was because of the coffee- does it impart a strong coffee flavor into the cake or does it just lend a depth of chocolate flavor? I think I would need to double both to bake in two 9 x 13s- what do you think? Thanks again!

  431. Oh goodness, I read through so many comments regarding the cake being too soft and was just about to go with the double layer recipe, which is my chocolate stand-by and the recipe I used for our wedding cupcakes. But now I’ve read comment 601 where you say that the double layer cake is softer. I am making a standard 3 layer cake with PB filling and chocolate frosting (in lieu of ganache), which recipe do you recommend?

    1. deb

      The double layer cake is ever-so-slightly softer. Soft cake is a good thing! It will be tender and moist. If it gives you any trouble lifting and moving, just use the freezer to firm it up while you work.

  432. I just had to come back to tell you that I went for the double layer cake because it is my absolute favorite. Making it reminds me of all the test-rounds I did for our wedding cake last year. It came out perfectly, I froze the four(!) layers for a bit and made the p.b. frosting from this recipe for the filling. Divine. Tomorrow I will add the ganache and present it to the lucky high school graduate. I hope she loves it!

  433. Jamie

    I made this cake in February for my boyfriends birthday, and I got rave reviews. Everyone that had some told me it was the best cake they have ever had.
    Now, his sister has requested it to be her birthday cake as well. I love this recipe, and I love this site! Thank you so much! <3

  434. Abbie G.

    Delish! Perfect chocolate to peanut butter ratio. Moist light cake,whipped yummy peanut butter frosting, topped with chocolate. Perfection. Thanks, Deb! You are my go to site for ideas, recipes, and cooking hints!

  435. Jeff

    I am now the official birthday cake hero of my family. Big hit. We liked it best served cold right out of the fridge the next day- I think I left it out too long before the initial serving so it was pretty soft and squishable. I agree on the serving size, we served 15 pretty generously and still had about a third of the cake left the next day.

  436. Lindsayb

    Thank you so much for including all the tips and hints- my cake literally turned out like your picture, somehow! All the chilling in between the steps of handling the cake definitely seemed to make a difference. Thanks for sharing all the details and such a fabulous recipe!

  437. Aliya

    This cake looks terrific! Its my boyfriends birthday on saturday and I really wanna try making it for him he ll love it! Quick question what is half and half? :S

  438. Chloe

    Okay, I think I’m going to have to sue you for… something, because this cake was too damn good for my hips and thighs. I used melted semisweet chocolate rather than cocoa and butter rather than oil, with some chocolate chips in the batter. I didn’t have enough of the same size pan, so I used a 9″ springform pan and made it a single layer, which took forever to bake, but it still turned out alright. I let it chill for about an hour before putting on the crumb coat, then let that chill before frosting it and pouring on the ganache. It made way too much cake and it’s still sitting in the house because it’s too rich to eat a lot at once, even though I made it on Thursday night (birthday cake for my Mom). My Mom put it in the freezer so that we wouldn’t eat it all, but that hasn’t deterred me one bit, since it seems to taste even better frozen. The frosting is my favourite part.

  439. I cannot thank you enough for posting this on the website. I haven’t actually eaten the cake yet, but making it, from tasting the cake that fell off when I was putting it together, to tasting the icing for both the peanut butter and then the ganache! Oh me, oh my!!! I cannot wait to taste it tomorrow for my husband’s big 29th birthday! ;) I feel like I should have a party now, to show off my domestic godessness!!!

    Thanks Deb! You are a definite bookmark and a favorite. Your tips made this cake so much easier to handle and it looks like your picture, except the top of mine is rounded out a bit… to get that “flat” look, do you put the top layer upside down?? and if you do is that why you use parchment paper in the bottom of the pans??

  440. Stephanie

    Is it possible to cut the recipe in half? I am going to make this for my 3 year anniversary with my boyfriend, and since it’s just the two of us, we don’t need that much cake. I was going to go buy the small 6″ round pans to make a smaller version of the cake.

    I figured I would just halve all the ingredients, but am not sure about the adjustment in baking time.

    1. deb

      6-inch pans should halve the recipe just fine (keeping the same height, though). You’ll have to watch for baking time adjustment… it will need more than half of the baking time.

  441. Ash

    Wow, wow, wow! I made this for my birthday, and it was completely amazing. Thank you so much for the recipe. I had two requests for the recipe; so there are two new smittenkitchen followers. I thought that the balance of the delicious, soft, but not overly sweet cake was perfect with the frostings. The only think I might change next time is to put a bit less of the chocolate glaze because it overpowered the peanut butter cream cheese frosting just a bit. Thanks again, Deb!

  442. Catherine

    I made this cake yesterday for a friends birthday, it is incredible!! I made the layers a week before though and froze them – the cake was so easy to work with this way and was still moist and delicious. The frosting on this cake is what makes it – it’s unbelievably good. Just one tip – if you use wax paper to protect your cake board/plate remove the wax paper after the icing and before the glaze. It takes away from the presentation if you lose the bottom of the dribbles of the glaze. This cake is even better cold the next day from the fridge :) Thanks for sharing it Deb!

  443. Don

    Just like all the other comments, this cake it a huge hit. It is the most requested thing I have ever made. I also have never added the peanut brittle to the top of the cake, just not sure I’d like that crunch with the super moist cake. I have however started adding chopped reeses peanut butter cups to the top and it looks great sitting on top of the ganache.

  444. Sara

    I just finished this cake for my father-in-law’s 52nd birthday tomorrow. I made 3 8.5inch layers. The cake is ridiculously moist and springy, the pb/cream cheese frosting almost mousse-like. My 3.5 y/o and 15 m/o were fighting over who got to lick the spatula used to spread the glaze. The only problem is having to wait until tomorrow to have a piece. Thank you for a this recipe. Your recipes never fail to be amazing!

  445. Heather

    I’ve made this twice and am having problems with the chocolate glaze. First time it was smooth but it didn’t dribble down the sides. The second time I used 1/2 semi-sweet and 1/2 unsweetened chocolate. It was thick so I thinned it with the 1/2 and 1/2. It plopped on the cake and smeared down the sides. UGH!!! Both times the cake was tasty. I guess I just have to keep on making it to get the glaze right. The PB frosting is, as a told a friend, inspires one to smear it on someone’s body and lick. It is THAT good!!!

  446. Jennifer

    Some cruel woman posted a picture of this cake on my pregnancy boards last weekend. It was pure torture for a woman 27 weeks pregnant to make or NOT make this cake, and so I did. It was wonderful! I admit I used tin pans because I don’t own 8 cake pans of the same size, but they were great because the cakes popped right out. My husband liked it too & did not know there was cream cheese in the peanut butter frosting (he hates cream cheese). He said it looked like a bakery cake, which I took as a compliment because I admit I don’t usually spend much time on decorating. And it passed his “oh this is going to give me a migraine” test for being super rich, so cutting thin slices was defintely the way to go. I froze more than half because I’m afraid continuing to eat it will make me fail my gestational diabetes test Friday. :) This chocolate cake recipe was so moist, I may use it with other frostings, too – it surpasses my old stand by that’s been passed down in my family for generations.

  447. Jennifer

    I should add that on the ganache, I couldn’t get the chocolate to smooth out on the double boiler. So I whisked in the half and half on the double boiler a quarter at a time. It worked great. It was pretty thick, but I spread it over the top, allowing it to drip down the sides and it was perfect.

  448. Schnitzell

    I made this cake for my husbands birthday. He loves chocolate and peanut butter confections, but claims he does not like cake.

    Well I put an end to that notion with this cake.

    One note, have a big group to eat this cake. I have half a cake stored in my freezer that I will have to finish. Poor me.

  449. Alexac

    My husband is a HUGE peanut butter fan, tmrw is his poker party, i will def try this and might add reeses chunks on top. I have a question the choc ganache can I add peanut butter to that too? Was wondering your thoughts on that.

  450. Hi
    I tried out your icing and I loved it I did add one or two things .There is nothing I enjoy more than peanut butter and chocolate together .I used it on some chocolate cupcakes I made. Have a look at the end result
    They were a massive hit with everyone at work!!:)

  451. Your peanut butter icing was lovely I used it in my chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes recipe. They were a huge hit at work!. I added 1tblsp of brewed coffee to it as well, and used crunchy peanut butter.Was Yummmy, was so good I had to add it to my blog! If you want to see how they turned out check it out!!

  452. I made this cake tonight for my husband’s birthday! My husband, who is quite the foodie, just fell in love with this cake. I never heard him rave so much about a cake I made. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  453. Jan

    This cook looks awesome! Today is my husband’s birthday and I have been planning on making this for him. Unfortunately, I lost my shopping list at the store last night and just barely realized I didn’t remember to get half and half. Annoying. Do you know if I can substitute anything for it? I don’t bake a lot or drink coffee so I don’t have cream in the house. I have milk, sour cream, butter, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk. Do you think that I could monkey with any of those and be safe? Or should I just make something else? :(

  454. Anna

    Jan, I used evaporated milk because I don’t keep half & half in the house – it turn out perfectly. I just finished this cake for my daughter’s birthday, and it was PERFECT.
    “Chocolate peanut butter ganache? Shut up!!”
    “No, really.”
    “Oh my god.”
    “I know.”

    Thank you for a fantastic recipe.

  455. Raich

    I’ve been waiting half a year to make this cake. Living in a low-sugar, peanut butter- hating, chocolate-misunderstanding family in law means I had to wait until my own birthday. I halved the recipe and made 2 7 inch layers, baked for 30 minutes. It was fantastic!

  456. Julie

    This is fantastic! I used a bundt pan and it fit fine. I was worried it would run over so put some in a small dish but once it was done I realized I had a ton of room, apparently it doesn’t rise as high as some other cakes. Thanks so much for such a great recipe!

  457. Desirae

    Thanks so much for the recipe! I made the cake for my birthday and it went over like a house on fire! For a friend’s birthday, I did cupcakes and filled them with the ganache using the cut out cone method and then frosted them with the peanut butter icing. They were just as delicious but much more portable!

    I did omit the corn syrup in the ganache for the cupcake batch so that it would be a little firmer in the center.

  458. Evelyn

    This cake is SUPER DELISH…I have made it a few times…as written…with great success. It doesnt last more than a day or two in my home!

  459. diane

    okay, this was out of control. it was so much fun to make! i thought the peanut butter frosting was going to be a little too….subtle….so i melted some peanut butter in the microwave and spread that on each layer before frosting, sort of like the crumb coat, and in the end it tasted like a peanut butter kandy kake tastycake except with chocolate cake. mmmmm. i think it would also be good with yellow cake, believe it or not, which is more like the tastycakes of my childhood. only this time, with a dark chocolate bang. thanks, deb. you are a goddess.

  460. Val

    I made this cake for my daughters 21st birthday. WOW! They couldn’t get enough! Katie drove 15 minutes to see me today and her first question was, “Where is the cake”. Question. My layers dipped in the middle. They were cooked all the way through perfectly and they did not fall. Ideas?

  461. Kimberly Cherry

    Hi! I”m new to the site. I discovered it doing a google search for a chocolate/peanut butter cake to make for my boyfriend’s birthday. I found this this cake and just knew I had to make it. It is an amazing cake. So good. Unbelieveably good. I’m pretty sure he’ll be begging me to make it every year now. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  462. brenda

    holy shit deb! i made this last night for a birthday and we finally cut it a few hours ago. hands down THE BEST chocolate cake ever. i’m guessing the cup of oil has something to do with it hahah. and the frosting, i’m going to dream about it for days. so freakin good!!!! thanks so much for this recipe.

  463. I was looking for a “last blast” before diet cake. . . so good. I have a time-limiting two year old so I used a box cake with the 1 cup of sour cream, then pretty much followed the recipe (well. . ok. . I had 4 ozs of unsweet chocolate, so I bought a 4 oz bar of hersheys. . to finally use that up. . lol. Worked well) Thanks so much. My neighbors thank you too, since after 2 pieces each we gave the rest away. LOL. I will say I love fudge, so this cake was best served cold out of fridge for me. I had it at room temp and it was nice and light, but, really, I liked the cold fudge density even more. Thanks again for the recipe.