Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake - moist chocolate cake paired with peanut butter frosting and filling, topped with drippy chocolate ganache and homemade peanut butter balls, aka buckeyes | Carrie Sellman for

Moist chocolate cake paired with peanut butter frosting and filling, topped with drippy chocolate ganache and homemade peanut butter balls, aka buckeyes. The ultimate layer cake for chocolate and peanut butter lovers!



For the Peanut Butter Balls (makes about 24)

  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 pound powdered sugar
  • 6 ounces chocolate chips

For the Chocolate Cake:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
  • 1 cup boiling water

For the Peanut Butter Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar
  • 9 tablespoons milk
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  • 6 ounces chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon corn syrup


Make the Peanut Butter Balls:

  1. Using an electric mixer, blend peanut butter and butter together until smooth.
  2. Add vanilla and then powdered sugar.  Mix to combine.
  3. Roll peanut butter into round balls and place onto a cookie tray lined with parchment paper.  Refrigerate until cold.
  4. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over low heat or in a microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each heating.
  5. Using a toothpick, dip peanut butter balls into chocolate to coat.  Place back onto parchment paper.  Refrigerate until chocolate is set.
  6. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use or eat.

Make the Chocolate Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put a kettle of water on to boil.  Butter and lightly flour three 8″ round pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients: sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Add in eggs, milk, oil, vanilla and espresso powder.  Mix on medium speed for two minutes.
  4. Add boiling water and mix to combine.
  5. Divide batter evenly between three prepared pans.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes.  Cake is done with a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Cool 10 minutes before inverting cakes from pans.  Cool completely before assembling cake.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate if not using until tomorrow.

Make the Peanut Butter Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and peanut butter on medium speed until well combined.
  2. Add vanilla and salt.  Mix again.
  3. Mix in powdered sugar in several batches.
  4. Add milk and whip until fluffy.

Make the Chocolate Ganache:

  1. Place chocolate chips into medium bowl and set aside.  Heat cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat just until it almost starts to simmer.  Remove from heat and pour over chocolate.  Let sit for about 5 minutes and then stir with a wooden spoon until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.  Stir in corn syrup.

Assemble the Cake:

  1. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large star tip with one cup of frosting and set aside.
  2. Place one layer of cake onto serving plate or cake stand and top with about one cup of frosting.  Repeat with second cake layer, more frosting and then last cake layer.  Crumb coat and frost cake with remaining peanut butter frosting.  Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until frosting is set.  Drizzle chocolate ganache over the top with small drips overflowing the edge.  Smooth as desired with offset spatula.  Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until ganache is set.
  3. Using your reserved frosting, pipe 8 small swirls of frosting evenly spaced around the edge of cake.  Top each swirl with a peanut butter ball.


  • Store in refrigerator.  Serve at room temperature.