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Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Here’s what your getting yourself into with this Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake! I’m talking about 4 layers of homemade moist chocolate cake, filled and frosted with peanut butter buttercream, topped with a chocolate drip and garnished with chocolate peanut butter candy. Yum right? Check out the details below!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

Chocolatey, moist, and tender. You’ll see why this is my go-to chocolate cake. It’s made with a mix of butter and oil which helps keep the cake nice and moist even right out of the refrigerator!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Peanut Butter Frosting

Make sure to use regular, smooth peanut butter, not the natural kind for this frosting. The natural peanut butter has too much oil and can mess with the texture of this buttercream. 

This frosting is much like a bakery style buttercream, and is easy to adjust according to your taste and needs. By adjusting the sugar, you can make the buttercream a little more or a little less sweet.

The heavy cream helps to make things smooth and easily spreadable and pipeable. Add as much cream or as little as you need for your desired result.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Dark Chocolate Drip

I debated adding a chocolate drip, but I’m so glad I did it! Because it takes this cake up a notch and balances out the sweetness of the peanut butter buttercream perfectly. For this chocolate drip I used semi sweet chocolate, but a bittersweet chocolate would work well too.

Plan Ahead: The chocolate drip needs to sit about 30 minutes before it’s the perfect consistency for drizzling.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Cake Decorating

Now that we have all the components made it’s time to start the best part of the cake….the decorating!!! 

  • Luckily this cake comes out fairly level naturally so there is no need to trim the cake levels on this one.
  • Cut each cake layer in half horizontally to create 4 thin layers of cake.
  • I prefer to measure the amount of filling so when the cake is cut the layers are all as even as possible. I used 3/4 cup of the buttercream for each layer of filling.
  • Once stacked, spread your buttercream on the top and sides of the cake. I use a metal offset cake spatula, heated under hot water to help smooth out the buttercream. 
  • Another trick to smooth out the buttercream is to use a Viva paper towel (with no stitched pattern) on the cake and a fondant smoother, and gently go around the sides and the top of the cake to gently smooth out the buttercream. *This buttercream should be used right away as it will start to crust as it sits.*
  • Once the chocolate drip is on, chill the cake so the chocolate sets up before you add anymore decoration to the cake. 
  • Use remaining buttercream to decorate the top and bottom edges of the cake.
  • I used piping tip #827 by Ateco for the top swirls and Wilton #1M for the bottom shells.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Plan It Out

This cake is a pretty easy one to put together but it always helps to have a plan.

Day 1: Bake the cake layers. The cake layers can also be made up to 5 days in advance, stored in plastic wrap in an airtight cake container stored on the counter.

Day 2: Prepare the buttercream and fill and frost the cake. Make the chocolate drip and decorate the cake. Serve the cake or place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

As I mentioned before, this cake is just as great right out of the refrigerator so you don’t have to bring to room temperature before serving if you just can’t wait to dig in!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

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Adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle and Bake From Scratch Vol. 3

Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes

Four layers of fluffy and moist chocolate cake, filled and frosted with peanut butter buttercream, topped with dark chocolate drip and chocolate peanut butter candy!

Ingredients

SPECIAL TOOLS

CAKE

  • 2 2/3 cups (11.3 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups (17.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (1.4 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cups (5.6 ounces) sour cream, at room temperature, about 65 degrees
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks/5 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to about 85 to 90 degrees
  • 2/3 cup safflower oil or corn oil
  • 1 ¼ cups (10 ounces) ice cold water

FROSTING

  • 1 ½ cup (3 sticks/24 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature, about 65 degrees
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 8 cups (34 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted (more or less for desired sweetness)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (6 fluid ounces) heavy cream, at room temperature, about 65 degrees (more or less for desired consistency)

CHOCOLATE DRIP

  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • ¾ cup (6 fluid ounces) heavy cream
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

Instructions

CAKE

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the center position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 8-inch round cake pans with baking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the eggs and sour cream. Once combined, and vanilla extract, mix and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment add the butter and oil and mix together on low speed. Add the cold water and mix to combine. Pour in the dry ingredients and mix on medium-low speed for 1 minute. Add the egg mixture and mix for one more minute on low speed. Give the batter a few stirs by hand and divide between the prepared cake pans.
  5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool the cakes in their pans on wire racks for 10 to 15 minutes, then invert cakes on to wire racks to cool completely.


PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment attached, combine the butter and peanut butter and mix on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar and salt. Slowly add in the cream until the desired consistency of frosting is achieved.

ASSEMBLE CAKE

  1. Cut each cake layer in half horizontally, creating 4 layers of cake. Place one layer of cake on a serving platter and spread about ¾ cup peanut butter frosting on top. Spread evenly leaving about ½-inch from the edge free of frosting. Place a second layer of cake on top and repeat this process with the remaining cake layers. When the last cake layers is placed on top, frost the top and sides of the cake. Place remaining frosting in a piping bag(s) fitted with a cake tip (Ateco #287 & Wilton 1M) and set aside. Once the entire cake is frosted, place in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the chocolate drip.


CHOCOLATE DRIP

  1. Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, bring the cream and butter to a simmer. Pour hot cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted and is smooth. Cool on the counter for about 20 minutes before using.

DECORATE CAKE

  1. With a spoon, strategically work around the cake edge to layer the chocolate drip, coaxing the drips to drip where you want, then place just enough chocolate in over the top center of the cake and push out with a metal cake spatula to spread around, meeting the chocolate that has been spooned on to the edges. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for another 10 minutes.
  2. With a spoon, strategically place a second layer of drips around the edge of the cake. Pour more chocolate in the center of cake and spread around the top of the cake meeting the chocolate at the edge of the cake. Chill in the refrigerator for another 10 minutes.
  3. With the remaining frosting in a piping bag, pipe swirls around the top edge of the cake. Place chocolate candy on top of each swirl. Pipe shells around the bottom edge of the cake to finish the look at serve.

Notes

Store: Assembled cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight cake container.

Chocolate cake layers can be made up to 5days in advance, wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in an airtight cake container at room temperature.

*Buttercream should be used right away as it starts to crust as it sits.*

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 601Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 652mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 3gSugar: 21gProtein: 9g

*Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary.*

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