Guest Post: Peanut Butter Fudge Cake by Bake or Break

Jennifer may not know it, but we go way back. When I first started reading food blogs (pre-The Spiffy Cookie), one of the first food blog recipes I made was from her blog, Bake or Breakchocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake bars. After nearly 3 years of food blogging it’s a crying shame that I have not made them again. But with all her marvelous recipes, such as lemon blueberry cheesecake bars and chocolate chunk pecan cookies, it’s hard to keep up! However, I have made a few other of her recipes that involve the notorious PBC (peanut butter and chocolate).

In case you hadn’t noticed, Jennifer shares my appreciation for the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, and within the first two months of my own food blogging adventures I posted about one of her pb+choc recipes – brownie peanut butter cups (go ahead and judge my picture, despite the glorious ooze of peanut butter). Also during last year’s football season I adapted another recipe or hers to make my Buckeye monkey bread muffins. It seems extremely appropriate that she is sharing a recipe for peanut butter fudge cake today – I totally approve!



Hello, dear readers of The Spiffy Cookie! I’m Jennifer from Bake or Break. While Erin is toiling away on the final days of her dissertation adventure, I’m here to talk about cake. That seems absolutely appropriate, right?

I thought so.

Plus, it’s peanut butter and chocolate. I think Erin will approve.

Peanut butter and chocolate are, for me, the ultimate flavor combination. Sure, I like and even adore other combos, but this one is near and dear.

The premise of this cake is pretty simple. Chocolate cake and chocolate icing surround a layer of peanut butter. As good as that sounds, the whole is actually much greater than the sum of its parts.

The cake and icing are very much reminiscent of a Texas Sheet Cake, with some stovetop cooking involved for both. The chocolate cake is moist and soft and just lovely. It has a nice, delicate chocolate flavor. That’s a good thing, because the icing is not even remotely subtle in the chocolate department.


The peanut butter filling couldn’t be simpler. It’s peanut butter. Seriously. Spread it on the cake while it’s still warm, and the peanut butter will make a lovely, tasty layer between the cake and the icing.

I love this kind of icing. It’s simple to make, so that’s always a plus. And, it’s so soft and gooey. It goes on the cake while it’s warm, and then it hardens and sets as it cools. It forms some kind of serious shield over the cake. Don’t be alarmed if the icing cracks and crinkles when you cut into it. That’s just the nature of this kind of icing. If it bothers you, that’s why some very smart person invented garnishes.

This cake certainly qualifies as a crowd-pleaser. First of all, it makes enough for a crowd. Secondly, it’s chocolate and peanut butter, so what’s not to like?

Peanut Butter Fudge Cake

Recipe adapted from Southern Living

Yield: 24 servings



For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup water

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

16 ounces (about 1 & 1/2 cups) creamy peanut butter

For the icing:

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/3 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

16 ounces confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract



Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9” x 13” baking pan.

Whisk together flour, sugar, and baking soda in a large bowl. Set aside.

Place butter in a medium saucepan. Melt over medium heat.

Stir in cocoa powder. Then, stir in water, buttermilk, and eggs. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils.

Remove the mixture from the heat and add to flour mixture. Stir until smooth. Stir in vanilla.

Transfer batter to prepared pan and spread evenly.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, spread the peanut butter over the cake. Allow to cool completely.

To make the icing, place the sifted confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Set aside.

Combine butter, buttermilk, and cocoa in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to boil.

Remove from heat and pour over confectioners’ sugar. Stir until smooth. Stir in vanilla.

Spread icing over peanut butter. The cake can be served immediately or can sit at room temperature to allow the icing to set.

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67 Responses to “Guest Post: Peanut Butter Fudge Cake by Bake or Break”

  • Pb & Choc are def. THE flavor combo. I’m obsessed with this cake and want a piece and it’s not even 10 yet you guysssss.

  • Wow, best combination ever. I love the look of the icing on this cake, yum!!

  • This looks so completely addicting in a very, very good way. Love this post from Jen!

  • Awww it must taste like heaven.. i never in my life have tried Peanut butter but maybe i can try to find a little to make this awesome recipe

  • Omg anything chocolate + peanut butter has me salivating. I love the look of this fudge cake, absolutely perfect!

  • Chocolate and peanut butter is the best! Best, Best! This cake looks tremendous!

  • Candi:

    Anybody make it yet? Details I want details!!!! I think it must be divine!

    • Michele Donisi:

      I made this twice! Everyone goes crazy over it! I brought it to work and they were fighting over it! Passing the recipe out to all who request it – it’s too good not to share!

  • It does look very tasty, and the picture is wonderful! Makes it look so yummy! Will definitely try it, just have to find the right time to do it.

  • Delicious Cake I just loved your recipe. Peanut butter and cake both are my favorite, so this is the favorite of mine.

  • Melody:

    I want to make this but I have to ask, you just spread the peanut butter (right out of the jar) onto the cooling cake? It doesn’t tear the cake? Does it spread easily?

    • Hi, Melody. Yes, the peanut butter goes straight onto the warm cake. I dolloped all of it on, and the heated up the peanut butter a bit, making it very easy to spread. I didn’t have any issues with the cake tearing. If it should tear a little, it has a layer of peanut butter and a layer of frosting on top of it, so it won’t be visible. I hope you like the cake!

  • […] For more details please visit this link were you will find instructions : […]

  • DT:

    I made this for a potluck and it was fantastic! I was a bit skeptical mixing it up, but it was great. It’s very rich – a small piece is perfect. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • brittany:

    how did you get it to turn out so pretty? i just pulled mine out of the oven and put it on the pan to cool and it completely fell apart and it took almost an hour to cook so i dont know if i put too much of something in to make the batter or not enough? i followed it the best i could and it just fell apart

  • brittany:

    oh and my icing came out runny 🙁

  • Tara:

    My batter looks like it has egg pieces in it???

  • Oh my! I just found this on Yumprint (which I just found out about) I must make this today!

  • Shelva:

    If you follow this very simple recipe you can’t go wrong. The cake will turn out perfect. I don’t understand.

  • Attempting now….praying it turns out!!!!

  • Corrine:

    I am so going to try this, it looks like a really yummy chocolate fix for sure!!!

  • Jennifer:

    Can you replace the buttermilk with something else? Maybe sour cream?

    • spiffycookie:

      If you don’t have buttermilk, you can add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of regular milk. You could use sour cream or yogurt but it will be thicker if you replace 1:1 so I would do half milk half sour cream/yogurt if you want to go that route.

      • Jennifer:

        Thank you so much for that info!! (sorry if I bombarded you with messages, I tried commenting using my phone and it wasn’t showing up so I resorted to getting on the computer to submit. I think it might have sent all messages before I realized it! So sorry!

  • Kelly:

    It looked like my batter had been mixed with egg drop soup. The egg cooks into chunks when you mix it into the butter mix on the stove. Should the eggs maybe be added later? It just seems odd. It is baking right now, so it remains to be seen how mine turns out, but I am a little weirded out by the eggs.

    • David:

      That happened to me too. I was wondering how your cake turned out. Mine is still cooling. I didn’t see anyone that answered your question, hopefully we didn’t do something wrong. lol…

    • Alyshia:

      When I make this I add the eggs after I mix the chocolate mixture with the flour mixture. No eggs to the boiling pan, I thought it might make scrambled eggs too so I waited to add the eggs! Then I add the vanilla and it turns out great

    • Kati:

      You should have effectively cooled down the butter and coco powder when you stirred in the water and buttermilk. Then quickly stir in the beaten eggs. the water and buttermilk don’t say you have to have room temp so I would add it cold. You have to bring it back to a boil anyway. Think of this stage as almost a pudding.

    • Susan:

      I make a cake very similar to this, but my recipe says to sift the dry ingredients, except the soda.Then bring to boil the water, cocoa, and butter and pour over the dry ingredients. Mix the soda, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla together and stir well (the soda will react with the buttermilk, so use a bowl about twice the size of the ingredients). Then add that to the above mixture, beat until there are no lumps, and bake as directed. Works perfectly.

    • Emily:

      Kelly, that happened to me too at first. I ended up throwing it out, and making a new batch. The only thing I did differently was I put the butter in the pan to melt, and while it was melting I combined the water, buttermilk, and eggs. I made sure I stirred it together well. Then I put my mixture through a sifter, and it got out any egg I didn’t mix in all the way. Then I put in the cocoa powder, stirred that in good, and finally put in the water, buttermilk, and egg mixture. After it started to boil (which took a while on medium heat) I ran the butter, cocoa powder, water, egg, and buttermilk mixture through a sifter one more time and it got out little pieces of egg that it missed the first time. It had hardly any egg in it this time, and when i sifted it again in got out all of the extra. I hope this helps, and happy baking!

  • Serena:

    Made this yesterday for my husband. Wish I could eat it but, you know, new year resolutions and all. He loves it. I added chocolate chips to the peanut butter for a little crunch and well its chocolate, lol. It is husband approved. He loves it. 😉

  • Katherine:

    Looks delicious. This is the basically a Texas sheet cake recipe. Exact same ingredients. I have made it many times and the instructions are a bit different and there is not be any problem with eggs this way. Comes out great and is so easy. I love this peanut butter variation and will try it.

    Instructions: In large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In small saucepan, bring butter and 1 cup water to a boil; stir into sugar mixture, Whisk in buttermilk, eggs and vanilla until thoroughly blended. (I just whisk by hand because it is so easy and fast, mixer not required) Pour batter into prepared pan (batter will be thin and silky). I make in a 15×10 pan and bake 20 min at 400 degrees. Makes a lot for crowd and good cake to frosting ratio 😉

    If you make in larger sheet pan, you will need more frosting. I use this CHOCOLATE FROSTING recipe. Very similar, just more sugar.

    4 cups C&H Powdered Sugar
    1/2 cup butter or margarine
    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    6 tablespoons milk

    In large bowl, combine sugar and walnuts; set aside. In small saucepan, bring butter, cocoa powder and milk to a boil. Stir into sugar mixture; blend thoroughly. Spread on warm cake.

    • Mel:

      What walnuts? I don’t see them in the ingredients – only in the instructions. Am I missing something?

  • Becky:

    Made this today, and definitely had egg pieces in the batter..pretty sure if I make this again I will temper the eggs first…wish I would have thought of that in time this time.

  • I love the sounds and look of the chocolate peanut cake. Can you tell me how to make it all sugarfree and still taste good??

    • Kati:

      you can use Agave Syrup to replace sugar or honey. To replace sugar try substituting 1/4 to 1/2 cup for every cup of sugar. Also you will need to reduce the same amount of liquid. Add the agave with the fat or liquid. If you are substituting for honey just use the same amount.
      So this particular recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar. Try using 1/2 cup at first, (if you find later that this isn’t sweet enough you can increase it to as much as 1 cup) Reduce the water to 1/2 cup, and add the agave syrup with the water and buttermilk. If you need to increase the agave to 1 cup just eliminate the water. I would leave the buttermilk for the richness and acidic quality.
      As for the frosting you could try using a mixture of cornstarch (tablespoon or two), powder sugar substitute such as stevia or equal, a few packets, and powdered milk(enough to make up the bulk of the powdered sugar needed for the recipe. If you need it thicker add a little more cornstarch, if it’s too thick add some more liquid. I would highly recommend using the powdered sugar substitute for the frosting.

  • charlie:

    looked good…..i’m making one today for me and my family and one for the youth class at tomorrows Sun. school class. I can’t wait to try it. I got one cooling with pb on it and the other in the oven.

  • charlie:

    I got one setting with pb on it another ready to come out of the oven, one for the family and one for the youth at Church tomorrow morning. I can’t wait.

  • saundra:

    egg should never be mixed with hot liquid untill mixing thoroughly first.

  • saundra:

    egg should never be mixed with hot liquid untill mixing thoroughly first.

  • I wonder if you poked holes in the cake (like you would do for a jello poke cake) and then spread peanut butter of the cake would work? That was the flavor of the peanut butter would blend more with the chocolate

  • Kim:

    I could see small pieces of egg as I was cooking the mixture. Is that supposed to happen?

  • Desiree:

    Hi all! I just mixed this up, but.. i put the peanut butter in with the melted ingred. It was listed under the cake ingred. so I should have read the directions first! Well I will let you know shortly how it turns out, either way I bet it will be delish!

  • Desiree:

    It came out great! 🙂

  • Kristin:

    Am trying this today for my daughters 18th birthday! She is gluten free so I am using a GF cake mix since those cakes tend to be on the dense side anyway. I was so excited to see the idea for the frostings as she LOVES peanut butter!

  • Joyce:

    Made this for our cook out it went over great got calls for recipe gave it a 5 star loved it

  • Sheryl Sims:


  • Peg:

    Not a good idea to put mixed egg into hot liquid. Had to strain out the egg whites that made a scrambled eggs in the batter. Would have just melted butter and added that to the overall mixture. It’s in the oven but I hope it works out.

    • Cassie:

      I thought the same thing but tried it anyway and one it cooks you don’t notice it. Just make sure to keep stirring when it’s on the stove top!

  • […] Click this link to get the recipe for this Peanut Butter Fudge Cake […]

  • I’ve made a few of these all turned out great and was a hit with everyone that tried it….however this time apparently the icing boiled to hot or long or something…it set up like wood putty instantly in the powdered sugar, impossible to spread, maybe it’ll taste ok. be careful of boiling time……JESUS LOVES YOU!!!….just sayin.

  • Sarah:

    Looks great! Do you think I can half it and make an 8×8 cake?

  • sally:

    The icing does not work with only 16 oz. Of confectioners sugar….way too watery with only that much!

  • kris h:

    You may want to add a note about tempering the eggs or inexperienced cooks will end up with chocolate scrambled eggs.

  • Marcia S.:

    I love this recipe! I have made it many times, my family loves it! Thanks for posting!

  • Francine:

    Hi, the icing came out liquid…i even added more conf. Sugar….still liquid. What’s going on?

    • Hi, Francine. If you made no changes or alterations to the recipe (even low fat ingredients), then my guess is that the cooked mixture didn’t quite get cooked enough to thicken. Try letting it boil for a minute or so before removing it from the heat.

  • Francine:

    I think there’s a mistake in the icing recipe…should probably one quarter cup of butter not half… mine came out liquid. Tried a new batch but for some reason the buttermilk curdled. So tasted it w only peanut butter… that’s all I could taste so scrapped off to see what cake was like…. ok but chocolate taste very mellow. Not worth it.

  • Morgan:

    Could you make this In a shallow baking pan instead of 9 x 13? Thinking 12 x 15 or so.

    • spiffycookie:

      Morgan, I’d have to ask Jennifer but I don’t see why not. Just reduce the baking time!

  • Aj:

    I’ve made this 5 times in the past 10 months – we LOVE it!

    After the first time, I made 3 minor adjustments:
    1. I add 1 level teaspoon of instant coffee to the melting butter for the cake. You can’t taste the coffee, it only deepens the chocolate flavor.
    2. I mix together the water, buttermilk and egg, then add them to the butter and chocolate in the pan. I’ve never had a problem with egg lumps.
    3. I whip the peanut butter for a few minutes – that makes it lighter, fluffier, and warms it just a bit – I can drizzle it on the cake instead of dollop and spread.

    This is now the most requested cake at our house – thank you! 🙂

  • Darlene Willkomm:

    Yes, you do NOT mix the eggs into the hot mixture, You mix them with the flour mixture first!

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