Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake

by Erin

This cake! Two layers of moist, dark chocolate cake are covered with creamy peanut butter frosting, ganache, and chopped dark chocolate peanut butter cups. 

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake 1

Today is not like any other day. Today, March 25th, is Chocolate-Peanut Butter Day 2.0 hosted by Carla of Chocolate Moosey and Miriam of Overtime Cook!!

The 2.0 is because this is our second year of celebrating the best combination ever and we have 27 different bloggers participating this year and the list of all their chocolate-peanut butter recipes are at the end of this post. But first, I made cake!

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake 2

After raving about the chocolate lover’s cupcakes I made despite normally not enjoying chocolate on chocolate, I decided to do it right with peanut butter for my peanut butter loving soul. This time however I turned it into an epic cake.

Two dark chocolate layer cakes are bound together with a creamy peanut butter frosting and then covered with a dark chocolate-peanut butter ganache. And in case you were unaware of the inspiration for this cake, it’s all topped off with chopped dark chocolate peanut butter cups.

Don’t have a crowd to which to serve this? Try my chocolate peanut butter mug cake.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake 3

One year ago: Mini Chocolate Caramel Peanut Butter Cheesecakes

Two years ago: Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

Four years ago: Banana Pecan Waffles


Serves 12-16



2 oz. dark chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup dark cocoa powder

1 cup hot milk

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1-1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

6 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 eggs, room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup boiling water


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

Pinch salt

1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

4 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup heavy cream

8 mini dark chocolate peanut butter cups, chopped


6 oz. dark chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup heavy cream


12 mini dark chocolate peanut butter cups, quartered


  1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Light coat two 9-inch cake pans with nonstick spray or butter and lightly flour. Set aside.
  2. Place the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Pour the hot milk over the mixture and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate mixture for 20 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a hand or stand mixer on medium speed, add cooled chocolate mixture, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix together until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  4. Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and allow to cool completely on wire rack. If needed, slice off the tops of the cakes to make them level.
  6. For the frosting: While the cake cools, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, salt, and vanilla together until smooth. On low speed, mix in the confectioners’ sugar until just incorporated, followed by the vanilla and cream. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip until light and very fluffy, about 4 minutes.. Add more powdered sugar or heavy cream if necessary to reach desired consistency.
  7. Remove 1/4 of the frosting into a small bowl and stir in the mini peanut butter cups.
  8. One the cakes are cool, place one onto a cake plate. Spread the layer of peanut butter cup-frosting on top followed by the second cake. Frost the entire cake with remaining frosting.
  9. For the ganache: Place the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a metal bowl. Microwave heavy cream for 1 minute or until it starts to boil and pour over chocolate chips. Cover bowl with saran wrap for 5-7 minutes. Whisk until smooth, allow to sit for a few minutes until it starts to thicken, then pour over the top of the cake. Decorate with remaining chopped peanut butter cups.

Source: Cake adapted from my Cookie Dough Oreo Cake. Frosting adapted from my Marble Malt Cake with Peanut Butter Malt Frosting.

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Jennie @themessybakerblog March 29, 2015 - 7:17 am

This cake is impressive! I can’t wait to make the recipe. Pinned.

Barbara | Creative Culinary March 27, 2015 - 5:37 pm

As I thought…you SO do not need any rum drizzle. This looks perfect just the way it is!

Renee - Kudos Kitchen March 26, 2015 - 7:39 pm

This cake looks so incredibly delicious. Layers and layers of chocolate and peanut butter goodness! Oh my!

Nancy @ gottagetbaked March 26, 2015 - 6:45 pm

OMG Erin, you’ve totally outdone yourself! This cake is glorious! That shiny creamy frosting, that dark decadent cake, and all those chopped up PB cups! I would kill for a slice or three right about now!

Lauren March 26, 2015 - 6:20 pm

There is nothing better than peanut butter and chocolate! Nom nom nom nom.

CakeSpy March 26, 2015 - 10:18 am

I may or may not have begun singing “Dream Weaver” a la Wayne’s World when I spied this cake.

spiffycookie March 26, 2015 - 10:22 am

I may or may not love that.

Joanne March 26, 2015 - 7:51 am

GIIIIRRRLLLLL you are killing me with this gorgeous THANG. I want to just stick my face in it and take a big bite.

spiffycookie March 26, 2015 - 9:30 am

Bahaha this made my bust out laughing with a mental imagine of you doing just that. Love it!

Medeja March 26, 2015 - 6:32 am

This cake looks gorgeous!

Cindys Recipes and Writings March 25, 2015 - 10:24 pm

This cake looks so moist and delicious! Yes, please!

CakePants March 25, 2015 - 4:55 pm

Whoooooaaa…this cake looks epically delicious!! This might be all I’ve ever wanted in life.

Laura Dembowski March 25, 2015 - 1:43 pm

This cake looks beyond amazing! You’re making me hungry!

Kayle (The Cooking Actress) March 25, 2015 - 1:22 pm

You’re amazing. Like…ridiculously so. THIS CAKE IS EVERYTHING. Make it for my birthday?? :P

spiffycookie March 25, 2015 - 2:09 pm

Heck yea I’d love to! It’s the same as the chocolate cake I gave you but made with dark chocolate and with peanut butter frosting. So basically if you liked that you might die for this.

Kayle (The Cooking Actress) March 25, 2015 - 4:18 pm

uhhhh YEAHHH basically!!!!

Ala March 25, 2015 - 1:09 pm

My FAV combo–yeee! I’m so glad I hopped on over from Liz’s, your blog is the spiffiest, no question about it :) totally nice to meet you over here, I’m absolutely rolling on the floor with love for this cake. Cheers to many more chocolate and PB inspired desserts! <3

spiffycookie March 25, 2015 - 1:11 pm

Aw thank you Ala! I’m so glad you stopped by.

Emily @ Life on Food March 25, 2015 - 12:00 pm

Holy cake!! How can I make this appear in front of me right now. Peanut butter and chocolate is the best combo and I can never resist it.

spiffycookie March 25, 2015 - 12:23 pm

You may be in luck, I think there’s one slice left ;-). I’ll trade you for one of your oatmeal peanut butter bars.

Lisa @ Snappy Gourmet March 25, 2015 - 11:05 am

I hope you saved me a slice or two! :) I think I could eat the whole thing in one sitting!! Looks incredible!

spiffycookie March 25, 2015 - 11:43 am

Apparently this cake put a few of my friends into a sugar coma. But I’m with you I could easily eat two slices!

Coleen @ The Redhead Baker March 25, 2015 - 10:56 am

Oh, man. I am DROOLING over your photos. What an incredible cake!

spiffycookie March 25, 2015 - 11:41 am

Haha need a napkin? Thanks Coleen!

Shashi at RunninSrilankan March 25, 2015 - 9:04 am

We had a very similar idea about layers chocolate cake and PB frosting and chocolate ganache – but dang – your cake looks PHENOMENAL! How about we share? A slice for a slice? :)

spiffycookie March 25, 2015 - 11:43 am

Sounds good to me!

Liz March 25, 2015 - 8:42 am

Oh, my gosh, Erin! What a masterpiece! I have a couple of family members that would be thrilled with this as a birthday cake (including ME!).

spiffycookie March 25, 2015 - 11:44 am

Thanks so much Liz!! It actually was for a friends birthday and she loved it.

Kate @ Framed Cooks March 25, 2015 - 7:49 am

Holy cow! First of all, how did I not know that today was peanut butter and chocolate day?? Second, I love it so much that this is dark chocolate. I think milk chocolate gets way too much love – yay for dark chocolate and yay for this recipe!

spiffycookie March 25, 2015 - 11:45 am

Kate, officially it is not a national food holiday recognized anywhere else but with this group of bloggers. We decided to make up our own holiday because that combination deserves it! And I agree, I love dark chocolate with peanut butter, it let’s the peanut butter shine more which I am always okay with.

Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg March 25, 2015 - 7:31 am

Erin, this is a gorgeous cake. The perfect way to celebrate peanut butter and chocolate day. My boyfriend is a huge peanut butter and chocolate fan and his birthday is in May. I’m going to have to save this recipe and surprise him. :D

spiffycookie March 25, 2015 - 8:40 am

My birthday is in May too! It’s a big one, 30.

Becca from It's Yummi! March 25, 2015 - 7:18 am

Oh my gosh, Erin. This looks crazy delicious!

Renee March 25, 2015 - 6:55 am

I want this cake for my birthday.

spiffycookie March 25, 2015 - 11:47 am

You’re not the only one! I actually did make this for my friend’s birthday this week. Thanks Renee!


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