Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Monday 25 October 2021

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

 Is there any combination of flavors better on earth than Chocolate and Peanut Butter?  For a person who happens to love chocolate and peanut butter together, absolutely not! 

Chocolate and peanut butter are a beautiful classic combination. Think Reeses Peanut Butter Cups here, or Reeses Pieces.  Mmm . . .  so delicious.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake 
After the debacle that was my coffee cake at the weekend, I needed to bake another cake to make up for it.  I turned to a book which has never let me down.

Snacking Cakes by Yossy Arefi.  I have never baked a cake yet out of that book that has failed me.  All have turned out beautifully.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake 
Plus they are the perfect size for a person who lives on their own with only the occasional guest.  An 8-inch square cake works for me. I don't need oodles of layers to impress or satisfy me.

She also gives lots of baking options with her recipes, options for other types of tins you can bake them in.  Loaf, round, doubled and in a Bundt tin. Something for everyone!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake 
Snack cakes are always a moist and delicious option for the smaller family. Perfectly portable they are great for in bag lunches as well.

I just don't think you can go wrong with a snack cake and this one happens to be a really delicious option. Dark and dense, with plenty of chocolate peanut butter flavor.  And that glaze is to die for.  

Just a touch of frosting without going over the top.  The added crunch of chopped salted peanuts on top is the piece de resistance!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake 

Simple every day ingredients from a simple every day kitchen.   

For the cake:
  • light brown sugar (this is what makes the cake so moist)
  • large free range eggs (I only ever use free range)
  • smooth peanut butter
  • canola oil (you can use any flavorless neutral oil)
  • whole milk (full fat milk)
  • vanilla extract (I only use pure vanilla extract)
  • salt
  • cocoa powder (Make sure you sift it to get the lumps out)
  • all purpose plain flour
  • baking soda, and baking powder
  • strong hot coffee (or water.  Coffee really helps to enhance the chocolate flavor however)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake 
The frosting also uses only simple ingredients.

 For the frosting:
  • peanut butter
  • icing sugar (also known as powdered sugar or confectioners)
  • vanilla extract (again pure)
  • hot water
You will also need some chopped roasted and salted peanuts to scatter over the top.  She also suggests a smattering of flaked sea salt, but I did not add that.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

If I had it available to me I would use Skippy peanut butter. I don't however, so have used Kraft smooth peanut butter.  Don't be tempted to use an all natural peanut butter. You will not get the same results.

You can also use Dutch process cocoa powder. Not this is cocoa powder, not chocolate drink mix. You would be surprised at home many people think they are the same thing. THEY ARE NOT!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake 
Cocoa powder is a chocolate powder made from grinding roasted cocoa seeds.  Cocoa drink mix is cocoa powder mixed with things like powdered milk and sugar. 

You could eat a tsp of cocoa drink mix and it wouldn't taste too bad. You could not eat a tsp of cocoa powder.  Yossi suggests using Dutch process cocoa powder.  I have just used regular cocoa powder.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake  
Natural cocoa powder (what I used) is untreated, so it maintains its light brown color and is slightly acidic, with a pH between five and six. 

 Dutch-processed cocoa powder (also referred to as Dutched chocolate, European-style or alkalized) is made from beans that have been washed with an alkaline solution that neutralizes that natural acidity and raises their pH to closer to seven.

The process gives the powder a darker color and a smoother, softer flavor. Dutch cocoa is also not quite as chocolaty as natural cocoa. It’s milder overall (but still tasty).

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake 
Dutch cocoa powder is also a lot more pricy than regular cocoa powder. Its also not that easy to find in most places. At least not here anyways.

If you have it, by all means use it!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake 

This is a really easy cake to make. Most snack cakes are. You can of course beat it all together by hand, but I think an electric hand mixer makes putting it together a lot faster and easier. 

You begin by beating the brown sugar and eggs together until they are light and frothy. I always use free range eggs. This is because I can afford them, and I refuse to support an industry which is cruel to its animals.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake 
Once you have done this you beat in the peanut butter and remaining wet ingredients, beating them only until everything is smooth and well mixed together.

I like to sift all of my dry ingredients together so that they are evenly mixed. I especially want the baking powder and soda to be mixed into the flour properly.

The dry ingredients get stirred in next. You can do this by hand with a wire whisk.  Finally you whisk in a cup of hot coffee or water.  I used coffee because coffee greatly enhances the flavor of chocolate. 

Pour the batter into a square pan that you have  buttered and lined with baking paper and bake for the required amount of time. Once done it will be risen, spring back when lightly touched, and a toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake 
You then leave it to cool in the pan for fifteen minutes, sitting on a wire rack. I think this adds to the moist texture of the cake. After that you can lift it out  of the pan and onto the wire rack to cool completely.

The drizzle/frosting/ glaze is an easy make as well. As simple as whisking together icing sugar, creamy peanut butter, vanilla and hot water. Add the hot water a bit at a time. First 1 TBS and then, if its too thick, add the remaining TBS in small bits until you get the consistency you want.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake 
This then gets spooned/drizzled/poured over the cooled cake.  I used the back of a metal spoon to spread it out to the edges.

Once spread out you can scatter it with the chopped peanuts. They make a lovely touch and look really nice.

Yossy's options for other pans include a 9 X 5 X 3 inch loaf tin. A 9-inch round tin.  The loaf tin will require approximately 60 minute to bake and you will only need half the amount of glaze.  The round cake will take the same time as the square.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake 
Altogether this is a really delicious snack cake. Its dense and moist with a rich chocolate flavor. You cannot taste the coffee at all.  Its just chocolate.

The frosting is its crowning glory and enhances the peanut butter chocolate flavor.  I loved the crunch of the salted peanuts on top, but I am thinking chopped or mini peanut butter cups would also be incredibly lush and delicious.

One thing is certain, this is destined to be a much requested snack cake in your repertoire of snack cakes!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Yield: 9
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 55 MinTotal time: 1 H & 4 M
This moist and dense cake is a classic combination of flavors that your family are sure to enjoy!


For the Cake:
  • 1 cup (200g) light brown sugar
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1/2 cup (125g) smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) canola oil
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (45g) cocoa powder (not drink mix), sifted
  • 1 cup (140g) plain all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking power
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) hot water or coffee
For the glaze frosting:
  • 1 cup (130g) icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 TBS smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 TBS hot water
  • 1/2 cup (55g) chopped roasted peanuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F/180*C/ gas mark 4.  Butter an 8-inch square baking tin.  Line with baking paper leaving an overhang on two sides for lifting out.  Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and brown sugar together until frothy and pale. Beat in the peanut butter, milk, oil and vanilla until smooth and mixed well together.
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, soda and baking powder.  Stir into the creamed mixture until well combined and smooth.  Stir in the hot coffee or water, again mixing it together until well combined and smooth. 
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin. Give the tin a light tap on the counter a few times to let out any air bubbles. 
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes. The top should be well risen and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Remove from the oven to a wire rack and allow to cool for 15 minutes on the rack, before lifting out the cake and leaving on the rack to cool completely.
  6. For the frosting/glaze, whisk together the icing sugar, peanut butter, hot water and vanilla until you have a smooth mixture which you can spread easily over the top of the cake. Spread onto the cake and scatter the chopped peanuts over top.
  7. Cut into squares to serve.
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
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1 comment

  1. What a terrific cake - and I really appreciate the smaller size as we are just the two of us and the days of big batches of cakes are long over!

    I made this one today as I knew my husband would love it as he is a huge Snickers fan and that is basically chocolate and peanut. I also took a couple of slices to my elderly neighbour, who no longer bakes herself, but who likes a little something sweet with her morning tea. She said it was delicious.

    We had a piece for "elevenses" and enjoyed every bite. The cake iyself was dense, moist and well flavoured and the icing and those peanuts on top balanced out the richness as well as giving a nice bit of crunch. It was a very easy cake to bake, so I highly recommend it.


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