Looking for an incredible chocolate peanut butter cake recipe? This chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting is one you’ll go to over and over again! Made with a super moist chocolate cake on the bottom and topped with a creamy peanut butter frosting, this 9 x 13″ cake is much easier than a layer cake.
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Love chocolate and peanut butter together? This chocolate peanut butter cake recipe is one you’ll truly love! The bottom is an ultra moist chocolate cake made in a 9 x 13″ pan. It is topped with a super creamy peanut butter frosting making it an amazing chocolate peanut butter treat.
Not the typical chocolate cake recipe, this chocolate sheet cake is a little different. Much like the old-school wacky cake, this depression-era chocolate cake recipe came from my grandma Dona.
In this post I’ll show you what ingredients you’ll need to make this homemade cake and frosting, what tools you’ll need, and tips for baking success.
What do I need to make a chocolate peanut butter cake?
Ingredients for the chocolate cake:
- Granulated sugar – this is how the cake is sweetened. I wouldn’t recommend replacing the sugar with another sweetener.
- All-purpose flour – I used regular unbleached all-purpose flour. You could substitute a gluten-free flour mix, like this King Arthur GF Flour.
- Salt – necessary to bring out the flavor of the chocolate.
- Butter – combined with the oil, these make the cake super moist. The butter is melted together with a few other ingredients. (Shown below.)
- Vegetable oil – combined with the butter, the oil creates a super-moist cake.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder – necessary for creating a rich chocolate flavor.
- Water – combined with the oil, butter and cocoa powder for mixing the dry ingredients.
- Buttermilk – ideal for making a super-moist cake.
- Baking soda – a necessary leavening to help the cake rise when baked.
- Eggs – necessary for helping the cake hold its shape.
- Vanilla extract – ideal for creating a rich cake flavor.
For exact ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post for the recipe. Thanks!
How do I make a 9 x 13″ chocolate cake?
This homemade chocolate cake recipe is not the traditional cake recipe. It starts by melting together butter, oil, water and cocoa powder. This hot liquid is then poured over the dry ingredients to form the batter of the cake.
The dry ingredients; flour, sugar and salt are mixed together in a bowl. The warm chocolate sauce is then combined with the dry ingredients using a large whisk. To the batter, you’ll then add the buttermilk and baking soda (combine to become foamy), the eggs and the vanilla extract.
Once the batter is completely combined, pour into a prepared 9 x 13″ cake pan.
Bake the cake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Once the cake is done baking, let it cool completely to room temperature before adding frosting.
What do I need to make peanut butter frosting?
- Creamy peanut butter – I highly recommend using creamy peanut butter to create the right texture for the frosting.
- Butter – room temperature butter is necessary for making this frosting. Cold butter will result in a lumpy, unappealing frosting.
- Powdered sugar – a staple ingredient for making any frosting recipes, it is also how the frosting achieves its rich, sweet flavor.
- Vanilla extract – necessary for enhancing the flavor of the frosting.
- Salt – a small amount of salt is perfect for enhancing the flavor of the peanut butter frosting.
- Milk – helpful in achieving a creamy, smooth texture for the frosting.
For exact ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post to the recipe card. Thanks!
How do I make peanut butter frosting?
To make the peanut butter frosting, start by creaming together the room temperature butter and peanut butter. It is very important that the butter be soft and at room temperature, NOT cold from the refrigerator. A cold butter will result in a lumpy, unappealing frosting.
To the butter and peanut butter, add in the vanilla extract and salt, then mix together. Begin adding the powdered sugar a half cup at a time, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the milk to achieve a creamy, smooth texture.
Once the chocolate cake has cooled completely to room temperature, spread on the peanut butter frosting. Use an offset frosting spatula to evenly spread the frosting over the cake.
Frequently asked questions about making chocolate cake with peanut butter icing:
A dry cake can be the result of a couple things. First, the cake was in the oven too long and was over-baked. Second, the cake didn’t not include oil. Vegetable oil is the preferred fat to creating a moist cake.
A sinking cake usually results from a cake that is under-cooked. For best results, make sure a 9 x 13″ cake bakes for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and crumb-free.
A 9 x 13″ sheet cake needs to bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees.
For best results, bake a 9 x 13″ sheet cake at 350 degrees for 30-25 minutes.
A chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting can be stored at room temperature. The cake will keep for 5 days at room temperature. Store the cake covered in an airtight container, or covered with plastic wrap.
Love this chocolate peanut butter cake recipe? Check out some of our other chocolate and peanut butter treats:
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars
- Peanut Butter White Chocolate Crock Pot Candy
- Chocolate Dipped Ritz Cracker Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 x 13" pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour and salt. Set aside.
- In saucepan, add butter, oil, cocoa powder, and water. Over medium heat melt the ingredients together stirring often. Once everything has melted together, remove from heat. Pour the hot chocolate liquid over the dry ingredients. Mix together with a large whisk or hand mixer.
- Dissolve baking soda in the buttermilk. Stir together until the buttermilk becomes foamy. Pour the buttermilk into the cake batter mixture. Add in the eggs and vanilla. Whisk or mix together until all ingredients are well incorporated and smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean and crumb-free, the cake is done. Let cake cool completely to room temperature before frosting.
For the Peanut Butter Frosting:
- Using a hand or stand mixer, cream together the peanut butter and room temperature butter. Add in the vanilla extract and salt. Mix to combine.
- A half cup at a time, gradually add in the powdered sugar, stopping the mixture to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber scraper. Add in the milk to achieve a creamy texture.
- Spread the peanut butter frosting over the cooled cake using an offset frosting spatula.
- Cut cake into squares and enjoy.