Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting & Chocolate Peanut Butter Topping

Today I am going to make you drool. It’s only fair, because when I found this cake on Smitten Kitchen, my drooling reflex jumped into action totally against my will. As my British dad would say, I was losing my gravy. ;) So what else could I do but head into the kitchen and make this incredibly rich, fantastically delectable, never enough adjectives, the neighbors can’t have any, cake. I’m serious. The neighbors never saw this.

To be fair though, I did give them mini cakes. :) See this recipe is for a triple layer cake that calls for 3 round cake pans. I only have two, so instead of baking two, cooling them, then washing a pan and baking another, I baked the rest of the batter in a cupcake/muffin pan. I turned them upside down and frosted them, then topped them with the chocolate glaze. Good golly. Holy cow. Ay carumba! This is an amazing cake, but I must say that this is definitely better suited to a special occasion. It’s terribly rich (in a good way) and because of its fabulous presentation, it works well for birthdays or other celebratory events.

You must try this cake. The peanut butter cream cheese frosting reminds me of the best apple dip ever and the chocolate cake is so moist that you have to be careful when you handle the layers.

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Adapted from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes

Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake; serves 12 to 16

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanut brittle (I skipped this)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. (Notes from Deb that I completely agree with: These cakes are very, very soft. I found them a lot easier to work with after firming them up in the freezer for 30 minutes. They’ll defrost quickly once assembled. You’ll be glad you did this, trust me.)

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. (Deb note 1: Making a crumb coat of frosting–a thin layer that binds the dark crumbs to the cake so they don’t show up in the final outer frosting layer–is a great idea for this cake, or any with a dark cake and lighter-colored frosting. Once you “mask” your cake, let it chill for 15 to 30 minutes until firm, then use the remainder of the frosting to create a smooth final coating. (Deb note 2: Once the cake is fully frosting, it helps to chill it again and let it firm up. The cooler and more set the peanut butter frosting is, the better drip effect you’ll get from the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze.)

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Amanda's Espresso Chocolate Pie

5. To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving. Decorate the top with chopped peanut brittle.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes about 5 cups

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

8 ounces seimsweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half

1. In the top of d double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

For a text only (no recipe photos or commentary) printer friendly version of this recipe, click here

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  1. Megan says

    I'm losing my gravy too, because the only thing that's stopping me from making this is Sabrina's nut allergy.

    Otherwise, I'd be all over it. It looks perfect.

  2. Marie says

    Oh gosh that looks sooooo good Amanda!! I'm not sure I dare make this at all!! I'll probably eat the whole thing myself!!

  3. A cupcake or two says

    That looks sensational. Oh chocolate and peanut butter is such a treat. I will definately be making this.

  4. Be Kind says

    Oh goodness! This not only sounds gooey and delish but its lovely as well! I will print this and try it over the weekend. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Tasty Eats At Home says

    I think I just found my birthday cake for this year. (Yes, I plan on making my own birthday cake. When you're gluten intolerant, not a lot of people can provide you with one.) I am totally going to try to convert this to gluten-free!

  6. Katrina says

    Woah, wowwee. The chocolate ganache oozing off the sides looks fantastic! This cake would surely be dangerous for me to have around!

  7. Anonymous says

    I have made this cake several times and keep getting more request.. It's awesome!!! Thankyou so much for sharing the recipe!!!!!!!

  8. noriah hassan says

    Dear mdm, please tell me what is half-and-half??? l am a choc cake lover and would like to try yr fab. recipe. Thanking u in advance.

  9. Amanda says

    Hi Noriah – half and half is an equal mixture of whole milk and heavy cream. It can be substituted for heavy cream in recipes, but not those that require whipping the heavy as it won't whip. Hope that helps!

  10. Anonymous says

    Ok, one question. HOW did you get it to look "pretty"? I made this cake two weekends ago for my sisters baby party and it looked horrible! I even froze it like the instructions said!! Was my peanut butter frosting just too thick? I don't know…but, it tasted AMAZING none-the-less! :)

  11. Amanda says

    Sorry to hear that! Curious if you used natural peanut butter. Pretty sure that has a much different consistency and would affect the final result. it's been a year and a half since I made this so I don't really remember the details, but I know I didn't have any problems with it. Sorry you did! :( Glad it was good though!! :)

  12. Jennifer says

    I found this looking for cupcake recipes and decided this was too fabulous to pass up.
    So I made them for my gender reveal party last weekend with little pink and blue baby feet on top.
    They were amazing! I had zero left over to snack on later that night :(
    But will definitely be makin again for the baby shower!

    Ps… It’s a boy!

  13. julieta huerta says

    what happens if we dont have some of this stuff at home i dont wanta get out of the house i said what 2 bake with flour milk peanutbutter and eggs

  14. katsue says

    This looked so yummy I had to immediately try it. I omitted the first five ingredients and used a white cake mix instead out of pure laziness. I don’t own 8″ pans so I used 2) 9″ instead. Ended up with extra frosting and glaze. This tasted so incredibly yummy!!!! I used the microwave to do the glaze and it turned out perfect. The recipe and steps seem like it would be very time consuming…especially with the “freezer” steps, but I will tell any newbies….I could probably count on my fingers how many cakes I have made in my entire life. This was VERY easy to make and super easy cleanup. Thank you for posting!!


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