Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake


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Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze is technically the name for this cake. It turned out so incredibly well; I am thrilled to be sharing it with you.

A few months ago, my friend Donna mentioned that she would love a cake that combined peanut butter and chocolate. When I was looking for just the right recipe, I stumbled on this one by Deb at Smitten Kitchen.

As soon as I read her description, I knew this was the one. It was perfect! There is absolutely nothing I would change about this recipe when I make it again.

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This is a long recipe, but a fairly simple cake to make. The chocolate cake alone is reason to make this.

This is one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever had. It is made in a single bowl and cleanup for that part of this project was a breeze.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

As a couple of my friends will attest, I am NOT a skilled cake decorator. I rarely bake cakes, as I much prefer making cookies and other treats.

Have you ever seen a Zebra Cake? Those pretty swirled chocolate and vanilla cake layers might look kind of complicated, but they’re easier to make than you might think.

However, I do love to bake and I have a great friend celebrating her birthday today! In honor of her, I made this cake. I am wishing Donna the very happiest of Happy Birthdays! Please stop by her blog The Slow Roasted Italian and wish her a fabulous day!

We celebrated last night with a few other friends. It was a great night of visiting and playing with the children who were racing through the house.

Luckily, I had some kiwi pops on hand for the youngest kids, because there was no way I was letting my littlest near this cake right before bedtime.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

How To Make a Crumb Coat

With this cake, it is a good idea to make a crumb coat with the first layer of frosting. Basically, just make sure the cake is covered in frosting, even if a few stray crumbs show through.

Then you are going to chill the assembled cake again (I just placed mine back in the freezer for half an hour or so) before you add the last bit of frosting. You’ll use the remaining bit of frosting to create a smooth final coating.

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Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze

recipe slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen, originally from Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes (printable recipe)
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 16 servings



  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup light flavored olive oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs


  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons butter room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter


  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup half and half



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter the bottom and sides of three 8″ round cake pans. Trace the bottom of the pans onto wax paper or parchment with a pencil and then cut out the circles. Place the paper in the bottom of each pan.
  • Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add the oil, sour cream, and eggs. Beat with an electric mixer to combine. Gradually add in the water, vinegar, and vanilla and continue beating to combine. Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out almost clean with just crumbs. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pans for 20 minutes.
  • Very carefully, invert the cakes onto wire racks and let them cool COMPLETELY. These are very soft cakes. If desired, once the cakes are completely cool, wrap in saran wrap and freeze for a couple of hours before assembling the cake.


  • In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and beat to combine. Gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl often.
  • To frost the cake, place one layer flat side up on a serving plate or stand. Spread about 2/3 cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Place the second layer on top and repeat. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides with all but about ½ a cup of the remaining frosting.
  • Once the cake is fully frosted, chill it, to make sure the frosting is completely set before drizzling it with the glaze. The more set the first frosting is, the better the drip effect that will be created by the final glaze.


  • In a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water, combine the chocolate and the peanut butter. Cook, whisking frequently, until all of the chocolate has melted and the mixture is completely smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half and half, beating until smooth again. Use while still warm.
  • To glaze the cake, simple pour the chocolate glaze over the top of the cake. Using a large metal spatula (an offset one will work best for this), spread it evenly across the top of the cake just to the edges, so that it will create drips down the sides of the cake.
  • Refrigerate uncovered for at least 30 minutes prior to serving. (If the cake chills for longer than that, or overnight, be sure to let it warm at room temperature for at least one hour before serving.)


* This cake is INTENSE. Serve it in the thinnest slices possible. The slice below was meant to be shared with friends and could have easily served four people.


Calories: 591kcal · Carbohydrates: 86g · Protein: 8g · Fat: 26g · Saturated Fat: 13g · Cholesterol: 58mg · Sodium: 440mg · Potassium: 283mg · Fiber: 4g · Sugar: 68g · Vitamin A: 475IU · Vitamin C: 1mg · Calcium: 63mg · Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally published 10/6/11 – recipe notes updated 3/17/20}

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Sook says

    You have a beautiful blog! Love the look of this chocolate peanut butter cake… can't go wrong with the combo, don't you think? Lovely! 🙂

  2. Anonymous says

    I'm not good with cake layers. Can this be baked in a tube pan or 81/2X13 pan and if so, how long would I bake them….thanks

    • Mary says

      I have not made this cake in a 9×13 pan, but it should work fine. I would recommend being prepared with a smaller pan as well or a few cupcake liners, just in case there is too much batter. I wouldn't recommend filling the pan more than 2/3 full at most.

      I have made this in a half size sheet cake pan (18×13, if I recall correctly) and it turns out very well. The baking time for this size was about 28-30 minutes. The cupcakes only need about 18 minutes baking time. I would guess 35 minutes or so for the 9×13 pan. Good luck!

  3. Victoria says

    This cake was amazingly delicious ! Although mine was not pretty compared to yours it was Yummy and a big hit with my family!! definitely most delicious peanut butter cake everrr ! Thanks

  4. Jan says

    I found your page through Pinterest. I made your chocolate peanut butter cake for our Thanksgiving dessert. It was fabulous. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Gina Orlando says

    Making this right now. The chocolate peanut butter icing looks so good dripping down. I did use my favorite chocolate cake recipe instead. This will be a hit at my husband's Masonic meeting tomorrow night.

  6. Beverley says

    Mary, this recipe is Perfect for my son is 24th birthday. As I am taking this in the UK and using American measuring cups do you measure everything in the cups or do WE I GH anything on the scales

  7. Julie Vozobule says

    This cake looks really yummy. Although I pinned it and the photo with my pin is some kind of soup and not of your lovely cake. I'm not quite sure what went wrong. Just thought you would like to know.

  8. Eileen Botello says

    My friend just made this cake and gave me a slice. It's like a party in your mouth that you don't want to end! Oh my! Love it! This will be my next cake endeavor. Thanks!