Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake


  • 1 package devil's-food cake mix
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso or instant coffee powder
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 28 ounces smooth peanut butter
  • 4-5 peanut butter cups (each cut in half)


Preheat oven to 350° F.

Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.

In a large bowl using a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cake mix, instant coffee, water, oil, and eggs until mixture is well combined, about 1 minute.

Pour mixture into the cake pans, distributing it evenly so each pan has half.

Bake for 32-37 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.

Cool cakes in pans for about 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and continue to cool for an additional 30 minutes before icing.

To make the frosting, place butter into a stand mixer and beat on low speed. Slowly add in the confectioner's sugar and beat until light and creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium and slowly add in peanut butter. Beat until well incorporated, about 2-3 minutes.

Allow frosting to sit in the fridge for 15 minutes before using.

To frost your cake, place 1 layer of the cake, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake stand. Using an offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

Decorate the top of cake with peanut butter cup halves.

Helpful Tips: If frosting gets too soft, pop it back in the fridge for a few minutes to tighten up.

Freeze peanut butter cups before cutting. Frozen chocolate makes a cleaner, more even cut and neater cake.

Use cocoa powder instead of white flour to dust cake pans before filling with batter.

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