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    Moist Peanut Butter Cake Recipe

    This moist peanut butter cake recipe is one of the creamiest cakes I’ve ever had! Soft layers of peanut butter-infused cake are filled and topped with the most velvety soft peanut butter frosting. If I could define ‘melt-in-your-mouth’, it would be this cake! Perfect for satisfying your peanut butter cravings.

    peanut butter cake

     

    Why You’ll Love This Peanut Butter Cake

    If you’re a peanut butter lover, you are going to fall in love with this cake and here’s why!

    Firstly, the cake layers are some of the softest I’ve ever baked, and they have real peanut butter in them. This allows for a wonderful peanut butter flavor to come through, without it being over powering.

    I will say though, that despite how good the cake layers are on their own, the star of this recipe is the peanut butter frosting. I think it’s the creamiest frosting I’ve ever made! Here’s how I would describe it: lightly sweetened peanut butter, that’s been whipped into a fluffy cloud like frosting that quite literally melts in your mouth. HOW INCREDIBLE DOES THAT SOUND!

    I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge peanut butter fan, but this peanut butter cake I would eat over and over again for dessert.

    Tips For Getting This Recipe Right

    Here are a few pro tips to ensure you have the best possible outcome.

    Using the right peanut butter

    Firstly, make sure you use a creamy peanut butter, and one that is unsweetened. If you use a sweetened peanut butter (like Skippy or Jif), your cake will be a bit sweeter. This cake isn’t overly sweet though, so it may not be an issue for most people. However, if you do prefer a less sweet cake and only have a sweetened peanut butter on hand, then you can reduce the sugar in the cake batter slightly (I’ve added notes on the recipe card below with more information).

    Be careful not to reduce too much of the sugar though, as sugar changes the texture of your cake (click here for more info). Too little sugar may result in your cake not baking up into that soft fluffy texture that we want.

    I would also recommend using a peanut butter that doesn’t need to be thoroughly mixed (i.e. it doesn’t have a thick layer of oil on the top). This will just ensure that you’re not accidentally adding too little or too less oil to the cake batter, which can again impact the final texture.

    Weighing out ingredients

    If you have a kitchen scale, I would highly recommend using it for accuracy. Peanut butter has a lot of fat in it, and using too much or too little can significantly impact the final texture of the cake.

    Will you be okay without a scale? Probably, BUT for best results, always best to use a kitchen scale 🙂

    How to Make Peanut Butter Cake

    This recipe comes together easily in a few quick steps.

    Peanut Butter Cake

    Begin by preheating your oven to 180 °C (350°F) and grease and/or line two 8 inch cake pans. I use my homemade cake release to grease my tins. If using a fan function (convection mode) then you will need to reduce the temperature to 160C/320F.

    In a bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Using a whisk or fork, mix until well combined. Set aside.

    peanut butter cake

    In a large bowl, add in butter, vegetable oil, white granulated sugar, soft brown sugar and peanut butter. Using an electric mixer (hand or stand mixer are both fine – see note 2), cream together on a medium speed for 3 minutes until light and creamy.

    Add in eggs one at a time on a low speed, mixing well in between each addition (about 10-15 seconds between eggs).

    peanut butter cake

    Add in vanilla and pour in buttermilk, and mix on a medium speed until well combined. You should have a smooth creamy batter. Now set your mixer aside as the remainder of the batter will be finished by hand.

    Add in the flour mixture from earlier into the peanut butter mixture and using a spatula, gently fold until just combined. Do not overmix.

    peanut butter cake

    Distribute the batter evenly into the two 8 inch cake tins, and drop the cake tins lightly on the counter to remove any large air bubbles. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs on it.

    peanut butter cake

    Once baked, allow the cakes to cool in the cake tins for about 15-20 minutes, and then turn them out onto a wire rack to completely cool before frosting with the peanut butter frosting.

    peanut butter cake

    Peanut Butter Frosting

    In a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer if using one), add in butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, cream, peanut butter and salt.

    Mix on the lowest speed until the ingredients are combined (about a minute), and then turn up the speed to a medium high and mix for a full 10 minutes, scraping down the bowl half way through. If using a stand mixer then use the paddle attachment.

    peanut butter frosting

    The frosting should be silky smooth and it’s now ready to use! If you find that your frosting is a bit firm and has a lot of air bubbles, then it means that either the butter or cream was too cold. To fix this, gently heat the buttercream in the microwave for 5 second bursts (don’t heat it for too long otherwise the buttercream will melt), mixing in between each burst until the frosting is softer in consistency and you can easily mix it, and then re-whip it for a few minutes.

    How To Decorate Peanut Butter Cake

    You can go ahead and decorate this cake however you like, but here’s a little ‘how-to’ on how I did mine.

    So to start off I levelled off the tops of my cake layers so that they were nice and flat. This helps prevent your cake layers from sliding around once you come to stacking your cake.

    I also trimmed off the caramelised edges of the cake layers. This step isn’t necessary though – I just wanted the perfect thumbnail (haha!), so you can skip it if you want 🙂

    I then went ahead and placed my first cake layer in the middle of a cake stand and smoothed out some frosting on the top with my offset spatula.

    peanut butter cake

    I then placed the next cake layer on top, and again smoothed out some frosting on top and sides of the cake, so that the cake was completely covered. I didn’t bother doing a crumb coat (check out this video for more info on what a crumb coat is), but you can do one if you prefer. I then used my cake scraper to smooth out the sides.

    peanut butter cake

    Now when you scrape the sides of a cake, you usually end up with a lip of frosting around the top edges. To get rid of these and get a ‘sharp edge’ on the top, slowly bring your offset spatula into the middle of the cake, catching that lip of frosting as you go.

    I then finished off by piping some little swirls on the top using a 1M piping tip.

    peanut butter cake

    And that’s it! The cake is now ready to serve. Enjoy!

    peanut butter cake

    Commonly Asked Questions

    How do you store peanut butter cake?

    This cake can be left out at room temperature overnight, however after a day or so it’s best to pop the cake into the refrigerator due to the cream in the frosting. The sugar and fat content will stop the frosting from going off immediately, but just to be safe it’s best to refrigerate no later than the day after it’s made.

    Put the cake in an airtight container before refrigerating to prevent it from drying out.

    What goes well with peanut butter cake?

    Peanut butter in general goes so well with chocolate, so it’s no surprise that this cake will work great with chocolate too. You could add some chocolate to the top for extra decoration, or put a chocolate ganache drip onto the cake. You could even fold some mini chocolate chips into the batter!

    I’ve also seen many recipes use a cream cheese frosting for peanut butter cake. I haven’t tried this myself just yet, but perhaps something you might like to experiment with!

    peanut butter cake

    Moist Peanut Butter Cake Recipe

    This moist peanut butter cake recipe is one of the creamiest cakes I've ever had! Moist layers of peanut butter-infused cake are filled and topped with the most velvety soft peanut butter frosting. If I could define 'melt-in-your-mouth', it would be this cake! Perfect for satisfying your peanut butter cravings.
    4.96 from 23 votes
    Print Pin Rate Watch Video
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 35 minutes
    Cooling Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
    Servings: 12 slices

    IMPORTANT: For accuracy, I would recommend using the gram measurements provided as those are the exact quantities I use. Cup measurements are given as estimates (based on US cup measurements) to make it easier for those who do not have a scale.

    Ingredients
     

    Peanut Butter Cake

    • 1⅔ cups (210 g) all purpose flour
    • 3 tbsp (24 g) cornstarch
    • ½ tsp baking soda
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp salt - omit if using salted butter
    • cup (80 g) unsalted butter - room temperature
    • cup (75 g) unflavored vegetable oil - I use canola oil
    • ½ cup (100 g) white granulated sugar
    • ¾ cup (150 g) soft brown sugar - in the US use light soft brown sugar
    • cups (150 g) unsweetened peanut butter - use a creamy, processed one (see note 5 if using a sweetened version like Skippy)
    • 3 large eggs - room temperature
    • tsps vanilla extract/essence
    • 1 cup (225 g) buttermilk - room temperature

    Peanut Butter Frosting

    • cups (340 g) unsalted butter - room temperature
    • 3 cups (375 g) powdered sugar - also known as icing or confectioners sugar
    • 2 tsps vanilla extract/essence
    • ½ cup (120 g) whipping or heavy cream - room temperature
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 1 cup (250 g) unsweetened peanut butter - use a creamy version

    Instructions

    Peanut Butter Cake

    • Preheat oven to 180 °C (350°F) (see note 1 if using a fan function) and grease and/or line two 8 inch cake tins. I use my homemade cake release to grease my tins.
    • In a bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Using a whisk or fork, mix until well combined. Set aside.
    • In a large bowl, add in butter, vegetable oil, white granulated sugar, soft brown sugar and peanut butter. Using an electric mixer (hand or stand mixer are both fine - see note 2), cream together on a medium speed for 3 minutes until light and creamy.
    • Add in eggs one at a time on a low speed, mixing well in between each addition (about 10-15 seconds between eggs).
    • Add in vanilla and buttermilk, and mix on a medium speed until well combined. You should have a smooth creamy batter. Now set your mixer aside as the remainder of the batter will be finished by hand.
    • Add in the pre-sifted dry ingredients from earlier and using a spatula, gently fold until just combined. Do not overmix (see note 3).
    • Distribute the batter evenly into the two 8 inch cake tins, and drop the cake tins lightly on the counter to remove any large air bubbles. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs on it.
    • Once baked, allow the cakes to cool in the cake tins for about 15-20 minutes, and then turn them out onto a wire rack to completely cool before frosting with the peanut butter frosting.

    Peanut Butter Frosting

    • Before beginning: If you're making a simple cake with no crumb coat, only a thin layer of frosting on the sides and little to no piping, you can get away with making a half batch (or 3/4s) of the frosting 🙂
    • In a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer if using one), add in butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, cream, peanut butter and salt.
    • Mix on the lowest speed until the ingredients are combined (about a minute), and then turn up the speed to a medium high and mix for a full 10 minutes, scraping down the bowl half way through. If using a stand mixer then use the paddle attachment.
    • The frosting should be silky smooth and it's now ready to use! See note 4 if your frosting isn't light and smooth, or too soft.

    Video

    YouTube video

    Notes

    Note 1. In this recipe I use an oven with no fan function. The fan forced function cooks cakes/cupcakes faster, so if using a fan function (also known as convection mode) then you will need to reduce the temperature to 160C (320F). 
    Note 2. If using a stand mixer, then use the paddle attachment for the initial mixing, but continue to do the last step by hand as stated in the recipe.
    Note 3. Only fold until you can't see anymore streaks of flour and the batter is uniform. By gently folding in the ingredients, it prevents too much gluten from forming, thus giving us a softer cake. 
    Note 4. If you find that your frosting is a bit firm and has a lot of air bubbles, then it means that either the butter or cream was too cold. To fix this, gently heat the buttercream in the microwave for 5 second bursts (don't heat it for too long otherwise the buttercream will melt), mixing in between each burst until the frosting is softer in consistency and you can easily mix it, and then re-whip it for a few minutes. If your frosting is too soft, simply pop it into the fridge for 30 minutes, and then re-whip it. You can also add powdered sugar if you don't mind a sweeter frosting. 
    Note 5. For this recipe you want to use a creamy peanut butter that doesn't require mixing (i.e. doesn't have a lot of oil sitting at the top). You also preferrably want to use an unsweetened peanut butter. If you use a sweetened peanut butter (like Skippy or Jif), your cake will be a bit sweeter, however this cake isn't overly sweet, so it may not be an issue for most people. However, if you do prefer a less sweet cake and only have a sweetened peanut butter on hand, then you can reduce the soft brown sugar in the cake batter by about 2 tbsp. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 903kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 61g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 529mg | Potassium: 320mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 59g | Vitamin A: 1173IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 2mg

    Nutritional information are estimates only as they are automatically calculated by a third party application. Actual values may differ based on brands and types of products used.

    Keyword: best peanut butter cake, easy peanut butter cake, peanut butter cake, peanut butter cake recipe, peanut butter cake recipes, peanut butter layer cake, peanut cake, penut butter cake
    Tried this recipe?I love hearing from you! Tag me @cakesbymk.nz on instagram so I can see your amazing creations 🙂

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    36 Comments

    • Mark Amey

      Hi Maryam. I made this cake with my daughter, and although we are not generally a family of cake eaters, everyone loved this one. It was beautifully moist as promised and rose really well so the cake was nice and light. I’ll definitely be making this one again. Who knows, we might end up as a family of regular cake eaters.

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Mark! So so happy to hear your family enjoyed the recipe 😀 If you decide to try out another one of my recipes, I hope you enjoy it just as much as this one :). Really appreciate the feedback Mark!

    • Deb Perkowski

      4 stars
      Mine came out somewhat crumbly in texture. Also, the icing was thin, so I did have to put in the fridge before icing the cake. Added chopped chocolate chunks on top. My guests enjoyed it.

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Deb! So happy to hear your guests enjoyed the cake :). The crumbly texture could be due to too much flour in the cake batter (I would recommend using the gram measurements for best results if you didn’t already), the cake being slightly overbaked or the egg size being a bit small. Hope these tips help for next time 🙂

    • Trisha Otto

      Don’t have round cake pans- any idea how long to bake it in 9×13″ glass pan?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Trisha! 🙂 I would check at about the 28 minute mark and then bake more if needed 🙂

    • Marcella

      Made this cake and it is a big hit. I have made it twice in one week. I am going to try baking it in a Bundt pan and add some fruit for the peanut butter and jelly effect.

      • Cakes by MK

        So so happy to hear you loved the recipe Marcella 🙂 A peanut butter and jelly version of this sounds incredible! I’ll have to try it sometime 😀

    • Kimberly Haisten

      5 stars
      My cake came out extremely dry-baked in 8” rounds and baked for 28 minutes. Should I add more oil? I will try making this cake, again. The frosting was delicious! I could eat it by the spoonful!

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Kimberly! 🙂 So sorry to hear your cake turned out dry – that can be frustrating! 🙁 There could be a few reasons as to why this may have happened. Usually the culprit is too much flour, or the cakes being overbaked. I would recommend using the gram measurements for accuracy (if you haven’t already), and checking the cake layers a little earlier to ensure they aren’t overbaked. This cake has a lot of fat in it, so should come out very moist – I wonder if perhaps the type of peanut butter may have played a part? Check out this blog post for more troubleshooting tips 🙂 https://cakesbymk.com/recipe/5-reasons-your-cakes-are-dry/

    • Isabel

      5 stars
      A HUGE hit! So easy to make. My coworker found this recipe and put it on my desk as a joke. I baked the cake and brought it to work the next day. Now, even weeks later, my coworkers are still raving about how delicious it was, how peanutty smell in the office and how light the frosting was.

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Isabel! So so happy to hear you and your coworkers loved the recipe 😀 and what an amazing friend you are for taking this cake in for your colleagues!! Really appreciate the wonderful feedback 🙂

    • Blimey

      5 stars
      Hi thanks 4 this Delicious recipe. Just made it & I’m getting ready to frost it. (I was having a hard time getting to whip up… then realized it was to hot… so looked @ ur NOTES (AGAIN) & SAW to put in fridge. .
      THANK G-D IT WORKFOR!!
      My question is… does this cake/frosting need to be refrigerate? Or can it be left on the counter (without losing its “design” ?
      Thanking you in advance, & awaiting MORE YUMMY RECIPES!

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Blimey! 🙂 So happy to hear you’re making this cake 😀 So the cake should be able to sit at room temp without the frosting melting or losing it’s shape (though this frosting is on the softer side). It could perhaps be the type of peanut butter or a slight difference in the quantites used (can happen if you use cups instead of gram measurements) that is causing the frosting to be on the softer side. Refrigerating does help to kind of set the shape of the frosting so hopefully this helped you 🙂
        If you are okay with a little extra sweetness to your frosting, you can add a bit more powdered sugar to add extra stability to the frosting, or even a little cornstarch for more stability but without extra sweetness. Hope that helps! 🙂

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    About me

    Welcome to my blog! My name is Maryam and I LOVE baking! :) I hope to provide you with the tools (i.e. simple, from-scratch, quality tested recipes), so that you can confidently bake up delicious treats to share with your family and friends!

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