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chocolate peanut butter cake

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I'm thinking of trying this smittenkitchen recipe to bring to a dinner this Saturday, providing I have some time tomorrow night.

Here's the link:


If I'm really pressed for time, I might try this quick Emeril pie, using really good hot fudge from an ice cream place nearby as a topping.


Has anyone tried either, or do you have a tried-and-true dark chocolate peanut butter dessert that you love?

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  1. while i can't vouch for it personally, i've heard *wonderful* things about that chocolate sour cream cake with peanut butter frosting (the recipe is originally from the cookbook "Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes"). if you have the time and the motivation to make it, i'm SURE it will be a huge hit.

    the Emeril recipe will obviously be much less labor intensive/ time-consuming, and the reviews on the FN website are positive.

    1. Try this one bear:


      I made this one last month for a birthday and it worked out really well. It's very rich and the ganache helps seal the cake to make it last long if you don't finish it up right away. It also wasn't hard to make the cake look like the picture. I used more dark chocolate and some semisweet, plus I reduced the sugar and we found it sweet enough.

      1. I don't have a real recipe for this since I put it together from a few other places, but this PB&C fan loves this one. It can and has been multiplied at will.

        I use a 2-layer Devil's Food-style cake recipe that came to me from my friend's husband's Missouri farm grandma. In between and on top I use a peanut butter frosting that's basically just PB, butter, confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Oddly, that's the part that came from the "famous pastry chef" cookbook.

        It's rather homestyle-looking, but if you'd like a dressier dessert, you can smooth the frosting with a large palette knife and either pipe a shell or star border of chocolate frosting and/or drizzle with melted chocolate. You can also make small chocolate peanut clusters to decorate with.

        The SmittenKitchen photos look delicious. I just have a personal thing against cream cheese frostings. To me, cream cheese belongs on a bagel or in a cheesecake and that's about it. Just my personal prejudice.

        1. A family and friend favorite is peanut butter tandy cake. It is the easiest cake I make and while traditionally made with milk chocolate I am sure you could use a good dark chocolate bar (eating not baking bar). You can find the recipe on many sites. The attached link does not specify the size of the bars but I usually use a total of 6 to 7 ounces.

          1 Reply
          1. re: folprivate

            Inspired by the Tasty Kakes old favorite - yum. All these recipes are sending me over the edge. I love the chocolate/peanut butter combo!!!

          2. I have made Ina's chocolate cake with her separate peanut butter frosting (which her cookbook serves on cupcakes, but which doubled was plenty for generous filling and frosting). The frosting tastes like the filling of Reese's Pieces - just awesome.

            1. hi... I made the cake from Smitten Kitchen and it is VERY GOOD. I'd say you need to dedicate some time for this project though, because the cake is much easier to frost once it is semi frozen. It is is easy enough to do and is everyone's childhood cake!

              make this sometime everyone! it is great.

              1. I absolutely love PB and Chocolate.
                If you are OK with throwing bananas into the mix, BOY AM I, try the Elvis Cake. This is a truly excellent cake. One of my favorites.
                I wonder, has anyone made both the Elvis and Smittenkitchen's?How do they compare?

                1. Thanks so much, everyone. Looks like things have been pushed off until next weekend, so I have a little more time to prepare. Right now I'm leaning toward doing the smitten kitchen/Sky High Triple Layer Cakes recipe (thanks for keeping me honest, goodhealthgourmet. I didn't cite the recipe correctly.) for the upcoming dinner, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cake from Marcel Desnaulniers for my husband's birthday in April. I also really want to try the Elvis cake, since I've heard such great things about it, abud. Maybe for my son's birthday in a couple of months.

                  Promise I'll report back with whatever I make!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bear

                    i wasn't trying to call you out :) i actually just thought it might be helpful to have the name of the original source in case you wanted to do some searching for more info/reviews of the recipe or ask around about other people's experience with it.

                  2. I just made a peanut butter cake with vanilla pastry cream filling and chocolate frosting. It was amazingly delicious -- one of my roommates said it was the most delicious dessert she'd ever had!

                    1. I have made this cake and it is awesome. As others say, definitely take the time to freeze the cakes (I actually made them on a Sunday, froze them, frosted the cakes on Tuesday, and did the ganache on Wednesday). The cake looked gorgeous and tasted great. One tip though is that it definitely needs at least an hour to warm up to room temp and be easily cut if refrigerated before serving. Not hard but time consuming and worth the commitment.

                      1. Thanks for all the replies, everyone. I did finally make the cake. I pretty much followed the recipe as written, with a couple of minor changes. I added a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the peanut butter/cream cheese filling, and I left the peanut butter out of the chocolate glaze to give a little contrast to the flavors. I would make both of those changes again.

                        The cake was really over-the-top rich and gooey, and the flavor was great. It was really, really rich, though, so it was hard to enjoy more than a few bites.

                        I think when I make it again, I'll use the Hershey's Black Magic cake recipe instead of the original chocolate cake that Sky High suggests, since the Hershey's recipe is really good, and calls for 1/2 cup oil instead of 1 full cup. I think that would help a bit.


                        All in all, a success. My brother-in-law said it was the best cake he had ever eaten, which is high praise. I have to say, though, that it is too rich to eat very often!

                        Unfortunately, I forgot the camera so I have no pics.

                        1. I'm taking this recipe and running with it. Hopefully it turns out good.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: LadyintheKitchen

                            Good luck! Let us know how you make out.

                          2. Any recipes from a reputable source for a peanut butter cake? My boyfriend wants the reverse-- chocolate frosting and peanut butter layers. He's just being difficult. Help please!

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                              i haven't made it myself, but this Bon App├ętit recipe sounds delicious & gets great reviews.


                              you can just make the cake portion of the recipe & use your own for the chocolate frosting.

                              Paula Deen could also be a trustworthy source for something like this ;



                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                Hi! I did find that chocolate pb cream cheese butterfinger cake and was intrigued-- but he really wants a plain peanut butter cake. I have been burned by cake recipes before and only want to use recipes I trust (generally I do find the epicurious recipes reliable, so that's a plus with that one) so he really has presented me with a challenge. I see so many things potentially going wrong with a pb cakE... so he might just have to grin and bear (eat) that epicurious recipe!

                                1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                  the good thing about that recipe is that all the elements are separate - the cake part is just a straight-up peanut butter cake, so there's no need for you to bother with the cream cheese or Butterfinger. just bake the cakes & frost/layer them with chocolate frosting.

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    Oh, I didn't realize it was a plain peanut butter cake. Iguess I didn't look close enough. Thanks!!

                                  2. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                    I've tried the epicurious recipe and it was an excellent cake but didn't have enough peanut butter flavor for me. I've yet to find a great peanut butter cake w/ enough peanut taste, like a peanut butter cookie. I considered the Paula Deen one but it has 1/2 cup or so of peanut butter, not enough IMO. My favorite so far has been this one:


                                    It has more peanut butter than the others. And, all natural doesn't work as well as Jif. This cake tastes better the day after it's been baked--the peanut butter is stronger then.

                                2. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                  I made a peanut butter banana cake once, which was really good, and you could just use any chocolate frosting of your choice. If that combo sounds like it would do the trick (the pb and banana), I can look for the recipe for you.

                                  1. re: aforkcalledspoon

                                    Do you think it would work without the bananas or is that an integral part? He's so difficult. :)

                                    1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                      Well since baking is so exact, I would imagine that removing the bananas would make a difference, but you can try! THe banana flavor isn't really intense. My banana hater husband liked the cake because peanut butter is a pretty strong flavor, and of course, it was covered in chocolate! But it sounds like you found a good recipe from goodhealthgourmet. good luck!

                                3. i made ina garten's peanut butter swirl brownies a couple of weeks ago for a bbq picnic and they were extremely good and well-received. a smidge quicker than a frosted cake if you're pressed for kitchen time. should be chilled before serving, though.