Peanut butter & chocolate cake

Peanut butter & chocolate cake

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(15 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 15 mins Cook: 40 mins

A challenge

Serves 16

The sweet and salty combo of peanut butter and chocolate make this cake irresistible - decorate with pretzels for added crunch

Nutrition and extra info

  • un-iced

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal727
  • fat43g
  • saturates23g
  • carbs75g
  • sugars60g
  • fibre2g
  • protein9g
  • salt0.7g
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  • 200g cold unsalted butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 200g dark chocolate (roughly 70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
    Dark chocolate soup pots with double cream in spoons

    Dark chocolate

    dahk chok-o-let

    Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…

  • 300g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 4 large eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

For the peanut butter icing

  • 250g unsalted butter at room temperature



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 600g icing sugar
  • 300g smooth peanut butter (I used Skippy – other brands I’ve tried have a tendency to split the icing)

    Peanut butter

    pee-nut butt-ah

    Peanut butter starts with dry roasting peanuts, which concentrates and heightens their flavour…

  • 100ml double cream
  • 75g salted pretzels


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and grease 2 x 22cm round cake tins, lining the bases with baking parchment and greasing the parchment too.

  2. Put the cocoa in a small bowl with 100ml hot water. Whisk together until smooth, then set aside. Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water and melt gently together, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

  3. In a large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs together using an electric whisk until thick and pale. With the blades still running, pour in the chocolate mixture, mixing until smooth and fully combined. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder. Sieve the dry ingredients over the chocolate mixture and fold together until no lumps remain. Add the cocoa mixture and mix to combine. Divide the batter between your prepared tins and bake for 30-35 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle comesout clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for about 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack, peeling off the parchment, to cool completely.

  4. For the icing, beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric whisk until light and creamy. Beat in the icing sugar a little at a time, then add the peanut butter, mixing until smooth. Add a pinch of salt and the cream, again mixing until smooth.

  5. To assemble the cake, use a large serrated knife to slice each cake in half. Place the first round of cake onto a cake board or serving plate and top with a thin layer of icing. Repeat until all the cake layers have been used. To decorate, use the remaining icing to spread over the top and sides of the cake. Use a spatula or a palette knife to create a swirl pattern around the outside of the cake, and finish by pressing the pretzels onto the top and sides – there is enough to cover about half the sides, leaving the icing partially on display. Best served within 2 days of baking, but the cake will keep for up to 4 days.

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Comments, questions and tips

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snowshoes's picture
19th Oct, 2017
I was really nervous about making this cake due to the 'challenging' label it had, as I am quite a novice baker, however it really was very straight forward - the key is to have everything prepared/weighed out and have all your utensils and it will be fine! I also used sunpat smooth as couldn't find skippy and it worked absolutely fine, I took others advice about the initial crumb coating of icing and this definitely helped. I made the cake for my work colleagues as we have a 'bake off' sweepstake and my contestant had been voted out of the tent, the cake went down an absolute storm and everyone loved it. I was really pleased! Definitely a good choice for all peanut butter & chocolate lovers! :-)
23rd Nov, 2016
Delicious! This makes a much bigger cake than I was imagining. Followed the recipe and everything worked well, make sure you leave the cake to cool in the tin for a good 10 mins as it is very delicate when warm. Also as someone else has said, do a crumb coating of the icing before you use all the icing up - I did one thin layer all around the outside, popped it in the fridge for 15 mins and then iced again, no crumbs on the finished cake. Would recommend to make if like me you are a fan of chocolate and peanut butter :)
28th Oct, 2016
I baked this for a PB-loving colleague's last day at work and it went down a storm :) I was also worried about the 'Challenge' label, but although it took me a lot longer than the recipe says, it wasn't too tricky! I broke one of the cakes as it came out of the tin, and I cut the other badly, so it was more like 2.5 layers than 4, but it still looked a lot better than I expected when I cut into it. I also used smooth Sun-Pat and it was fine :) Delicious!
14th Aug, 2016
I've baked a few cakes with varying degrees of success and still consider myself a novice so was worried about the 'challenge' label on this. I read the method a few times before beginning to make sure I was using the right size bowls for each step etc and it was actually very straightforward and came out brilliantly. It IS very crumby so don't skip the crumb coat. It does have a lot of sugar but no one found it overly sweet. I made the butter cream in a processor...everything in at once and it worked perfectly. Serves a lot and everyone loved it...even those claiming to not really like peanut butter. Enjoy x PS I used smooth sun pat and it worked absolutely fine.
Moroccanchick's picture
14th Sep, 2015
There is a total of 900g of sugar in this cake, i used 500g and it came up nice and sweet instead of suckening sweet. I find most recipes have way too much butter and sugar in them.
22nd May, 2015
this recipe states it is in the October 2014 issue, it is actually in the Birthday 2014 issue for those looking for the hard copy like I was. Delicious cake!
18th Mar, 2015
This cake tastes really good and can easily serve 20 people. I read the tip about buying Skippy peanut butter but I couldn't find any and used SunPat instead and the icing was perfect - just peanut buttery enough! Although slightly crumby the cake iced fine. To decorate I put pretzels around the edges and lined the top with Reeces Pieces as these added a little bit of colour to the cake. I would definitely bake this cake again!
3rd Mar, 2015
This cake tastes good, and the icing is superb. However, I'm not sure what happened, I'm not exactly a novice baker, but the mixture ended up looking a bit like a mousse. And the resulting sponge, although delicious and soft, crumbled all around the edges as I tried to crumb-coat it. It's now in the fridge, in hope that the chilling will help when I come to put the finishing touches on it, but I'm not holding out much hope because it looks a mess at the moment.
mother_ship's picture
16th Nov, 2014
I used this recipe to make cupcakes, they looked fab and tasted delicious, my only teeny tiny issue was that the icing didn't taste peanut buttery enough.
6th Oct, 2014
Made this at the weekend. I had a mental note in the supermarket for the ingredient but how I wish I had seen the note regarding the skippy peanut butter. The icing did split, but I persevered! The kids thought it was lovely. Very rich.
8th May, 2015
Could you do a salted caramel icing instead of peanut butter? Kids not keen on PB.
goodfoodteam's picture
24th Jun, 2015
That sounds delicious. You could use the recipe for the icing from this recipe just leave out the raspberries and food colouring and add sea salt to taste.
16th Oct, 2014
Is there a way to make this with milk chocolate? My partner hates dark chocolate cakes :(
goodfoodteam's picture
26th Nov, 2014
Hi there, thanks for your question. Yes you can use milk instead but it will be a lot sweeter. 
mother_ship's picture
16th Nov, 2014
You could make it with milk chocolate, it just wouldn't taste as chocolaty!
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