Triple chocolate & peanut butter layer cake

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(12 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 30 mins - 1 hr plus cooling and 1 hr 40 mins chilling

More effort

Serves 14

Make a showstopping cake this Easter. Top chocolate sponge with peanut butter frosting, ganache drip, pretzel bark and chocolate eggs for a divine dessert

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal870
  • fat54g
  • saturates23g
  • carbs85g
  • sugars68g
  • fibre4g
  • protein8g
  • salt1g
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  • 225ml rapeseed oil, plus more for the tins
    Rapeseed oil

    Rapeseed oil

    If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 4 tbsp cocoa
  • 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 225g caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
    Golden syrup

    Golden syrup

    goal-dun sir-rup

    Golden syrup is a translucent, golden-amber coloured, sweet syrup

  • 3 large eggs, beaten



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

  • 225ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

For the pretzel bark

  • 200g dark chocolate, 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…

  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips
  • small handful pretzel pieces
  • 2 tbsp honeycomb pieces



    Confectionery honeycomb is known by many names around the world, including hokey-pokey or cinder…

For the icing

  • 65g dark chocolate
    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…

  • 250g soft salted butter



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

  • 500g icing sugar
  • 45g smooth peanut butter
  • 1-2 tbsp cocoa

For the ganache drip

  • 200ml double cream
  • 100g dark chocolate, finely 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…

For the decoration

  • a mixture of different-sized chocolate eggs, some hollow, some filled, gold lustre, toffee popcorn and pretzels


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Oil and line the base of three 19cm sandwich tins. Mix the flour, cocoa, bicarb and sugar in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and beat in the syrup, eggs, oil and milk with an electric whisk until smooth.

  2. Divide the mix between the tins, and bake for 25-30 mins until the cakes are risen and firm to the touch. Cool in the tins for 10 mins before turning out onto a cooling rack and cooling completely. At this stage, they can be frozen, well wrapped, for up to eight weeks.

  3. Make the bark while the cake is cooling. Melt the chocolate in short bursts in the microwave, stirring every 20 secs, until smooth. Spoon onto a parchment-lined baking tray and smooth over with a spatula to make a thinnish layer, around 35 x 20cm. Sprinkle over the chocolate chips along with the pieces of pretzel and honeycomb, then chill until solid. Remove the bark from the fridge and leave for a minute to come to room temperature before using a sharp knife to cut it into shards (if it’s fridge cold, the chocolate will snap rather than cut). Chill again until you’re ready to decorate the cake.

  4. To make the icing, melt the chocolate in the microwave, stirring between short blasts, then leave to cool a little. Meanwhile, beat the butter, icing sugar and 1 tbsp boiling water with an electric whisk or stand mixer, slowly at first, then turn up the speed and beat until you get a pale, fluffy icing. Spoon out a third of the mix into a separate bowl and stir in the peanut butter. Whisk the melted chocolate into the remainder of the icing, then beat in the cocoa if you want a darker, more chocolatey-coloured icing.

  5. Sandwich the three cakes together with the peanut butter icing. Use half the chocolate icing to coat the sides and top of the cake and fill in the edges between the layers, scraping off any excess. Chill for 20 mins. This is called a crumb coating, allowing you to get a really smooth finish when it comes to the final icing.

  6. Spread the remaining chocolate icing over the lightly chilled cake, smoothing over the sides and top so you get a neat finish. Chill again for 20 mins.

  7. To make the ganache, heat the cream in a small pan until steaming. Tip the dark chocolate into a bowl, then pour over the cream. Mix well until smooth and shiny. Transfer to a piping bag and leave to cool for a few mins at room temperature.

  8. Pipe the ganache on top of the cake, nudging it over the edge and allowing it to drip down neatly. Do this all the way round the cake, then fill in the centre with more ganache. Smooth the top with a knife. Chill for 1 hr for the ganache to set.

  9. Press the bark shards into the cake, sticking up. Add lots of chocolate eggs, popcorn and pretzels in and around the shards. Cut into slices to serve. Will keep for up to three days kept in a cool place in an airtight container.

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Comments, questions and tips

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24th Jun, 2020
The ganache drip has far too much cream, this will never set. Most of your other recipes use 75ml cream to 100g chocolate. This one uses 200ml. Am glad that I had enough cream and chocolate to start again. Very disappointed with this.
19th Apr, 2020
Way too much rapeseed oil in this recipe. Followed it by the book, and produced a cake that tasted and smelled very oily. Not nice at all. Will try a different recipe next time
1st May, 2020
do i have to use peanut butter in this recipe ? will the icing be bad or the wrong constancy if i dont ?
4th Apr, 2020
I only have two 23cm cake tins - should I try and increase the recipe to still do three layers, or use the same amount of batter and split it between two layers? Thanks
Esther_Deputyfoodeditor's picture
7th Apr, 2020
Hello! Esther from the food team here. We would reccomend splitting the cake mixture between your two tins. Cook for 30-35 mins. Thanks for your question!
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