Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

If you’re looking for the best chocolate cake recipe, look no further: This is it. Incredibly chocolaty with the best peanut butter frosting and ganache. Peanut butter frosting is one of my family’s favorite and easiest buttercream frosting recipes. It’s the perfect frosting for this cake and works well with the chocolate flavor.  

You could undoubtedly frost your cake and keep it simple, but trust me, adding the ganache is the finishing touch this cake needs, and that takes it to a new level. This is undoubtedly a show-stopping cake and would be fantastic for any special occasion, especially a birthday celebration, anniversary or holiday dessert. Therefore, I have sometimes doubled the cake and frosting recipes to make a four-layer cake.


1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup hot coffee

Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter

3-1/2 cups powdered sugar

pinch of salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 tablespoons heavy cream

1 cup creamy peanut butter


1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy cream


Decorate the top as desired. This cake’s toppings are endless and left to your imagination. Mini peanut butter cups, chocolate chips, sprinkles and shaved chocolate could work nicely.

Cake Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, whisk all wet ingredients except the coffee.

Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring after each addition. Once incorporated, add the hot coffee and mix well.

Divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes; until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Let cakes cool in pans for 30 minutes before turning them onto racks to cool completely. 

For the Frosting

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter on medium speed until creamy. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the powdered sugar, mixing until incorporated.

Add heavy cream, salt and vanilla. Mix well. Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.

For the Ganache

Add chocolate chips to a heat-safe bowl. Set aside.

In a small pan, bring heavy cream to a simmer on the stovetop. As soon as it simmers, remove it from the heat and pour over the chocolate chips. Do not stir. Cover the bowl with foil and allow it sit for 5 minutes. Remove the foil and whisk until smooth.

Allow the ganache to cool for 10 minutes.

With a spoon, slowly add the ganache to the center of the cooled cake. Then, gently spread it to the edges and slowly push it over the sides. Continue this process around the cake.

This is my favorite chocolate cake dessert. It’s flavorful and moist and has just the right sweetness and chocolate flavor. The best made-from-scratch chocolate cake recipe I keep on hand for all occasions. Always a winner and requested often.

Recipe Tips 

• Use whole-fat buttermilk.

• Make sure your cake has completely cooled before adding the frosting.

• To make it easier to frost, add a crumb coating. First, frost the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of frosting, smoothing as you go. Don’t worry about crumbs. Then, pop the cake into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. This locks all the crumbs into place. Then, remove the cake from the refrigerator and finish frosting.

~ Gina Abernathy is the author and recipe creator behind the blog, Home at Cedar Springs Farm.