Peanut Butter Cake
Peanut Butter Cake

Peanut Butter Cake

Recipe by Susan Reid

King Arthur 2020 Recipe of the Year

While many peanut butter cake recipes rely on frosting for their peanut butteriness, this cake has peanut butter incorporated directly into the batter itself. The result is tender, rich layers of peanut butter cake that are ready to be paired with any number of frostings and fillings, like our Seven-Minute Frosting, pictured here; see a list of ideas in the baker’s tips below. 

The Peanut Butter Cake was one of our Bake of the Week recipes for April 2023.

Prep
30 mins
Bake
30 to 45 mins
Total
1 hr 15 mins
Yield
two 9" round layers, three 8" round layers, one 9" x 13" cake
Peanut Butter Cake - select to zoom
Peanut Butter Cake - select to zoom
Peanut Butter Cake - select to zoom
Peanut Butter Cake - select to zoom

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Choose your pan(s); this recipe will fit two 9" round cake pans, three 8" round cake pans, or a 9" x 13" pan. Grease the pan(s) or line with parchment

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment or working in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer, combine the peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar. Mix until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Beat in 2 of the eggs, then about 1/4 cup (30g) of the flour (this will keep the batter from curdling).  

  3. Beat in the 3 remaining eggs one at a time. Scrape the bowl again and add 1/3 of the remaining flour to the batter, beating gently to combine. Gently beat in half the milk. Mix in half of the remaining flour, then the remaining milk. Stir in the remaining flour. Scrape the bowl once more, and beat for another 30 seconds. 

  4. Divide the batter between the prepared pan(s) and level the top. (The total weight of the batter is about 1530g, if you’re weighing the batter evenly into your pans.)  

  5. Bake the peanut butter cake(s) for 33 to 35 minutes for 9" layers, 30 to 33 minutes for 8" layers, or 45 minutes for a 9" x 13" cake, until the top springs back when lightly pressed in the center and the edges just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.  

  6. Remove the peanut butter cake(s) from the oven and cool in the pans on a rack for 20 minutes. Then turn the cakes out of the pans and return them to the rack to cool completely before frosting.  

  7. Storage information: After cooling, peanut butter cake layers can be wrapped and frozen for up to 2 months; once frosted, the peanut butter cake can be kept at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage. 

Tips from our Bakers

  • This cake pairs well with any number of other flavors and frostings. For a dessert version of a fluffernutter sandwich, finish with Seven-Minute Frosting (pictured above). For a candy bar vibe, fill with the caramel fudge filling from this Chocolate Caramel Cake. Or top with another classic, our Super Simple Chocolate Frosting, to celebrate the classic pairing of peanut butter and chocolate. 

  • For an easy garnish that adds texture and even more peanut butter flavor, decorate the cake with pieces of our Microwave Peanut Brittle