It's a bold statement, I know -- "Best Reese's Peanut Butter Cake EVER!". But I stand firmly behind my assertion that you'd be hard pressed to find a more delicious Reese's Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake than this one.
Inspired by a few different Reese's cakes I saw online, I used my own recipes from my boutique cakerie days to create this four-layered fantasy of chocolate and peanut butter. I started with my signature sour cream fudge cake, a wonderfully moist and chocolatey cake that balances perfectly with the not-too-sweet peanut butter frosting. The chocolate frosting is cocoa based, so it too isn't too cloyingly sweet, leaving room for the Reese's chunks to shine through and take center stage.
Read to begin? Let's go...
Best Reese's Peanut Butter Cake EVER
Flour Shop Signature Sour Cream Fudge Cake: This is a perfect cake for stacking and sculpting because of its tight crumb and firm structure. (makes two 9" rounds)
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cups vegetable oil
- 1 cup regular sour cream
- 1/2 cup lowfat milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups hot coffee
Foolproof Chocolate Frosting
- 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream (for the glaze at the very end of the recipe)
Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
2 12 oz. packages Reese's minis, unwrapped and chopped
(set 11 whole peanut butter cups aside for garnish)
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350. Butter two 9" cake pans. Line with parchment paper rounds, then butter the paper. Dust the entire inside of the pans with cocoa powder. Set aside.
- Sift dry ingredients into a mixer bowl.
- Beat in remaining ingredients one at a time on low. Beat until smooth (about 2 minutes).
- Divide batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool for 20 minutes.
- When pans are cool enough to handle, invert cake on a large cutting board. Flip back over and allow to cool. Wrap cakes in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
- In the bowl of a food processor, process butter, sugar, cocoa and salt until smooth.
- Scrape down sides, then add corn syrup (this gives the frosting it's luscious gloss) and vanilla and process until just combined.
- Scrape sides of bowl, then add melted chocolate. Pulse until smooth and creamy.
- Frosting is ready to use. Set aside 1 cup of frosting to use at the end of the recipe for a glaze.
Tip: Your frosting may be too soft if you're working in a warm kitchen. I advise opening some windows and working in a cool room. However, if this is not possible, and your frosting seems too loose. Allow it to spend some time in the refrigerator before use.
- In the bowl of a mixer, whip cream cheese, butter, peanut butter, and salt until combined. On low speed, add confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time.
- Once sugar has been incorporated, bring speed up to high and whip until light and fluffy. Note: The ingredients may appear to separate at first. Don't fret. Continue to whip air into the frosting to emulsify the fats and achieve a smooth, fluffy texture (up to five minutes).
- Cut each cake in half for four even layers. Place one of the bottom layers on a cardboard cake round. It will help at this point to assemble the cake on a cake turntable or lazy susan.
- Spread half of the chocolate frosting evenly on the first layer. Set second layer on top.
- On second layer, spread 1/2" of peanut butter frosting. Sprinkle entire surface of frosting layer with chopped Reese's. Lightly press the candy into the frosting. Place third layer on top.
- Evenly spread the remaining chocolate frosting on the third layer. Place the final layer of cake on top. I recommend using one of the "bottom" pieces of cake and flipping it over so that the smooth bottom becomes the top of the cake.
- Frost the entire cake with peanut butter icing, starting on the top, then working your way around the sides. You'll likely have some peanut butter frosting left over. Refrigerate and use as a dip for apples.
- Using a slightly cupped hand, press handfuls of chopped Reese's into the side of the cake.
- Refrigerate for an hour, or until frosting is firm to the touch.
- To glaze the cake, heat the reserved cup of chocolate frosting till warm and pourable. Stir in the two tablespoons of heavy cream to bring the temperature down. When smooth and glossy, pour the chocolate glaze in the center of the cake. With a small offset spatula, gently smooth the glaze toward the edges, allowing it to drip over slightly.
- Chop the reserved Reese's minis in half. Garnish around the edges of the cake. Chill until ready to serve.