Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

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Four layers of moist chocolate cake are filled with creamy peanut butter and covered in a smooth chocolate ganache. This egg-free and dairy-free cake is rich and fudgy, just like your favorite peanut butter cup.

We begin with a simple one-bowl chocolate cake, using dark cocoa powder and light brown sugar for a deep chocolate flavor. Each layer is topped with a generous spread of peanut butter filling, which is also used to coat the outside of the cake. Finally, a two-ingredient chocolate ganache is spread over the cake, bringing together the rich, creamy, nutty flavors.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Course Dessert

Ingredients
  

Chocolate Sponge:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup dark cocoa powder
  • tsp baking powder
  • tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup plant-based milk almond, soy, or oat
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot water

Peanut Butter Filling:

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup dairy-free butter softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-4 tbsp plant-based milk as needed for consistency

Chocolate Ganache:

  • cups dairy-free dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk full-fat

Instructions
 

Prepare the Chocolate Sponge:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Grease and line four 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add the applesauce, plant-based milk, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
  • Gradually add the hot water, mixing until the batter is smooth.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Prepare the Peanut Butter Filling:

  • In a large bowl, beat the peanut butter and dairy-free butter until creamy.
  • Gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing until smooth.
  • Add plant-based milk as needed to achieve a spreadable consistency.

Prepare the Chocolate Ganache:

  • Place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk until it just begins to simmer.
  • Pour the hot coconut milk over the chocolate chips and let it sit for 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth.
  • Allow the ganache to cool slightly until it thickens but is still pourable.

Assemble the Cake:

  • Place one chocolate sponge layer on a serving plate.
  • Spread a layer of peanut butter filling on top.
  • Repeat with the remaining layers, finishing with a layer of peanut butter filling on top.
  • Use the remaining peanut butter filling to apply a thin crumb coat around the sides of the cake.
  • Refrigerate the cake for 20 minutes to set the crumb coat.

Apply the Ganache:

  • Pour the slightly cooled ganache over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.
  • Use a spatula to smooth the ganache around the sides of the cake if needed.

Serve:

  • Allow the ganache to set before slicing and serving.
  • Enjoy this rich, fudgy, and nutty cake!

Notes

  • Dairy-Free Butter: Brands like Earth Balance or Miyoko’s work well for the peanut butter filling.
  • Chocolate: Use high-quality dairy-free dark chocolate chips for the ganache.
  • Coconut Milk: Full-fat coconut milk provides the best texture and richness for the ganache.

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