Reese’s Cup Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

This past weekend we attended a dinner party celebrating two of my good friends’ birthdays.  My friend Allie cooked a fabulous dinner and I provided dessert.  I remembered that her husband (and the birthday boy) loves the peanut butter and chocolate combination, so the moment I saw this cake I knew it would be perfect.  This was definitely a huge hit with everyone at the party!  I think this is actually the best chocolate cake I have ever made.  It was incredibly fluffy and moist.  And combined with the wonderful peanut butter frosting, it was to die for.  Definitely make this cake – but make sure you have tall glasses of milk to serve alongside, you will need them!

Reese’s Cup Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (optional)

For decorating:
1 ½ – 2 batches peanut butter frosting
miniature Reese’s cups, halved and/or chopped

For the cake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°.  Butter two 9×2” round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper.  Place the pans on a baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy.  Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until thoroughly blended into the butter.  Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Beat in the vanilla.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk; add the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2 (beginning and ending with the dry ingredients).  Mix each addition only until it is blended into the batter.  Scrape down the bowl and add the melted chocolate, if using, folding it in with a spatula.  Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans.

Bake for 26-30 minutes or until the cakes feel springy to the touch and start to pull away from the sides of the pans.  Transfer to wire racks to cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners.  Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.

To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a cardboard circle covered in foil.  Spread peanut butter frosting on top of the cake layer.  (If desired, sprinkle with chopped Reese’s cups.)  Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting.  Frost the top and outside of the cake with remaining peanut butter frosting.  Decorate with halved and chopped Reese’s cups as desired.

Source: inspiration from Smells Like Home, cake from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, frosting from Ina Garten

88 Responses

  1. This looks absolutely fabulous! Peanut butter and chocolate is my favorite dessert combination as well as my dad’s. I’ll have to remember this for his birthday (which thankfully is coming soon). It looks beautiful too!

  2. Holy cow, that looks amazing! I need an excuse to make it, though, because I can’t have that just sitting around my house 🙂

    Congrats on your beautiful new baby, too! I haven’t been nesting much at all lately, so I just noticed your siggy pic today. So cute!

  3. Great work on the cake! That looks so fantastic! I will definitely need to make this for my husband.

  4. That cake is so amazing! I love Reeses…and a whole cakeful is just awesome!

  5. This looks wonderful! I just showed my husband and he wants a piece of the cake. I might have to make this to celebrate when he is done with school.

  6. Okay, that looks so sinful… but so good. I’ve got to try this one.

  7. Oh wow, looks fantastic! Love the pb and chocolate combo! Yum, yum, yum!! 🙂

  8. This looks so good! I’m starring this for future cakes to make – thanks!

  9. That looks crazy good!

  10. WOW that is incredible! What a fabulous cake!!!

  11. Wow, Annie, this looks SO good. My DH would love this, so he may luck out and maybe I’ll make it for him soon. 🙂

  12. This cake makes me really sad that I’m allergic to nuts! It looks and sounds so extremely decadent, and there really is nothing better than the chocolate and PB combo! Awesome job!

  13. Annie this looks incredible. This was the flavor combo for the groom’s cake at our wedding but this one looks even better! I’m making this for my FIL’s b-day next week!

  14. Wow, Annie! This cake looks divine! This is most definitely in my file. My sister will love it!

  15. isn’t it incredible?!? when I made it back in March, i never expected it to still be my top viewed post 4 months later! lol you did a fabulous job with it! PS – I made the Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake with Ina’s PB frosting recently, and it blew Dorie’s chocolate cake out of the water!

  16. Wow… that looks fantastic (and beautiful)!

  17. how could this not be a huge hit? it’s picture-perfect, and it happens to combine the best duo of ingredients known to man. awesome. 🙂

  18. WOW this looks so yummy. You have blended 2 of my favorites.
    Sadly cakes are not big in my house do you think this would work as cupcakes?? I cannot explain the boys logic here if I could get in their heads I would – but I think it is that they like prefer the grab and go size…


  19. Cathy,
    They would definitely work as cupcakes! See this post where I did something similar: . I used the same frosting but that time I used Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake. I preferred Dorie’s cake this time, so I would suggest using that recipe and just making cupcakes instead of regular cake. Good luck!

  20. Okay, I don’t know why that link didn’t work – it is the “Cupcakes Galore” post from February. Check it out.

  21. Oh wow Annie! You’ve really outdone yourself this time. The cake looks GORGEOUS and completely delicious.

  22. That’s one decadent looking cake!

  23. my husbamd would fall face first into this cake and eat his way out!! this looks wonderful!

  24. Holy cow! This looks amazing. I think I know what to make for Jesse’s birthday cake this year!

    BTW, did you change your blog layout? It’s showing up on my laptop a little spread out and I can’t see your header…..

  25. What a beautiful and delicious looking cake!

  26. Wow, this cake looks awesome! I wish I had SOME occasion right now to make it (Francis’s co-workers may be getting a cake for no reason soon…)!

  27. that cake looks amazing!!!

  28. Oh my. My stomach will thankyou for this recipe…my thighs however will not.

  29. WOW this look absolutely incredible! I suddenly want a Reese’s PB cup. 🙂

  30. This cake looks DELICIOUS!! I love peanut butter and chocolate together so I may have to try this!

  31. […] 1, 2008 by lovestoeat When I saw this recipe posted from Annie’s Eats, I knew I had to make them! Mike and I went to meet friends for dinner and I brought these for […]

  32. this looks beautiful and super tasty!

  33. […] knew from the moment I saw this cake on Annie’s blog that I had to make it.  I love the chocolate and peanut butter combination, and I would probably […]

  34. […] Adapted from Annie’s Eats , Cake from […]

  35. […] cups, spiderman, Wii We celebrated Jack’s family birthday party yesterday. Jack selected the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cake recipe that I found on the Annie’s Eats blog. Annie’s got lots of great recipes over […]

  36. Quick question: do you typically use the bittersweet chocolate when you make the cake? What are the advantages to adding it?

  37. oh my gosh… there could not possibly be a more perfect cake for me!
    i want this cake so badly why does my birthday have to be in march!!!!

  38. Oh my! Will you come to my birthday party this year? Your cake turned out beyond amazing! If only I could get mine to look half as pretty I would be delighted. 🙂

  39. Mmm. Yummy. You see, that’s the problem with homemade delicious cakes. They’re not available in bakeshops.

  40. This is now my favorite cake! I originally baked the blackberry cupcakes off this site (these too were delicious, however the blackberries added too much liquid for me) when I wandered on to this cake. Everything about it is perfect. It isn’t too rich, the amount of peanut butter and chocolate is balanced, and the presentation is lovely. It wasn’t that much effort either. It was devoured. I’ll be sure to pass it along to others. Thank you for this recipe gem!

  41. Oh wow! That looks absolutely delicious, I love how you took an old favorite and added your own twist. You also did an amazing job with the pictures, I will definitely try this recipe over the weekend.

  42. I used Ina Garten’s “Double Chocolate Layer Cake” (as published in Food & Wine – for the cake, and her PB frosting from as suggested. This cake recipe is almost identical to Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate cake. The addition of 1 cup of hot coffee makes the cake very light and airy, which is important when the frosting is so rich and dense. Delicious!

  43. Found your site through Stumble Upon and I have got to say that cake looks FABULOUS. I am planning on making it for a dessert auction!

  44. In Ireland, every late August, early September, there’s a festival called Electric Picnic. The infamous place where Kelly Osbourne apparently got married. Within this festival there’s a chapel. If you so choose to pay 40 euro you can get married in this chapel, the marriage counts within the festival grounds and throughout the festival. I am making and marrying this cake next year!!!

  45. They look delicious.

  46. Cute cake! I love the chocolate and peanut butter combination.

  47. This is one i’m going to have to definitely try! Peanut butter and chocolate – excellent choice!

    • Hi, Annie. I just found your reeses peanut butter receipe and i can’t wait to make it. Would it work if I were to make it in a cake pan the shape of a number “4”? My best friend is turning 40, and I want to make this for here. I just purchased a number 4 cake pan and hope i can still make this receipe in it. Please contact me at

      Thank you sooo much for the amzaing receipe

      • Hi Diane,
        You can bake any cake in any shape pan you want. It will likely affect the baking time, but shouldn’t be a problem otherwise.

  48. hello annie, my name is also annie and i just wanted to tell u that i lovvvveee ur dwebsite and i hope to start one like it soon but i dont know how to add all the effects and pictures, anyway this desert looks ultra delicious and i am ssoooo glad i stumbled upon it because i cannot wait tooo make one, thanks so much for ur inspiration!
    – annie☺

  49. Well I just finished making this wonderful looking and smelling cake. I’m taking it over to a friends tomorrow, so I can’t try it until then, but I know it’s gonna be good!

  50. I made this for a friends birthday and never got to try it was gone so fast. Everyone said it was amazing though!

  51. I made two of these cakes in one day. One was for a birthday party and the other for a christmas party. Both came out wonderfully. My only problem was getting someone to take the first piece! They all thought it was too pretty. Thanks for the recipe. It’s the first of yours I’ve tried, but I’m positive it will not be the last. Thanks again!

  52. Found your website through a Google Image search and I’m definitely going to be making this cake as part of my gift to my boyfriend for Christmas! It looks delicious!!

  53. I’m baking this cake right now for a dinner party we are going to tonight. Can’t wait to try a piece! It smells delicious!

  54. Oh my god, that looks like the most fabulous cake ever! I love Reeces cups, but can’t get them from the UK easily 😦

  55. This is hands down the best cake I have ever made. It got rave reviews at the birthday party dinner where it was served. Thanks!

  56. I made this cake for my daughter’s birthday yesterday and I’m not sure what I did wrong, but it was very dry. I loved the icing and had tons left over, which I love dipping my spoon into and eating up, but the cake wasn’t good at all.

    I thought maybe I left something out, but I went over the recipe again and am sure I didn’t leave anything out. Next time I will use another chocolate cake recipe, but the same yummy icing. It was a beautiful cake otherwise!

  57. I have been dying to try this recipe. We celebrated my birthday this weekend so I made my mom make instead of me. She said it took some time b/c it was scratch but it was so well worth it! It was declious!!!

  58. My husband made this for our church’s annual Men’s Dessert Contest and won “Best Tasting.” Thanks for posting it. It was delicious.

  59. Like Lori, we found the cake to be very dry so we substituted the cake part, but the icing in combination with the Reese’s made it all fantastic. Anything we could do to make the cake more moist?

    • Crystal,
      A lot of people seem to have trouble with this cake being dry, though I personally didn’t have that issue. You can bake it for a shorter time since overbaking is likely what causes the dryness. Also brushing with a simple syrup helps keep any cake moist.

  60. OMG! That looks so delicious, I think my mouth is actually watering just looking at that cake! I bet it is rich though with all the sugars involved in the recipe. Yummy! Gonna have to try this one out at least once! Thanks for the recipe

  61. where do i buy the peanut butter frosting for it or do i make the frosting myself?

  62. This is delicious!! I made it for my son’s 11th birthday, and everybody loved it! I really didn’t believe this could be a dry cake with all of the butter and buttermilk. I baked it for about 28 minutes. It was extremely moist, and I followed the exact recipe. Thanks Annie!

  63. I made this last weekend for my great aunt’s 70th birthday. The cake came out beautiful and everybody thought it was too pretty to eat. I was concerned about it coming out dry so I started checking it every 5 minutes after 20 minutes of baking. Mine baked 32 minutes which is longer than recommended but every time I inserted a toothpick the batter was still runny. After 30 minutes I checked again at 32 minutes and took it out. Unfortunately it still came out a little dryer than I would have liked but it was still delicious. No complained but me. My dad is now asking for it for fathers day.

  64. Never commented when I had made this last fall b/c the cake really was very dry — but the frosting and chunks of PB cups were great. But now I’ve read that others had the same problem as well — may have to try this once again and really stay on top of the cook time (better than before — I guess :)). Seems awesome overall if I can get the cake part to taste good!

  65. I just put this cake in the oven. My 12 year son and I tasted the batter….and….OH MY GOODNESS!!!! This is definately THE BEST tasting chocolate cake I have ever tasted! I am so excited to try a piece of this! I am making it for a co-worker and taking it in to work tomorrow for her birthday. Everyone is going to LOVE this cake! Seriously delicious!!! and I haven’t even tasted the frosting yet!

  66. WoW Simply delicious recipe. Its look awesome. I will try to make it on next Monday.

  67. that cake looks amazing!!!…

  68. I am going to make this cake for my son in law’s birthday. What is the fix for the dryness problem?

    • I have never had the “dryness problem” and I have made this cake more than once. I think if you just be sure not to overbake it, it should be fine.

  69. I didn’t have the problem either. I followed the instructions-beat it as long as it says for each addition- no shortcuts. I might have had extra large eggs? Don’t over bake.

  70. I made the cake for my son in law’s birthday. The cake is very impressive looking and very tasty. I also found the cake to be very dry. I only baked it for 24 minutes when the toothpick came out dry. I am wondering if a bit of veg oil or sour cream in the cake mixture would add a bit of moisture…

  71. I’m making this for my birthday party. Yes, MY birthday. 🙂

    two questions:
    First, will it be best to make it today (for tomorrow night’s dinner)
    or wait until tomorrow?

    Secondly, I’m debating about using the Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe only because I know I’ve had success with it. Do you have any thoughts on that?

    • I always make my own cake! By the way, happy birthday! I think you can make it either today or tomorrow and it will be fine. (Although, I think the frosting from the chocolate peanut butter cupcakes is waaay better – I’d use that.) As for the cake, you could go either way. I personally find the Hershey’s cake to be very mediocre, and I loved this one. But so many people have had mixed results. You could just aim really low on the baking time to be sure it doesn’t dry out (the most common complaint), and worse case scenario you make a simple syrup to moisten it up.

      • I don’t know how you do it, Annie–mom, wife, doctor, extraordinary cook/baker/blogger. AND you reply within minutes. 😀

        Thanks for the help –especially for pointing me in the direction of the cupcake frosting. I’ll definitely try that! And I’ll do my best to not dry out this recipe. I’ll let you know how it goes. 😀 I spent about an hour looking through all of your cakes trying to pick just one. Such a difficult decision.

  72. I made this cake for the first time Friday for my fiance’s brother’s birthday. This is the first cake I have made from scratch and it couldn’t have been more perfect! Everyone loved it!!! I was hesitant at first because I didn’t know how it would come out and taste since I never made it before. It was a complete and total hit. Everyone said they wanted me to make it for their birthday. I may make it again for my office Thanksgiving party next Thursday and again for Thanksgiving with fam, unless of course you have something more idle for Thanksgiving. 🙂

  73. Hi Annie! I am hoping to make this cake this weekend for my dad’s birthday. (He LOVES Reese’s PB cups) I am hoping to make it the day before which I don’t see as being an issue, but I’m thinking that by adding some oil to the recipe it might not turn out dry as some others have stated. What do you think would be the appropriate amount to add?

  74. This cake looks perfect for my friend! She loves Reeses. I am thinking of making it for her birthday party, but would this work as cupcakes?

    • Yes, you can make any cake into cupcakes. Or you could try the chocolate peanut butter filled cupcakes I have posted on the blog and top them with Reese’s. That would be my recommendation.

  75. the cake was a big hit! thanks!
    After i frosted it, I put the cake in the fridge because the frosting has heavy cream in it.. but the cake part became a little dry. Any suggestions for next time? Can I keep the cake out?

    • Many readers have problems with this cake being dry. I would suggest shortening the baking time, as that is probably where the drying occurs.

  76. Makes me want to lick my computer screen!

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