Peanut Butter Cake

Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins
Add'l 3 hrs
Total 20 mins
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Peanut Butter Cake is moist, fluffy, and packed with peanut butter flavor. The light, creamy frosting also contains plenty of peanut butter, for a sweet and salty dessert everyone will adore!

*This recipe is sponsored by Dixie Crystals. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this site possible!*

The Ultimate Peanut Butter Dessert!

There are those of us who like peanut butter, and those of us who love peanut butter. This cake is for both groups – but for peanut butter lovers, it might just be the perfect dessert. Because there are no distractions in this recipe: it’s all about the peanut butter.

The result? A moist, springy sheet cake, packed with a punch of peanut butter, and topped with a light and fluffy, homemade peanut butter frosting. Add on your favorite peanut butter candies, and everyone will want seconds!

From top left: Flour, peanut butter, buttermilk, sugar, butter, baking powder, eggs, baking soda, vegetable oil, vanilla

What You’ll Need

The ingredients for this are all fairly basic baking items, from sugar and vanilla to flour, eggs, and butter. You probably already have most of them on hand! Here’s the full list:

For the Cake:

  • Flour: All-purpose flour works perfectly for this recipe.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda: To make the cake light and fluffy.
  • Salt
  • Butter: Let the butter soften to room temperature before you use it.
  • Vegetable Oil: A little bit of vegetable oil adds moisture. You don’t need much, because the peanut butter and buttermilk help add to the texture.
  • Sugar: Regular granulated sugar – I use my favorite Dixie Crystals brand.
  • Peanut Butter: Creamy peanut butter.
  • Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract gives the best flavor.
  • Eggs: The eggs should also be at room temperature.
  • Buttermilk: Room temperature as well.
From top: Powdered sugar, vanilla, Reese's Pieces, butter, peanut butter.

For the Frosting:

  • Butter: You’ll need unsalted butter, at room temperature, for the frosting.
  • Peanut Butter:  Creamy peanut butter is best for this recipe.
  • Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract gives the best flavor.
  • Salt
  • Powdered Sugar: Sift the powdered sugar before using. Again, I recommend my favorite Dixie Crystals.
  • Milk: For thinning the frosting, as needed.
  • Reese’s Pieces:  These are optional, for topping the cake.

Let’s Bake a Cake!

Getting the texture of this cake right is all about mixing and measuring. Make sure to measure correctly, and mix in the order given.

  1. Prep the Oven and Pan. First off, you’ll need to preheat your oven to 350°F, and grease a 9×13 baking pan. You can use oil or butter, or spray it with nonstick spray. 
  2. Combine the Dry Ingredients. Next, get out a medium mixing bowl, and stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
  3. Cream the Butter, Oil, and Sugar. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, combine the softened butter, vegetable oil, and granulated sugar in a clean bowl and mix, starting on low speed and gradually increasing the speed to medium-high. Mix for 2 – 3 minutes, until creamy and well-blended.
  4. Add the Remaining Wet Ingredients. Now turn the mixer back to low, and add the peanut butter and vanilla extract to the bowl. Mix well to fully incorporate the peanut butter, and then add the eggs one by one, mixing well between each egg.  Gradually add the buttermilk, and mix that also until it’s well-combined.
  5. Combine the Wet and Dry Ingredients. Pour the flour mixture into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Beat the batter until it is just combined, with no more dry flour visible. Be careful not to overmix, or the cake will have a tough texture. 
  6. Bake! Pour the cake batter into your prepared baking dish. Bake the cake for 28 – 32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Once the cake is done, take it out of the oven. Let the cake cool completely (this can take 2 – 3 hours)  before frosting.
  7. Make the Frosting. While the cake is cooling, use a clean mixing bowl and hand mixer to cream the butter, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and salt together. Next, pour in half of the powdered sugar and a tablespoon of milk. Mix again. Finally, add the rest of the powdered sugar, increase the speed of the mixer from low to high, and beat the frosting for 2 – 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. (If it seems too thick, you can add the remaining 1 tablespoon of milk to thin it out).
  8. Frost the Cake. Spread the finished frosting over the fully cooled cake, and top with a sprinkling of Reese’s Pieces (if you’re using those). 

Recipe Notes

So there you have it, a perfect peanut butter cake for those peanut butter enthusiasts in your life. This cake is a snap to make, and these helpful hints will make it just that much easier.

  • Room Temperature: Bringing the butter, milk, eggs, and buttermilk to room temperature is important to help all the ingredients properly incorporate.
  • Buttermilk Substitution: You can use regular milk instead of the buttermilk, if you prefer.
  • Frosting Fun: This is not a frosting-heavy cake, but you can double the frosting if you like!
  • More Topping Ideas: Top this cake with with Reese’s Pieces, chopped peanut butter cups, chopped peanuts, and/or peanut butter baking chips for a blast of peanut butter goodness.
  • Cooling Time: The cake must be fully cooled before frosting, because the frosting is delicate and can melt even if the cake is just warm.
A frosted peanut butter cake, topped with candies.

How to Store Peanut Butter Cake

Store this cake at room temperature, covered or in an airtight container. It will keep for up to three days.

Can I Freeze This?

Yes, in fact, most cakes freeze very well. To freeze this one, I recommend placing it in a covered container in the freezer for about one hour, to help the frosting firm up. Then wrap the cake tightly in a layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of foil. Mark with the date, and freeze for up to three months. Done! To serve, just let the cake thaw to room temperature-ish.

A square of frosted cake with a bite cut away from it.

More Indulgent Peanut Butter Recipes

Have a peanut butter lover in your house? Me too! Actually, all 5 of us love peanut butter desserts! Here are a few more of my favorite peanut butter dessert recipes:

Yield: About 15 Slices

Peanut Butter Cake

A frosted sheet cake sprinkled with Reese's Pieces and cut into generous squares.

Peanut Butter Cake is moist, fluffy, and packed with peanut butter flavor. The light, creamy frosting is also made with plenty of peanut butter, for a sweet and salty dessert everyone will adore.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

For the Peanut Butter Cake:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cup Dixie Crystals Granulated Sugar
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk, room temperature

For the Frosting:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Dixie Crystals Powdered Sugar, sifted
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup Reese’s Pieces, optional, for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with nonstick spray, and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix with a fork or a whisk, and set aside.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the softened butter, vegetable oil, and granulated sugar. Starting on low, gradually increase the speed to medium-high, and mix for 2 - 3 minutes, until well-combined.
  4. Turn the mixer to low. Add the peanut butter and vanilla extract, mixing until thoroughly incorporated. Next, add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Gradually add the buttermilk, beating until well-combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl, and mix until just combined and no more dry flour is seen. Be careful not to overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
  6. Bake for 28 - 32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Once the cake is done baking, remove from the oven and allow to fully cool before frosting.
  7. To make the frosting, use a clean mixing bowl and hand mixer to cream the butter, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and salt together.
  8. Add half the powdered sugar to the mixture. Add one tablespoon of milk, and combine. Add the rest of the powdered sugar. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer from low to high. Mix the frosting together for 2 - 3 minutes until light and fluffy. If icing is too thick, you can add the remaining 1 tablespoon of milk.
  9. Spread the frosting over the fully cooled cake, and sprinkle Reese’s Pieces over the top (if desired). Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Notes

Storage:

Fridge: Store this cake at room temperature, covered or in an airtight container. It will keep for up to three days.

Freezer: I recommend placing it in a covered container in the freezer for about one hour, to help the frosting firm up. Then wrap the cake tightly in a layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of foil. Mark with the date, and freeze for up to three months. Done! To serve, just let the cake thaw to room temperature-ish.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

15

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 479Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 344mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 2gSugar: 36gProtein: 9g

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This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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