Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte


Many of you know that until recently I suffered from a number of food allergies, one of which was peanuts. As a result, the most tempting dessert featured in Dorie Greenspan‘s utterly superb Baking: From My Home to Yours, the Peanut Butter Torte, was sadly off limits to me. Oh, how I pined after it. Oreo crust. Peanut butter mousse. Chocolate ganache. Seriously, what could possibly be better? Once I finally found out I was no longer allergic to peanuts, it was really only a matter of time before I broke out the cookbook and whipped up this torte.


Now, because of my inability to practice any notion of self-restraint when it comes to the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, I decided that any desserts would need to be shrunk to Smurf-size portions. A while ago I picked up a set of four miniature springform pans from Williams Sonoma, and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to bust them out. I was able to easily cut the recipe down to ¼ of the original and make it in one of the pans.

This torte was all of the wonderful peanut butter-chocolate goodness that I thought it would be. Very rich, and very addicting. Thumbs up from my Chief Culinary Consultant as well!


Peanut Butter Torte

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


1¼ cups finely chopped salted peanuts (for the filling, crunch, and toppings)
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon instant espresso powder (or finely ground instant coffee)
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup mini chocolate chips (or finely chopped semisweet chocolate)
24 Oreo cookies, finely crumbled or ground in a food processor or blender
½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Small pinch of salt
2½ cups heavy cream
1¼ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1½ cups salted peanut butter - crunchy or smooth (not natural)
2 tablespoons whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped


Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Toss ½ cup of the chopped peanuts, the sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate chips together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Put the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in another small bowl and stir with a fork just until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan (they should go up about 2 inches on the sides). Freeze the crust for 10 minutes.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a rack and let it cool completely before filling.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, whip 2 cups of the cream until it holds medium peaks. Beat in ¼ cup of the confectioners' sugar and whip until the cream holds medium-firm peaks. Scrape the cream into a bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Wipe out (no need to wash) the bowl, fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment if you have one, or continue with the hand mixer, and beat the cream cheese with the remaining 1 cup confectioners' sugar on medium speed until the cream cheese is satiny smooth. Beat in the peanut butter, ¼ cup of the chopped peanuts and the milk.

Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir in about one quarter of the whipped cream, just to lighten the mousse. Still working with the spatula, stir in the crunchy peanut mixture, then gingerly fold in the remaining whipped cream. Scrape the mousse into the crust, mounding and smoothing the top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight; cover with plastic wrap as soon as the mousse firms.

To Finish the Torte: Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Leave the bowl over the water just until the chocolate softens and starts to melt, about 3 minutes; remove the bowl from the saucepan.

Bring the remaining ½ cup cream to a full boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and, working with a rubber spatula, very gently stir together until the ganache is completely blended and glossy.

Pour the ganache over the torte, smoothing it with a metal icing spatula. Scatter the remaining ½ cup peanuts over the top and chill to set the topping, about 20 minutes.

When the ganache is firm, remove the sides of the springform pan; it's easiest to warm the pan with a hairdryer, then remove the sides, but you can also wrap a kitchen towel dampened with hot water around the pan and leave it there for 10 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serving: I like to serve the torte with strong espresso, but it lends itself to being paired with black tea, hot cocoa or even a not-too-thick not-too-sweet coffee milkshake.

Storing: Well covered, the torte will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 days; just make sure to keep it away from foods with strong odors.

(Source: Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, pages 282-283)


59 Responses to “Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte”

  1. Cara on April 15, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Oh my gosh that looks awesome—a perfect way to celebrate being allergy free!!


  2. Maria on April 15, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Chocolate, PB, and Dorie, all of my favorite things!! Looks so good!


  3. Mermaid Sweets on April 15, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Love the mini cake idea, I am going to have to get those pans.


  4. Meghan on April 15, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Mini springform pans??? How cute! I love the idea of cutting the recipe down. I’d like to make mini cheesecakes with the pans too! My husband would love this torte!


  5. sarah on April 15, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    i want this. right now. 😉


  6. Kerstin on April 15, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Wow – it looks amazing! I love the high PB to chocolate ratio.


  7. Katrina on April 15, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Heavenly! I didn’t realize someone can have an allergy and then it be gone. I became allergic to cats at age 16, love them and wish it would leave. 😉
    Has anyone picked this torte for TWD yet? I need an excuse to make it!


  8. Steph on April 16, 2009 at 7:50 am

    I’m afraid to make that because I have no self control. I’ll settle for looking at your amazing torte!!


    • luchetti on December 12th, 2015 at 9:44 am

      wondering if you could possible use the cool whip in place of the whipped cream that would help out with the weight gain I try to cut back whenever I can you just have to gauge


  9. Cristine on April 16, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Looks absolutely delicious!


  10. Joelen on April 16, 2009 at 9:04 am

    This looks amazing! Great job Chelle and I’m glad that you can try it now after all the time having to pass it up!


  11. Elyse on April 18, 2009 at 1:42 am

    I am so glad you’ve overcome your nut allergy. Now you can enjoy the amazingness of PB and chocolate. And man, what better way to celebrate this flavor combo than with your amazing looking torte. This thing is incredible. I can’t wait to try it.


  12. Erin on April 19, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Thank goodness you’re not allergic to peanuts anymore, because that looks like the most AMAZING dessert ever. Wow, that looks so rich and fantastic. I would have to make minis, too, because that dessert looks too tasty to have lots of extra!


  13. Amber on April 20, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    OMG this looks so amazing. I can’t wait to make it myself.


  14. Annie on April 20, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    This is one of the best desserts I’ve had in a while. So glad we made it together. Allergies, be gone!!


  15. Charles on May 26, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    How did you find out you’re no longer allergic?? I had a bad reaction to peanuts as a kid, but can get by with eating a Reese’s. But I still go with almond butter.


  16. Jacob on July 19, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    These were amazing! So rich it almost hurt to eat but delicious anyway 🙂


  17. ashley on October 4, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    can I make this using a regular 9″ cake pan? Unfortunately I do not have a springform pan.


  18. Michelle on October 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Hi Ashley,

    You could certainly make this in a 9” cake pan. I would just do all of the layers in there and then cut slices directly from the pan.

    I hope you enjoy!


  19. Jill B on February 9, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    You answered my need! I was trying to come up with something to bake/make to improve the mood in my office, and had forgotten about this – I made it last year and it is absolutely heavenly! Will try to de-calorie it just a bit so they’ll actually eat it. Thanks!!


  20. Stiffler on February 28, 2010 at 12:23 am

    i just made this for a dinner get together with friends last night.
    very good. i didn’t think it was too rich.
    i’m sure to make it again.


  21. gizelle marie on April 8, 2010 at 3:45 am

    i’ve had this bookmarked for so long and tonight when i was reading over it again i almost drooled on myself. i really have to make this one soon. and probably bite the bullet and buy the dorie greenspan book.


  22. Barbara on November 7, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    This turned out really well. I don’t think I have had the peanut butter-cream cheese combo before and thought it was really unique. Kind of tangy. So rich! But really good. Thanks!


    • Michelle on November 8th, 2010 at 10:20 pm

      So glad you loved it, this is one of my all-time favorite recipes on the site!


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  25. Usha on May 18, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Hi Sis,
    is there any substitution for heavy cream?
    i cant find any in my place.


    • Michelle on May 18th, 2011 at 12:31 pm

      Usha, To my knowledge there is no substitute for heavy cream in this recipe because it needs to be whipped in order to make a mousse. I would say you could try substituting whatever you use for freshly whipped cream.


  26. AmyRuth on July 4, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Hmm? Very curious that you are no longer allergic… either way, now you can enjoy your choco peanut butter obsession! YAY Great job and keep going with PB/CHOC


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  29. JeniJ on November 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I am not a huge fan of peanut butter except in an occasional Reese’s or pb and fluff sandwich (and even then only rarely), but a friend at work “twisted” my arm when she brought this in and I devoured it in 5 minutes flat. This was phenomenal. I can’t vouch for it’s difficulty level, however she said it was very easy; I will be making this for a departure from the traditional Thanksgiving apple pie (or maybe at least in addition to!)


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  35. Brittney on February 8, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Why “not” natural peanut butter? There are several natural ones out there now with virtually the same texture as skippy etc. I buy for my kids the Whole Foods Market 365 and it is identical minus the bad. Why make such a delicious concoction with artificial and hydrogenated oil?


    • Michelle on February 8th, 2012 at 10:59 pm

      Hi Brittney, This recipe was published over 4 years ago now (and probably developed well before then). It’s only recently that natural peanut butter that does not need to be stirred and kept refrigerated has become widely available. In most baking recipes using peanut butter you want to avoid the traditional natural peanut butter than separates and needs to be kept in the refrigerator and stirred – it is much too oily for most recipes. However, the no-stir varieties that are kept at room temperature and have the same consistency as regular peanut butter can indeed be substituted (brands such as JIF Natural, etc.).


  36. Patricia Miller on February 22, 2012 at 6:15 am

    My boss wanted me to make his wife a cake for her birthday. I gave him several options and he chose this recipe. I was SO nervous (that’s a lot of pressure!) but it turned out beautifully! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!


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  40. Kate on August 10, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I made this and used only half of the suggested amount of sugar and it was still good and very sweet!


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  43. Rachel on January 20, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Is the recipe you gave the 1/4 of the recipe or the full recipe? This looks awesome and I want to make it for my husbands birthday but I need to make a lot of it for all the people coming. Thanks!


    • Michelle on January 21st, 2013 at 7:00 pm

      Hi Rachel, The recipe given is for the whole recipe, and it will definitely feed a crowd, at least 10 to 12 servings; it’s very rich!


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  45. Barbarella on March 14, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Do I scrape off the oreo filling? Or do I just blend that whole oreo cookie, including the white icing stuff??


    • Michelle on March 21st, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      Use the whole cookie, including the filling.


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  51. Sara on July 21, 2014 at 6:05 am

    Hey there. I want to make this into mini versions for a baby shower. Do you have any ideas? Would mini foil pie tins work or would they be too shallow?


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  53. Christina on February 6, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I saw this a while back and have been waiting to make it ever since. We celebrated my dad and brother’s birthday last weekend and My brother chose this (the other choice was Ina’s brownies). This was AH-MAZiNG! I thought there would be too much chopped peanuts, but followed the recipe and I was so happy with the results. The peanuts give the mouse a nice crunch. My husband thought this would be good frozen…he loved it, but I was a sucker for the light texture with crispy peanuts. I will be adding this to my arsenal of repeats. Which a lot of them happen to come from your blog!


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