Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake

Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake | #recipe

Today, I turn 34 years young, and I have the most serious of serious questions to ask. Does this mean I’m now in my mid-30’s? If the answer is yes, don’t tell me. It dumbfounds me to think that at 34 years old, my mom already had a 9-year-old and a 7-year-old. I barely feel like a grown-up, save for the mortgage payments and general responsibilities that come with not being 18 anymore.

If time is going to keep on moving, we might as well welcome it with open arms and some phenomenal cake, right? I have had this cake on the brain for months, but decided to shelve it and save it for my birthday. I couldn’t think of anything more perfect for me than an overdose of chocolate and peanut butter to the highest degree.

Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake | #recipe

I basically took my favorite chocolate cake, my favorite peanut butter frosting, tons of peanut butter cups, and smooshed it all together into one of the most fabulous cakes I have made to date.

For someone who could eat chocolate and peanut butter for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this cake is a dream come true.

Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake | #recipe

The cake is the same one I used for my Snickers cake last year; do you remember how much I went on and on about how it’s the best chocolate cake ever?

Well, it’s still the best chocolate cake ever.

Case closed.

Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake | #recipe

The peanut butter frosting is a double batch from my chocolate-peanut butter cupcakes, and I love it because it’s silky smooth, super peanut butter-y and not at all too sugar-y. I would love to just eat it from a bowl with a spoon. However, I’ll settle for it on this cake along with tons of chopped peanut butter cups, because, of course, there needs to be peanut butter cups.

Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake | #recipe

I plan to spend my birthday relaxing, going to a hockey game, and eating a ridiculous amount of dessert.

That’s what birthdays are for, right?

Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake | #recipe

One year ago: Italian Easter Pie
Three years ago: Tiramisu Cupcakes
Four years ago: Easy Vanilla Bean Buttercream
Six years ago: Slow Cooker Beef Burgundy

Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake

Yield: 12 to 14 servings

Prep Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: 32 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

A sinfully rich three-layer chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting, chopped peanut butter cups and a chocolate ganache.


For the Cake:
2½ cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup + 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1½ cups strong black coffee, hot
¾ cup vegetable oil
4½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Peanut Butter Frosting:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups creamy peanut butter
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt
⅔ cup heavy cream

For the Chocolate Ganache:
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
¾ cup heavy cream

30 miniature peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped, divided


1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, grease the parchment, then flour the insides of the pans, tapping out excess; set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or large mixing bowl if you're using a hand mixer), sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional 20 seconds (the batter will be very thin).

4. Divide the batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the pans in the oven. Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool the cakes (in the pans) on wire racks for 20 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

5. Make the Peanut Butter Frosting: Place the powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the heavy cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth (do not overbeat).

6. Assemble the Cake: If your cakes baked up uneven or have domed on top, level off the tops. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Cover with 1 cup of the peanut butter frosting and sprinkle 10 of the chopped peanut butter cups over the frosting. Top with a second cake layer and cover with another 1 cup of the peanut butter frosting, and top with another 10 chopped peanut butter cups. Place the final cake layer on top face-down. Frost the cake with the remaining peanut butter frosting, finishing it as smoothly as possible. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour, until the frosting is set.

7. Make the Chocolate Ganache: While the cake chills, make the chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate in a 4-cup measuring cup; set aside. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and warm until it just comes to a boil. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Begin whisking the mixture in the center, gradually working your way outward until the ganache is completely smooth. Set aside to cool, whisking occasionally, until it has thickened slightly, yet still a pourable consistency.

8. Garnish the Cake: If the ganache was mixed in a bowl, transfer it to a 2-cup measuring cup. Slowly pour the chocolate ganache into the center of the cake, letting it push itself outward and flow over the sides of the cake. Top with the remaining 10 chopped peanut butter cups. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes, giving the ganache a chance to set up. Keep the cake refrigerated, removing it from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to serving.


261 Responses to “Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake”

Comment Pages 1 2 3 5
  1. Diane White on March 25, 2014 at 12:07 am

    Firstly, Happy Birthday! I married my husband at 34 so you’re ahead of me!
    Secondly, this is my DREAM cake! My birthday isn’t until December, but I’m planning on celebrating early with this!


  2. Nicole @ Mediterranean Baby on March 25, 2014 at 12:12 am

    Happy Birthday, Michelle!! No, you are not in your mid-thirties! (Next year might be another story.) Have a wonderful day and enjoy your cake; It’s divine! :)


  3. jan on March 25, 2014 at 12:15 am

    Happy Birthday…this cake looks awesome!!!! My husbands birthday is next month and he loves Chocolate and Peanut Butter…I have to make this cake for him.


  4. Laura (Tutti Dolci) on March 25, 2014 at 12:49 am

    Happy Birthday, Michelle! What an incredible cake – I love the PB cups sandwiched between each layer and the ganache makes it a bit like a giant PB cup!


  5. Crystal | Apples & Sparkle on March 25, 2014 at 12:58 am

    Happy Birthday! Don’t be in a rush to be in your mid-thirties, your still in the “rounding down” bracket til next year. This cake is total BONKERS!! I have a 13 year old young man in my house that would love me forever if I made something like this. = )


  6. Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen on March 25, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Happy Birthday, Michelle! In my book, you’re still considered as in your early thirties. Next year, I can’t help ya. 😉 This cake is phenomenal! Wouldn’t our 10-year-old selves flip out over it? Thanks for sharing and enjoy your birthday week!


  7. Tembo on March 25, 2014 at 1:25 am

    Happy Birthday and what a SMASHING cake!! Your def still only early thirties so don’t stress! :)


  8. Gry on March 25, 2014 at 2:29 am

    Happy Birthday, Michelle!
    this cake looks amazing – perfect birthday cake for you!
    You are such an inspiration to so many of us, thanks for sharing your life with us!
    I wish you a great day with everything and everyone you love!
    Hugs from Switzerland,


  9. Averie @ Averie Cooks on March 25, 2014 at 4:55 am

    Happy Birthday!!! And what a gorgeous cake! Glad that you stuck with your fave choc cake base and then went nuts with all that PB! YES!! My kind of birthday cake! Pinned to multiple peanut butter boards!


  10. Sabrina on March 25, 2014 at 5:55 am

    Ong I love Peanut Butter Cake. Happy Birthday


  11. Mir on March 25, 2014 at 6:04 am

    Awesome cake, birthday girl! I love that you chopped the regular-sized Reese’s (more peanut butter per bite than the mini-sized ones) to put on the cake. I also love that this is peanut butter and chocolate overload madness. We happen to be the same age and like you, I could eat chocolate and peanut butter all day. This cake is on reserve for my next birthday!


  12. Jessica on March 25, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Happy Birthday! You and I share a birthday, and, like you, I generally make something for it since I’m the baker in the family, so for the past several years, I’ve looked forward to seeing the wonderful birthday desserts you’re going to post because they always seem to be exactly what I want. This is no exception. I was craving a chocolate peanut butter cake. I usually am. I made the birthday chocolate PB cheesecake one year and it was too good for words. This also looks amazing, and I’m so excited to make it!!

    Hope you have a great birthday today!!! Thanks for the perfect birthday dessert, as always!


    • Michelle on March 25th, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      Happy Birthday, Jessica!! Have an awesome day!


  13. Diana on March 25, 2014 at 6:34 am

    Well the snickers cake is a fave around here and amazing …I can’t imagine anything being better…until this…hehe…guess I need to go to the kitchen and find out! :) Thanks for sharing this!!!


  14. Laketia on March 25, 2014 at 6:41 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHELLE!!!! Who cares about age when you you have an AMAZING cake to celebrate with :-)


  15. Lisa @ Simple Pairings on March 25, 2014 at 6:54 am

    Happy Birthday!! What a fabulous cake you have to celebrate the occasion. That ganache looks to die for – you had me at the lead photograph. Looks so beautiful. Wishing you a wonderful day!


  16. Theresa M on March 25, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Happy Birthday! You are still in the first quarter of your life and 34 is just a number. Eat cake! Especially if it is this one! Enjoy your day!


  17. Tammy on March 25, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Happy Birthday!!!! This cake looks fabulous !!!I I want it for my birthday!!!


  18. Tammy on March 25, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Happy Birthday Michelle!!!I think you have made the Best Cake ever!!!Enjoy!!!!


  19. nancy k on March 25, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Happy, Happy Birthday, Michelle. I am well past your age but 34 was one of those years that I would like to go back to…just a really good, peaceful, happy time in my life. Actually, I really loved all of my 30’s. Enjoy this day and that super delicious cake.


  20. Connie Lee on March 25, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Happy Birthday today, and that is a very delicious looking cake you have!


  21. Ellen on March 25, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Beautiful cake! Looks delicious and it should help enhance your very special day. Happy Birthday!


  22. Reshana on March 25, 2014 at 8:05 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Everything of the best and don’t worry about your age. You really don’t look it :) Thanks for the recipe. It looks amazing! Hope you had tons of birthday cake x


  23. Faye on March 25, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Happy Birthday Michelle, this cake looks epic!!! Have a fabulous day :)


  24. Kirsten G. on March 25, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Happy Birthday! Enjoy your cake!


  25. Jessica on March 25, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Happiest Birthday to YOU!! Have the best day! With this cake, how can you not?! It just shot to the top of the list for my birthday cake in July.


  26. Linda Jean on March 25, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Happy Birthday!!! Awesome cake. I’m saving it for my daughter’s birthday – she’s 21 one this year and adores peanutbutter and chocolate. Can’t wait to surprise her in July!


  27. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on March 25, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Happy Birthday!!!!! Your cake is the perfect way to celebrate your birthday! I would LOVE one of these cakes for my b-day! It looks just amazing!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy your day!!!


  28. Regina on March 25, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Happy Birthday! I really enjoy your recipes. I can almost taste that birthday cake, pictures are awesome


  29. Terri on March 25, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Happy Birthday! Beautiful cake. Enjoy your day and dessert and ‘Lets Go Pens!’


  30. Brandy Yekel on March 25, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Happy Birthday!!!!! This cake looks RICULOUSLY AMAZING!!!!!!!!
    I am 34 years old as well… I will be 35 in September… I think the exact same way as you….. My parents had a 15 and a 10 year old at 34…. I have 3 dogs and a mortgage. LOL!!!!
    Hope you have a great day! Go Pens!


  31. Elisa on March 25, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Happy birthday! That cake looks scary good! Enjoy


  32. Maria on March 25, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Happy birthday!! This cake looks like I need to eat it RIGHT NOW. And no, not mid-30’s yet 😉


  33. cookienurse on March 25, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Happy Birthday! Love, love, love your blog and the cake looks incredibly scrumptious!! God bless you~Enjoy!!


  34. Tamara H on March 25, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Happy Birthday Michelle! I totally understand the comparison making between self and mom. My mom…got married on her 16th birthday and had my brother the next year the day before her 17th birthday. My brother made her a grandma @ age 38. (And my parents are still happily married…how awesome is that???) Me…I got married at 40 and miraculously became a 1st time mommy at 43. We all have to live our lives within the windows of opportunity that our life presents. I have pegged myself “the late bloomer”! Enjoy and no, I won’t tell you that you’ve hit the mid-thirties…LOL!


  35. Claudia on March 25, 2014 at 9:31 am

    None of my birthdays bothered me quite as much as when I turned 44. I realized I’d been married half my life and had two sons, one in his 20’s. Happy Birthday. Age is a relative thing anyway. I had a birthday 3 weeks ago and I’m not way over the hill!!!


  36. Betsy Harner on March 25, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Happy birthday, Michelle!!!! Well, let me just say… are a mere baby, and not yet in your mid-thirities. I just turned 60-the new 40. That is my story and by golly-I am sticking to it! The cake looks……I don’t have words!!! Enjoy your special day!


  37. Janice on March 25, 2014 at 9:36 am



  38. Zainab @ Blahnik Baker on March 25, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Happy Happy Birthday!!! Hope you have a wonderful day and year!! And no way you are in your mid-thirties yet. This cake is perfect for celebration and can’t wait to try.


  39. Graham @ Glazed & Confused on March 25, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Nooooo! Don’t even tempt me like this.
    Peanut butter + chocolate is my absolute weakness. I can only imagine how amazing this cake is!
    Happy Birthday!


  40. Michael R. on March 25, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Dear Michelle, just tell everyone you’re celebrating the 13th anniversary of your 21st birthday :)
    (I’m on my 35th anniversary)


  41. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on March 25, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Oh my word, this cake is one of the most beautiful things I have seen!!!! It looks so delicious!!!


  42. Monica on March 25, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Happy Birthday Michelle! That looks so damn good. Enjoy your day that will be filled with joy any way you can get it.


  43. Jen of My Tiny Oven on March 25, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Happy Birthday! This cake looks amazing! Not only beautiful but yummy too!


  44. Aileen on March 25, 2014 at 10:53 am

    OH MY! WHAT A CAKE! I’m making the snickers one right now, and I would absolutely change it for this one if peanut butter cups were sold here.
    Happy B-day BEB you’re the best! And don’t worry according to my mum until 50 you’re still very very young haha 😉


  45. Pieliekamais on March 25, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Happy Birthday, Michelle!
    The cake looks amazing, and 34 is definitely early 30s.
    Hope you have a sweet day!


  46. Jeannine on March 25, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Happy Birthday Michelle!!
    My birthday is in 3 days and, as the baker of the family, I think you’ve given me the PERFECT cake to bake! I’m totally crazy about peanut butter & chocolate. Hope your 34th is wonderful! :)


    • shobelyn on March 25th, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      I cannot believe we have the same birthday. Michelle, happy birthday. I pray for good health and blessings to you. And more delectable desserts to come.


  47. Kelly on March 25, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Happy Birthday!! I can’t think of a better birthday cake to celebrate with! This looks delicious; I will definitely be trying this!


  48. Dana on March 25, 2014 at 11:25 am

    That is a dream of a cake! I can’t imagine anything more fantastic.
    May your day be everything you wish for and more! Happy birthday, Michelle!


  49. Lori Becerra Fahey on March 25, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Happy Birthday you young pretty “Girl” Enjoy your youth and just revel in it. Age is only a number. It is how you feel inside that reveals your true age. I turned 60 this year and still feel like a 16 year old girl. Never stop laughing, having fun and being a free spirit. As for this incredible cake…out of this world and I can’t wait to try it. Peanut butter and chocolate are heaven on earth!


  50. Lori on March 25, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Michelle, happy birthday! Enjoy and remember age is just a number. Great looking cake…..I want piece!


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