Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake – Nora Cooks

This Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake is a super moist two-layer cake topped with creamy peanut butter frosting and vegan chocolate ganache. It’s decadent, messy, and rich!

Close up slice of chocolate peanut butter cake on a black plate.

It’s no secret that chocolate and peanut butter are the perfect pairing. Together, they make this vegan chocolate peanut butter cake an out-of-this-world dessert!

In this recipe, my vegan chocolate cake is taken up a notch and decorated with homemade peanut butter frosting and chocolate ganache. Finished with a vegan peanut butter cup on top, this cake is a peanut butter and chocolate lover’s dream!

Why You’ll Love This Peanut Butter Cake

  • Featuring my 5-Star Vegan Chocolate Cake: Best Vegan Chocolate Cake is a 5-star recipe with 1,400 ratings! It’s easy to make in a bowl and has the most decadent chocolate flavor.
  • Out of This World Peanut Butter Frosting: Just when you thought vegan buttercream frosting couldn’t get any butterier, peanut butter is mixed in! It adds just the right amount of nutty, peanut butter flavor to this decadent vegan chocolate cake.
  • A perfect birthday cake: Especially for chocolate peanut butter lovers!
Chocolate peanut butter cake with missing slices on a glass cake plate.

Required components (including substitutions)

  • i am milk – Vegan buttermilk is made by mixing non-dairy milk and vinegar together. Almond milk is the next best option if you don’t have soy milk.
  • Apple cider vinegar Lemon juice and white vinegar will work as alternatives.
  • All purpose flour – I always have the best results with all purpose flour. Head over to the FAQ to learn how to make it with gluten free flour.
  • zinc sugar – Granulated white, cane, or coconut sugar lends texture to the cake, as well as sweetness. I don’t believe the cake would be great without it.
  • Cocoa powder – Use natural cocoa powder, not Dutch process.
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • salt
  • canola oil – Melted coconut oil also works well.
  • apple sauce – It adds a lot of moisture to the cake. You can use 2 flax eggs, whipped aquafaba, or another egg replacer, such as Bob’s Red Mill (2 eggs worth).
  • Vanilla extract
  • boiling hot water – Once you use boiling water on chocolate cake, you’ll never want to use it again. Hot water intensifies the flavor of the chocolate and brings out its hidden flavors. You can even use freshly brewed coffee or espresso as a more flavorful option.
  • Vegan Chocolate Chips – Toss in flour, then fold into cake batter. You can replace them with peanuts for extra nutty flavor.
  • Vegan butter – Base of peanut butter frosting. Make sure it’s softened at room temperature so the frosting comes together easily.
  • Nut butter – Use smooth peanut butter from a fresh jar for best results.
  • powdered sugar – Peanut butter to help sweeten the frosting and add texture.
Chocolate peanut butter cake ingredients in separate white bowls.

How to Make Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Find the full recipe with measurements below on the recipe card.

Make vegan buttermilk by measuring soy milk into a measuring cup, then stir in the vinegar. Set aside for curd.

Next, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

Dry chocolate cake mix in a large white bowl and a whisk.

Now add the oil, applesauce, vanilla and milk/vinegar mixture to the same bowl.

Mix on low speed with an electric mixer until combined. Carefully pour in boiling water while mixing on low speed.

Beat the chocolate cake in a large white bowl.

To finish, fold the flour-coated chocolate chips into the batter.

Pour the cake batter into your prepared cake pan, then bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set the cake layers aside to cool while you make the frosting.

Beat the peanut butter and vegan butter together in a bowl until smooth and creamy. Next, add powdered sugar, soy milk, vanilla and salt, then beat again until fluffy.

Decorate the cooled cake layer with peanut butter frosting, then chocolate ganache. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later. Enjoy!

Use a wooden spoon to fold chocolate chips into the chocolate cake batter.


  • This is a fine chocolate cake and over mixing will knock all the air out of the batter. Just try to mix the ingredients until they are combined with each other.
  • Set out the soy milk, applesauce, and vegan butter on the kitchen counter 30 minutes before making this recipe. This way, they will have a chance to come down to room temperature, giving you better results.
  • I made the cake in two 8-inch round cake pans, however, this recipe makes enough batter for one bundt pan (bake for 45 minutes) and one 9×13 square pan (bake for 35 to 40 minutes).
  • If the frosting seems too thick, you can thin the consistency by stirring in a tablespoon of milk at a time. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar.

Decorating tips

Remember not to use all of the peanut butter frosting to frost the cake. The piped snowflake swirls on top look so divine! To frost the cake:

  1. Spread a layer of frosting over the bottom cake layer.
  2. Place the second layer on top and decorate the top and sides with more frosting.

When completely frosted, release the cake Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This will give the frosting time to harden and cool before pouring the chocolate ganache on top.

You can either leave the frosted cake as is or take it up a notch with vegan chocolate ganache and peanut butter cups:

  1. Make the chocolate ganache, then chill in the fridge so it can thicken and cool.
  2. Spoon the thickened ganache over the cooled cake. Smooth it around the top and sides.
  3. Use a piping bag fitted with a star tip to pipe the peanut butter frosting onto the cake.
  4. To finish, add peanut butter cups, chopped nuts and/or sprinkles on top. Slice and enjoy!
Picking a piece of chocolate peanut butter cake from a whole cake.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can it be gluten free?

For best results, I recommend making my gluten free chocolate cake as the base, then decorating the cake as usual.

Can you use this recipe to make cupcakes?

Yes, this recipe will make about 24 cupcakes. Make the cake batter as usual, then pour it into a lined muffin tin. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

How long will it last?

The frozen and decorated cake is best enjoyed immediately, but you can refrigerate for up to 4 hours before serving. Any leftovers should be covered and stored in the refrigerator.

Can you freeze peanut butter cake?

I don’t recommend freezing decorated cakes, but baked cake layers freeze very well! That said, it’s totally fine to freeze some if you have too much cake. It may not be as pretty once frozen.

Close up slice of chocolate peanut butter cake on a black plate.

Want more peanut butter recipes?

Make the chocolate cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease two 8-inch cake pans. I line them with parchment rounds and lightly flour so the cakes can be easily removed later.

  • Measure 1 cup of soy milk and add a tablespoon of vinegar to it. Stir slightly and keep aside for curd.

  • In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk well to combine.

  • Now add the oil, applesauce, vanilla and milk/vinegar mixture. Mix on medium speed with a hand mixer (or stand mixer with paddle attachment) until well combined.

  • Reduce speed to low and carefully pour in boiling water, whisking into cake batter until combined.

  • Gently fold in the flour-coated chocolate chips.

  • Divide the batter evenly between your cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. After 10 minutes of cooling in the pans, carefully remove the cakes from the pans and let cool completely before frosting.

Make the peanut butter frosting

  • Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the peanut butter and vegan butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy.

  • Add powdered sugar, soy milk, vanilla and optional salt. Beat on low speed at first, then gradually increase to high and beat for 2 minutes until very fluffy.

  • If it seems too thick, add more milk, a few tablespoons at a time. If it gets too cold, add more powdered sugar.

Frost and decorate

  • Frost the cake layers on the middle layer and around and on top of the cake with peanut butter frosting. Spread smooth, then refrigerate for 30 minutes until you plan to use the chocolate ganache. If desired, reserve some to pipe on top of the ganache.

  • Make chocolate ganache, if using. After stirring for 20-30 minutes, let the ganache chill in the refrigerator until it is sufficiently thick and smooth.

  • Spoon the thickened ganache over the cooled cake. Smooth it over the top and around the sides of the cake.

  • Pipe with remaining peanut butter frosting and sprinkle chopped vegan peanut butter cups on top if desired.

  • Serve the cake immediately or chill for 4 hours before serving. Chilling the cake will help the ganache and frosting thicken for prettier slices.

  1. Another milk will work, such as oat, almond or coconut.
  2. You can use lemon juice or white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar.
  3. Do not use natural, drippy peanut butter. Use any stirred creamy peanut butter. Otherwise the frosting may be too runny or perhaps too thick, as natural peanut butter can vary greatly.

Calories: 442kcal | Sugars: 56g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fats: 6g | Monounsaturated fats: 12g | Sodium: 395mg | Potassium: 253mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 449IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2mg

Course: dessert

Recipe: US

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