Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cake

Peanut butter cup brownie cake, a.k.a. the richest thing I have ever made. 

There’s no doubt in my mind, this cake will feed a crowd! Just a small slice will satisfy the biggest chocolate-peanut butter craving. Those of you who have made the homemade version of Reece’s peanut butter eggs (popular at Easter-time) may find the recipe for the peanut butter layers very familiar.  

Oh yes, I did.

The brownie layers are very moist and dense, and just a small amount of lightly sweet chocolate frosting holds it all together.

One recommendation? Serve with a tall glass of milk.  Or many.

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cake

Yield: One 9-inch cake; serves approximately 25-30 

                                                                                                                  [click for printable recipe]

Make this cake for family reunions and large gatherings- it serves many!  It’s richness can be cut with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  You can also half the recipe for the peanut butter layers.

My husband loves a slice of this heated in the microwave with a scoop of ice cream on top. 

Brownie layers:

1 1/2 cups butter

6 ounces unsweetened baker’s chocolate, chopped

3 cups granulated sugar

5 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter
    and chocolate; stir until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in sugar.
    Add eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition.  Whisk in vanilla, flour, salt and baking soda.
  2. Pour into three greased and floured 9-inch round baking
    pans. Bake at 350° for 23-25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a
    wire rack to cool completely.  Wrap in
    plastic wrap or store in air-tight containers until needed.

 Peanut butter
layers:

6 cups powdered sugar

2 cups creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup (maybe more) heavy cream

  1. Mix together the powdered sugar, peanut butter and melted
    butter in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mixture will be crumbly.  Add cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the
    mixture becomes a consistent workable dough. 
    It should not be crumbly or stick to your fingers.  The mixture should hold together easily when
    a small amount is squeezed tight in the palm of your hand.
  2. Divide the dough into two even portions.  Spray one (or two if you have them) 9-inch spring-form
    pans with cooking spray or line two 9-inch pans with parchment rounds.  Press peanut butter dough into the bottom of
    the pans evenly, forming the peanut butter layers.  Turn the layers out onto two cookie sheets
    and place in freezer until frozen solid.

Chocolate frosting:

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. espresso powder

  1. Beat softened butter and powdered sugar together in the bowl
    of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat
    again until creamy.  Add cocoa powder and
    vanilla extract; beat well.  Add espresso
    powder and beat for 1-2 minutes longer until thoroughly incorporated.

(Note: I use King Arthur espresso powder, but you could substitute finely ground instant coffee)

Assembly:

8 peanut butter cups, each cut in half

3 tsp. chocolate shavings

Pearlized gold crystal sugar *optional

  1. Remove peanut butter layers from the freezer.  Thinly frost a brownie layer and top with a
    peanut butter layer; frost peanut butter layer and top with a brownie
    layer.  Repeat steps until all layers are
    frosted and stacked.  Thinly frost the entire
    cake.  Pipe 11 frosting rosettes around
    the top edge of the cake with a large French piping tip; pipe one rosette in
    the middle of the cake.  Top each rosette
    on the outer edge of the cake with a peanut butter cup half.  Place four peanut butter cup halves, fanned,
    on the middle rosette.  Sprinkle top of
    cake with chocolate shavings. 
  2. If using the gold sugar, place the cake (on the cake
    stand or serving platter) in a clean kitchen sink and toss sprinkles onto the
    sides of the cake.   Sprinkle a little on
    top of the cake, too. Keep cake covered tightly in plastic wrap to prevent loss
    of moisture.
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Cupcake Crazy Gem
Cupcake Crazy Gem
9 years ago

Oh my actual goodness!! drooling at my screen here, this looks out of this world amazing! Your photos are so gorgeous too! You are one very talented baker!

Rosa's Yummy Yums
Rosa's Yummy Yums
9 years ago

OMG, that cake is absolutely after my heart!!! I'm such a sucker for that flavor combination.

Cheers,

Rosa xx

Jennifer @ Not Your Momma's Cookie
Jennifer @ Not Your Momma's Cookie
9 years ago

WOW – this looks incredible!

The BearFoot Baker
The BearFoot Baker
9 years ago

I think I just when to Chocolate & Peanut butter heaven!

cookies and cups
cookies and cups
9 years ago

Yes, this is major. Mayyyy-jarrrrrr!

cookies and cups
cookies and cups
9 years ago

Yes, this is major. Mayyyy-jarrrrrr!

Heather
Heather
9 years ago

Now that, my friend, is scientific mass. Poetry and science in one. It's gorgeous, too.

marla
marla
9 years ago

Oh Heather!!! This seriously might be one of the most fabulous cakes I have ever seen.

Averie @ Averie Cooks
Averie @ Averie Cooks
9 years ago

Heather this is just absolutely stunning AND those layers and I love PB cups and I love how you shot it INSIDE that cupboard (holy lighting challenges with shadows and dark patches – and you didn't miss a beat – you're so talented!!!)

Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking
Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking
9 years ago

Oh! My! Goodness! This cake looks insanely delicious! I love chocolate and peanut butter and this cake is definitely made by my tooth cravings

Stephanie
Stephanie
9 years ago

Holy. Heck. This looks AMAZING. Definitely super decadent, but what a treat. I'll have to give this one a try the next time a big party pops up. Thanks for sharing!

Maggie @ A Bitchin Kitchen
Maggie @ A Bitchin Kitchen
9 years ago

It is just not fair that I'm looking at this and can't have any! This looks amazing!

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

This is pure and simple chocolate peanut butter heaven!! I love that there's no fancy frills to the recipe but it still looks so beautiful and artistic. I know a lot of people who'd love this cake. 🙂

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

7 sticks of butter…HOLY CRAP!!!!!

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
9 years ago

It's a big cake.

Tiffany
Tiffany
9 years ago

Great now I am craving peanut butter cups and brownies before 9am.

Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray
Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray
9 years ago

…my jaw is on the floor. I think that if someone made this cake for me, I would never ask for anything else again, ever.

Can I be in love with a cake? Is that possible?

bridget {bake at 350}
bridget {bake at 350}
9 years ago

Oh, Heather! Oh, Heather! Oh, Heather!

Oh my goodness. I have no more words. I'm hypnotized by that cake!!!

Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes
Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes
9 years ago

Woah.
Woah.
Woah.
Woah.
This cake is blowing my mind and winning my heart all at once. Your photos, as always, are gorgeous, and I just know I need this cake in my life. Like, NOW.

Suzy
Suzy
9 years ago

Holy CRAP that looks amazing…I could only hope to make one half as gorgeous as yours!!!

María
María
9 years ago

Un verdadero espectaculo de tarta, mas que divina. Besicos

Sandra Lee
Sandra Lee
9 years ago

You are killing me girl!!!!

Colleen
Colleen
9 years ago

Oh YUMMY! There goes my diet right out the window. I'm going have to walk a few extra miles after eating a slice of this.
I don't even want to think how many calories there are in just 1 slice.
Heck with it; enjoy it today and worry about it tomorrow :}
ColleenB.

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
9 years ago

I saw this all over Pinterest today. It looks amazing! Chocolate and peanut butter is a classic combination for a reason 🙂

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

Not that I don't love your recipes and photos, but I would've bookmarked this even if I hadn't read beyond the title. The recipe and photos just made it that much more certain that everyone in my household will be undergoing a massive sugar rush for the next, oh, 22 hours or so (assuming the cake lasts that long). Thanks for sharing!

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

This sounds delicious and looks amazing! I was wondering if the espresso powder in the icing gives it a coffee flavor?

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

This has to be the most perfect cake I could imagine! Pinning it immediately and making asap. Yum!

Tiffany
Tiffany
9 years ago

Oh my, oh my! This is Heaven on a cake platter! And so beautiful, too. Love it.

Nikki @ Tikkido
Nikki @ Tikkido
9 years ago

Wow, this looks spectacular, and incredibly decadent. It might even give my favorite Doboschtorte recipe a run for most-rich. Though I did send a Doboschtorte in to work once with my husband. An uninitiated coworker cut a regular sized slice, took a bite, and exclaimed "Oh my god, this is good! Really good! (bite) Mmm, it's really rich, though. (bite) Uh, REALLY rich. (bite) I might be sick. (bite) I should probably stop eating this."

Anne
Anne
9 years ago

I still think your Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Chocolate Cake Cheesecake "takes the cake" if you you don't mind my pun. I made a half-sized version of that using a brownie as the chocolate cake layer and it was TO DIE FOR!!! I didn't make the ganache frosting, I just poured it over the top of the cake once the chocolate mixture had cooled and thickened a bit. I did make the peanut butter frosting and garnished the top with piped swirls of the frosting and topped each with a peanut butter cup. I think I need to make another… Read more »

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

Oh my god, I think I just gained about 5 lbs. just looking at this cake. It looks so rich and decadent! It's amazing! 🙂

Lexi @ You, Me, and A World to See
Lexi @ You, Me, and A World to See
9 years ago

Oh my goodness…yes times a million!

Amanda
Amanda
9 years ago

W.O.W. That I have no words for. *faint*

ItalianGirlCooks
ItalianGirlCooks
9 years ago

What a beauty…I'm speechless!

Tamara
Tamara
9 years ago

this is really a beautiful cake

SweetSugarBelle
SweetSugarBelle
9 years ago

Lol…every time you post something new I decide it's going to be my next birthday treat…this is it. So far!

Lauren at Keep It Sweet
Lauren at Keep It Sweet
9 years ago

Oh, I so want to make this for my birthday in a couple of weeks:-)

Natalie
Natalie
9 years ago

Oh my golly gosh! That looks like heaven 🙂

Tasha @thatssoyummy
Tasha @thatssoyummy
9 years ago

That looks absolutely sinful! YUMMY!!!!!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
9 years ago

How do you do it?!! I love this! Amazing!

ally
ally
9 years ago

you are the definition of talented. this is so perfect!
xo
http://allykayler.blogspot.ca/

rosettasweettreats
rosettasweettreats
9 years ago

BeAuTiFul! Absolutely BeAuTiFuL!

Salomé
Salomé
9 years ago

Tremenda! Me tomaría un buen trozo con un litro de leche fría por lo menos…. Besos

Christina Marie
Christina Marie
9 years ago

Now that's a cake!! The topping looks incredible. Such an artist! 🙂

I'm having a fun little West Elm GIVEAWAY. Come check it out.
http://www.becauseofmadalene.com/2012/08/wednesday-giveaway.html

Christina

Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)
Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)
9 years ago

So gorgeous and indulgent! My boyfriend actually made me a delicious peanut butter and chocolate cake for my birthday this past month–and this kinda reminds me of it. This is giving me a craving for another one 🙂

Deb
Deb
9 years ago

Absolutely dazzling! A wondrous celebratory cake, perfection for those peanut butter cup lovers! And the rest of us lucky folks who might get a slice!

Suzanne Perazzini
Suzanne Perazzini
9 years ago

You have created a beautiful cake and styled it delightfully.

Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet
Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet
9 years ago

I am mesmerized by the delicious layers on this cake! The topping – be still my heart!

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

this looks so good! you got an amazingly clean cut on the slice! I don't usually like peanut butter cups or peanut butter chocolates but this looks so delicious!!

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

Peanut butter? Chocolate? I'm in!