Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake


  • 2 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • Pinch salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8 mini dark chocolate peanut butter cups, chopped

  • 6 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 12 mini dark chocolate peanut butter cups, quartered


1 _ For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Light coat two 9-inch cake pans with nonstick spray or butter and lightly flour. Set aside.

2 _ Place the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Pour the hot milk over the mixture and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate mixture for 20 minutes.

3 _ In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a hand or stand mixer on medium speed, add cooled chocolate mixture, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix together until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.

4 _ Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

5 _ Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and allow to cool completely on wire rack. If needed, slice off the tops of the cakes to make them level.

6 _ For the frosting: While the cake cools, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, salt, and vanilla together until smooth. On low speed, mix in the confectioners’ sugar until just incorporated, followed by the vanilla and cream. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip until light and very fluffy, about 4 minutes.. Add more powdered sugar or heavy cream if necessary to reach desired consistency.

7 _ Remove 1/4 of the frosting into a small bowl and stir in the mini peanut butter cups.

8 _ One the cakes are cool, place one onto a cake plate. Spread the layer of peanut butter cup-frosting on top followed by the second cake. Frost the entire cake with remaining frosting.

9 _ For the ganache: Place the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a metal bowl. Microwave heavy cream for 1 minute or until it starts to boil and pour over chocolate chips. Cover bowl with saran wrap for 5-7 minutes. Whisk until smooth, allow to sit for a few minutes until it starts to thicken, then pour over the top of the cake. Decorate with remaining chopped peanut butter cups.