Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

  • Author: Lisa @ This Pilgrim Life



  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup melted chocolate morsels



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift the flour twice through a stainless steel mesh strainer or flour sifter. Combine the sifted flour with the cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. Crack the eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the applesauce and turn the mixer on to medium-low speed. Carefully add half the flour mixture, then half the coffee. Let the flour and coffee incorporate, then add the remaining flour and coffee. Mix for one to two more minutes until the cake batter is smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the melted chocolate to the batter. Mix for just one more minute, then turn the mixer off.
  4. Grease two 9-inch cake pans, then place a circle of parchment in the bottom (you can buy these ready to go, or cut them yourself). Dust the cake pans with a light layer of flour. Evenly distribute the cake batter between the two pans. Tap the pans gently on the counter once or twice to release any air pockets.
  5. Bake the cake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed slightly.
  6. Let the cakes cool for ten minutes in the pans, then carefully flip them out of the pans and let them finish cooling completely on a wire cooling rack.
  7. MAKE THE ICING: Add the softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat at medium speed until light and creamy, about 3-4 minutes. Add a pinch of kosher salt to the butter while it mixes. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer back on to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Increase the speed to medium, and add the peanut butter and cream. Continue mixing for two to three more minutes until the peanut butter is well-incorporated and the icing is light and airy.
  8. Remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cakes. Place one cake on a serving plate and top it with half of the icing, gently spreading it across the top of the cake but not down the sides. Place the second cake on top of the icing, slightly pressing down to help it stay in place. Top the cake with the remaining icing, again gently spreading it across the top but not down the sides.
  9. (Optional) Finely chop a couple tablespoons of chocolate and sprinkle it across the top of the cake.
  10. Refrigerate the cake at least two hours before serving.