Peanut Butter Cake

published Mar 2, 2022
Peanut Butter Cake Recipe

PSA: this rich and fluffy cake can make a believer out of any peanut butter skeptic.

Serves18 to 24

Makes1 (9x13-inch) cake

Prep20 minutes

Cook35 minutes

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peanut butter cake with light brown icing and chopped peanuts
Credit: Laura Rege

The tenderness of this nutty peanut butter cake is absolutely irresistible. Couple that with a sweet and tangy peanut butter cream cheese frosting and you have a flavor-packed treat that’s a peanut butter-lover’s dream.

Because peanut butter is a snack of choice for many, we decided to divvy this cake up into small snacking-size pieces — 24 slices, to be exact — but it can be sliced into bigger slices if you prefer. 

How to Make Peanut Butter Cake

This peanut butter cake is incredibly simple to make. Whisk the dry ingredients to make sure they are well-combined and not lumpy, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, beat in the eggs and peanut butter, and finally, beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. 

What Type of Peanut Butter Goes in Peanut Butter Cake?

Use creamy peanut butter, such as Jif or Skippy, in both the cake and the frosting. Avoid natural peanut butter for this recipe, which can separate or give the cake a tougher consistency.

How to Store Peanut Butter Cake

Store extra peanut butter cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Credit: Laura Rege

Best Frosting for Peanut Butter Cake

Double down on peanut butter like we do here, by using our cream cheese peanut butter frosting. You also can’t go wrong with a regular vanilla, chocolate, or a fruit-flavored frosting like strawberry.

Peanut Butter Cake Recipe

PSA: this rich and fluffy cake can make a believer out of any peanut butter skeptic.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes

Makes 1 (9x13-inch) cake

Serves 18 to 24

Nutritional Info


  • 2 1/2 sticks

    (10 ounces) unsalted butter, divided

  • 8 ounces

    cream cheese

  • Cooking spray

  • 1 3/4 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1/3 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 3

    large eggs

  • 2 cups

    creamy peanut butter, divided

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup

    sour cream

  • 2 cups

    powdered sugar

  • 1/2 cup

    cocktail peanuts


  1. Place 1 1/2 sticks of the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Place the remaining 1 stick unsalted butter and 8 ounces cream cheese in a large bowl. Let everything sit at room temperature until softened, about 1 hour.

  2. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line with a parchment paper sling, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the long sides. Coat parchment paper with cooking spray.

  3. Place 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

  4. Add 1 cup granulated sugar and 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar to the bowl with the 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter. Beat with the paddle attachment on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in 3 large eggs one at a time, beating each addition until combined before adding the next.

  5. Add 2/3 cup of the creamy peanut butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and beat on medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture and 1/2 cup sour cream and beat on the lowest until just combined, about 1 minute. Transfer the batter to the baking pan and spread out into an even layer, going all the way to the edges of the pan.

  6. Bake until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 30 to 34 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack.

  7. Add the remaining 1 1/3 cups creamy peanut butter and 2 cups powdered sugar to the bowl with the butter and cream cheese. Beat with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. (Alternatively, clean and dry the bowl and paddle of the stand mixer and beat in there instead.)

  8. Grasping the parchment, lift the cake slab onto a serving platter. Remove and discard parchment. Spread the frosting all over the top of the cake.

  9. Coarsely chop 1/2 cup cocktail peanuts by hand. (Alternatively, place the peanuts in a plastic zip-top bag and seal the bag. Roll a rolling pin over the peanuts until coarsely crushed.) Sprinkle the peanuts around the border of the frosted cake before slicing and serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.