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Piece of moist peanut butter layer cake

The Best Peanut Butter Cake

This peanut butter cake is the perfect recipe for true peanut butter lovers! With layers of moist and tender cake that's infused with peanut butter and creamy peanut butter frosting - it's surprisingly not too sweet and has the most delicious peanut butter flavor.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Peanut Butter Cake, Peanut Butter Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting, Peanut Butter Layer Cake
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 10 slices
Calories 858kcal


  • Two 8-inch round cake pans (with high sides)*


Peanut Butter Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (250 grams)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil (180 ml) canola oil works too
  • 1 ½ cups light brown sugar (300 grams) or ¾ cup dark brown sugar and ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup smooth peanut butter (180 grams)
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • cup sour cream (80 ml) room temperature
  • ¾ cup milk (180 ml) room temperature

Peanut Butter Frosting

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter (170 grams) softened but still slightly firm to the touch
  • 2 ounces cream cheese (56 grams) full-fat, brick style
  • ¾ cup peanut butter (180 grams)
  • 3 ½ -4 ½ cups powdered sugar (420 - 540 grams)
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream (15-30 ml) if needed


Peanut Butter Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350F (180C or 160C fan-forced).
  • Line the bottom of two 8-inch round cake pans with baking paper. Lightly grease and flour the sides. Be sure that the sides of the pans are at least 2 inches (5 cm). See recipe notes for pan size options.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Beat together the oil, light brown sugar and peanut butter in a very large bowl.
  • Mix in the eggs and vanilla extract. Stop mixing once you no longer see pieces of egg.
  • Using a hand-held metal whisk, whisk in the sour cream.
  • Whisk in about ½ of the flour mixture (again, whisking by hand).
  • Carefully whisk in the milk.
  • Whisk in the rest of the flour mixture until combined. Stop mixing once combined.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared pan. Bake both on the middle rack of the oven for about 28-33 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and you see the edges starting to pull away from the pan.
  • Cool the cakes fully.

Peanut Butter Frosting

  • In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth.
  • Mix in the cream cheese, followed by the peanut butter.
  • Starting with the mixer on a low speed, beat in about 2 cups of powdered sugar.
  • Mix in the rest of the powdered sugar about ½ cup at a time until the desired sweetness is reached. If the frosting seems too thick, beat in 1-2 tablespoons of cream, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Assembling the Cake

  • Ensure the cake layers are fully cooled before assembling the cake.
  • If the tops of your cakes are domed, use a serrated knife to gently saw off the rounded tops.
  • Place 1 cake layer bottom side up on the plate or cake stand that you plan to serve it on.
  • Frost the top with about ⅓ of the frosting.
  • Place the second cake layer on top, with the bottom facing up.
  • Frost a thin layer of frosting around the sides to seal in any crumbs. Optionally, place the cake in the fridge for 20-30 minutes for the frosting to firm up.
  • Frost the sides and top with swirls of peanut butter frosting. Optionally, top the cake with peanut butter cups.


  1. Pan Sizes: If you do not have 8-inch (20 cm) round pans with 2 inch (5 cm) sides, you can alternatively use:
    • two 9-inch (23 cm) round pans - bake time 22-25 minutes at 350F
    • three 8-inch (20 cm) round pans with 1.5 inch sides - bake time 22-25 minutes at 350F
  2. Light Brown Sugar: Feel free to substitute with ¾ cup dark brown sugar and ¾ cup granulated sugar. Do not use entirely granulated sugar - it won't provide the moisture and flavor that's needed.
  3. Peanut Butter: Be sure to use smooth, commercially prepared peanut butter in the cake batter and frosting. Natural or homemade peanut butter can separate and will not provide the proper consistency. 
  4. Cream Cheese: The cream cheese can be substituted with an additional ¼ cup butter (for a total of 1 cup). The frosting will be slightly sweeter. 
  5. Storage: Store leftovers covered at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 4 days. If your kitchen is warm, then I recommend storing in the fridge and letting the cake sit on the counter for about 30 minutes to come to room temperature before enjoyig. 
  6. Make Ahead Tips: Cake layers can be baked the day before. Cool fully, then wrap in plastic and store in an airtight container. Make the frosting and assemble the cake the day you plan to serve. 
  7. Nutrition: Details provided are an estimate only and based on 1 slice of cake with frosting, assuming all the frosting is used and the cake is sliced into 10 equal pieces. 


Calories: 858kcal | Carbohydrates: 105g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 269mg | Potassium: 328mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 82g | Vitamin A: 682IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 2mg