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A slice of peanut butter and chocolate cake, made of three layers with a peanut butter filling, on a small beige plate.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Layer Cake

A super moist and rich chocolate cake with a peanut butter filling and a chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Calories 1008kcal
Author Ella


  • 3 x 8" pans



  • 1 ½ cups hot coffee
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 ¾ cups flour
  • 3 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

Peanut Butter Filling

  • ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 ½ tablespoon golden syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar sifted

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 8 ounces dark chocolate melted and room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 ⅓ cups unsalted butter room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar



  • Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Grease 3 8-inch cake pans with butter, then line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • Combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment. Set aside. In a large jug, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
  • While the mixer is on low speed, slowly pour in the wet ingredients. While mixer is till running, slowly add the coffee and mix. Your batter will be very thin.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
  • Allow the cakes to cool completely before removing from pans.

Swiss Meringue Frosting

  • Fill a medium saucepan with an inch of water and bring to boil. Combine the sugar, salt, cream of tartar and egg whites in a large mixing bowl (if you have a stand mixer, you'll want to use that bowl), set the bowl above the simmering water.
  • Heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar dissolves. The mixture will go from a yellowy, granular substance to white and opaque, this takes about 5 minutes. Using a thermometer, it should read 115°F. If you don't have a thermometer, when you pull the whisk up feel the mix with your fingers – if it is no longer grainy then it is ready for the next step.
  • Put the bowl into your stand mixer with a whisk attachment and beat on medium-high until you get a stiff, glossy meringue – about 8-10 minutes. You'll want to be beating the mixture until the bowl is completely cool.
  • Add butter one piece at a time, allowing it to incorporate fully, while still at medium-high speed. This should take 8-12 minutes. When you've added all the butter and the mixture looks smooth, slowly pour in the chocolate. Give it one final mix using a rubber spatula to make sure all of the chocolate is incorporated.

Peanut Butter Filling

  • Add all of the ingredients except the icing sugar in a large bowl and mix using a hand held mixer. Mix until pale and creamy, 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the icing sugar a little at a time, beating well between each addition.


Kosher Salt:  if you don't have kosher salt and only have fine salt, halve the amount of salt needed. 1 teaspoon kosher salt = ½ teaspoon fine salt
Butter: I use European style butter, like Kerry Gold, in my recipes. This makes it much creamier and richer.
Scale: I highly recommend using a scale for your baking, it will be much more accurate. 
The peanut butter frosting is adapted from Serious Eats
The cake is adapted from Ina Garten


Calories: 1008kcal | Carbohydrates: 107g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 63g | Saturated Fat: 40g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 793mg | Potassium: 441mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 75g | Vitamin A: 983IU | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 5mg