Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

April 03, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

Happy 50th post!:) I'm so excited to see my little blog grow:) To celebrate I have chosen an extraordinary cake recipe to share with you today. This decadent peanut butter chocolate cake has been a favourite of mine for over three years. I have slightly modified Nava Atlas's Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cake because I'm not a fan of chocolate chips and wanted a layered cake with lots of frosting. For those of you who don't already know, Nava is a famous author of vegan and vegetarian cooking books, an artist and the host of VegKitchen, a wonderful website that features an impressive collection of vegan recipes.

The cake couldn't be simpler to make and you don't have to be a peanut butter fan to love it. There is peanut butter in the cake, and there is more peanut butter in the frosting, but don't worry, it's not as heavy as it sounds:) I usually make it as a 3-layer but you can also find below a picture of the 2-layer version.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

The cake is quite dense and has a wonderful nutty flavour, both from the peanut butter and whole wheat flour. For this reason serving it with a glass of your favourite vegan milk is a great way to enjoy it. The peanut butter chocolate frosting is rich, silky, creamy and absolutely delicious, and after resting in the fridge for a while it gets a melt-in-the-mouth consistency. You can plain-frost the cake and have a casual dessert or play around with the decorations and turn it into a fabulous special occasion centrepiece. I couldn't tell you how long it keeps, as this cake never made it to the following day:)

And here is the magic recipe:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake (courtesy of Nava Atlas)

Dry Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (I prefer the type that has bits of bran in it, that makes a big difference in texture)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (aluminium-free)
  • 1/3 cup unrefined caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Sift the flour into a bowl, add back the remaining bran, add the other ingredients and mix well.

Wet Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup creamy, smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (I like Bramley applesauce for its slightly tart taste)
  • 1/2 cup soy milk (or another type of non-dairy milk)
Mix peanut butter and applesauce in a bowl, add the milk and mix well (picture 1 above)

Note: I've used different types of applesauce, some with more sauce and just a few bits of apple, others with more apple pieces and less sauce. You basically need just the sauce but a few bits of apple make the texture and taste even better.

Note: The measuring cups I use are 250 ml (1 cup), 125 ml (1/2 cup) and 80 ml (1/3 cup).

Note: A 450 g peanut butter jar is enough for the whole cake.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In a bowl mix well the wet and dry ingredients (picture 2 above).
  3. Divide the batter into 3 equal parts (I had only two tins so I first baked two layers and then the third).
  4. Lightly oil 2 x 7" (18 cm) sandwich tins (you can also cut 2 circles of parchment paper and line the bottom of the tins after greasing them).
  5. Pour the batter into the tins and use the back of a spoon to even out the surface as much as you can.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes until they start to pull away from the side and the top turns slightly golden. A toothpick inserted in a few places should come out clean.
  7. Remove the tins onto wire racks. After 5 minutes carefully remove the cake layers from their tins and place them on the wire racks to cool completely. If you're using parchment paper, peel it off after taking the cake out of the tin. Use one tin to bake the third layer.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosting
  • 1 cup creamy, smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 75 g vegan chocolate (60%)
  • about 1/2 cup soy milk (light coconut milk and almond milk work great too), divided

Chocolate ganache: In a double boiler melt the chocolate cut into small pieces with 3 Tb milk (a simple way is a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, water not touching the bottom of the bowl). Set aside for a couple of minutes to cool (picture 3 above).
In a bowl mix peanut butter (picture 4 above) and icing sugar, add the chocolate ganache and another 3 Tb milk and incorporate. Start adding milk (about 1/3 cup) until you get a thick yet easily spreadable consistency.

Divide it into three and frost the layers, the top and the sides.
Place the cake in the fridge for one hour, remove and either slice and serve right away or decorate it first.
Note: There isn't much liquid in the cream, so the longer it stays in the fridge, the harder the cream will get and the texture won't be that great. One hour is just enough.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

I used some chocolate ganache and lemon drizzle to decorate it.

For the lemon drizzle you only need about 1/3 cup icing sugar to which you add a few drops of lemon juice until you get a thick but runny consistency. Create circles on top and let it drip on the sides. You can also use water or orange juice instead of lemon juice.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

For the chocolate ganache you need 50 g chocolate, 2 Tb milk and 2 Tb agave nectar (or maple syrup), melt together in a double boiler, remove and keep stirring with a wooden spoon until it has a thick consistency and doesn't spread when drawing lines. If you're not used to decorating with chocolate ganache, just draw a couple of test lines until you get the right consistency. When ready, create circles between the lemon drizzle circles and again let some drip over the edges.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

If you choose to make a 2-layer cake, for the frosting use 1/2-3/4 cup peanut butter, 50 g chocolate, 1/3 cup icing sugar and add less milk.

I hope you like this cake as much as I do. Enjoy and spread the magic:)

A lot of time, effort and passion goes into each recipe I post. My greatest satisfaction comes from your feedback. If you made this recipe, then please take a minute of your time to leave a comment below. And if you like it, please share it so that others have access to it as well. Thank you all in advance!



Oh you just made Mikey's day. This is our Easter dessert!


This looks AMAZING! Can't wait to try it :-) thanks for sharing!

Vegan Magic

Mikey knows a great cake when he sees it:)) I guess on Easter he'll want dessert first;) I know I would:)

Vegan Magic

I'm so happy you like it Gayle and I'm sure you'll love it:) Enjoy!


Wow, this looks mind blowing! Going back to read the details! :-)

Great blog, btw!

Daniela, Victoria, TX (Si eu sunt romanca, si vegan in devenire! :-) )

Vegan Magic

Hi Danielle and thank you so much for your comment, I am thrilled that you like the blog and this recipe in particular - it's one of the best I've ever made. And congratulations on your decision!:) The vegan lifestyle is so rewarding, best decision I've made. (trimite-mi te rog un mesaj cu mail-ul tau prin pagina de contact, am multe sa-ti spun;) )

Queen Bee

Thank you so much for this recipe! I made this for my husband's birthday - used orange juice for the icing instead of lemon. Great recipe! Will look forward to reading more. :)

Vegan Magic

This sure is a great cake for such an occasion:) Happy Birthday to your husband and thank you very much for the feedback. I'm so happy that you enjoyed this cake:)


As a long standing vegan I tend not to eat many sweet things anyway but my husband wanted to make me a birthday cake this year and found your recipe. This cake was/is amazing! It was so moist and delicious and I used some coconut cream to top it when it was served and I actually had 2 enormous pieces of it and that was after some amazing veggie burgers that he managed to compile as well. Thank you so much for giving us this recipe. It truly was the "icing on the cake" for this vegan's birthday :)

Vegan Magic

Hi there:) Happy Birthday! I hope you had a fabulous celebration. Thank you so much for the feedback, this has made my day! The cake is fit for a birthday and I'm so happy to see that more and more visitors choose it:) That reminds me I have a special occasion coming up and I haven't made it in a good while. I'll try the coconut cream for serving too, it sounds great:) Like you, I cannot stop at one slice, it's just so good:)

PS Congratulations on having such a loving husband who'd go the extra mile to make your birthday so special:) On the next occasion he could make you the Orange cake with a heart of chocolate, you'll love it;)


Aw, your comment about each recipe taking you a lot of time touched me, so I'll post my feedback. I used a combination of 3 recipes, because I wanted a peanut butter chocolate cake, and yours fit the p.b. part of the deal. What few crumbs I've had taste great! It's also being served for my birthday dinner, as another poster mentioned, but I'm in China, so you can be happy this recipe is making its way across the world! :-) Thanks!

Vegan Magic

Jane, thank you so much for coming back to leave your feedback, I greatly appreciate it. So happy you enjoyed the cake. Happy Birthday...and happy eating:)


I am making this for my birthday too!!! If I made it without the lemon drizzle do you think I'd miss the lemon dimension in the taste? I do love lemon with things but I can't decide whether to do it! Is it just as tasty without?

Vegan Magic

Hi, so sorry for the late reply, your comment went to the wrong folder. The lemon drizzle does add a bit of freshness but the cake is amazing without it.

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