Chocolate and Peanut Butter Dream Cake*

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Dream Cake  (via

It’s that time of year again – Jorge’s Birthday! And that can only mean one thing…Peanut Butter and Chocolate. I made him Reece’s Pieces Cupcakes for his 29th birthday and last year I made him Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownies for his 30th birthday.

Jorge Birthday Cake 2013

This year I decided he needed a Dream Cake of his very own that was all about chocolate and peanut butter. The very first Dream Cake was the Banana Dream Cake, followed by the Pumpkin Dream Cake and then most recently the Strawberry Dream Cake. What are Dream Cakes? A Dream Cake is a layered cake that is super moist and so good it’s dreamy.

I know that’s a lame answer, but that’s what they are! I absolutely hate dry cake, so I specifically develop cake recipes that are not dry. For this one, it calls for a little butter, a little oil and a whole 2 cups of water! I know it sounds crazy, but I promise this is one of the best chocolate cake recipes ever. Seriously, EVER.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Dream Cake  (via

To try and prove how moist it is to you, I will tell you that my Dad (who doesn’t even really like cake) said that the reason he thinks he hated cake all his life…they were dry! He ate a whole slice of this one (and thats a big deal…especially because it’s so rich) and said he couldn’t believe how moist it is.

And the Birthday Boy? Well he ate two generous slices — one before and after dinner — so I think it was a winner with him too! But then again, how could it not be? It’s a dark chocolate cake made with two types of chocolate and then topped with two layers of frosting that taste like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup when combined…it couldn’t be anything but a winner!

I know the recipe looks very daunting, but it’s not…it is just a lot of directions since there are 3 parts to the cake! It’s actually all very simple when you break it down into the easy steps. The hardest part is waiting for the cake to cool — I promise!


Chocolate & Peanut Butter Dream Cake


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs


  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • about 1 1/2 tablespoons milk


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted


Dark Chocolate Cake:

Preheat oven to 350Ā°F. Butter two 8 inch round cake pans. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine water and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until melted.

Whisk in vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Quickly beat in eggs (do this quickly so they don't cook) into the chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in dry ingredients, until smooth.

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cakes cool in pans until cool to the touch - then frost.


Peanut Butter Frosting:

Cream butter and peanut butter in a stand mixer. Add vanilla and salt. Gradually add powdered sugar, one half cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl as needed.

When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk, one teaspoon at a time, and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Assemble the two cake layers with a thick layer of frosting in between the layers. Then apply a thin crumb coat on the top and sides. Pop cake in the freezer to harden the crumb coat for about 10 minutes.

Apply one final thick and even layer around the outside of the cake. Then prepare the chocolate glaze.


Dark Chocolate Glaze:

Combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla extract in small saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted. Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted.

Remove from heat, add the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Let chocolate glaze sit for 5 minutes until it has cooled slightly and started to thicken just a little bit. Then slowly pour on top and push towards the edges - allowing a little to drizzle over the edge for desired effect.

Let glaze harden for 30 minutes and serve! (To Store: Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.)

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80 Responses to “Chocolate and Peanut Butter Dream Cake”

  1. 1

    Averie @ Averie Cooks — August 1, 2013 @ 12:24 am

    I love how puffy and luscious this cake looks! And PB + choc IS for sure a dream! The pic of Jorge is classic :) And the cake – mmm, so good! I love how the final chocolate layer is almost just hanging onto the PB. So thick and fab!

  2. 2

    Mimi @ Culinary Couture — August 1, 2013 @ 2:05 am

    This is most definitely the cake of my dreams!

  3. 3

    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious — August 1, 2013 @ 2:14 am

    Wow, he’s a lucky guy for sure and dry cake is soooo annoying!

  4. 4

    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — August 1, 2013 @ 7:46 am

    This cake is definitely my dream…but I really need to try your other dream cakes as well. Looks awesome!

  5. 5

    Tieghan — August 1, 2013 @ 9:23 am

    Yes, this cake is a dream!! Mmm, it looks awesome!

  6. 6

    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — August 1, 2013 @ 9:49 am

    Hmm this is definitely a dreamy cake. I have an obsession with chocolate and this is loaded with it.

  7. 7

    Karly — August 1, 2013 @ 11:05 am

    I LOVE cake, but I always always always fail at making them. Even from a box mix. Ugh. I’m totally going to attempt this one though. It looks amazing!!

    Wish me luck?

  8. 8

    Vanessa — August 1, 2013 @ 11:27 am

    This looks so good. I made a chocolate peanut butter cake awhile back for a friend and it was a great combination.

    I am so with you on hating dry cake! I have never understood how people swear by a cake and then I make it and it taste like cornbread! I swear by oil, sour cream to make cakes moist! I LOVE MOIST CAKES! :)))

  9. 9

    Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes — August 1, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

    Wow, does this cake look like, well, A DREAM! I just love the chocolate/peanut butter flavor combo going on. Happy birthday to the birthday boy!

  10. 10

    Nicole — August 1, 2013 @ 12:54 pm

    This looks wonderful. Would it be possible to substitute almond butter for people with peanut allergies. Yes, I know that I shouldn’t be looking at peanut butter dream cakes, but it just looks too tempting to not try. :)

    • Jessica replied: — August 6th, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

      I don’t see why not! If you end up trying it, make sure and come back and let us all know how it works out! šŸ˜‰

  11. 11

    Angie | Big Bear's Wife — August 1, 2013 @ 12:56 pm

    PeanutButter and Chocolate is my hubby’s “go-to” favorite ever flavor! His b-day is coming up soon and this would be perfect

  12. 12

    Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor — August 1, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

    I’m dreaming of eating a slice right now! My husband would love this cake, reeses and any combination of PB and chocolate are his favorite.

  13. 13

    Marcie — August 1, 2013 @ 3:41 pm

    That is one gorgeous, delicious looking cake! I would love a slice!

  14. 14

    Tina | My Life as a Mrs — August 1, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

    you KILL me with these cakes!!!!! this is gorgeous!!! and HAPPY BIRTHDAY JORGE!!!!!

  15. 15

    Joanne — August 1, 2013 @ 6:31 pm

    That does look super crazy incredibly moist! I think I might have to request this for my next birthday!

  16. 16

    Courtney @ BakeMeBetter — August 1, 2013 @ 8:11 pm

    This is going to be my birthday cake this year!

  17. 17

    Zainab — August 1, 2013 @ 11:25 pm

    Wow!! This is dreamy, for lack of a better descriptor. My husband would kill for this because he is always asking for peanut butter cake.

  18. 18

    Donna @ The Slow Roasted Italian — August 2, 2013 @ 12:56 am

    I am a cake gal, but dry cakes are awful. Developing the perfect moist cake recipe is a journey and this is the perfect combination!

  19. 19

    Kiran @ — August 2, 2013 @ 1:44 am

    This is definitely dreamy, alright :)

  20. 20

    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — August 2, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

    Uh, hello wife of the year! This is amazing, Jess.

  21. 21

    Renee @ Awesome on $20 — August 2, 2013 @ 10:45 pm

    This cake is gorgeous. Your husband is a lucky man! I’m thinking I might need to make this for my own birthday this year.

  22. 22

    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — August 4, 2013 @ 12:02 am

    I know what I’m going to be dreaming about tonight!!

  23. 23

    leslie — August 4, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

    Ohhh hellz yeah!!! This sounds amazing!
    Happy Birthday to your hubby!

  24. 24

    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — August 6, 2013 @ 4:45 pm

    That’s my kind of birthday cake!

  25. 25

    ErinsFoodFiles — August 7, 2013 @ 8:36 pm

    Gah! I better be invited to Jorge’s next birthday!

  26. 26

    sadia — August 7, 2013 @ 11:36 pm

    just made this cake – tastes amazing but my glaze kind of separated =(

    • Jessica replied: — August 8th, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

      Oh no! I have never had that happen before. Maybe you could try reheating it next time if it separates. How strange! Glad it was still delicious!

  27. 27

    debbie — August 20, 2013 @ 12:21 am

    OMG……I just have to say that my daughter and I love anything peanut butter and chocolate, but I usually don’t make cakes because they just don’t seem to turn out. We normally stick to brownies or cookies, but we are SOOOOOOOO…..glad that we tried your recipe. It is FABULOUS!! The cake is so moist and chocolatey and there are no words to describe the peanut butter frosting. We doubled the recipe if that tells you anything!!! The ganache was literally the “icing on the cake”. Thank you so much! This is the best cake I have ever made or eaten anywhere, and I have had a lot of cake! We plan on making it again next week!

  28. 28

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  29. 29

    Monica — August 30, 2013 @ 9:21 pm

    Hey Jessica! This cake looks like it could sweep me right off my feet into dream land. I have one question…How does this chocolate cake compare to the Dark Chocolate Marshmallow Cake? Both sound amazing, but I’d like to know what makes each unique or different. Thanks so much!

    • Jessica replied: — September 4th, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

      They are the same chocolate cake base, the big different were the frostings and the chocolate glaze!

  30. 30

    Jill — September 3, 2013 @ 9:29 am

    Hi Jessica! This cake looks amazing! I wanted to make it today for my son’s bday tomorrow but only have 9 inch cake pans. Will that change the cooking time?

    • Jessica replied: — September 4th, 2013 @ 1:46 pm

      It will probably take a few minutes off the baking time. Just keep a close eye on them in the last 5 minutes or so! :-)

  31. 31

    merlene — September 5, 2013 @ 7:16 pm

    Planned on making this cake later in the day and mistakenly bought unsweetened chocolate insetead of dark :( any idea on how I can make the unsweetened work? Was really looking forward to making this

    • Jessica replied: — September 12th, 2013 @ 9:54 pm

      Hi Merlene – I would really recommend using dark and not unsweetened. Unless you add more sugar…but then that could throw the whole cake off. I would just wait until you had some dark chocolate instead!

  32. 32

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  33. 33

    Holly — September 10, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

    Hey I’m really interested in making this cake for my brothers birthday because it looks amazing!! But is it alright to make this cake the night before? I’m just not too sure if I have the time to do it on the day. Would parts like the glaze be better put on the same day? What do you suggest?
    Also i was thinking of adding some mini reece’s pieces to the top. Do you think this would be too much or wouldn’t suit? And would i just sprinkle them on top or put some frosting under them?

    • Jessica replied: — September 12th, 2013 @ 9:55 pm

      The actual cake is definitely fine to make the day before. If you could, I would hold off on frosting completely until the day you actually serve it. If you can’t do that, then I would only put on the peanut butter frosting…and save the chocolate glaze until the day of.

      As for the mini reece’s, I think that is a great idea. I would put them on right after I poured on the glaze. That way the glaze will harden and hold on the reese’s cups!

  34. 34

    Cait — September 11, 2013 @ 7:37 pm

    Could you make the chocolate cake as cupcakes? I don’t know if that would affect the consistency or baking time or anything, but I’m hoping I could do it for a more finger-food friendly gathering!

    • Jessica replied: — September 12th, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

      Yes! They will make great cupcakes! :-)

  35. 35

    Annaliese — October 6, 2013 @ 6:27 pm

    I made this for a dessert auction last night…huge success!! I did add mini reece’s peanut butter cups on top and it was delicious! =)

  36. 36

    Dee — October 23, 2013 @ 10:36 am

    Hi. I made the cake today and had a bit of disastrous results. After about 20 min of baking, it smelled like something was on fire. I opened the oven to see that the cake was pouring over the edges of the pan and dripping onto the floor of the oven. Is it possible that my pans are too small for this recipe? They are standard 8″ cake pans. I measured them. Perhaps they are not deep enough. Can you please tell me how deep your pans are?

    • Jessica replied: — October 28th, 2013 @ 9:59 pm

      Eek! I just measured my pans and they are 2 1/2 inches deep. I feel like they are pretty standard depth, but yours must be much shorter.

      I am sorry you that happened – I hate wasted time/ingredients!

  37. 37

    David — October 24, 2013 @ 12:03 am

    Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for this recipe! I absolutely loved it! I made this cake for a group of 28 people. I more particularly made it for a specific girl who loves chocolate and even more so peanut butter. It was shortly after her birthday. She loved it! And I did as well as the others. I was a bit worried how it would split up to people, but it did well. I didn’t have any 8 inch round pans by had two square 9 inch pans. They worked wonderfully. I tried to take the cake out of the pan a little to early so I lost a small amount of the bottom, but was able o easily mix it in with some of that delicious peanut butter frosting to seal it back. I also had to do 1.5x the amount of the peanut butter frosting. I love that stuff. I wasn’t sure how to serve it so I just had it covered in foil for a few hours while it sat cooling in the fridge. It was perfect!!! And I will be making it again next week. So delicious.

  38. 38

    Dee — October 28, 2013 @ 10:30 pm

    No worries. Despite having a kitchen that smelled like smoke and fire, I was able to salvage those cakes! It’s amazing what icing can do to hide imperfections, and I tell you- this cake tasted absolutely AMAZING!!!!!!! We all loved it so much that I went out today and bought new, larger/deeper pans so I can try making it again without the disastrous oven smoke! What a great recipe. Thank you!!!! I can’t imagine making chocolate cake any other way now that I have discovered your recipe:)

  39. 39

    rach — November 24, 2013 @ 12:04 pm

    This cake has to be the best thing I have ever tasted and was so easy to make, although I had to convert the ingredients into grams as I’m in Scotland but it still turned out fab and all my friends and family where fighting to get a slice, :-)

  40. 40

    meredith — December 7, 2013 @ 9:24 am

    Hi there! I made your cake (twice!) yesterday and had a few issues with the cake sticking slightly to the pan each time. On my first attempt, I buttered and floured the pan. After re-reading the directions, I noticed they said only to butter. So the second time, I just buttered the pan (light, non-stick, Wilton pans). Also, I let the cake cool in the pan longer the first time (45 minutes) and less the 2nd time (15 minutes). I know, I know…multiple variables in play here ruin the integrity of the experiment! :) I was able to salvage them and ice them so no one could tell, but I’d rather not have a small fainting spell each time I turn the pan over.

    Any suggestions? Thanks for your recipes. Your blog is my new favorite!!

    • Jessica replied: — January 6th, 2014 @ 9:48 pm

      Hi Meredith! I made this cake again over the holiday and I made sure and paid attention to exactly what I did and what happened.

      I sprayed my pans with Baker’s Joy. It’s my favorite for cakes or muffin pans. I baked them in my standard calphalon cake pans.

      I let them cool completely on a cooling rack before turning them over. When I did, they each had a very thin layer of crumbs that stuck to the bottom of the pan, but that is normal for pretty much every moist cake.

      I would recommend trying Baker’s Joy next time! :-)

  41. 41

    M — December 16, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

    Hi there – I have NEVER commented on blogs,recipes etc but I must with you. Made this for my husbands birthday and it was amazing! So moist !!! I’m planning to make it again for Xmas this year but maybe as cupcakes :) thank you for this recipe!

  42. 42

    Christy — December 23, 2013 @ 9:24 am

    Hi, I am wondering if I can make this frosting a day or two ahead of time? I am traveling for xmas, so planned on making the cakes tonight (Monday) not frosting them and taking them to my destination on Wednesday and frosting them once I get there. What do you think? Do you think I will have any problems with the cake or the frosting?


    • Jessica replied: — January 6th, 2014 @ 9:24 pm

      Hi Christy!

      Sorry for the delay, I took a much needed vacation over the holidays. I know this is now too late to help you, however I wanted to answer in case anyone has this question in the future.

      I have made this cake up to a day ahead and then stored it in an airtight container in the fridge until about an hour before I was ready to serve it. It held up very well.

      As for making the frosting ahead – I think it would be fine to make it a few days ahead. You just might need to rewhip it up before frosting the cake so it is fluffy again!

      Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

  43. 43

    Kelsey — January 22, 2014 @ 1:21 pm

    I’ve made your Pumpkin Dream Cake, which is absolutely delicious, so I can’t wait to try this cake! My only question is can I use Dutch processed cocoa powder? I brought some recently because I’ve heard it gives a deeper chocolate flavor, but I know it’s not the same as regular cocoa powder.

    • Jessica replied: — January 24th, 2014 @ 9:23 am

      Dutch processed cocoa powder will be delicious! Hope you enjoy! :-)

  44. 44

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  45. 45

    ValĆ©rie Iā™„Cakes — February 4, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

    Hi ! I didn’t know anything about dream cakes before I arrived on your blog but now I really want to try this one, I like that it uses actual chocolate instead of just cocoa powder. Do you think I can turn it into a bundt cake ??? Thanks !

    • Jessica replied: — February 7th, 2014 @ 2:02 pm

      You would probably have some leftover batter, but yes you could turn it into a bundt cake. Enjoy!

  46. 46

    Anga — February 8, 2014 @ 4:31 pm

    I made this cake over the Christmas break and it is the most beautiful moist cake. A friend of mine who makes the most amazing cakes said that this was the best cake she’s ever tasted! I’m making it again tomorrow – but i’m going to use a salted caramel frosting instead of the peanut butter one ….

  47. 47

    Manali — February 10, 2014 @ 3:10 pm

    Hi! I want to try out this recipie soon. Can I leave out the corn syrup in the chocolate glaze? As I dont get corn syrup in my country. Or is there an alternative I can use?

    • Jessica replied: — February 13th, 2014 @ 11:47 am

      Hi Manali!

      The corn syrup helps to give the chocolate a good texture. You could probably get away with using a little more milk, but just a little. The syrup is thick and sticky.

      Hope it works for you!

  48. 48

    Allison — February 24, 2014 @ 3:30 pm

    I just made your cake for a friend’s shower whose favorite dessert is “chocolate and peanut butter anything” and it was delicious! I am very impressed! Thank you for sharing it because the cake was so dense, moist, and chocolatey, the frosting was deliciously sweet and peanut-buttery, the ganache was over-the-top (ha, literally!), and it looked oh-so-palatable with the toppings Blahnik Baker put on hers. Those who tried it said happily that it tasted like a giant Reese’s. I made the following adjustments to the cake for high altitude (7ooo ft) with great success: +6 T flour (used unbleached all-purpose), -1 t baking powder, -1 t baking soda, -6 T sugar, +6 T hot water, +1 T butter, +1 T oil. Thank you again!

  49. 49

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  50. 50

    Carolyn — June 19, 2014 @ 7:10 pm

    The first time I made this cake, I had to improvise because I didn’t have enough cocoa powder. So I used the little bit of cocoa powder, a small box of instant chocolate pudding, and a little bit of creme de cacao instead. It turned out fantastic! The frosting is just perfectly balanced and is now my “go to” cake. Thank you for sharing!

  51. 51

    Orla — August 20, 2014 @ 1:24 pm

    How big is your freezer that that cake fits in it!

  52. 52

    Jennifer — September 1, 2014 @ 6:32 pm

    I made this yesterday, it was amazing! Had a little trouble with the cake sticking to the bottom of the pan (used regular cooking spray) but not too bad. Also, it seems like my cakes bake slightly uneven which makes for a lopsided cake. Anyone know what the problem might be? This cake was voted the best we’ve ever had by my family, labor intensive but so worth it. The frosting is to die for! Thank you for the amazing recipes!

  53. 53

    Diana — October 29, 2014 @ 5:47 am

    Hi Jessica
    I’m writing to you all the way from Australlia. I have tried making your vanilla dream cake and I’ve also tried this one and they both turned out AMAZING. I was wondering if I wanted to change this to a white chocolate cake, is it just a matter of leaving out the cocoa powder and replacing the dark chocolate with white chocolate ? and maybe leave out baking powder?

    Thanks in advance

  54. 54

    Holly — October 31, 2014 @ 11:59 am

    Hi! I’m a big fan of your dream cakes. Your pumpkin dream cake has become a family thanksgiving tradition after I made it last year.
    This weekend I want to make a cake for my dad and sister’s birthday. Both of them are chocolate lovers, so I figured this cake would be perfect! Unfortunately, my dad doesn’t much care for peanut butter. Any suggestions for a chocolate frosting substitution?
    Thanks so much!

  55. 55

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    Melissa — March 1, 2015 @ 10:57 am

    Two things. Made this cake for the first time for my son’s birthday and it was fabulous! It was a little sweet for me, so I might try reducing the sugar by half cup next time.

    Second thing. I, too, had trouble getting the cakes out of the pans. Good old mom reminded of her trick — she cuts out a circle of wax paper and puts it in the bottoms of the pans. Then butter and flour on top of the wax paper. Works like a charm every time.

  57. 57

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  58. 58

    Rebecca — May 21, 2015 @ 7:03 pm

    Hi there, I just wanted to share that I made this cake for my husband’s birthday (he’s obsessed with peanut butter) and I selfishly used gluten free flour so that I could eat it too, and not only did he and my guests absolutely LOVE it, but none of my guests even realized it was gluten free until I told them! (I also made it dairy free.) I can’t even imagine how much more amazing this must taste with real flour and butter!

    • Jessica replied: — May 25th, 2015 @ 9:04 pm

      So glad to hear you were able to make this cake work for your dietary restrictions and it still tasted great! That’s awesome!!

  59. 59

    Cindy — June 30, 2015 @ 12:36 am

    I’ve made many of your dream cakes and have made this one a couple times. Yesterday I made it but switched the peanut butter frosting (which I love, but was baking for a non-peanut butter fan) and used a Sea Salt Carmel Butter Cream frosting in it’s place. It was still a hit. Just can’t go wrong with your dream cakes! Thanks for sharing them with us!

  60. 60

    g. smith — July 3, 2015 @ 3:55 pm

    What changes besides leaving the peanut butter out, would you do to just make this a chocolate dream cake? Thanks for a response.

    • Jessica replied: — July 16th, 2015 @ 4:35 pm

      Hi! I would just swap the peanut butter frosting for a chocolate buttercream!

  61. 61

    Lynn — August 1, 2015 @ 2:00 pm

    Did anyone else have trouble with the cake not rising? I bake a lot, and I followed the instructions precisely.

  62. 62

    Lynn — August 1, 2015 @ 2:08 pm

    i must say, after my first comment , I put a second batch in but gave it a good blast of heat (375) and that helped them rise perfectly.

  63. 63

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