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+ servings

Espresso Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

If you love the classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter, you will love this cake; both parts are equally divine but added together? Positively stellar!
Course Cakes, Cupcakes & Cheesecake
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10 Servings
Author Barb


For the Cake:

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa LOVE Valrhona Cocoa but can only find it if I ask the coffee barista at Whole Foods!
  • 11/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter room temperature
  • 2 cups golden brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 3/4 cup hot water Available at my local Whole Foods; I used Medaglia D'oro

For the Peanut Butter Frosting:

  • 1 ½ cups butter softened
  • 1 ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tsp dark rum
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 6 Tbsp heavy cream

For the Rum Drizzle:

  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup Dark Rum
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


  • To Make the Cake Layers
  • Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325. Generously butter two 9-inch cake pans; dust with cocoa, tapping out excess. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
  • Sift 2 cups cake flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into medium bowl.
  • Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes.
  • Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
  • Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions, beating just until blended after each addition.
  • Gradually add hot espresso-water mixture, beating just until smooth.
  • Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on rack 15 minutes. Run small knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes. Invert cakes onto racks; lift pans off cakes and remove parchment. Place wire rack atop each cake, invert again so top side is up.
  • Cool completely.
  • Mark each cake layer with toothpicks halfway up the sides; use the toothpicks as a guide to cut each cake layer in half.
  • To Make the Frosting
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the peanut butter and butter for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the powdered sugar, scrape the sides of the bowl and mix on high for one minute.
  • Add the rum and vanilla and mix in.
  • Add the heavy cream and beat until smooth; scraping the sides. Beat for 3 minutes on high. Use immediately
  • For the Rum Drizzle
  • Put all of the ingredients into a medium size saucepan. Heat until bubbly and cook for one minute. Cool completely.
  • Putting it all together
  • Spread a tablespoon of frosting in the middle of your cake plate to help hold cake in place. Brush crumbs from one cake layer and put in the middle of the plate. Drizzle one Tablespoon of rum drizzle over cake layer and spread 1 and 1/2 cups of frosting on cake, smoothing to edges. Repeat with all layers. I used the back of a small spoon to even the frosting along the edges but that's really optional.
  • Swirl frosting over top of cake and either pipe rosettes in the center of the cake on the top or dollop additional frosting and swirl in center.
  • Gently pour rum drizzle over cake; letting pool on top and drip down the sides. Serve.