Ethan’s Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cake

I posted some images of the Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cake that I made for Ethan’s birthday on Facebook and Instagram and got so many comments that I decided I’d better share the recipe right away! Let me just digress a moment and say I still can’t believe my Ethan is FIVE! SNIFF. Ahem. Ok, as I was saying. The recipe comes from my cousin Marnie, who shared the recipe in our Family Cookbook – almost 200 pages of recipes, some handed down, and others new, but all a great collection of tasty dishes.

I’ve been wanting to try this cake for awhile, and Ethan’s birthday seemed like the perfect time to whip it right up. Now I have a confession to make. I’m really bad about reading a recipe from start to finish before I attempt to make something and it often gets me in trouble. This time, I neglected to buy the right frosting, so I improvised, and I’d say the result was still quite satisfactory, to say the least. But to keep it simple, I’m going to give you the recipe as it is written.

Peanut Butter Cup Cake

Adapted from The Gile Family Cookbook, courtesy of Marnie Anderson


  • 1 Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
    (with oil, water and eggs per box instructions)
  • 1 can milk chocolate frosting
  • 1 can whipped cream cheese frosting
  • About 16 peanut butter cups, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of peanut butter


Prepare the cake per the box instructions using two 8×8 or 9×9 round pans. Bake and cool completely. In the meantime, pop the peanut butter cups into the fridge to make it easier to chop them. For the middle frosting layer, add the peanut butter to about half the cream cheese frosting. (It will be very thick, I actually thinned mine a touch with a splash of milk). Beat the peanut butter into the frosting until well mixed. Spread on the the top of the bottom cake, and sprinkle with about 1/3 of the chopped peanut butter cups. Next, frosting the bottom of the top cake with a thin layer of the chocolate frosting. Mix the remaining chocolate and cream cheese-peanut butter frostings together, then assemble and frost the cake.

Top with the remaining peanut butter cups. (To make it just like I did, buy an extra can of cream cheese frosting, double the peanut butter, and frost the whole cake with that frosting (save the extra chocolate for another day). Now here’s the really hard part – put it in the fridge and walk away. Oh man, this was sooo hard, and not just for the kiddos, either. Hee-hee! This cake is moist, rich, sweet, decadent oh my, it is just so, so good. Ethan loved his cake, but even he succumbed, and asked us to ‘save his’ for later because he couldn’t finish the little slice we’d given him.

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