I made this dreamy melt-in-your-mouth milk chocolate peanut butter cup layer cake for Luke’s 15th birthday. He wanted a dessert that was a chocolaty surprise and he’s been on a peanut butter tear lately, so I figured he’d love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. I mean really, how can you go wrong with that?! This cake is mouth watering, melt in your mouth delicious.


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water



Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Oil and flour three 8″ round baking pans and set aside. 

Add all ingredients, except the boiling water, into a mixing bowl. (I recommend a batter bowl to easily pour the batter into the baking pans). Beat by hand with a wire whisk, until batter is completely combined and smooth. Add the boiling water, and whisk, just until blended. (Don’t be alarmed – the batter appears watery). Evenly ladle (or pour) the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool slightly on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling rack to cool completely. While cakes cool, prepare frosting.

Milk Chocolate Frosting

Note: This is the perfect amount of frosting to layer the top and sides of this cake. If you prefer to skip the layers of peanut butter and peanut butter cups (described below), you can double the frosting recipe and frost the layers with the frosting instead.

1/2 cup butter, just slightly cooler than room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
6 Tablespoons whipping cream
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat butter in a medium-sized mixing bowl until creamy. Add in remaining ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy, and free of any lumps. Set frosting aside.


Layering ingredients:

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
6 double packs of peanut butter cups, totaling 12 peanut butter cups in all. (I prefer Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups).

Once frosting has been prepared, remove peanut butter cups from their wrappers. Reserve 9 of the peanut butter cups for layering and roughly chop remaining 3 peanut butter cups, which will be used for layering in and sprinkling on the finished cake.

  Once cakes are completely cooled, it’s time to start preparing the layers. Start by adding one cake layer to your cake plate. Top with 9 of the peanut butter cups.
  Add another cake layer on top of the peanut butter cups and spread with peanut butter. For best results, add all peanut butter to center of cake layer and spread outward to the sides, keeping your knife on top of the peanut butter. If knife touches the cake directly, it will pick up cake crumbs, making it more difficult to spread the peanut butter.
**Note, if you want your cake REALLY peanut buttery, increase peanut butter to 1 cup.
  Top with last cake layer.
  Frost with the Milk Chocolate Frosting. Again, it’s easiest to add all frosting to center of cake and spread out and down the sides from there.
  Smooth on frosting until completely covered.
  Sprinkle with chopped peanut butter cups. If you’re able, allow the cake to sit overnight (covered) for the very best results. However, if you need to cut into it right away, you won’t be the least bit disappointed. In fact, your family will fall in love with you all over again. Mine did!


To make cupcakes using this same cake recipe, click here.



Stay-at-home mom, Serena Thompson, dreamed of creating a fun and happy little event to sell her vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, she and some friends held the first event in her neighbor’s barn. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today the event fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces filled with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best vintage & handmade fair in the country. Serena describes it as the happiest on earth.