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Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake (Gluten-Free Option)

Peanut butter chocolate cake. Probably the most frequently requested cake flavor back when I took custom orders. Young and old alike. Perhaps it’s that delicious combination of sweet and salty, whatever the reason, this cake combo is always a crowd-pleaser. And this dairy-free peanut butter chocolate cake is a pure delight in every single bite.

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Top half of a chocoalte frosted cake covered in Reeses peanut butter cups and chocolate chips

The Best Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

You know me, I tend the run a bit against the proverbial cake stream when it comes to conventional flavors. It’s not that I have anything against tradition, it’s simply that I enjoy a bit of adventure. So naturally, I had to put a slight spin on the classic peanut butter chocolate cake.

Enter in: dairy-free peanut butter cake layers and smoked chocolate buttercream frosting. Still delicious. Like totally delicious. But a bit unexpected and not your average traditional cake. So put on your adventurous cake cape, aka an apron, and let’s start baking.

A chocolate cake covered in a rustic dark chocolate ganache and topped with all sorts of chocolates and peanuts.

What Is The Reverse Creaming Cake Method

I tried a new cake method this time and absolutely loved the end result. It’s called reverse creaming and wow, it produced the softest and fluffiest peanut butter cake layers. You start but creaming together the fat (butter and peanut butter in this cake case) with the dry ingredients. The idea is to coat the flour in fat to stop gluten from developing.

Reverse creaming will also give you the ability to add a bit more liquid content into the cake batter which will result in an incredibly moist and soft crumb; which, in the cake world is a winning combo! One bite of this tender and fluffy cake and you will be a reverse creaming fan.

After the dry ingredients and butter and peanut butter are creamed together until a sand-like texture is achieved, the wet ingredients get added but in two separate installments. Go slow. Go steady. And soon you’ll have creamy peanut butter cake batter worth licking the spatula clean.

The inside shot of a peanut butter cake with six layers and chocolate frosting betwen each cake layer.

How To Make Smoked Chocolate Buttercream

Up next, is the glorious smoked chocolate buttercream frosting. Chocolate buttercream on its own is delicious, but I leveled up and added a hint of hickory smoke and used both cocoa powder and melted chocolate to amp up that deep chocolate flavor. Liquid smoke is much almond extract in that a little goes a long way. Too much and it will completely overpower the buttercream.

How To Slice And Level Cake Layers

And for the final step of this fun flavorful dairy-free peanut butter chocolate cake adventure…I sliced each cake layer in half creating a total of 6 decadent peanut butter layers. The more layers, the yummier, right?! Using this handy little cake leveler I gently leveled each cake layer and then cut each leveled layer in half.

You can totally skip this step though if you want an easier cake to stack.

A close-up picture of a peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting and a fork bite taken out

Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

There you have it! An adventurous and amazing dairy-free peanut butter chocolate cake that has all the big, bold, and beloved peanut butter flavor with a little hint of fun. This cake is perfect for the peanut butter and chocolate lover in your life.

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Recipes

Love a smokey flavor…I bet you’ll drool over my Raspberry Smoked Butterscotch Cake.

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A chocolate cake covered in a rustic dark chocolate ganache and topped with all sorts of chocolates and peanuts.

Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Recipe (Gluten-Free Option)

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5 from 8 reviews

  • Author: Katie Stymiest
  • Total Time: 2 Hours 25 Minutes
  • Yield: 10 Slices 1x
  • Diet: Low Lactose


Layers of dairy-free peanut butter cake covered in whipped chocolate buttercream frosting. Easily the yummiest peanut butter chocolate cake you’ll ever eat.



Peanut Butter Cake

  • ¾ cup dairy-free milk, room temperature
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cup cake flour, sifted *can substitute gluten-free 1:1 baking blend
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅔ cup dairy-free salted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter

Smoked Chocolate Buttercream

  • 1 ½ cup dairy-free salted butter, room temperature
  • 4 ½ cups icing sugar
  • ¾ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ teaspoon liquid smoke *optional
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • optional: additional peanut butter and chocolate treats for decor

Chocolate Ganache

  • ⅓ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon dairy-free milk


Peanut Butter Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare three 6-inch round cake pans with non-stick baking spray and parchment paper.
  2. In a small mixing bowl combine the milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk together and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer and with the flat beater attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and give it a quick whisk together.
  4. Add the butter and peanut butter to the dry ingredients and mix on low until it looks like coarse sand.
  5. Slowly pour in half the liquid mixture and mix on medium for 2 minutes.
  6. Slowly pour the remaining liquid mixture in and mix on medium for another 2 minutes. Scrap the sides of the bowl when necessary.
  7. Divide the cake batter into the three prepared cake pans and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  8. Allow the cake layers to cool for 10 minutes and then invert them on a cooling rack to fully cool.

Smoked Chocolate Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter on high speed until light and fluffy. Approximately 10 minutes.

  2. Add the icing sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and liquid smoke (if using) and mix on low until combined.

  3. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips in 30-second intervals until fully melted and smooth. Stir between each interval.
  4. Add the melted chocolate to the buttercream and mix on low until fully incorporated.
  5. Turn the mixer up to high and let mix for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl when necessary.

Chocolate Ganache

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips and milk in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until fully melted and smooth.
  2. Depending on the kind of milk, the drip may require a touch more milk to thin or a bit more chocolate chips to thicken. *I always test my ganache drips over the edge of the kitchen sink before applying it to a cake to check the consistency.

Cake Assembly

  1. Level each cooled peanut butter cake layer and then with the cake leveler cut each layer into half creating 6 total cake layers, if desired.

  2. Place one leveled layer of peanut butter on a cake board, plate, and/or cake turntable and top with approximately ¾ cup of smoked chocolate buttercream.

  3. Repeat with the remaining layers and apply a thin coat of buttercream all over the cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

  4. Cover the cake with another layer of buttercream and smooth the sides with a cake smoother.

  5. Decorate the cake as you please. I carefully spooned the warm chocolate ganache drip over the edges of the cake and while it was still warm used my offset spatula and, with the tip, dragged it gently around the drip and cake starting from the top and going down to create the textured marbled chocolate look. I topped the cake with a border of chopped-up peanut butter cups, chocolate squares, peanut butter chips, and chopped peanuts. Enjoy!

  • Prep Time: 2 Hours
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 1011
  • Sugar: 88 Grams
  • Sodium: 661 Miligrams
  • Fat: 61 Grams
  • Saturated Fat: 30 Grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 24 Grams
  • Trans Fat: 3 Grams
  • Carbohydrates: 112 Grams
  • Fiber: 2 Grams
  • Protein: 8 Grams
  • Cholesterol: 106 Miligrams

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  1. I made this without the liquid smoke in it because I couldn’t find it but it was still super tasty.

    1. Liquid smoke can be tricky to find sometimes. So glad you forged ahead and made it without!

  2. I decided to make this for my birthday cake this year and I don’t think I’ve had such a delicious cake before. Super fluffy cake layers.

    1. I am honored that you made one of my cakes for your birthday and so glad you enjoyed it. Happy belated birthday!

  3. I actually didn’t make this cake but asked my friend to make it for me. OMG!!! I could have eaten the entire thing by myself.

    1. I can’t tell you how excited I get when someone bakes a recipe of mine. Thank you Ana!

    1. Yay! I’m so glad you gave this one a shot. Peanut butter and chocolate is hard to beat!

    1. Instead of dripping it on with a bottle or piping bottle, pour the whole chocolate ganache on the well-chilled cake and slowly spread the ganache over the top of the cake with an offset spatula.

  4. This cake was incredible! The recipe was spot on. I can’t believe how good the peanut butter cake was. You will not be disappointed!

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