Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake (Minus the Reese’s)

July 24, 2008

Ok, just a warning, what you are about to encounter is pretty much the most amazing chocolate peanut butter cake you’ll ever be able to make in the universe. Pretty much this is THE chocolate peanut butter cake I’ve always dreamt of making, creating, and eating. After some inspiration, (and how can you go wrong? Chocolate and peanut butter does do a body good, and it won the #1 spot on Peanut Butter Boy’s ‘The Great Peanut Butter Exhibition’ just recently…) I just had to follow and make my own masterpiece. The past few days I’ve toyed around with the idea of doubling the cupcake recipes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, knowing that I wanted to make a double 9-inch cake and one batch of 12 cupcakes makes only one 9-inch cake. Therefore, I doubled the entire thing and it worked out perfectly! I love VCTOTW not only because everything is vegan and super yummy, but because of how simple the ingredients are and how quick and easy everything is to make! They’re not intimidating or time consuming. It allows you to spend a suitable amount of time baking in the kitchen without going crazy and having to do anything too challenging or out of the ordinary. From now on, anytime I want to make a cake, I’m going to just double any number of the cupcake recipes and make a super duper incredibly delicious vegan extravaganza. Just stay tuned… oh! And not to mention the peanut butter frosting came out PERFECTLY after I tried making this one twice. At first the consistency came out way too sugary and unspreadable… super disappointing. I wasted an entire jar of peanut butter (it probably had something to do with that too… it wasn’t mixing very well with the oil and was giving me a hell of a time) and decided to give the one from VCTOTW another try. The first time I made that one I incorporated the molasses and hated the flavor and texture. The second time I made it I forgot the shortening. This time I made it, I don’t know how or why (maybe it was the greatest organic peanut butter on earth that I love from Trader Joe’s), it came out the best. Which is a relief. Because I’ve been looking for the peanut butter frosting and this is it. No more searching.





Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Makes a double 9″ cake

For the cake:

  • 2 cups soy milk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose whole wheat baking flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 F and oil your pans. Dust them with a little flour if you’d like. 2. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla extract to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain. 3. Pour into cake pans, making sure to evenly distribute the batter. Bake for 26-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool (10-15 minutes) before taking out of pan.
For the peanut butter frosting:
1/4 cup margarine, softened2 tablespoons shortening (preferably the trans-fat free organic brand)1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (crunchy works, too)1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar1 to 2 tablespoons soy milk
1. With electric handheld mixer, cream together margarine and shortening at medium speed till smooth. Add peanut butter and vanilla and beat until very smooth, 2-3 minutes. Beat in sugar; mixture will be very stiff. Dribble in soy milk a little at a time, beating continuously till frosting is pale tan and very fluffy. 
Chop up a bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups (the smaller ones) and put them on top of the first cake you frost so that there will be some in the middle between the layers. Then frost the rest of the cake and go craaaaazy with whatever you have left! Half ‘em, chop em, however you do it, have fun and enjoy the greatest heavenly creation you’ve just made because it deserves golden ribbons. 

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33 thoughts on “Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake (Minus the Reese’s)

  1. Amanda

    OH yes, I do remember this cake. It is the one that forced my jeans to feel rather right. The cake that had me up all night scraping frosting off the plate. The one that made me rethink my sugar-once-a-week-policy.

    Reply
  2. madcapcupcake

    Now THIS…is a delicious masterpiece!! Oh my, oh MY do I ever want to punch through the screen and grab that cake…or use the force and make it appear in front of me. This cake would destroy my willpower, I’ll tell you that much :)Chocolate and Peanut Butter, sooooooo divine as a pair. I’m rambling now. Wow. Gorgeous!! Love your blog – gorgeous photos and beautiful design esthetic!

    Reply
  3. Rose

    It looks good, though I’m curious why you would go to the trouble of making a vegan cake only to make it unsuitable for a vegan by putting Reeses cups on it. I hope you didn’t serve this to anyone who needed the cake to be vegan.

    Reply
  4. Kylie

    Oh jeeze no vegans were harmed in the making of this cake… excuse me for being “incorrect” by adding the Reese’s. I’m not vegan but I like baking vegan things and I realize that they are milk chocolate, not dark, so that’s why it’s not. Big deal.

    Reply
  5. dana

    this cake looks amazing, i wish i had the kitchen stamina to make something like this. as a former vegan i find it hilarious that you have offended the vegan police. ;) i think it is great that you minimize animal products in your baking/cooking a lot of the time, god forbid you add a few reese’s. keep on baking beautiful things. i love your food photos.

    Reply
  6. Crazy Vegan Mom

    The cake looks great. I don’t think the “vegan police” as you refer them are offended by the fact that the cake is made with Reese’s, only that something would be called vegan when it isn’t vegan. It is wonderful that the animal products are minimized and I always applaud anyone who would cut down on animal products, however, if you call something vegan, it is only fair that it be vegan. If you were orthodox and someone served you dinner they claimed was kosher but really wasn’t kosher, you would be offended. Why should it be different for a vegan?

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    the thing is, she’s not serving the cake to the vegans on the internet. i’m pretty sure she’s smart enough not to serve a non-vegan cake to a vegan. the cake recipe is vegan — the optional reese’s are not. if a vegan were searching for a vegan chocolate peanut butter cake recipe and found this, i think they would be smart enough to bake the cake without adding the reese’s. she shouldn’t have to post a disclaimer when she’s baking something for her own personal enjoyment.

    Reply
  8. Lambzilla

    I made this cake for some non-vegan work friends, and they loved it! The icing was so good, no one could believe it could be done without animal products. As far as I’m aware, there is no vegan police force, so cut a girl some slack! The overall recipe concept is what is amazing. Vegan’s make substitutions all the time, and substituting/leaving out an accessory to the cake doesn’t make it an unacceptable vegan idea. Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe!

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    This is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you! I’m a vegan, and on behalf of all the vegan morons who are incapable of reading blog titles, I apologize. My vegan-ness was in no way spoiled by viewing this recipe, and now I am armed with the knowledge to bake an exceptional cake! Yay!

    Reply
  10. Nick

    Darn, how did I miss this one?! Awesome work Kylie, I’ve never made a cake before but I love the somewhat almost nutritious aspect to this one. I want some!

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    I think it is very important to post a disclaimer that including Reese’s peanut butter cups renders the recipe NON-vegan. What if a friend of someone who is allergic to milk were to get this recipe, put it together relying on the “VEGAN” label, and present it to the allergic friend? Concievably, the lack of accurate information could kill someone…I should know, my daughter is highly allergic to milk/dairy and if I was anyone but her very vigilant mother making this cake for her, we could end up in the hospital over this omission. Allergic community BEWARE!

    Reply
  12. Anonymous

    Technically, the recipe is vegan, the photos aren’t.I do agree with the other ‘police’, though.Mistakes like that can get people sued.I’m really excited to make this cake for my Dad’s 48th birthday tomorrow(=

    Reply
  13. sue

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    Reply
  14. Drew

    I am a 24 year old guy who has never made anything more advanced than beans on toast and tackled this (minus the reeses cups) yesterday for my girlfriend's (who is vegan) birthday.It couldn't have turned out better, she is so chuffed with it and it's absolutely delicious (even though I couldn't be less vegan!)Thanks very much and I highly recommend it!

    Reply
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  16. Emmika

    YUS this is just the recipe I'm looking for. I love the PPK girls too, their books are like biblical texts in our household (closest you'll get to one anyway). It's my boyfriend's 25th birthday you see, and a peanut butter cake was what he requested 'like the one from Blackbird' in Philadelphia. I've iced it to look like a distortion pedal which is appropriately branded 'hot cake'. Oh could this be any more perfect! thanks <3

    Reply
  17. Anonymous

    Delicious cake. I'd recommend not putting the reeses with the recipe. Perhaps suggest a recipe for vegan peanut butter cups? I have made vegan buckeyes before which are peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate DELICIOUS. These could easily serve as reeses and make this recipe truly vegan.

    Reply
  18. Chrissy

    Whoa, thanks for this awesome recipe! The frosting is nothing short of PERFECT. I could eat a whole bowl…I used it as a starter for my brother's birthday cake, and added some sprouted grain flour in instead. I subbed pumpkin in for the canola oil to decrease the unhealthy fats and it added this subtle undertone.Happy baking!

    Reply
  19. christine

    This may very well be the best cake I have ever made. I have never had icing like that — fluffy, light, and peanut-buttery. I made this for my cousin's birthday, and I CANNOT wait for him to try it tonight. Thank-you so much! :)

    Reply
  20. Anonymous

    My non-vegan boyfriend requested a Chocolate-Peanut Butter- Caramel cake for his 40th birthday. I've been vegan 20 years, so I googled "vegan peanut butter cake" and found this recipe. Wow!!! Instead of the peanut butter cups (Justine's are delicious vegan pb cups, btw), instead I did a chocolate ganache on top of the pb frosting (easy- melt vegan chocolate chips with some soy milk & agave nectar). Inside, I did a layer of the peanut butter frosting inside, plus layer of the chocolate ganache, plus a layer of salty vegan caramel buttercream frosting. Set the cake on a pool of vegan caramel sauce. Totally over the top, not at all sure it would work. But whoa Nellie, does it work! Best cake I've ever made!!! The ganache on top of the frosting and salty caramel make the whole thing taste like a giant peanut butter cup. Three days later, the cake is still moist and delicious. (We've even eaten it for breakfast 2 days in a row….yikes). THANK YOU for such a stellar foundation recipe!

    Reply

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