This Peanut Butter Cup Poke Cake is the ultimate dessert mashup. Rich and decadent with classic peanut butter and chocolate flavor, it’s made for sharing. Make it for your next party or potluck.
This Peanut Butter Cup Poke Cake is simple enough for a beginner baker, but impressive enough for company. And what’s better? It bakes up in a 13×9 dish so it will serve a dozen or more hungry guests. If you’re making it for a smaller group, such as your immediate household, then leftovers keep well. In fact, this cake improves upon standing 24 hours.
What’s old is new again!
There’s nothing better than a creamed butter cake, if you ask me. In my search for a butter-based 13×9 chocolate cake, I found they were few and far between. Nearly every cookbook scoured and website visited used the same oil-based formula. While I know that will make a tender cake, it does not have the flavor or texture that butter cake has. My search ended with a family recipe from 1946. This old fashioned chocolate cake has the perfect texture that stands up to a heavy dose of chocolate syrup. It is moist and a wonderful base for just about any frosting or topping.
Set a timer for 5 minutes, then cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. This is important, and will give the cake velvety texture.
Any unsweet cocoa will do.
Stir the dry ingredients together. I use and recommend unsweet dark cocoa powder for this recipe. However, you can use whatever unsweet cocoa powder you have on hand. The original recipe calls for standard unsweet cocoa, but the dark chocolate cocoa gives the cake a chocolaty boost!
Alternate the dry ingredients with whole milk (at room temperature). End with the flour mixture and beat together until just combined. Scrape down the bowl and fold together any pockets of flour that might be hiding out.
Who doesn’t love the ease of a 13×9 casserole-style cake? Pour the billowy batter evenly into a greased 13×9 dish. Bake until puffed and well set. A toothpick tester inserted near the center of the cake should come out clean when done.
True to its name.
Use the handle end of a wooden spoon to poke holes in the cake, well spaced. I can’t brag enough about this cake’s texture for this specific technique. It holds up so well and soaks in all the syrup without becoming soggy.
Use about 1 cup of chocolate syrup to pour over this cake and into the holes. This makes for a very moist, rich, flavorful cake. I think I’m its biggest fan!
Fluffy peanut butter buttercream.
The frosting is little more than butter, creamy peanut butter, and confectioners’ sugar whipped to oblivion. Coarsely chop up some mini Reese’s cups and toss them on. Or you can use large Reese’s cups and chop them a little finer.
Drizzle a little more chocolate syrup over the frosting and Reese’s cups, and you’re good to go! When I say this is a crowd-pleaser, I absolutely mean it. Grown-ups and kids alike will love this!
This blog post is sponsored by Go Bold With Butter! View their other recipes right here.
Peanut Butter Cup Poke Cake
13×9 baking dish
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup unsweet dark cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine grain salt
- 1 1/3 cups whole milk at room temperature
- 1 cup chocolate syrup
Whipped peanut butter frosting and toppings
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Milk or cream to thin
- 20 whole mini peanut butter cups coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup chocolate syrup
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 13×9 inch baking pan with flour-based baking spray (or grease and flour pan).
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat until light and fluffy on medium high speed (5 minutes with a timer set).
Add the eggs one at a time. Beat well after each addition.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Begin and end with the flour. Beat until just combined and then fold in any remaining streaks of dry ingredients with a rubber spatula.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth evenly. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes.
Use the handle end of a wooden spoon to poke holes in the cake about 2 inches apart. Pour the chocolate syrup over the cake and into the holes. Let the cake cool completely.
Whipped peanut butter frosting and toppings
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, combine the butter, peanut butter, and sugar. Cream together on medium-high speed until a thick consistent frosting is achieved. Add milk or cream 1 tablespoon at a time to thin the mixture to spreading consistency, if needed.
Spoon the frosting on top of the cooled cake and spread evenly. Top with the chopped peanut butter cups. To finish, drizzle the chocolate syrup over the peanut butter cups and frosting.
Store cake covered with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Reese’s peanut butter is sold in jars in the peanut butter, jelly and jams section at the grocery store -feel free to pick up a jar for this cake if you wish! Otherwise any shelf stable creamy peanut butter will work.
For a salty-sweet version of this cake, toss on 1/4 cup of chopped roasted, salted peanuts along with the chopped peanut butter cups.
Use your favorite brand of chocolate syrup for this cake. Hershey’s syrup is widely available and usually with the drink mixes and near the ice cream toppings at the grocery store.