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Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cake

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My old fashioned peanut butter cake recipe is a classic cake perfect for peanut butter lovers and has peanut butter baked right into the batter and whipped into the frosting!

This is the cake for peanut butter lovers! Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cake with a rich and creamy peanut butter frosting! * GoodieGodmother.com

Peanut butter cake was one of the very first cake recipes I made from scratch. My first memory of making this cake was while we were newlyweds, but eating this cake came first… this was the bottom tier of our wedding cake (the middle tier was almond cake, the top tier key lime!) When I searched for a peanut butter cake recipe shortly after our wedding to try out, I came across an “award winning” peanut butter cake on PeanutButterLovers.com. It used shortening and didn’t have quite as much peanut butter as I wanted, but it seemed a good starting place. So I swapped butter for shortening, messed with maybe 1 more thing, and made the cake. Not only was it a hit, a friend requested it for a potluck party a few months later! Talk about a vote of confidence for this novice cake baker! 

This is the cake for peanut butter lovers! Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cake with a rich and creamy peanut butter frosting! * GoodieGodmother.com

I kept using the recipe with my own little changes from time to time, until one day I went to look for it, and it was gone. The website had no record of this cake, and an internet search yielded plenty of peanut butter cake recipes, but not that recipe. It’s been years and I’m still a bit sad every time I think about it. Thankfully, I remembered the general gist of the recipe, and I’d become a far more confident “from scratch” cake baker, so I worked it out, and created my own based on the memory of that cake, to share with you. Never fear darlings, I don’t plan to take down this site anytime in the foreseeable future… I don’t think I could bear to see my “go to” peanut butter cake recipe disappear twice!

This is the cake for peanut butter lovers! Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cake with a rich and creamy peanut butter frosting! * GoodieGodmother.com

This is a very old fashioned cake recipe. I call it old fashioned because it is oh so slightly dry, but this is part of the charm. It’s not a chalky dry, don’t worry about that, it’s that old-school “cake they serve at the church bake sale that’s someone’s great great grandmother’s recipe” texture. I’ve found that Southern cake recipes are either really moist, or have the texture of this cake. It’s almost comforting. The cake texture works well because it pairs beautifully with the frosting, which is a masterpiece on its own.

This is the cake for peanut butter lovers! Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cake with a rich and creamy peanut butter frosting! * GoodieGodmother.com

I really really love this frosting actually. It’s a basic buttercream with just a few ingredients,  but the balance between the butter, sugar, and peanut butter is so addicting! It’s also a very forgiving frosting for beginner bakers because it’s thick. This doesn’t spread super easily because of the peanut butter. It’s almost patched onto the cake, but it sets quickly so you can easily smooth out any lumps and bumps with a bit of wax paper and a fondant smoother, or a very smooth paper towel (Viva brand has a smooth finish on some of their towels).

This is the cake for peanut butter lovers! Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cake with a rich and creamy peanut butter frosting! * GoodieGodmother.com

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

This is the cake for peanut butter lovers! Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cake with a rich and creamy peanut butter frosting! * GoodieGodmother.com

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cake

Yield: 1 2-layer 8" round cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

Peanut Butter Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar, 320 g
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, 4 ounces , 113 g, softened
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, 135 g
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil, 99 g, vegetable, canola, avocado, any neutral oil
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, 360 g
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (see notes)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, 12 oz, 339 g, softened
  • 2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, 178 g
  • 5 cups sifted powdered sugar, 568 g, confectioner's
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F (177 C, gas mark 4). Butter and line two 8" round baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter, sugar, and peanut butter in a mixing bowl on medium speed for about 1 minute until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract and oil.
  4. Sift together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add 1/3 to the peanut butter mixture, add half the buttermilk, another 1/3 of the flour, the rest of the buttermilk, and the last bit of the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans. Bake for 35-45 minutes until a tester comes out clean and the center of the cake lightly springs back when touched.
  6. Allow the cakes to set in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Frosting

  1. In a clean mixing bowl, cream the butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  2. Add the vanilla extract. Stir in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, scraping after each addition. The frosting is naturally rather thick, but if you need to thin it, add a little heavy cream.
  3. Decorate your cake and enjoy!

Notes

1/16/20 - I have been making this cake recently with a little less flour. Still turns out delicious, but a little less dense. If you like the old measurements, it's 4 cups. Everything else stays the same <3

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This is the cake for peanut butter lovers! Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cake with a rich and creamy peanut butter frosting! * GoodieGodmother.com

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Beth

Saturday 23rd of January 2021

This is a great recipe. It is so rich and tasty. I will make it again and again. It’s a good recipe girl.

Mary (The Goodie Godmother)

Sunday 24th of January 2021

I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Beth!

100 Best Old Fashioned Recipes - Prudent Penny Pincher

Friday 10th of May 2019

[…] Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cake from Goodie Godmother […]

Antionette Fatuase

Sunday 3rd of March 2019

I have made this cake 4 times now within the past month. I must say, this is the best cake I’ve ever made. I used buttermilk the first time. I felt it was a little dry, so I used Unsweetened Almond milk. It made the cake very very moist. It is delicious each and every time.

I used just a little almond milk in the frosting as well to thin it out some. It still taste delicious. Thank you so much for the recipe. I will forever cherish this recipe.

TAMMY BROCHETTI

Monday 20th of August 2018

Hi there --- I made this exact to your recipe and I think 4 C. Flour made it sooooooooo dry! Frosting was yummy!

Mary (The Goodie Godmother)

Monday 27th of August 2018

You know, since this is adapted from one of those vintage type recipes I never really messed with the texture of the original. While it's a bit dry, I never found it overtly so. Perhaps next time sift your flour and then scoop and level or go by weight? If scooping directly from the bag/a container, it can be easy to unintentionally add a little extra.

Leesa

Wednesday 18th of July 2018

I think the grams are incorrect for the buttermilk.

Mary (The Goodie Godmother)

Friday 20th of July 2018

I used a generic converter for this, so will definitely check again! Thanks :)

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