Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cake

A slice of old fashioned peanut butter cake with fork

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cake is a good old Southern potluck staple that’s reached cult status.  The hot peanutty frosting gets poured right onto the warm cake, and the whole thing gets showered with roasted peanuts.   Just divine.

A piece of old fashioned peanut butter cake with fork

In case you’ve ever wondered, the ratio of attempted recipes to those that actually make it onto the blog is about 1 to 1.  That’s to say that for every winner there’s a loser.  Today’s lucky winner is an amazing peanut butter cake that has been taunting me from a magazine clipping on my refrigerator door for months.  I finally tackled it and now I’m a happy girl.

Overhead photo of old fashioned peanut butter cake in pan

I can’t imagine there are too many of you out there who wouldn’t enjoy this peanut butter cake.  I loved everything about it.  Starting with the cake itself, peanut butter does something wonderful to the texture.   It’s not too sweet, just the way I like it, and very pillowy and moist.

But can we talk about that frosting?

A piece of old fashioned peanut butter cake with fork

If you’ve tried my Brown Sugar Peach Cake or my Pumpkin Praline Cake, you might have an inkling about this one.  The frosting is cooked in a saucepan, and then literally poured right over the cake.  It sets up immediately, almost like fudge or caramel.   You have to work quickly, but your reward is that saucepan with a thin layer of peanut frosting clinging to the sides…Let’s just say I stood there scraping it with a spoon for an embarrassingly looooong time.

old fashioned peanut butter cake in pan

Another nice thing about this old fashioned peanut butter cake?  The batter is thin enough that you can whisk it up in a bowl, no mixer needed.

A slice of old fashioned peanut butter cake with fork

The older this blog gets, the longer my favorites list gets, but I’m looking you straight in the eye when I say this cake is a goodie.  You’ll love it, and it will serve you well if you need an easy dessert to bring anywhere this season.  The 9×13 cake can serve up to 24 people, right out of the pan.   So good.


Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cake

Category: dessert, snack

Yield: serves 24

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (not natural)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    frosting
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 6 Tbsp buttermilk (you might need a touch more if your frosting is too stiff)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
    garnish
  • roasted peanuts, about 1/2 cup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Spray a 9x13 pan.
  3. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  4. Heat the butter and water in a small saucepan until it comes to a boil. Take off the heat and whisk in the peanut butter and oil until smooth. Let cool for a few minutes, then whisk in the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla until well blended.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and whisk until just combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set the cake on a cooling rack while you make the frosting.
  7. To make the frosting, put the butter, peanut butter, and buttermilk in a saucepan and bring to a full boil. Take off the heat and beat in the vanilla and powdered sugar, adding a cup at a time, until the frosting is smooth. I like to put it back on a gentle heat just to rewarm it, stirring constantly, before pouring over the cake. Note: if your frosting is very stiff and not pourable, add a little bit more buttermilk to thin it out.
  8. Pour the hot frosting over the warm cake, working quickly because the frosting sets up immediately. Spread evenly over cake.
  9. Garnish with peanuts.

Make it your own ~

  • Make it chunky!  Yes, of course, go ahead and use chunky PB for this cake.  I would still use smooth for the frosting, but that’s your call.

 

 

don’t forget to pin this old fashioned peanut butter cake

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cake is a good old Southern potluck staple that's reached cult status. #snackcake #cake #homemade #peanutbutter #potluck #sheetcake #Southerndessert #dessert #easy #recipe #homemade #fromscratch #frosting #peanutbutterfrosting #best #oldfashioned

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cake is a good old Southern potluck staple that's reached cult status.  #snackcake #cake #homemade #peanutbutter #potluck #sheetcake #Southerndessert #dessert #easy #recipe #homemade #fromscratch #frosting #peanutbutterfrosting #best #oldfashioned

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89 Comments

  • Reply
    Tina
    August 27, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Can u make a two or three tier cake with this recipe?

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 27, 2018 at 6:26 pm

      It’s a very moist cake, but I think you could make a 2 layer cake.

  • Reply
    Clare Lumsden
    August 19, 2018 at 12:27 am

    Hands down, this is the BEST bake that I have ever made! Perfect balance of salty sweet crunchy buttery… Recipe is also very forgiving. I am British and got confused about cups/sticks as I prefer metric, and I have even made it quite successfully using almost twice as much butter as I am supposed to. I bake for a small cafe and this bake is always one of the fastest to sell out. Thank you so much Sue!

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 19, 2018 at 8:02 am

      A best seller? Wow, that’s amazing. Now you’ve got me craving a piece.

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