Filed under: Layer cakes
September 30, 2022

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate cake

Soft layers of peanut butter banana chocolate cake sandwiching a peanut butter cream cheese frosting. 

Yield: 1 four layer 8" cake
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Soft layers of peanut butter banana chocolate cake sandwiching a peanut butter cream cheese frosting. 

 

Recipe Overview 

Sometimes just a photo will inspire me to create something new; conjuring up images that are similar in look but completely different in flavor, this time it was this banana layer cake

The plan was to take this muffin recipe and turn it into a tahini chocolate banana layer cake but I wanted a different spin. PLUS, I am kind of really very much obsessed with this peanut butter cream cheese frosting (I could eat it sans cake really) and I wanted to bring it to you asap. The halva still made its way onto the cake though :p 

This isn’t an overly fluffy and soft cake texture, there’s a lot of banana and some peanut butter so it’s thicker, moist and a little denser than your everyday chocolate cake. I found it is exceptionally paired well and dressed up with a creamier frosting. 

Key Recipe Ingredients 

Bananas: They should at least be quite spotty when you use them, the more brown the softer. 

Cake Flour: While this recipe is very banana bread like in texture, I wanted to lighten it up where I could to create fluffier, lighter layers hence the cake flour which has a softer texture due to its finer mill. 

Cocoa: It should be dutched cocoa `which is alkalized and gives a darker, richer taste. Natural cocoa will give a much lighter cake and can mess with the chemistry & rise. 

Peanut Butter: Smooth peanut butter, a commercial brand that’s well blended (not natural). You could also swap this for cashew or sunbutter, or tahini! 

Canola Oil: Alternatives include avocado oil, grapeseed oil, vegetable oil, or olive oil. 

 

peanut butter chocolate banana cake

Building a Chocolate Banana Layer Cake 

We’ll bake this as two eight inch round cakes and slice those in half horizontally to make four layers. To do this you can use a bread knife (more likely in most kitchens) or a cake slicer (gives you very even layers). 

This cake didn’t dome much but if it does for you then trim off the tops or the ‘hats’ so that your layers are even and won’t wobble once stacked. 

I like the very bottom and top of a layer cake to be the bottom of the cakes because they are smoother, more firm. If you haven’t sliced the hats off the top of the cakes, build it as follows. If you have, direction won’t matter as much. 

So the build looks like this (from bottom to top): 

  1. First cake bottom, bottom down
  2. First cake top, face up
  3. Second cake top, face up 
  4. Second cake, bottom up 

What other toppings would you suggest? 

Crushed peanuts, mini chocolate chips, chopped up peanut butter cups or even cacao nibs would be great here. 

Can I make this into a smaller cake? What about cupcakes? 

If you want to do a 6” cake, make ⅔ of the recipe (this will divide the bananas and eggs nicely, two of each instead of three). 

Alternatively you can make cupcakes, i’ll cation that the frosting recipe is quite soft so you may want to add less cream cheese or more powdered sugar if you plan to pipe it onto the top of the cupcakes. 

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cake Recipe

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cake

Soft layers of peanut butter banana chocolate cake sandwiching a peanut butter cream cheese frosting.
peanut butter chocolate banana cake
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Yields: 1 four layer 8" cake

Ingredients

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cake

  • 3 large or 250g bananas brown and mashed
  • 1 ½ cups or 190g cake flour
  • cup or 70g dutch process cocoa
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup or 215g brown sugar
  • ½ cup or 105g granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup or 160g canola oil
  • ½ cup or 125g peanut butter
  • Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 stick or 113g butter softened
  • 1 package or 226g cream cheese
  • 2 cups or 260g powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Halva crumbles optional

Method

  • Grease and flour two 8” round cake pans. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, eggs, oil and sugars until well mixed. Add the peanut butter, salt, soda and vanilla and whisk well.
  • Whisk in the cocoa and flour until the mix is just combined. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans. Bake for about 35 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean or you can press the top of the cake and it springs back.
  • Once the cake layers are cool, make the frosting:
  • Using a rubber spatula, press the cream cheese into the bowl over and over again to smooth it out. Add the butter and beat them together until just combined. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and peanut butter and beat until creamy.
  • Use a bread knife or cake leveler to slice the cakes in half lengthwise. To assemble:
  • Stack the first layer of cake (us a bottom layer) and spread a few tablespoons of frosting over it, adding halva crumbles if you are using. For the second, use a top layer but flip it so the inside of the cake is on top. Spread frosting, add halva.
  • For the third layer, add the top of the second cake, also flipped upside down. Spread frosting, add crumbles. The top layer will be the bottom layer of the other cake. Spread frosting, sprinkle on the crumbles.
  • Cake keeps for a few days, store in an airtight container. If you used halva, it’ll likely seep a bit but taste fine.

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