Devil's Food Cake with Salted Peanut Butter Frosting and Ganache


A boxed-mix gets a delicious boost from a stunning frosting and ganache.

Devil’s Food Cake with Salted Peanut Butter Frosting and Ganache
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones
Active Time:
25 mins
Cool Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
Bake Time:
25 mins
Chill Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 30 mins

When it's time for dessert, a stunning layer cake is often the star of the show. Who can resist three layers of moist cake and a pristine coat of buttercream frosting? But sometimes, you just don't have time for all the bells and whistles. That's where boxed cake mix comes in. Now, hear us out here: boxed cake mix can be great, and we have this recipe for Devil's Food Cake with Salted Peanut Butter Frosting and Ganache to prove it.

In this recipe, the chocolate cake layers take a backseat to the real pièce de résistance: the frosting. Our Test Kitchen called this salty-sweet peanut butter frosting "out of this world." Not only is it lick-the-spatula delicious, but it also spreads easily and smoothly, which makes decorating a breeze. Top it off with drips of chocolate ganache. If you're in a pinch, you can substitute jarred hot fudge, but the homemade version is worth a few extra minutes.


  • 1 (15¼-oz.) pkg. devil's food cake mix (plus ingredients listed on box for preparing cake)

  • Baking spray with flour

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter

  • 3 cups unsifted powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream, divided

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  • Chopped roasted salted peanuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare devil's food cake mix according to package directions. Divide batter evenly between 2 (9-inch) round cake pans coated with baking spray.

  2. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in centers of cakes comes out clean, about 22 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire racks; cool completely, about 45 minutes.

  3. Beat softened butter and peanut butter with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low; gradually add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and ¼cup of the cream. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. (You will have about 4 cups frosting.)

  4. Spread 1½ cups frosting in a smooth layer over top of 1 cake layer using a large offset spatula. Top with remaining cake layer, and spread 1½ cups frosting in a smooth layer over top, spreading some of the frosting on top layer in a thin layer around sides of whole cake. Chill until frosting has firmed and set, about 30 minutes. Spread remaining frosting (about 1 cup) over sides of whole cake, smoothing as you go.

  5. Microwave remaining ½ cup cream in a small microwavable bowl on HIGH until steaming, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips until mixture is smooth. Cool 15 minutes.

  6. Slowly pour about half of the chocolate mixture over the top of the cake. Spoon more of the mixture around top edge, allowing it to drip down sides, and then spoon any remaining chocolate mixture onto center of cake. If needed, use the spoon to nudge the icing down the sides of the cake. Smooth the top with an offset spatula, and sprinkle with peanuts. See step-by-step instructions for creating an icing drip here.

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