Peanut Butter Cake

With a creamy peanut butter frosting, this cake really is over-the-top tasty.

Peanut Butter Cake Recipe
Photo: Photography: Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time:
25 mins
Cool Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
3 hrs
12 squares

There's no better way to feed the whole family something sweet than a big-batch sheet cake. This easy Peanut Butter Cake is made with just a few pantry staples, but one Southern secret makes it ultra-tender—buttermilk, of course. Even though the soft and moist cake is delicious, the cream cheese-peanut butter frosting really makes it over-the-top tasty. Tangy cream cheese balances out the sweet peanut butter in a light and fluffy frosting that you might want to eat by the spoonful. This Peanut Butter Cake only has 25 minutes of hands-on time, but you'll have to wait until it's completely cool to ice it, so plan accordingly. A great cake for any celebration or even a normal weeknight dinner, everyone in the family will be reaching for a second slice. Easy to make, feeds a crowd, and impressive to look at, this peanut butter sheet cake is everything we could want in a go-to dessert.



  • Baking spray with flour

  • 3/4 cup (6 oz.) salted butter, softened

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter

  • 2 cups (about 8 1/2 oz.) all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt

  • 1 cup whole buttermilk

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 6 ounces cream cheese (from 1 [8-oz.] pkg.), softened

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) salted butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

  • 1 (16-oz.) pkg. powdered sugar (about 4 cups)

  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream

  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted, lightly salted peanuts, coarsely chopped


  1. Prepare the Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 13- x 9-inch pan with baking spray with flour; set aside. Beat butter with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add sugar, and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition and stopping to scrape down side of bowl as needed. Add peanut butter; beat until smooth, about 1 minute.

  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. With mixer running on low speed, add flour mixture and buttermilk, in alternating batches, to butter mixture, starting and ending with flour mixture and making sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next. Stir in vanilla. Spoon mixture into prepared pan, and smooth top with a small off-set spatula.

  3. Bake in preheated oven until cake is light brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes . Remove from oven, and let cool in pan on a wire rack until completely cool, about 2 hours.

  4. Prepare the Frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter, and peanut butter with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until creamy and blended, about 2 minutes. With mixer running on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar and salt, beating until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, and beat on low speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds. Add cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, until frosting reaches desired consistency. Spread frosting over top of cooled cake, and sprinkle with peanuts.

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