Welcome to a remake of my son’s favorite birthday cake! I have been making this super easy chocolate cake since we started the blog. At age 5, Little Whisk Together received an Angry Birds Cake with Chocolate. I have been making the deep, dark delicious chocolate cake ever since – with some whole wheat flour, with normal flour, with applesauce instead of oil, or using oil. This cake was for his 13th birthday!
I highly recommend a good baking cocoa which makes chocolate cakes dark and delicious. The cocoa I have used for several years is Rodelle Baking Cocoa. Amazon sells it. Costco sells it at a great price, but only around what they call their “baking season” of October to January. Then, Costco discontinues it until next year. I think it makes a difference in chocolate goods, plus it makes excellent homemade hot cocoa because it dissolves better than the regular Hershey baking cocoa powder.
For the cake part:
Of course, you can use a chocolate box cake mix as well! This will work fine and makes cakes that have multiple components sooooo much easier as well. I am told adding a box of chocolate pudding mix to the box cake mix is also very tasty!
I adapted this recipe from a few poke cakes that I found around the internet. The original cake pokes holes in the chocolate cake and drizzles an entire container of chocolate syrup or hot fudge sauce. You are perfectly allowed to do this! But I did not add more chocolate syrup because I thought the cake would be plenty moist, plenty sweet and plenty filling – and it is!
For the Peanut Butter Part:
Make sure to use plain, creamy peanut butter from the jar. Do not use the natural kind. I usually use natural peanut butter in everything, but the emulsifiers and oil added to the peanut butter in the normal jar will keep the peanut butter layer from separating while in the fridge.
For the Whipped Topping part:
There are a lot of options here! You can use a 16 ounce tub of Cool Whip for the easy route. You can whip up some Dream Whip from powder – this can be found in the baking section and comes in boxes of 4 and 8. Because it is a powder, it has a longer shelf life. You could also whip up real whipped cream by beating 2 cups of heavy whipping cream with a little sugar and vanilla.
For the Toppings:
The sky is the limit! But I would recommend toppings for a little contrast to the pudding and whipped cream texture. My son LOVES Reese’s, so I cut up mini peanut butter cups. But you could use chopped Oreos, Reese’s pieces, or – my favorite – sliced bananas. I think I would put the sliced banana UNDER the whipped cream layer so they do not brown as quickly.
- 1 chocolate cake box mix (or see notes for recipe from scratch)
- 8 ounces cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese, room temp.
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup milk
- 16 ounces Cool whip or whipped cream
- 2 cups chopped Reese's peanut butter cups, Oreos, etc.
- Make the 9x13 chocolate cake per the directions on the box. Cool completely.
- In a large bowl, whip the cream cheese in a mixer or with a fork.
- Add the can of sweetened condensed milk. I added 10 ounces or 3/4ths of the can. Mix together.
- Add the peanut butter and mix together.
- Fold in half of the tub of Cool whip - or half of the Dream whip or 1 cup of whipped cream.
- Add the milk about a 1/4 cup at a time. Do NOT add the full cup of milk. Just keep adding until you have a consistency of thick honey. Pourable, but not liquidy.
- Once you have the peanut butter layer mixed together, pour onto the cake.
- Add dollops of remaining whipped cream or Cool whip all over the cake. Spread with an offset spatula to make it easier. Cover and store in the fridge until ready to serve!
- Just before serving, add the chopped toppings. I would not let them sit on the cake as they are chocolate and tend to attract condensed water.
- Slice and eat!
Homemade Chocolate Cake: 2 cups sugar 1 and 3/4 cup flour 3/4 cup cocoa 2 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. kosher salt 2 eggs 1 cup buttermilk (substitution: 1 Tbs. lemon juice and 1 cup 2% milk) 1 cup strong coffee or hot water 1/2 cup vegetable oil 2 tsp. vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In one big bowl, add the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt. Stir together with a whisk or beat on low in the mixer. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. It will be watery and that is just fine.
As 13×9 cake: bake 35-40 min.