Who wants a slice of this moist and fudgey chocolate peanut butter cake with a rich caramely frosting? Me, that's who! :)
There's certainly no shortage of peanut butter and chocolate treats on this blog. There's this no-bake cake, and this and this ice cream, these pops, and about a million things more... (chocolate and peanut butter are certainly right up there in my favorite comfort food flavor combinations), but a few days ago I was feeling like something baked in this flavor palate (because sometimes there's just no substitute for warm chocolatey baked goods!), and ended up with this lovely cake as a result.
This fudgey brownie-like cake comes together really simply. It's totally one of those quick and easy recipes you can throw together to enjoy any time, no special occasion needed :) There's no fussing over layering things or making fancy frostings.
And in fact, if you make this in a square pan instead of a round one, you could totally get away with this recipe serving as dessert for breakfast in the form of brownie slices ;)
For a vegan and gluten-free chocolate cake that's also made without oils or "gums," this recipe is definitely a winner. I adapted it lightly to be a peanut butter-flavored chocolate cake from an oldie chocolate carrot cake recipe I have on the blog.
However, I do have some more classic versions of baked chocolate cakes -- some of which are amongst my favorite blog desserts ever. So if you're looking for other baked chocolate cake ideas, here are a few to get you started:
(And there are lots more if you search the recipes page for "cake" + "baked" + "chocolate")
But back to this moist and lush little vegan chocolate peanut butter cake, before I let you dive right into it, here are a few alternative suggestions in case you're looking for other adaptation ideas:
Tips and Ideas to Customize your Cake
- If you want to make it peanut-free, go with a different nut butter. I've tried this out with cashew butter before and loved it. I'm positive almond butter, or hazelnut or pecan, and likely your favorite nut or seed butter would be great here too. If you try it in another flavor, I'd love to hear what you did and how you liked it.
- If you're not a fan of bananas, you can always try boiled carrots (hey, don't knock it -- worked great in this carrot cake!). I suspect boiled beets or very ripe persimmons will work well too. But you might need to play around with the quantities of things a little if you start making big changes here..
- I kept the cake pretty moist, but if you wanted it to be a little bit more dry, use a bit less bananas or a tad more flour. Or use one of the other classic chocolate cake recipes above if you're looking for a totally conventional (yet totally unconventional! lol) chocolate cake base.
- Don't be alarmed by the tiny amount of flour in this cake -- it's a small cake :) And on that note, please see the recipe notes for more details on the sweet rice flour if you're not familiar with it.
- Last but not least, speaking of tiny cakes, this cake can be doubled and baked in a 9" pan or in an 8x8" pan if you prefer instead.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
A deliciously moist and fudgey chocolate peanut butter cake with a rich and caramely peanut butter frosting. Vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free recipe.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 6" cake
- Category: cake
- Method: baked
- Cuisine: dessert
Cake -- Wet Ingredients:
- 2 medium sized ripe bananas*
- 6 tbsp dark maple syrup
- 3 tbsp smooth natural peanut butter
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Cake -- Dry Ingredients:
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 ½ tbsp white rice flour
- 1 ½ tbsp tapioca flour
- 1 ½ tbsp sweet sticky rice flour**
- ½ tsp baking powder (gluten-free)
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ⅛ tsp salt
Peanut Butter Frosting:
- ¼ cup smooth natural peanut butter
- 3 tbsp dark maple syrup
- 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk (or another plant milk)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- Mini vegan dark chocolate chips, cacao nibs
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil a 6" cake pan and line with parchment paper***. Set aside.
- Process all wet cake ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Add dry cake ingredients and process everything to combine. Transfer this mixture into the prepared pan. Tap the pan down on the counter several times to release air bubbles.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven for 43-45mins, until a skewer inserted in the center comes out dry. Then cool on a wire rack for 10-15 mins in the pan, after which point you can take it out of the pan and leave the cake to cool fully on the wire rack.
- While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting by placing all frosting ingredients in a bowl and stirring the mixture by hand together with a spoon until it's fully smooth (takes a min or two).****
- Once the cake is fully cooked, frost, sprinkle with toppings if desired, serve and enjoy!
*My bananas weighed 311 gr before peeling / 195 gr once peeled.
**Sweet sticky rice flour is also known as glutinous rice flour (it's 100% gluten-free despite the name) or as Mochiko sweet rice flour. You can usually find it either in the baking section or in the Asian products aisle of larger grocery stores, or online. It helps to make the cake more springy and light.
***I line mine by placing a circle of parchment paper that's the diameter of the bottom of the pan inside the pan. Then I line the sides with strips of parchment that are just slightly taller than the cake pan or same height. The oil helps to keep the parchment paper in place. The parchment circle on the bottom helps to get the cake out of the pan more easily. The side lining is optional (I just like to do it because my 6" pan is aluminum).
****Note: I recommend stirring the frosting mixture by hand because electrical appliances can very quickly heat up the mixture and cause the sugar and oils to begin separating from one another.
Keywords: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free)
This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.com for products used to make the recipe.
Todd Harper says
Would love to make this cake, but don't like peanut butter. Can I use any nut butter?
Hi Todd, yep, not an issue to swap butters. Read the notes above the recipe for more details.
I would like to bake this cake for my wife’s birthday and I was wondering if I should just double the ingredients to make a bigger one..I know that sometimes this doesn’t magically work(consistency, wetness of some ingredients,etc), is this the case? :)
Hi CC, I haven't tried baking this cake in a larger pan, so can't speak from experience, but my feeling is it shouldn't be a problem to make a larger version with this recipe. If you give it a go, let me know how it worked out for you.
Amazingly moist cake! Thank you for this easy and yummy recipe - it was such a treat :)
You're welcome, so glad you enjoyed it! :)
Loved the texture of the cake and frosting. Going to make this a second time.
Perfect! Did not have to change anything. Once the topping set for a bit, it thickened up. Thank you Audrey.
So glad it worked out -- I hope you enjoyed it! :) Thanks so much for the feedback.
I’ve made other recipes of yours with success. I am making this for a birthday celebration. The cake is in the oven and just made the frosting. It’s runny and not thick like in the photo. I’m thinking maybe adding more Pb or putting the bowl in the frig. Any suggestions. Thank you
Hi Marianne, sorry I didn't see your comment until now, but I see based on your follow up comment above that the cake worked out well once it's baked, so it's all good. I'm glad it worked out in the end and I hope the celebration was a good one :)
Himalayan Salt Valley says
Wow! this cake looks super delicious. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.
You're welcome :)
Cassie Thuvan Tran says
This looks like such a yummy cake! You can't ever beat the combination of chocolate and peanut butter. I bet it was so tempting to eat a second or third slice--even a fourth or fifth! That totally would be my case. LOL!
Yes, definitely tempting... :P
They all look great thanks for sharing
You're welcome, Jamie. Enjoy!
Hi! Are you able to use a different type of flour rather than the rice flour? All-purpose, whole wheat, almond or oat flour are what I tend to have on hand/can make and I wouldn't really want to buy a new type of flour.
Hi Cassy. It would probably work with some ap flour, though I haven't tried. The only thing is that the sweet sticky rice flour adds a quality to the cake (springy texture) that's hard to replicate with any other flour, including ap, so it will be a bit different. If anything I'd replace the white rice and tapioca with 4 tbsp ap flour, but still grab some sweet rice flour for this type of cake for best result.