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Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake

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This Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake is a peanut butter lover’s dream. It’s a homemade chocolate cake layered with no-churn peanut butter ice cream and topped with chocolate ganache and chopped peanut butter cups.

side view of a whole ice cream cake on a cake stand

Homemade Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake

I love ice cream cake. One of my family’s favorites is my Chocolate Ice Cream Cake. And while sometimes I do love to keep it classic with plain old chocolate, the best thing about ice cream cakes is you can easily change the flavors.

This Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake is from my good friend Lindsay’s cookbook, Simply Beautiful Homemade Cakes.

Everyone knows Lindsay for her gorgeous layer cakes. And while those are all incredible, this book has so much more too. Cupcakes, ice cream cakes, cheesecakes, holiday cakes, icebox cakes, cookie cakes, single-layer cakes, you name it! If you love baking from scratch, be sure to check out her book.

Looking for another fun twist on classic ice cream cake? Check out my Fruity Pebbles Ice Cream Cake.

a cookbook lying next to a cake stand

Key Ingredients You’ll Need:

Here are a few notes to keep in mind as you gather up your peanut butter ice cream cake recipe ingredients!

  • Cocoa Powder – use a dark cocoa powder blend for a rich, chocolate-y flavor in the cake. I use Hershey’s Special Dark.
  • Coffee – Don’t worry, it doesn’t make the cake taste like coffee. The coffee helps moisten the cake and brings out the chocolate flavor.
  • Cream Cheese – The no-churn ice cream base is made with cream cheese. Be sure to use a full-fat cream cheese block for the best texture.
  • Peanut Butter – I recommend creamy, shelf-stable peanut butter. Natural peanut butter can be gritty and more oily resulting in a less creamy texture in the ice cream.

How to Make the Chocolate Cake

  • Combine dry ingredients: In a mixer bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add wet ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together coffee, milk, oil, vanilla, and egg/egg white. Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and beat until smooth.
  • Bake and cool: Transfer the batter to a lined and greased cake pan, then bake at 350ºF for 30-35 minutes. Cool for 15-20 minutes in the pan, then remove the cake and cool completely.

How to Make No-Churn Peanut Butter Ice Cream

  • Make the whip cream: Chill the mixing bowl in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then pour in the heavy whipping cream. Beat until bubbly, then slowly add in the powdered sugar. Beat until peaks form.
  • Combine: In a bowl, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the milk and vanilla, then mix in the peanut butter. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream in at a time and mix until smooth, then gently stir in the chopped peanut butter cups.

How to Assemble an Ice Cream Cake

You can either do this with a springform pan or with the same pan, you baked the cake in. I prefer the springform pan, so I can more easily remove the cake. If you like to use cake collars, this is also a great way to get those nice smooth edges.

  • Prep the pan: Wrap the sides of the pan with saran wrap so it hangs over the edge of the pan. Place an 8-inch cake board into the bottom of an 8-inch cake pan or springform pan.
  • Level the cake: Use a large serrated knife to remove the dome from the top of the cake. You want the top to be nice and flat. Set the cake into the bottom of the pan.
  • Layer the ice cream cake: Spread the ice cream over the top of the cake.
  • Freeze: Loosely cover the cake with plastic wrap, then freeze it until firm. This should take anywhere from 4-6 hours.
  • Prep for serving: Once frozen, take the cake out of the freezer and remove it from the pan. Set onto a serving plate or cake circle, then use a warm offset spatula to smooth the sides.

For more detailed instructions on layering an ice cream cake, check out my Oreo Ice Cream Cake recipe for some step-by-step photos.

How to Make the Chocolate Ganache Topping

  • Heat the cream: In a microwave-safe measuring cup, heat the cream until bubbling.
  • Melt the chocolate: Place the chocolate chips into a heat-proof bowl, then pour the hot cream over top. Whisk until melted and smooth, then cool for a few minutes.
  • Add to the cake: Pour the ganache over the cake and allow it to drizzle down the sides.
  • Garnish and freeze again: Top the cake off with chopped peanut butter cups, then freeze until you’re ready to serve.
an ice cream cake on a cake stand with a slice taken out

Helpful Tools You May Need for Ice Cream Cake

  • Handheld Mixer. The perfect way to mix up your cake batter.
  • Springform Pan. A springform pan makes it so much easier to remove the assembled and frozen ice cream cake.
  • 8-Inch Cake Pan. I bake all my cakes with 8-inch pans. They’re a perfect size!
  • Flat Angled Spatula. Lindsay recommends using a warm flat angled spatula to help smooth the edges of the cake.

Helpful Recipe Tips

  • Cake batter texture: The cake batter will be thin before baking. Don’t let it throw you off. This cake is light and fluffy.
  • Cool the cake completely. A warm cake will just melt the ice cream. Be sure it’s cooled completely before layering.
  • If the cake shrinks: Sometimes the cake will shrink as it cools, and you may notice the ice cream filling funs down the side. That’s totally normal.
  • Let it soften before serving. I recommend setting the ice cream cake out on the counter 15-30 minutes before serving. The softer texture makes it so much easier to slice.
  • Use a hit knife. To make it easier to slice, run the knife under hot water and wipe it dry before slicing.
a slice of peanut butter cake on a plate

How to Store Ice Cream Cake

This peanut butter ice cream cake should be stored in the freezer and is best finished off within 5-7 days. If you have a cake carrier to keep it airtight, that works best. Otherwise, place a layer of plastic wrap up against the cut edges to prevent freezer burn and wrap the cake in plastic wrap.

More Peanut Butter Desserts You’ll Love

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closeup of a Reese's Ice Cream Cake on a cake stand topped with chocolate ganache and peanut butter cups

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cake

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Freeze time: 6 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 7 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices

Description

This decadent Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake is a peanut butter lover’s dream! It’s a homemade chocolate cake layered with no-churn peanut butter ice cream and topped with thick chocolate ganache and chopped peanut butter cups.

Ingredients

For the chocolate cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoon dark cocoa powder blend, such as Hershey’s Special Dark
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 6 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1 large egg white at room temperature

For the ice cream

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoon milk
  • 1 1⁄2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1⁄4 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1⁄2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped mini peanut butter cups

For the chocolate ganache

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1⁄2 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1 1⁄2 cups chopped mini peanut butter cups

Instructions

For the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of an 8-inch (20-cm) cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides.
  2. In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the hot coffee, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Add the egg and egg white and whisk until combined.
  4. Pour the coffee mixture into the flour mixture and mix until smooth. The batter will be thin.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes. To test the cake for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 15-20 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and transfer it to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the ice cream:

  1. Make the whipped cream: Place your mixing bowl in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to get it nice and cold. Prepare the whipping cream. Pour the heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl and use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until the cream reaches soft peaks. Add the powdered sugar and continue beating on high speed until peaks start to form. Set the whipped cream aside.
  2. Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until it’s completely smooth. Add the milk and vanilla extract and mix until well incorporated. Next, add the peanut butter and mix until it’s completely smooth.
  3. Carefully fold about one-third of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, then fold in the remaining whipped cream until the mixture smooth and combined. Gently stir in the chopped peanut butter cups.

To assemble the cake:

  1. In an 8-inch cake pan,wrap the sides of the pan with saran wrap so it hangs over the top edge. Place a cake board in the bottom of the pan. 
  2. Use a large serrated knife to remove the dome from the top of the cake so that it’s nice and flat. Set the chocolate cake in the bottom of the prepared pan then spread the ice cream in an even layer of top of the cake. Loosely cover the top of the cake and put it in the freezer until firm, 4-6 hours.
  3. Once the cake is frozen, take it out of the freezer and use the clear plastic wrap to lift the cake out of the cake pan. Place the cake on a serving plate or on a cardboard cake circle. Use a warm offset spatula to smooth the sides, if needed.

For the chocolate ganache:

  1. Place the chocolate chips in a small heat-proof bowl. Microwave the heavy whipping cream in a small, microwave-safe measuring cup until it comes to a boil.
  2. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and let them stand, covered, for about 5 minutes. Whisk the chocolate mixture until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  3. Allow the ganache to cool for about 3 to 5 minutes. Then pour it over the top of the cake and allow it to drizzle down the sides.
  4. Finish the cake with the chopped mini peanut butter cups piled on top. Place the cake back in the freezer until you are ready to serve. Remove from the freezer 15-30 minutes before serving for easier slicing. 

Notes

  • Use a hit knife to slice. To make it easier to slice, run the knife under hot water and wipe it dry before slicing.
  • Storing instructions: This should be stored in the freezer and is best within 5-7 days. If you have a cake carrier to keep it airtight, that works best. Otherwise, place a layer of plastic wrap up against the cut edges to prevent freezer burn and wrap the cake in plastic wrap. 
Nutrition Information:
1 slice
794
54.8 g
436 mg
54.1 g
71.3 g
4.7 g
15.3 g
75.1 mg
  • Category: Ice Cream
  • Method: Freezer
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: ice cream cake, peanut butter ice cream, easy ice cream cake

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

21 Responses
  1. Joy

    Wowzers – this is a must keep for any Reese fans out there. I don’t often do big “labor of love” birthday desserts because we have three little kids, I work etc – but I REALLY wanted to make something special for my husband and his favorite things are ice cream + PB Chocolate. First off, without trying, the cake is REALLY REALLY pretty and the little cut open Reese’s on top got the kids jumping up and down. Secondly, my husband (who is watching his food closely) said he was going to have a small piece and ended up with three…. then said it was one of the best cakes he’d ever had. While it is a bit of a labor of love, trust me – don’t skip the chocolate “from scratch” layer – it is unreal how much better it is than a box cake and the other layers are just as rich and glorious. We’ll be making this a lot in the future! :). Also, I really appreciate all the thoughtful details on cake prep (parchment, saran wrap etc) – I would have cried if I’d not been able to get the cake out in the pretty circle so these steps REALLY made for easy beautiful results!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Joy I am so so happy to hear that. Sounds like you were a true birthday hero. I appreciate the kind words!

  2. Sara

    Ahhh! Just noticed that the ice cream calls for Vanilla Extract (assuming in the whipped cream?) but it doesn’t say anything about it in the direction. Of course noticing this AFTER the cake has been put into the freezer. 🙁 hoping the vanilla wasn’t so crucial that I’ve completely screwed this up.

  3. Sheila

    I made this for boyfriend’s birthday recently and it was very easy and the directions were super clear. (You have to plan ahead due to time needed for freezing cake). The cake was delicious and I received rave reviews from all who shared in eating our cake. If you love chocolate, peanut butter and ice cream cake then you should try this recipe

      1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        You’d need to make some further adjustments to the ratios, since there’s quite a bit of peanut butter in the ice cream. What flavor of ice cream would you want instead?

  4. Brenda

    This cake is delectable!! It has the right amount of sweetness. This will be the second year my son has requested this as his birthday cake.

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