peanut butter cake with salted chocolate ganache

by jenna on June 8, 2011

This is a healthy cake!


You can totally rationalize it though! I mean, there’s only four measly tablespoons of butter, a half cup of heart healthy peanut butter, brown sugar instead of white and the ganache is vegan! Totally vegan.

See? Healthy. So healthy you could practically eat it for breakfast.

I baked this cake yesterday for girls night. It just seemed like the right thing to do. The cake itself is super light and fluffy (and ridiculously easy to make, may I add) and the vegan ganache is perfectly melty, drippy and delicious. Especially when topped with a crunch of flaky sea salt!

Y’all know how much I love my sea salt.


And just so everyone knows that I, too, mess up in the kitchen regularly, I’d like to add that this is my second attempt at the cake yesterday. I forgot the egg on the first attempt then realized when my cake was in the oven, baking like an orange rock.

It reminded me of the time during my final exam in culinary school when I forgot the baking powder in my biscuits.

Sometimes all you can do in a moment like that is take a deep breath, eat a few chocolate chips and start over. And whatever you do, don’t forget the egg for the second time.

Peanut Butter Cake with Salted Chocolate Ganache

recipe adapted from both and The Post Punk Kitchen

serves 8 hungry girls

Print this recipe!


for the cake

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 cup soy milk (or regular milk)

for the vegan salted chocolate ganache

2/3 cup soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)

3 T maple syrup

8 oz semisweet chocolate chips

flaky sea salt to sprinkle on top


Preheat oven to 350 and grease an eight inch round cake pan. Set aside.

Sift together the dry ingredients in a medium size bowl. In another bowl, beat together the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg (don’t forget!!) and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Add the soy milk and dry ingredients alternately, beating well after each addition. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until the sides of the cake begin to pull away from the pan. Turn over onto a large plate and let cool while you make the ganache.

To make the ganache, bring the soy milk to a simmer on the stove. Pour over the chocolate chips , add the maple syrup and stir together until smooth. Let sit for 15 minutes to cool.

Pour ganache evenly over cake so it drips down over all sides. Place cake in fridge for another 15 minutes so the ganache can set, then sprinkle flaky sea salt over the top.


1 hour

Between that and these this week, I’m in a peanut butter-induced coma.

But I’m not complaining. It is my birthweek after all.



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{ 82 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren at Keep It Sweet June 8, 2011 at 4:43 am

I’m going to pretend you stopped after ‘this is a healthy cake” 😉


Marisa @ Loser for Life June 8, 2011 at 4:43 am

Wow, that looks soooo amazing! And easy to make!


Jessica @ How Sweet June 8, 2011 at 4:45 am

Seriously, what more in this world do you need?


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga June 8, 2011 at 4:45 am

Oh dear goodness, Jenna….I love it!

Not healthy
Peanut Butter
Chocolate Ganache
Serves 8 hungry girls (girls night out anyone!)
And all that butter and sugar.

I heart this cake!

And the chalkboard. From the photography post, now I know how the magic is done and it’s kinda cool to “know” as weird as that sounds :)


amy walters, aDESIGNdock June 8, 2011 at 4:46 am

Jenna, I love this recipe. Looks so delish! And, love that this was attempt #2 😉 I’m a total scatter brain in the kitchen…once I forgot the FLOUR in my bread machine recipe. Hehe…kinda a main ingredient, wouldn’t you say?!



Crina June 8, 2011 at 4:50 am

Happy Birthday week! You’re certainly celebrating in style . I think I’ll give myself a birthday week come August, too. 😉 (And YESYESYES to tall that peanut butter!!!!!)

I am more of a regular reader than regular commenter – I don’t even have my own food blog – but I felt compelled to leave a message to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed the recent vegan-friendly developings around here! 😉 (I’m a vegan, duh.)
Also, props to the boy for being so open-minded about all this!


katie June 8, 2011 at 4:50 am

this looks amazing!! U totally have me drooling! This could be breakfast every day in my world! How easy it is to make too! I shouldn’t say that though until i try to make it ; )


Heather (Heather's Dish) June 8, 2011 at 4:50 am

i started drooling the second i read the title…holy heaven! although i’d probably just go all the way with the non-vegan ganache. actually, as long as there’s chocolate I don’t care :)


Molly @ RDexposed June 8, 2011 at 4:51 am

I do stuff like that ALL the time! When I go to make it the second time around I usually realize that I’m now out of one ingredient!

This cake looks so sinfully good, too!


Amy June 8, 2011 at 4:54 am

What a happy start to my day! I am convinced that chocolate + peanut butter makes everything better <3 Happy Wednesday, Jenna!


Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet June 8, 2011 at 4:57 am

Delicious! Definitely perfect for some chocolate PB craving girls. Like me!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat June 8, 2011 at 4:58 am

Oooh this looks delicious! I’ll happily join you in your peanut butter coma any time. :) Oh, and I know I’ve said it before, but I love your chalkboard photos!! I’ve got your “how to set up a home photography studio post bookmarked and I keep coming back to it” – thanks so much for the tips!!


Blog is the New Black June 8, 2011 at 5:12 am

Looks wonderful… love the addition of sea salt on top! :)


jenna June 8, 2011 at 5:13 am

looks delish! i could eat the ganache along! :)


Baking 'n' Books June 8, 2011 at 5:15 am

I probably would have just served it without the egg – so I applaud you for that!

Please DON’T take this the wrong way (it seems people immediately bash anyone who dares say anything critical on a blog at times!) – but do you really have to keep disclaiming things as healthy or not healthy? I think we can get it – we can enjoy all things in moderation and you aren’t eating whole cakes every day or just greens every day. It comes off as trying a little too hard or more flaky in a way. Not always – and I’m sure it’s just me….:( Sorry.


Anna June 8, 2011 at 11:20 am

I agree with this! Everytime I see “healthy” or “unhealthy” mentioned like that, I roll my eyes. Many bloggers seem to be obsessed with making “unhealthy” recipes/foods into a joke, like it’s our little secret or something. It’s not a big deal, we all eat cake sometimes!
Anyway that’s just my opinion, and that being said, I love all your recipes and I love reading the blog, and I think you’re awesome!


gia June 9, 2011 at 10:29 am

I enjoy the lightheartedness of it all very much. This is her VOICE, let us hear it and not squash it.


Lorin June 10, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Yeah I was thinking that too. But it really isn’t just bloggers, it’s people in life. For example, my family friends came up and we went out to eat and one of them was like oh I want the lobster mac n cheese, but it has so many calories! I feel like it ruins the eating experience. It’s not going to kill you for one day to have an extra 300 calories..just eat a lighter lunch later or exercise or balance it out. I think you have the right to what you say, and I do love your blog and I don’t want you to filter or anything, but just something to think about. :)


Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen June 8, 2011 at 5:16 am

Ohhh my gosh. haha This is amazing.


megan @ whatmegansmaking June 8, 2011 at 5:24 am

sounds like a great cake! Easy, yet elegant. And yes, we all make kitchen mistakes. The key is not to end up irrationally upset over them like I do… :)


Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday June 8, 2011 at 5:32 am

YUM! I love anything with peanut butter and chocolate. How is the cake? Light and moist? or denser like a wedding cake?


Caroline @ chocolate and carrots June 8, 2011 at 5:38 am

Yum, yum, yum!!!!!!


Victoria (District Chocoholic) June 8, 2011 at 5:43 am

Fact: salt and chocolate always belong together. Delicious.


Evan Thomas June 8, 2011 at 5:49 am

Oh God, I could definitely eat this for breakfast. And lunch. And dinner.


Gina @ Running to the Kitchen June 8, 2011 at 5:52 am

I love how you say first off how it’s not healthy and then go ahead anyway and try to rationalize it! haha :)
I love any chocolate that’s been “salted” so this is worth it even if it isn’t healthy.


Cait's Plate June 8, 2011 at 5:59 am

Oh my gosh Jenna – that looks AMAZING. I would absolutely rationalize the “health factor” as a means to getting to eat that for breakfast :)


Holly @ The Runny Egg June 8, 2011 at 6:04 am

I want to be in a peanut butter induced coma. Sounds like heaven to me!


Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum June 8, 2011 at 6:19 am

This is incredible. I love the color. And vegan ganache? Who knew?!


Amanda (Eating Up) June 8, 2011 at 6:32 am

The last picture! It just looks so deliciously…cakey!


Rachel @ The Perseverance Diaries June 8, 2011 at 6:46 am

my mouth is watering :)

yay for vegan ganache


The Blue-Eyed Bakers June 8, 2011 at 6:58 am

Sweet and salty AND chocolate and peanut butter?! Totally amazing. We are all over this!


Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray June 8, 2011 at 7:04 am

See, I can feel good about my willpower by having the healthy snacks you posted about yesterday…then reward myself with this cake! Perfect! :)


Sara June 8, 2011 at 7:07 am

Thank you – this looks wonderful!


Caitlin June 8, 2011 at 7:08 am

Your blog makes me smile on a daily basis, especially when you write about peanut butter. Enjoy your cake and your birth week!


Tabitha (From Single to Married) June 8, 2011 at 7:10 am

mmmmm… sweet and salty, my favorite!


Jaime June 8, 2011 at 7:31 am



Emily @ Comfortable Home Life June 8, 2011 at 7:58 am

I just died. Would it be acceptable to make this and eat the entire thing for dinner? Probably not a good nutritional investment but definitely a soul comforting decision? I think so.


Mary Beth June 8, 2011 at 8:11 am

This looks amazing! But, what isn’t when chocolate and peanut butter are involved?

I can relate with your experience of forgetting the egg. Last weekend I attempted to bake bluberry muffins and forgot the sugar. I didn’t realize this until they have been in the oven for 15 minutes. Whoops!


Bethany June 8, 2011 at 8:14 am

I’m thinking I should make this as soon as possible as a way to celebrate your birthweek. I mean, it would be wrong of me to do otherwise, right? You send fabulous recipes my way on a daily basis…the least I can do is celebrate your birthweek, right?

Right. Plus it’s healthy (ahem). It would be sinful for me to not make this.


jenna June 8, 2011 at 8:17 am

thank you, Bethany! I fully concur.


Alejandra @ June 8, 2011 at 8:19 am

Such a perfect combo! Peanut butter, chocolate, sea salt. YUM!


R @ Learning As I Chop June 8, 2011 at 8:28 am

Looks good! If it’s easy, I might need to try it


Maria June 8, 2011 at 8:31 am

I am afraid to make this because I might eat the whole cake all by myself!


Cat @Breakfast to Bed June 8, 2011 at 8:42 am



Khushboo June 8, 2011 at 8:44 am

Ok salted Choc and peanut butter- how can I NOT make this!! If I do, can I please add it to my snack list!?


Julie (A Case of the Runs) June 8, 2011 at 8:47 am

Look at that crumb!! I misread and thought it was totally vegan, but then I was like.. “butter?” Maybe a big ganache bowl is enough for me!


Allison @ The Delicious Life June 8, 2011 at 9:05 am

This is screaming out to me. Must.Make.Now.


d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo June 8, 2011 at 9:09 am

Oh wow that looks so amazing. I might have to ask someone to make me a second birthday cake…I do have a few more days until my real birthday!!


Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope June 8, 2011 at 9:25 am

Peanut butter CAKE? Count me in! LOVE this recipe!


Mellie June 8, 2011 at 9:41 am

Yum! This looks like a perfect cake, healthy or not. And I make the stupidest kitchen mistakes, like, all the time. In 6th grade I once left bananas out of BANANA BREAD. How stupid is that?


Katrina June 8, 2011 at 10:02 am

Love this. It’s like pizza…protein, dairy, grains, veggies…it’s healthy.


Erin June 8, 2011 at 10:04 am

yum! Making this soon!
I’m attending to your alma mater CofC this fall! Any tips/insider info/foodie spots??


Gina (Yogattude) June 8, 2011 at 10:32 am

I think I’ll have girls’ night just so I can bake something delicious…I mean if I’m entertaining, I have to provide something yummy, right?!


tom(watkins products associate) June 8, 2011 at 10:49 am

on my way to the gym now I have to get that pic out of my head


Marie June 8, 2011 at 10:58 am

Oh my, oh my, OH MY! I’m on a bit of a PB kick lately as well. But your pictures truly torture me – it’s almost physically painful to not have a piece in front of me right now! :)


Vanessa @ Project Zen June 8, 2011 at 11:15 am

Depending on which chocolate chips you use to make the ganache, chocolate ganache unfortunately still isn’t vegan. Chocolate chips can either contain dairy or an ingredient called lectithin which can come from animal sources. I would keep this in mind if you want to make a vegan version of this recipe.

However, Ghirardelli chocolate chips are vegan.

It’s confusing but helpful to keep doing your research. I’m really glad to see more healthier posts now!


Sarah June 8, 2011 at 11:31 am

I love how you explained that the cake really could be called healthy.
Sounds like my mother (who is known for eating ice cream as a “healthy” lunch), sister, and I. :)


Rachel @ The Avid Appetite June 8, 2011 at 11:32 am

I adore salted chocolate anything! Wow, I cannot wait to try this cake! Happy Birthweek!


Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove June 8, 2011 at 11:55 am

You had be at “vegan ganache”. This looks so yummy!


Emily June 8, 2011 at 12:45 pm


My sister is getting married in Healdsburg over July 4th weekend and we need a babysitter for our super cute 5 month old daughter, Lily, for the 5 nights we’ll be there. Do you have any friends in the area you could recommend? Please email me if you do.



Jen June 8, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Speaking of kitchen mistakes…you just reminded me of my very recent experience in culinary school, in which I broke a sauce twice. By my third attempt, I was out of mushrooms and shallots, and had to chop up a whole new bath. Good times, good times.


Jessica @ The Process of Healing June 8, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Umm.. I’m kind of in love with this cake.


Alli June 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Two of the best flavors in the world, put into one cake…omg, making for my next girl’s night party!


Mich June 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Peanut butter, sea salt, and ganache!?! This is too much…. Just learned how to make ganache last weekend, btw. Where have I been!?!!?!?!


Samantha June 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm

This is pure brilliance ! I can’t wait to make it =)


Kristen June 8, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Yum! I need to try this. One little quibble – call me crazy, but doesn’t chocolate have dairy in it? As in milk fat? Or maybe that is something totally different and doesn’t “un-vegan” a recipe. I’m pretty sure that the dairy allergy/vegan crowd that I know use carob chips (sad for them!).


Candice June 10, 2011 at 5:40 am

Not all chocolate has dairy in it, especially as the chocolate gets darker.


kankana June 8, 2011 at 6:44 pm

happy birthday week :) This cake looks like a perfect treat !


Mindy June 8, 2011 at 7:38 pm

This looks and sounds amazing. Can’t wait to try it out.


jenna k June 8, 2011 at 10:00 pm

i just made this cake… at midnight. perfection.
my goodness, i’ve died. see ya in heaven, sister.


Camille June 8, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Just fyi – brown sugar is the exact same thing as white sugar, but mixed with molasses. It is not in any way less processed or healthier than white sugar.


Candice June 10, 2011 at 5:43 am

This. If you want something vegan or less processed, look around for turbinado that’s coarsely ground and hasn’t been processed. I buy a bag at Whole Foods that describes itself as ‘Raw Cane Sugar’ and whether or not it’s truly raw, it still has the color and moisture found in less processed sugar. It should look similar to light brown sugar but it won’t be as sticky or fine.


Lindsay June 9, 2011 at 11:33 am

I came across this recipe on foodgawker last night right before I had company coming over. I wasn’t sure if they’d like peanut butter, but knew they love I subbed the bananas for the peanut butter. OMG this was seriously one of the best cakes I have ever had. I’m not even a cake person… but it was so moist and literally perfection! My friend took most of it home (thankfully otherwise I would have eaten it all =)) Thanks for such a great recipe!


DessertForTwo June 9, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Totally loved that this is semi-healthy. Good enough for me :)

Once I made red velvet cupcakes without sugar…ugh.


Cynthea June 10, 2011 at 9:23 am

In what world is Vegan described as using egg and butter?? I am new , just a few weeks and I thought the difference from Vegetarian and Vegan is the no dairy and no eggs. If you eat eggs and butter what is the difference between a Vegan and Vegetarian? thanks


jenna June 10, 2011 at 10:31 am

The cake is not vegan, the ganache is.


Janet Rudolph @ DyingforChocolate June 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm

This looks fabulous. Peanut butter + Chocolate.. always a great combo. Wonderful photos.. Lick the screen


Andy June 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Is it just me, or did anyone else come out with a dark tasting chocolate gauche? (not that I’m complaining, it came out pretty awesome, just the chocolate came out bitter than sweet)


Chocolate-Covered Katie June 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm

This is beautiful, Jenna. Absolutely beautiful!


Kara G July 5, 2011 at 5:34 am

Amazing! Made this last night after finding your recipe a while back!
So simple & thank you for sharing!


Cristina Hartman July 21, 2011 at 11:44 am

I just made this cake today! I can’t wait to try it- I am taking it to a friend’s house tomorrow night, so I’ll have to wait- But my question is, do I need to refrigerate it until then?


Sara March 9, 2012 at 10:52 am

I want to try this, it looks delicious! I’m allergic to peanuts, so will substitute almond butter. Unfortunately, I’m also allergic to eggs, which I usually substitute 1 tbsp of oil for…will that work for this cake?


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