Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cup Cake Recipe – 5 to 7-Inch

Sometimes a small cake is perfect for a household of two to four people. This decadent and moist gluten free peanut butter cup cake recipe makes a two-layer cake from 5 to 7-inches wide to a standard size cake. The picture is worth a thousand words. Couldn’t you just dive in right now? The frostings alone are a treat. They taste just like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup!

Note: Unwrapped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Minis are not gluten-free; just the wrapped ones. See Hershey’s page Hershey’s Gluten Free List. [link no longer available]

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cup Cake

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 31 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes

Yield: Makes one 2-layer, five to seven-inch cake

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cup Cake

Make this decadent gluten free peanut butter cake recipe for the ones you love. Everyone will be begging to lick the frostings and cake bowls and spatulas.


    For the Cake:
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons Carla's Gluten-Free Self-Rising Cake Flour Blend recipe
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free cocoa powder - Hershey's (or Dutch processed cocoa powder - Rodelle)
  • 2/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used nonfat), at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Superfine white rice flour, for dusting pan
  • For the Frosting:
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 1/4 cup) unsalted butter (or Earth Balance Buttery Sticks for dairy-free), at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free natural creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, (or dairy-free milk) or more as needed
  • For the Chocolate Ganache:
  • Scant* 1/2 cup (scant 3 ounces) gluten-free semi-sweet, bittersweet (60% cocoa), milk, dark, or milk chocolate (preferably not morsels as they do not melt as easily) (Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips for dairy-free)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (or coconut milk for dairy-free)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the Garnish (Optional):
  • Gluten-free chocolate and peanut butter chips** (Nestle's), (Enjoy Life Mini Chips for dairy-free), for garnish
  • Wrapped Reese's Mini Peanut Butter Cups, unwrapped (omit for dairy-free)


    To Make the Chocolate Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil two 5 to 7-inch round cake pans; line the bottom with parchment paper; oil the top of the paper. Dust the sides of the pan with superfine rice flour, shake out any excess, and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, combine the self-rising flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.
  3. Add milk, oil, and eggs. Beat on medium speed until smooth.
  4. Add boiling water slowly while beating on low speed until thoroughly blended. Add vanilla and beat on low until combined.
  5. Distribute batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake for 30 minutes and until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out almost clean. The toothpick will show a little smear of chocolate but will not be gummy or contain crumbs.
  6. Remove cakes from the oven and cool for 10 - 15 minutes in pan. Remove from pan by turning it upside down onto the tips of your fingers. Hold the top of the cake around the outside. The center of the cake may be a little sticky. Then transfer, bottom side down, to a wire rack, removing and discarding parchment paper. Allow to cool for 15 few minutes in pan. Remove from pans, remove parchment paper and allow to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Refrigerate to cool for 20 minutes. Slice off domes on the top of the cake layers using a serrated knife. (Use domes for snacking or freeze for a later use.) Refrigerate layers, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until they reach room temperature. Wrap in plastic wrap until completely chilled, at least 30 minutes. (Chilling layers completely while wrapped avoids crumbs from forming while frosting.)
  7. To Make the Peanut Butter Frosting:
  8. In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream together the butter and peanut butter until fluffy.
  9. Gradually add 1 cup confectioners' sugar. Mix in 2 tablespoons of the cream. Beat in the remaining confectioners' sugar. Pour in another 2 tablespoons cream and mix until creamy. Add an additional tablespoon cream a little at a time and mix until the frosting reaches a good spreadable consistency. Thin with milk or thicken with additional sugar. To make it even more fluffy, add additional cream.
  10. Frost between the layers of cake, the top and sides. (The top is optional.)
  11. To Make the Chocolate Ganache:
  12. Add the chopped chocolate and vanilla extract to a heat-proof bowl. Microwave the cream until it begins to foam, about 13 seconds on high. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts. Microwave another 10 seconds and stir again. Pour it over the top of the frosted cake. Allow a little to drip down the sides of the cake. If the ganache is too thick, you'll have to drop some off the sides, from the top edge.
  13. To Garnish:
  14. Pipe a few stars of frosting on the top. Nestle in some miniature Reese's Peanut Butter Cups on top of the piped stars. Scatter a few chocolate chips and peanut butter chips on top.


*Scant means "a little less than".

**Hershey's peanut butter baking chips are gluten-free in Canada only, not in the U.S.

For a standard-sized 8 or 9-inch cake make the full Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe, the full Peanut Butter Frosting Recipe. Keep the chocolate ganache at the same amount.

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