Peanut Butter Chocolate 4-Layer Ombre Cake

Peanut butter. Chocolate. Peanut butter and chocolate. Together. In a cake.

A Peanut Butter Chocolate 4-Layer Ombre Cake.


Although this cake may look difficult to make, I promise you – it’s easier than it appears! After making a base cake recipe, each layer is created by stirring in different additional ingredients, like cocoa powder or peanut butter. Then they all bake for the same amount of time, and are easy to assemble, in a fancy-looking ombre arrangement, no less!


On the bottom, there’s a dark chocolate layer with a ton of cocoa powder. Then, a layer with slightly less chocolate, one with chocolate and peanut butter, and the top layer, which is only peanut butter. And, of course, in between each layer of cake, there’s sweet, salty peanut butter frosting! It doesn’t get better than that.


After assembling the inner layers of the cake, I whipped up some delicious, thick, chocolate fudge frosting. The thickness of this frosting is imperative to the recipe! To achieve this consistency, make sure you whip the butter well before adding in the cocoa powder and any other ingredients. I spread the frosting over the whole cake in an even layer using a butter knife (who needs a straight-edge spatula?), and then used a large star tip in a piping bag for the top and bottom border. In my opinion, if a cake tastes good, that’s great, but if it’s beautiful – that’s a true success!


Here’s another picture of the frosting. If you’re new to using piping bags, they may seem intimidating, but they’re really easy to use when you get the hang of it. A secret I have for easily filling up piping bags is to put them inside a tall glass, and fold the outer edges outside of the glass. Then, it’s totally open for filling! Also, make sure you keep the bag at either a 45* or 90* angle, to maintain consistency with your scallops.

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I brought this cake to my family’s holiday party, and all of my little relatives loved it, as you can see from the chocolate-y, peanut butter-y messes in the photos above!

With Christmas on Thursday, if you’re visiting with family, enjoy their company and whip up this cake to sweeten the holiday spirit!



Peanut Butter Chocolate 4-Layer Ombre Cake

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 18 minutes

Yield: One 4-layer cake


  • Base Cake
    • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup oil
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Bottom Layer (First)
    • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa powder
    • 3 tbsp buttermilk
  • Second Layer
    • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
    • 1 tbsp buttermilk
  • Third Layer
    • 1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
    • 1 tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • Fourth Layer
    • 3 tbsp creamy peanut butter
    • Splash of buttermilk

Peanut Butter Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
Chocolate Frosting:
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk

To bake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350*F, and grease four 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In another medium bowl, combine the sugar, oil and vanilla until incorporated. Crack in the eggs and mix well.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix well.
  5. Next, divide this batter between four small bowls.
    1. In the first bowl, stir in 1/4 cup & 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and 3 tablespoons of buttermilk.
    2. In the second bowl, stir in 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon of buttermilk.
    3. In the third bowl, stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons of cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon of creamy peanut butter.
    4. In the fourth bowl, stir in 3 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter and 1 teaspoon of buttermilk.
  6. Pour the cake batter into the pans, and bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out free of crumbs. When they’re done, let them cool in the pans, and then pop them out as needed.

To frost

Peanut Butter Frosting

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter on medium-high speed until smooth, creamy, and whipped – about 2 minutes.
  2. Add in the milk and powdered sugar. Mix on low speed (don’t use high speed – the powdered sugar will puff back into the air!) until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, creamy, and whipped.
  2. Add in the cocoa powder and mix on low speed until combined. Add in the milk and powdered sugar on low speed until 90% combined, and then on high speed until 100% combined. Frost in between each layer with peanut butter frosting, and cover the outside with chocolate fudge frosting – feel free to use piping, or not to use piping!

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