This Keto Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake is over-the-top delicious. Three layers of tender low carb chocolate cake with sugar-free peanut butter frosting and a rich chocolate glaze. It’s a peanut butter lover’s dream!
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Carolyn and I have an all-consuming obsession with chocolate and peanut butter. It’s genetic and I’m pretty sure I’ve had this condition since birth.
It’s actually a very common affliction that affects many people worldwide. Chances are good that you have it too! Otherwise you probably wouldn’t even be reading this post.
You know the best cure for this affliction? Cake. A really amazing cake that tastes like eating keto peanut butter cups. Keto Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake is almost always the answer, no matter what the question!
If this flavor combo is your obsession, be sure to check out my Keto Peanut Butter Balls too.
You will love this cake!
I originally dreamed up this beautiful Keto Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake back in 2014. It was delicious back then but my keto baking skills have vastly improved and I decided it needed an update.
I made the cake similarly to my Keto Devil’s Food Cake, as it’s so wonderful and chocolatey. I also re-vamped peanut butter frosting by folding in whipped cream to give it lightness and structure. It was both airy and luscious, and reminiscent to Keto Peanut Butter Mousse.
Finally, I created a chocolate glaze to decorate the cake. It was the perfect consistency to drip down the sides decoratively.
The final cake is just as delicious as the original, but with even fewer carbs! It’s definitely worthy of all your special occasions.
Ingredients you need
This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- Almond flour: Make sure to use a good finely ground almond flour for the best cake texture. You can also use sunflower seed flour for a nut-free version.
- Sweetener: I used granular Swerve in the cake and powdered Swerve in the frosting and glaze. I also used a little allulose in the glaze to keep it shiny and soft. See the Expert Tips section for other sweetener options.
- Cocoa powder: If you want a dark chocolate cake, use dark cocoa powder.
- Protein powder: Added dry protein like whey protein powder gives keto cakes a lighter texture and more structure. I don’t recommend skipping it, although you can also use egg white or plant-based protein. Do not use collagen as it will make the cakes gummy and hard to cook through.
- Sour cream: Full fat sour cream adds wonderful tenderness to keto cakes and muffins.
- Peanut butter: Any creamy natural peanut butter should work for the frosting. I really like the Santa Cruz brand.
- Cream cheese: Cream cheese gives the frosting more structure without having to add copious amounts of powdered sweetener.
- Whipping cream: Folding whipped cream into the frosting gives it a luscious mousse-like texture.
- Unsweetened chocolate: The chocolate drip glaze really is the perfect finish to a cake like this. Unsweetened chocolate is not the same thing as sugar-free chocolate like ChocZero or Lily’s. Those have been sweetened already.
- Kitchen staples: Eggs, butter, baking powder, vanilla, salt.
Step by Step Directions
1. Prepare the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, sweetener, cocoa powder, protein powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the water one tablespoon at a time until the batter is thick but pourable.
2. Bake the layers: Divide batter evenly among 3 greased 8-inch cake pans and bake at 325ºF for 15 to 20 minutes, or until just firm to the touch. Remove and let cool completely in the pans.
3. Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the peanut butter, cream cheese, and butter together until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the sweetener and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks. Fold into the peanut butter mixture until no streaks remain.
4. Frost the cake: Place one layer of cake on a serving platter and spread with about one quarter of the frosting. Top with another layer of cake and another quarter of the frosting. Add the remaining layer of cake and spread the top and sides with the remaining frosting. Refrigerate for one hour to firm up.
5. Prepare the glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let sit a few minutes to melt. Add the sweeteners and whisk to combine. Let cool a few minutes to thicken.
6. Decorate the cake: Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake along the edges, letting it drip down the sides. Smooth the remaining glaze over the top of the cake. Top with keto peanut butter cups and sprinkles, if desired.
Always make sure to prep your cake pans properly. This includes greasing the pan and lining them with parchment paper circles. And then greasing the parchment as well. This ensures that your cakes flip easily out of the pans.
Don’t overbake those cake layers! It’s easy to do and they will end up dry. I touch the tops of my cakes multiple times during baking. The minute they feel dry on top with a little bounce underneath, I get them out of the oven. Watch my video for the Best Tips on Baking Keto Cakes.
You can use almost any granular sweetener in the cake layers, but the baking time may change so keep your eye on them. Additionally, any confectioners-style sweetener should work in the frosting. I do find that allulose can make things a little softer so allow it to firm up properly in the fridge before adding the glaze.
Frequently Asked Questions
Not all peanut butter is created equal. Some of the commercial brands are highly processed and full of sugar and preservatives. But natural peanut butter that has no added sugar has only about 5 to 6 grams of carbs per 2 tablespoon serving. Most people find they can use it sparingly on a keto diet without issue.
Keto friendly cake like this Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake is made with alternative flours and sweeteners. In this case, almond flour forms the base of the cake, along with protein powder and sweetener.
If you want to prepare this keto cake ahead, make the cake up to the point of adding the chocolate glaze. Then wrap carefully and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Add the glaze a few hours before serving.
Keto Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
- 3 8-inch metal baking pans
- 2 cups almond flour
- ¾ cup Swerve Sweetener or other granular sweetener
- 6 tablespoon dark cocoa powder or Dutch process
- ⅓ cup unflavoured whey protein powder or egg white protein powder
- 2 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sour cream softened
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 to 4 tablespoon water
Peanut Butter Frosting
- ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- ½ cup butter softened
- ¾ cup Swerve Confectioners or other powdered sweetener
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 oz unsweetened chocolate chopped
- 1 tablespoon Swerve Confectioners
- 1 tablespoon allulose granular
- Preheat oven to 325ºF and grease three 8-inch round cake pans well. Line the bottom of the pans with circles of parchment and grease the parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, sweetener, cocoa powder, protein powder, baking powder, and salt.
- Stir in the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the water one tablespoon at a time until the batter is thick but pourable.
- Divide batter evenly among prepared cake pans and bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until just firm to the touch.
- Remove and let cool completely in the pans.
Peanut Butter Frosting
- In a large bowl, beat the peanut butter, cream cheese, and butter together until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the sweetener and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks. Fold into the peanut butter mixture until no streaks remain.
- Place one layer of cake on a serving platter and spread with about one quarter of the frosting. Top with another layer of cake and another quarter of the frosting.
- Add the remaining layer of cake and spread the top and sides with the remaining frosting. Refrigerate for one hour to firm up.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let sit a few minutes to melt.
- Add the sweeteners and whisk to combine. Let cool a few minutes to thicken, and then slowly drizzle over the top of the cake along the edges, letting it drip down the sides.
- Smooth the remaining glaze over the top of the cake. Top with keto peanut butter cups and sprinkles, if desired.
Is there anything else that I can use instead of cream cheese in the frosting?
Oooh, that’s tough. It helps give it structure and nothing has the structure of cream cheese. If you tell me why you want to avoid it, I might be able to help more.
I am struggling with this latest article that came out yesterday and wonder if after a year of using Lankanto Monk Fruit Sweetener I should suddenly stop using? Any thoughts? What would be a good substitute for monk fruit erithotol?
“The zero-calorie sweetener erythritol, widely used in sugar replacement or reduced-sugar products, has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular events including heart attacks and strokes, according to a new study published Monday. Due to a growing obesity epidemic worldwide, artificial sweeteners are becoming increasingly common ingredients found in soft drinks, “diet” products and other processed foods.”
Please read the comments, I have already discussed this.
I have been working with a nutritionist, and I asked her about it. She told me that it reads like a study that was looking for a negative answer and set out to confirm its own bias. Also that we have other studies clearly showing safety, as well as some showing benefits that lower heart disease risk. That there’s always a need for more research, but that this isn’t a reason to fear it’s use. There was some more in this vein, but that’s the gist. We both also noted their research sample was all people at higher risk to start with, which isn’t really a great indicator all by itself.
Anyway, I’m following her lead on this and not stressing about it, since she’s a professional and read the full study. In case that helps anyone else.
L. E. Bruce says
I just read about a study showing erythritol could cause blood clots. It clearly needs more study, but I think everyone following a keto diet should be aware.
Love your blog.
Yes, we’ve been discussing it on my Facebook page.
My take is that while concerning, it’s not time to panic. It’s a single study, and even by the authors’ own admission, it’s not conclusive. It warrants much more research. Keep in mind that news outlets love to sensationalize these things and make it sound cut and dried, when it’s not.
They studied people already at risk, and their follow up sample size was 8 people. They also gave those people 30g of erythritol to consume, which is a lot for anyone to consume in one sitting!
However, it’s definitely something to watch and to consider. Will I stop using Swerve? No. Will I be more mindful of how much I am using? Yes.
I am also going to give as many sweetener options as possible in my recipes from here on in. I have too many in my archives to go back and do it for every recipe but I will do it as it comes up…
Vivian Shawcroft says
I’m hoping the comments on this recipe don’t become conversation about Erythritol. If people don’t want to eat it, then don’t!
Making this today, don’t have 3 pans so hoping a double layer will work. I’ll keep close eye on the baking time as I realize it’ll probably change.
Thank you for all your great recipes!! 😊
Was wondering how do you keep it from being super thick? Is this batter supposed to be pourable? I followed the recipe exactly and it was so thick it wouldn’t go evenly into the cake pans.
No, it should not be that thick. What brand of almond flour did you use?
I made this and it was delicious! Recipe is way too much sugar alcohol for me, though, so I sweetened with: just over 1/2 cup of truvia in the batter; ~40 drops liquid stevia plus a couple tbsp swerve in the frosting, and lily’s baking chips for the ganache. Great recipe but 20 servings, really? I got about 12 regular-sized cake slices out of this. My macros per slice were: 511 cal, 46 fat, 13 protein, 7 net carbs. And that’s taking into consideration that I only used about 3/4 of the frosting.
Hi there! I’m excited to try this cake recipe out for my birthday this week. Do I need the stevia or can I use extra sweetener? I Don’t typically use it. And I hate to buy it just for one recipe. Thanks so much for this beautiful cake recipe!
You can use extra sweetener. I don’t really use stevia anymore either!
Finally made this on Wednesday for my birthday that we celebrated tonight. It was delicious. I actually added some sour cream and a little more almond because it was so thick. I was nervous about the outcome , but so thrilled it came out well. Will definitely make again. If anyone loves chocolate and peanut butter this is a recipe for you!
Thank you so much for responding so quickly! I know totally understand about what you mean. After much reading I’m assuming that when you make this cake you used blanched almond flour? I know the difference between blanched and regular almond flour, but a lot of people say use blanched because it’ll come out smooth, if that makes sense. Thanks so much!
Definitely blanched. It will give you much better cakes and other baked goods!
Thank you so much!
Hi! I want to make this for my birthday in a couple weeks and I was wondering what kind of swerve you used for making the cake. Granular or powdered? I saw you used the powdered for the frosting, but didn’t know If you used it in the cake as well. Also, I use premier protein flavors vanilla and chocolate. Could I use one of those and which one would be better with this cake? Thanks!
I usually use granular for cakes and I don’t specify because I figure it’s like saying “sugar” and “powdered sugar”, if that makes sense!
Made this cake for my 54th birthday so my husband with diabetes could have some of my favorite cake with me. This was the worst tasting cake we ever ate! Throwing it out!
Wondering about the peanut butter frosting. Could I use peanut butter powder? I found a Lakanto PB powder with monk fruit sweetener in it. If I used this, how would you recommend I adjust the recipe? I made your devils food cake recipe and I think the peanut butter icing on it will be Devine!
Well I really haven’t tried it that way. I’d probably re-constitute the powder with water until it’s like a peanut butter consistency, and then proceed from there.
This cake looks heavenly and I can’t wait to make it! I’m not keto but follow a low carb lifestyle & keep sugar to a minimum. I found out the hard way last night that trying to convert regular sugar recipes to keto doesn’t work well. I made a P.B. sheet cake last night and instead of sugar I used Pyrue. The cake texture came out flat and gummy even after using A.P. Flour & baking soda. I do use almond flour from time to time but can’t get my cakes or breads to rise, even w/ xanthan gum & whey protein? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I’d like to pull away from flour completely if I could ever figure this almond flour baking out? ????. I’ll make your cake next week after I “gum down” the one I just made. ????. Thanks for your great recipes!
Allison N says
I made this but my cake didn’t rise. I followed the recipe exactly. Any clue what went wrong ? Thanks
I suspect that your baking soda was old or out of date.
So I was wondering can I freeze this cake with the frosting and ganache?
The ganache is likely to discolour and become greyish in the freezer but it will certainly still taste good.
Made this 2 years ago as an anniversary cake for my wife. It is hands-down her favorite cake ever. That’s right, the chocolate cake component alone is just as good as homemade standard chocolate cake!
The ganache is a gorgeous finishing touch, if you carefully follow the directions.
However, if you are not a huge peanut butter fan (like myself), plan to enjoy a small slice at a time, the peanut butter frosting (while amazing and perfect for using leftover amounts as a decadent apple slice dip) is very rich and can overwhelm the weak-at-peanut-butter-heart who try to down a big slab in one go. If you do love peanut butter, though, ignore this warning.
Planning to make make another one today!
I just made this cake for my man’s bday and OH MY GOODNESS is it good! the flavors are so so rich and the texture is amazing. I can’t decide which part is my favorite because each layer and element is just so good. Since I can’t tolerate gluten, that means that the whole household is gluten free. I’m sure he has been feeling a little lack-luster about missing out on the deliciousness of things made with wheat, but this cake leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. It is better than any wheat filled cake!
The directions and proportions were spot on and easy to follow. I had almost all of the ingredients on hand already. The addition of the coffee in the cake makes it so rich and really makes the flavors pop.
I think this has become a new household favorite, I can’t say enough good things!
Delighted you liked it! Thanks.
Michael Girard says
I made this on Sunday and it was another huge hit! The chocolate and peanut butter are in perfect harmony! I have had 100% success with your recipes Carolyn. So far I’ve made the Italian Cream Cake and the Carmel Cake as well – both fabulous! I can’t wait to figure out which cake to make next! Thank you so much!
So glad you like them. I haven’t made this one in a while… perhaps it needs me to revisit it!
Michael L Sakey says
I followed the cake recipe to the letter and my cakes seem more like brownies. They did not rise likemyour cakes did in the photo. Any suggestion on what went wrong ?
If you used exactly the same ingredients I did, it should rise. Unless your baking powder or baking soda has been around too long. That’s the likely culprit.
All I can say is OMG!!! This cake was Fantastic! I made this for my granddaughter and my birthday (my first and she was born on my birthday). Everyone raved about it. This will be our new birthday cake. thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!
This is beautiful. I just made this cake to test for my son’s upcoming birthday. The icing is to die for… And I’m not a huge icing fan to begin with! However my cake didn’t rise, I have flat pancake style layers lol. I followed the recipe to a tee, any suggestions?
Me too. Cakes did not rise at all. I used the baking powder instead of the apple cider vinegar/baking soda option. Everything else turned out lovely. I do not know why the cakes were flat.
I wish I knew, as I’ve used this cake recipe many times, with both leavening options, and never had an issue.