Peanut Butter Cup Earthquake Cake Recipe

This Peanut Butter Cup Earthquake Cake recipe is made with Reese's, peanut butter frosting made from scratch as a rich filling, and chocolate cake mix – great dessert idea! Tastes just like the popular candy, but in the best cake.

This Peanut Butter Cup Earthquake Cake recipe is made with Reese's, peanut butter frosting made from scratch as a rich filling, and chocolate cake mix - so moist and rich! Tastes just like the popular candy, but in a decadent dessert.

An Annual Tradition

This recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Earthquake Cake is now an annual tradition in our home! A great big happy early birthday to my husband, Noah, whose actual birthday is next week. To celebrate, I'm sharing my go-to birthday cake for him. I've made it for several of his birthday cakes and it's a hit each and every time.

It's not just one of the best recipes in my family. Almost 6 years ago to the day, I published the first edition of this Peanut Butter Cup Earthquake Cake recipe on my blog. It went viral almost immediately and, to this day, it is the one of the best among hundreds of recipes on my this site. It even inspired a whole series of Earthquake Cake recipes. You see how you can snag them all at once by reading below.

So, in honor of my husband's upcoming birthday, I thought I'd re-share it today! These are newer photos than the original post, with a little better post layout. However, it's still a delish, moist, chocolatey, peanut-buttery cake that is as good as ever (and really easy to make).

What is an Earthquake Cake?

Earthquake Cakes are a really easy concept that makes for a dessert with a lot of “wow factor.” To make any of the earthquake cake variations, you simply mix cake batter with other add-ins, like chocolate chips, coconut, almonds, chopped pecans, or (one of my favorites) a sweet cream cheese mixture. In this particular cake, you're going to mix in peanut butter frosting, chocolate syrup, and Reese's peanut butter cups. When you bake in the oven, everything cooks together and makes for cracks and crevices in your cake that are filled with the add-ins. It's both really pretty and so tasty.

Let's take a look at the step-by-step directions for making this easy Peanut Butter Cup Earthquake Cake.

Peanut Butter Cup Earthquake Cake

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(printable version of this recipe at the bottom)

Ingredients

  • 1 Box of Devil's food cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups peanut butter
  • 2 sticks butter softened to room temperature
  • chocolate syrup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 30 chopped miniature Reese's peanut butter cups

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray your baking pan (I use a 9×13″ glass Pyrex dish) with cooking spray.

Next, in a large bowl, mix together cake mix, eggs, vanilla extract, 1 cup milk, 1 cup of peanut butter, and 1 stick of butter. Pour the cake batter and spread in a the baking dish.

With a hand mixer, cream together half a cup butter (1 stick), 1 cup peanut butter, and milk. Once those ingredients are mixed, add in powdered sugar until the frosting is mixed well.

After mixing your peanut butter frosting, dollop half of the frosting mixture on top of the cake batter in 5-6 scoops. Add 6-8 large squirts of chocolate syrup.

Next, gently swirl ingredients together with a butter knife or a spoon. Swirls should reach the end and bottom of the pan.

Sprinkle half of the chopped peanut butter cups over the mixture and gently press in.

Bake cake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Finally, frost the cake with remaining frosting, more chocolate syrup, and remaining chopped peanut butter cups.

See? Easy peasy and so delish! This is absolutely perfect served warm and topped with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Printable Earthquake Cake Recipe

Grab the printable version of this recipe below. Or, if you want a full (free) digital cookbook of all of my variations of Earthquake Cakes in one convenient file, simply sign up for my email newsletter to receive access to my printable collection! You'll get exclusive printable content from Lamberts Lately, including an all-in-one file of my Earthquake Cake recipe collection, as well as access to hundreds of free printables. (If the form below doesn't work, click here to sign up.)

Peanut Butter Cup Earthquake Cake

This Peanut Butter Cup Earthquake Cake recipe is made with Reese's, peanut butter frosting made from scratch as a rich filling, and chocolate cake mix – great dessert idea! Tastes just like the popular candy, but in the best cake.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 463 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Box of Devil's food cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups peanut butter
  • 2 sticks butter softened to room temperature
  • chocolate syrup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 30 chopped miniature peanut butter cups

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, eggs, 1 cup milk, 1 cup of peanut butter, and 1 stick of butter. Spread mixture in a greased 9×13″ baking dish.
  • With a mixer, mix together 1 stick butter, 1 cup peanut butter, and 1/4 cup milk. Slowly add in powdered sugar until frosting is mixed well.
  • Spoon half of the frosting mixture on top of the cake mix. Add 6-8 large squirts of chocolate syrup.Very gently swirl frosting and syrup into the cake mix. Don't completely mix. Make sure you get swirls into the edge of the cake pan.
  • Gently press in half of the chopped peanut butter cups.
  • Bake cake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees.Top cake with remaining frosting, more chocolate syrup, and remaining chopped peanut butter cups.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 463kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 12gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 432mgPotassium: 360mgFiber: 3gSugar: 36gVitamin A: 102IUVitamin C: 0.04mgCalcium: 96mgIron: 2mg
Keyword chocolate, earthquake cake, peanut butter cup
Tried this recipe?Rate it in the comments below!

Video: Peanut Butter Cup Earthquake Cake

Enjoy! To see more Earthquake Cake recipes, check out the links below…

You can also catch my other recipes here or you can see the full selection of other Earthquake Cake variations here.

Images from a previous version of this post…
This recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Earthquake Cake is one of the most addictive things I've ever made! The chocolate and peanut butter frosting swirls make it so rich and decadent. This is a must-pin!
This recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Earthquake Cake is one of the most addictive things I've ever made! The chocolate and peanut butter frosting swirls make it so rich and decadent. This is a must-pin!
This recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Earthquake Cake is one of the most addictive things I've ever made! The chocolate and peanut butter frosting swirls make it so rich and decadent. This is a must-pin!
This recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Earthquake Cake is one of the most addictive things I've ever made! The chocolate and peanut butter frosting swirls make it so rich and decadent. This is a must-pin!
This recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Earthquake Cake is one of the most addictive things I've ever made! The chocolate and peanut butter frosting swirls make it so rich and decadent. This is a must-pin!
This recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Earthquake Cake is one of the most addictive things I've ever made! The chocolate and peanut butter frosting swirls make it so rich and decadent. This is a must-pin!
This recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Earthquake Cake is one of the most addictive things I've ever made! The chocolate and peanut butter frosting swirls make it so rich and decadent. This is a must-pin!

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29 Comments

  1. Do you put the icing on while it is still hot or do you let it cool first?

    1. You can do it either way…I put mine on when it was slightly warm and it kind of melted into the nooks and crannies!

  2. Debora Brawley says:

    can this be made using a chocolate cake mix?

    1. Absolutely! It would obviously change the flavor a little, but should work just fine.

  3. Is it supposed to be gooey in the middle from the frosting swirled in?

    1. It might be, just at the parts that have the frosting. It should be fairly well-set once it cools!

        1. It wouldn’t hurt – I did when I first made it. With the butter and milk in the icing there’s a potential for it to go bad.

  4. Mine took a lot longer to cook, and the middle still didn’t set. The edges were delicious. I guess I need to try again. Lol

    1. It might have to do with the pan you used – was it 9×13″? Smaller pans can take longer to cook since it makes the cake thicker.

      1. It was a glass 9×13. I rechecked the recipe several times. It was delicious around the edges so I still may try it again.

  5. You mention 1 c milk in the recipe… in the cake portion, you are using 1 c milk and then in the frosting portion, another 1/4 c milk. Is the total 1 1/4 c milk or is it only supposed to be 3/4 c milk for the cake?

    1. Hi there! They are listed out as two different ingredients in the recipe.

      1. Thanks! You know how many times I looked at that?!?! Apparently it’s time to make an earthquake cake! 😉

  6. I think I over baked! At first it wasn’t done in the middle at 35 min , I added a few more than took it out. As it cooled it kinda caved in. Hoping the frosting saves it!

    1. It’s going to look a little undercooked in the middle at first – the icing won’t firm up like the cake part. Give it 5-10 minutes before baking more next time – it usually takes about that long for the middle to not be jiggly! If it’s still jiggly after 10 minutes, it probably needs to be baked a little bit longer.

  7. Janet Barnes says:

    Hey there!!! I’m allergic to chocolate, but I’m always looking for recipes that I can convert to white chocolate, and i love Reese’s peanut butter cups. This recipe looks delicious. I figure I could use the white reese’s and I could melt some white chips in place of the syrup. But what cake mix do you think would work best???

    1. That sounds great! I’d probably recommend either a yellow cake mix or (if you can find it) a peanut butter cake mix.

  8. Judy F Garcia says:

    can you make this cake in advance and freeze it or how to stire it

    1. Looking over the recipe, I don’t think any ingredients would be an issue, but I can’t attest to the quality after freezing – but it’s at least worth a try!

  9. Swapped out the store bought chocolate syrup with a homemade chocolate ganache…. just 1 cup hot cream and 1 cup chocolate chips and whisk. The whole thing was beyond decadent.

  10. Have you ever tried making this in 2 round pans and stacking them for a birthday style cake?

    1. I haven’t, but it should work! The cook time might need to be adjusted though.

  11. Sharon McDonald says:

    I’m not a very big g fan of devils food cake. Do you think that could be replaced with a brownie mix or even a yellow cake mix?

    1. Leslie Lambert says:

      Absolutely! I’ve made this with other flavors of cake mix before (I believe it was yellow), it’s just has less chocolate flavor.

  12. Not gonna lie, that, looks, so good! You can’t go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter in my opinion – I think my family would love this cake! Popping by from TFT Blog Hop”

  13. Oh wow! Decadence plus! Looks amazing!

  14. I am in the process of making this cake and I do not see where I add cream cheese. It is not in the ingredient list but the description has “cream cheese frosting”. Thanks for your help!

    1. Leslie Lambert says:

      I apologize, I think that wording was leftover from a previous version of the recipe. Updated now – there’s no cream cheese in this particular version of the recipe!