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Peanut Butter Crunch Cake

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1 (18 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons peanut butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
3 eggs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup peanuts

Peanut Butter Crunch Cake

A tender cake is topped with chocolate and peanut butter chips and chopped peanuts. Yum!

  • Serves 16
  • Easy

About This Recipe

There’s nothing like a peanut butter cake. It is richer than a yellow cake, and I think it’s almost as good as chocolate cake! Top that cake with a crumbly mixture full of chocolate and peanuts and you have a real treat: Peanut Butter Crunch Cake.

This recipe starts with a cake mix. Because peanut butter is such a strong flavor, I have no problem using a mix for this recipe. Besides, the mix makes it so much easier. Instead of having to make a separate streusel topping and the cake, you make the streusel first, reserve some, then add eggs and milk to finish off the cake. This is a super streamlined recipe!

And this recipe is better than other peanut butter cakes on the internet because I use milk instead of water, melted butter instead of oil, and milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet.

Enjoy this Peanut Butter Crunch Cake warm with a glass of cold milk. Of course, it’s also great cold!

Why this recipe for Peanut Butter Crunch Cake works:

  • The cake is unusual because it starts by making a crumb mixture. Part of that mixture is removed for the topping. This makes the cake more tender because the fat in the peanut butter and coats the flour particles, inhibiting gluten production.
  • Liquid is added to the crumb mixture, which makes a batter. You must use an electric mixer for this step to make sure that all the crumbs are completely blended with the liquid or the texture of the cake will be incorrect.
  • The topping is made of the crumb mixture with chocolate chips and peanuts added. The cake batter is dense, which keeps the topping suspended. The topping becomes crunchy in the heat of the oven because it contains little liquid. It all comes together so beautifully!

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Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 13" x 9" baking pan with nonstick baking spray containing flour and set aside.


In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, peanut butter, and brown sugar. Mix until crumbly. I start this off with a hand mixer, then finish with my hands because I think the crumbs hold together better. Remove 2/3 cup of the crumbs and put in a medium bowl.


Add the milk, eggs, and melted butter to the crumb mixture in the large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer or a stand mixer on low speed until combined, then beat 2 minutes on high speed. The batter will get thicker and fluffier during this time.


Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top.


Add the chocolate chips and the peanuts to the crumb mixture in the medium bowl and mix. Spread this topping evenly over the batter in the pan.


Bake the cake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the cake is set and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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