Serves a Crowd

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Crunch Cake

February 16, 2022
0 Ratings
  • Prep time 2 hours
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 16
Author Notes

This layered buttery cake is topped with creamy chocolate buttercream and sprinkled with the perfect bite of sweet and salty crunch. It is a versatile centerpiece fit for a special occasion dessert or even a game-day treat. This layer cake will create a lasting memory with friends and family.

Inspired by Stephanie Izard's Chez-It cake, this creation features my favorite Ritz cracker from the batter to the topping. Everyone will love it! —JessiCakes!

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • .5 cups brown sugar
  • .5 cups unsalted butter, melted
  • .5 cups plain greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1 cup Ritz crackers, finely ground
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • .5 cups peanut butter, creamy
  • .5 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • .25 cups heavy cream
  • .5 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • .25 teaspoons espresso powder
  • .25 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • .5 cups Ritz crackers, whole
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • .25 cups peanut butter, creamy
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • .25 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  1. For the cake, set the oven temperature to 350°F. Grease and line the bottoms of two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Combine the sugars and butter in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until well combined. Add yogurt until just mixed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Combine cracker crumbs, flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Fold into the fluffy wet mixture until just combined.
  4. In a saucepan combine the milk, peanut butter, and shredded cheese. Whisk the mixture over medium-high heat until the cheese is softened and starts to blend together then add the vanilla. (Note: if you want a more smooth mixture, place in a blender and process until desired consistency is reached.) Slowly add the creamy mixture to the cake batter and fold in until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the two prepared cake pans. Bake roughly 40 minutes, turning halfway through, or until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake layers in pans for 10 minutes then remove and cool completely.
  6. For the chocolate buttercream, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy – about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, cream, cocoa powder, espresso powder, salt, and vanilla. Beat on low speed until just combined– about 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for a full minute. (Note: Add more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if frosting is too thick. Check the taste and add salt if needed after additions.)
  7. For crunch topping, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and butter in a heatproof bowl. Melt the ingredients in the microwave in 30-second intervals or over boiling water, stirring until combined. Add the crackers to a separate bowl and toss with the chocolate-butter mixture to coat. Set to the side. Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder in a ziplock bag. Add the chocolate-covered crackers and toss until pieces are coated. Reserve half the crackers in large chunks for topping the cake and roughly crumble the other half to be used in the layers.
  8. To assemble, place one cake layer on a cake plate and top with buttercream. Sprinkle with the cracker crumbles. Top with the second cake layer. Then, frost the top and sides of the cake with a rough, thin layer of chocolate buttercream. Refrigerate until firm.
  9. Spread any remaining buttercream on the top and sides of the cake. Top with remaining large chunks of coated cracker pieces. Enjoy!

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