Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake

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This Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake is a peanut butter lover’s dream. It’s a homemade chocolate cake layered with no-churn peanut butter ice cream and topped with chocolate ganache and chopped peanut butter cups.

Homemade Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake

I love ice cream cake. One of my family’s favorites is my Chocolate Ice Cream Cake. And while sometimes I do love to keep it classic with plain old chocolate, the best thing about ice cream cakes is you can easily change the flavors.

This Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake is from my good friend Lindsay’s cookbook, Simply Beautiful Homemade Cakes.

Everyone knows Lindsay for her gorgeous layer cakes. And while those are all incredible, this book has so much more too. Cupcakes, ice cream cakes, cheesecakes, holiday cakes, icebox cakes, cookie cakes, single-layer cakes, you name it! If you love baking from scratch, be sure to check out her book.

Looking for another fun twist on classic ice cream cake? Check out my Fruity Pebbles Ice Cream Cake.

Key Ingredients You’ll Need:

Here are a few notes to keep in mind as you gather up your peanut butter ice cream cake recipe ingredients!

  • Cocoa Powder – use a dark cocoa powder blend for a rich, chocolate-y flavor in the cake. I use Hershey’s Special Dark.
  • Coffee – Don’t worry, it doesn’t make the cake taste like coffee. The coffee helps moisten the cake and brings out the chocolate flavor.
  • Cream Cheese – The no-churn ice cream base is made with cream cheese. Be sure to use a full-fat cream cheese block for the best texture.
  • Peanut Butter – I recommend creamy, shelf-stable peanut butter. Natural peanut butter can be gritty and more oily resulting in a less creamy texture in the ice cream.

How to Make the Chocolate Cake

  • Combine dry ingredients: In a mixer bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add wet ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together coffee, milk, oil, vanilla, and egg/egg white. Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and beat until smooth.
  • Bake and cool: Transfer the batter to a lined and greased cake pan, then bake at 350ºF for 30-35 minutes. Cool for 15-20 minutes in the pan, then remove the cake and cool completely.

How to Make No-Churn Peanut Butter Ice Cream

  • Make the whip cream: Chill the mixing bowl in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then pour in the heavy whipping cream. Beat until bubbly, then slowly add in the powdered sugar. Beat until peaks form.
  • Combine: In a bowl, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the milk and vanilla, then mix in the peanut butter. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream in at a time and mix until smooth, then gently stir in the chopped peanut butter cups.

How to Assemble an Ice Cream Cake

You can either do this with a springform pan or with the same pan, you baked the cake in. I prefer the springform pan, so I can more easily remove the cake. If you like to use cake collars, this is also a great way to get those nice smooth edges.

  • Prep the pan: Wrap the sides of the pan with saran wrap so it hangs over the edge of the pan. Place an 8-inch cake board into the bottom of an 8-inch cake pan or springform pan.
  • Level the cake: Use a large serrated knife to remove the dome from the top of the cake. You want the top to be nice and flat. Set the cake into the bottom of the pan.
  • Layer the ice cream cake: Spread the ice cream over the top of the cake.
  • Freeze: Loosely cover the cake with plastic wrap, then freeze it until firm. This should take anywhere from 4-6 hours.
  • Prep for serving: Once frozen, take the cake out of the freezer and remove it from the pan. Set onto a serving plate or cake circle, then use a warm offset spatula to smooth the sides.

For more detailed instructions on layering an ice cream cake, check out my Oreo Ice Cream Cake recipe for some step-by-step photos.

How to Make the Chocolate Ganache Topping

  • Heat the cream: In a microwave-safe measuring cup, heat the cream until bubbling.
  • Melt the chocolate: Place the chocolate chips into a heat-proof bowl, then pour the hot cream over top. Whisk until melted and smooth, then cool for a few minutes.
  • Add to the cake: Pour the ganache over the cake and allow it to drizzle down the sides.
  • Garnish and freeze again: Top the cake off with chopped peanut butter cups, then freeze until you’re ready to serve.

Helpful Tools You May Need for Ice Cream Cake

  • Handheld Mixer. The perfect way to mix up your cake batter.
  • Springform Pan. A springform pan makes it so much easier to remove the assembled and frozen ice cream cake.
  • 8-Inch Cake Pan. I bake all my cakes with 8-inch pans. They’re a perfect size!
  • Flat Angled Spatula. Lindsay recommends using a warm flat angled spatula to help smooth the edges of the cake.

Helpful Recipe Tips

  • Cake batter texture: The cake batter will be thin before baking. Don’t let it throw you off. This cake is light and fluffy.
  • Cool the cake completely. A warm cake will just melt the ice cream. Be sure it’s cooled completely before layering.
  • If the cake shrinks: Sometimes the cake will shrink as it cools, and you may notice the ice cream filling funs down the side. That’s totally normal.
  • Let it soften before serving. I recommend setting the ice cream cake out on the counter 15-30 minutes before serving. The softer texture makes it so much easier to slice.
  • Use a hit knife. To make it easier to slice, run the knife under hot water and wipe it dry before slicing.

How to Store Ice Cream Cake

This peanut butter ice cream cake should be stored in the freezer and is best finished off within 5-7 days. If you have a cake carrier to keep it airtight, that works best. Otherwise, place a layer of plastic wrap up against the cut edges to prevent freezer burn and wrap the cake in plastic wrap.

More Peanut Butter Desserts You’ll Love

  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake
  • Peanut Butter Buckeye Cookies
  • No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Pie
  • No-Bake Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

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