Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Serves 12

Peanut butter and chocolate is definitely a beloved combination that never goes out of style. For the best texture have all the ingredients at room temperature.


  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) rice-based gluten-free flour mix, such as Trader Joe's
  • 6 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsweetened cocoa, such as Hershey's
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if included in the flour mix)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3 fluid ounces) grape seed oil or other mild vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) creamy natural peanut putter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (7 1/2 ounces) white sugar
  • 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) buttermilk or 1/2 cup each milk and plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) apricot jam, warmed over low heat
  • 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) heavy cream
  • 4 ounces 60% to 70% dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) creamy natural peanut butter
  • Peanut butter baking chips


Heat the oven to 350° F. Grease two 8-inch round pans and line with baking parchment.

To make the cakes combine the flour mix ingredients and set aside.

In a small bowl stir the grape seed oil, peanut butter and vanilla extract together until smooth and reserve.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until light and thick, about 4 minutes. Pour the peanut butter-oil mixture around the edges of the bowl and fold in. Sift half the flour mix on top, and fold in. Drizzle with the buttermilk and fold in. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture to make a smooth, creamy batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and rap the pans smartly on the work surface to spread the batter out and dispel any air bubbles. Bake for about 22 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out barely clean.

Cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a knife blade and turn out onto two racks, flat (under) side up. Let cool completely before assembling.

To glaze and frost set the cakes on a sheet of wax paper, flat side up. Spread with half the warm jam over the top surface of each cake. Let set for 1 hour.

Place the chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream just until tiny bubbles form around the edges and pour over the chocolate. Let stand until the chocolate melts, 5 minutes. Add the peanut butter and beat with an electric mixer until the frosting is light and smooth, 1 minute.

Place one of the cakes on a flat serving plate, jam side up. Spread with about one third of the frosting, going right to the edges. Cover with the second cake, jam side up. Top with the remaining frosting, forming little swirls, and stud with peanut butter chips. Cover with a glass cake dome or a large upturned bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set the filling and frosting.

Gluten-Free Living Food Editor Jackie Mallorca has over a dozen cookbooks to her credit. Her latest titles include The Wheat-Free Cook and Gluten-Free Italian. For more information, tips and recipes, visit her website at

Nutritional Analysis:
Calories: 400, Carbohydrates: 51 g, Protein: 6 g, Fat: 20 g, Cholesterol: 65 mg, Sodium: 330 mg, Fiber: 2 g