Peanut Butter Cup Cake Roll

WHY did it take me so long to make a peanut butter cake roll??!!

Peanut Butter Cup Cake Roll - it's an elegant dessert that is actually an easy recipe to make! Chocolate cake filled with peanut butter cup filling - the perfect dessert!

Thanksgiving is on Thursday. (EEK!) Are you ready? I most certainly am not. I’ve still got work to do, groceries to buy, and I’m having a bunch of the Sacramento bloggers over for a party tomorrow. But while I am stressing over Thanksgiving dinner, I’m not worried about dessert. This bad boy is in the freezer, just waiting to be attacked with forks.

Last week I told Mel I wanted to make a how to make a cake roll video. I was trying to decide what flavor cake roll to make and he was all, “Duh. Peanut butter!”

That man is so smart. I think it’s why I love him so much. (That, and he’s funny. And cute.)

I realized that, in all the cake rolls I’ve ever made (and there are a lot of them), I’ve never made one with peanut butter. !!??

I’m making it up to you all with this recipe. It’s a Peanut Butter Cup Cake Roll: chocolate cake filled with peanut butter cup filling. Then it’s glazed with ganache and topped with more peanut butter cups.

You’ll notice this has the “Mel ate it” tag. Because, obviously.

Peanut Butter Cup Cake Roll Recipe

Cake rolls are really easy to make. They’re that dessert that everyone oooohs and aaaaahs over. They think you’re Houdini or something because, you know, you got filling inside a cake roll. It’s magic!

(Do you ever eat a ho-ho and picture a hundred factory workers rolling tiny cake rolls? I totally do. I know it’s all machines, but don’t kill my fun.)

I promise you, cake rolling is easy. The recipe is a little time intensive, just because of all the cooling and waiting, but the recipe itself is EASY. You can make the cake batter with a hand mixer and one bowl, and the same goes for the filling. The only thing special you need for this recipe is the right pan. If you order yourself a jelly roll pan today, you’ll have it in time for Thanksgiving (well, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, that is).

However, in case you’ve never seen my photo tutorial on making a cake roll, I decided to make you a how-to video. Want to see?

See? Isn’t that easy? It means you need to make this for Thanksgiving. Or Christmas. OR JUST TODAY.

Peanut Butter Cup Cake Roll - it's an elegant dessert that is actually an easy recipe to make! Chocolate cake filled with peanut butter cup filling - the perfect dessert!

But before you go, remember the rules of cake roll making:

  • It’s better to overbake the cake then under bake it.
  • Roll it while it’s hot. (That’s a song, right?)
  • If you don’t get powdered sugar all over the far wall of your kitchen when you flip over your cake, you may not have used enough on your towel. 😉
  • Again, roll it while it’s hot. (I can’t help it, it’s catchy.)
  • Be sure to chill it before you frost and or slice it. This gives the filling time to firm up a bit so it doesn’t squish out when you cut it.
  • You can always top this with a sprinkle of powdered sugar instead of ganache.
  • If it cracks, it could be for so many reasons. Not cooked enough, over cooked, humid air, dry air, Mercury is in retrograde, etc. Just use some filling to paste it together and add more ganache and peanut butter cups on top. NO ONE WILL KNOW.

Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

Peanut Butter Cup Cake Roll

This Peanut Butter Cup Cake Roll is like a Reese’s in cake roll form! Chocolate cake filled with peanut butter cup filling – it’s such an easy recipe!

Ingredients:

For the Cake

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons brewed coffee (or water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar, to aid in rolling

For the Filling & Topping:

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons + 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 7 regular size Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped (about 1 cup chopped)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Make the Cake: preheat oven to 350°F. Line a jelly roll (10×15”) pan with foil and spray with cooking spray (I like to use the spray with flour).
  2. Beat eggs at high speed for 3 minutes, until frothy and dark yellow. Beat in sugar, coffee or water, and vanilla extract. Mix in cocoa, salt, and baking powder, then mix in flour. Stir just until blended.
  3. Spread in prepared pan. Batter will be in a very thin layer and you will need to use a wooden spoon or spatula to spread it to all the corners of the pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes. You’ll know it’s done because if you lightly poke the top with your fingertip it will slightly bounce back.
  4. While the cake is baking, set a clean kitchen towel out on a large work surface. Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar (about 1/4 cup). As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, turn it over on the kitchen towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Remove foil carefully.
  5. Working at the short end, fold the edge of the towel over the cake. Roll tightly, rolling up the cake into the towel. Let cool completely while rolled, at least one hour (or you can wrap it and chill it overnight).
  6. Make the Filling: beat cream cheese and peanut butter with a hand mixer until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar until crumbly, then add vanilla and 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream. Mix until smooth and a spreadable consistency, adding up to 2 additional tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped peanut butter cups.
  7. Assemble Cake: Unroll the cooled cake carefully and then spread the filling on the cake, leaving 1” without filling at either end. Re-roll cake, scooping out any filling that spills out as you roll. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour before frosting.
  8. Make the topping: place chocolate chips and 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream in a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup. Microwave for about 30-60 seconds, then whisk until smooth. Chill for about 20 minutes or freeze for 10, until it thickens to a pourable but not watery consistency.
  9. Place cake roll on a wire rack set over a cookie sheet. Pour the ganache over the cake evenly. Top with remaining chopped peanut butter cups. Chill until set. Slice and serve.
  10. May be stored, wrapped in plastic, in the refrigerator for 24 hours before serving.
All images and text ©. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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84 comments

  1. Looks so irresistible! 🙂

  2. You have just made my idea of a perfect cake roll! This looks absolutely delicious!

  3. Wow. How DID this take you so long? Girlfriend, this can just tell all those turkey day pies to shove over and make room for the real dessert. This cake is not playing! And Mel is a genius. You must’ve rubbed off on him. 😉

  4. I told you a long time ago your next book should be Cake Rolls by Dorothy. Seriously, you are the master! And peanut butter, be still my heart. With all those peanut butter cups…I die.

  5. OMG! Must make this!!!! 

  6. Gorgeous and looks irresistible! You absolutely can’t go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter-Mel is a smart man! 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Dorothy, your directions are clear, rest assured.  Looks like Sparrow didn’t read the paragraphs leading up to the recipe. Your awesome and so is your blog.  Keep it comin’ 😀  

    Sparrow…be nice and read the whole blog before you go off.  Shesh!

  8. It’s a peanut butter overload and I couldn’t be happier.  If this was at Thanksgiving I wouldn’t eat anything else.  And your comment about people rolling ho-hos by hand made me laugh.  I used to imagine the same kind of thing with the squiggle frosting on top of a Hostess cupcake.   

  9. Wow! Looks absolutely fabulous. I really hope you still have it in your freezer for Thanksgiving. Move over apple pie, I want some chocolate!!! lol 🙂
    xoxo

  10. I love your video! It makes the whole process seem a lot less daunting. I’ve never made a cake roll, buttttt it looks like I totally have to now. Chocolate and PB are BFFs, super tasty BFFs 🙂

  11. You’ve outdone yourself with this one!! 

  12. I still haven’t made a cake roll, but now I’ll have to try with your helpful video! & I did my tgiving shopping yesterday, but I feel certain I forgot something – eek!

  13. I love cake rolls! I make them every year, and traditionally I do pumpkin roll, and I have to say I think I have been completely worn out on it. I had no desire to make it this year. On that note, this recipe appeared in my inbox. I got really excited, and knowing that I am a mom to I think the world’s pickiest 10 year old, he said this sounds really good mom, make it for dessert on Thanksgiving. After coming out of my state of shock, I have most the ingredients on hand except heavy whipping cream. 🙂

    Have a very happy Thanksgiving and enjoy all the company!

  14. Everyone’s favorite flavors rolled-up into one cake! I love desserts where it looks like it took forever to make but really it was easy!! Your video is helpful and clear. Thanks!

  15. LOVE! Peanut butter is definitely the best!

  16. oh my gosh, you are the queen of cake rolls and I think this is your best one yet!! Peanut Butter and Chocolate are the best combo in the world! 

  17. WHY did it take you so long to make a peanut butter cake roll??!! This looks aaaaaaaaa-mazing! I made my first cake roll the other day and it was awesome…so much fun to make! This one is next for sure!

  18. I’ve never made a cake roll….they scare me! Clearly I need your video. And this recipe. DYING over the peanut butter cups!!!

  19. I have yet to make a cake roll, they scare me!  However I love your video and it makes it look a lot easier than I thought!  This is going to have to happen so though because this cake roll looks heavenly!

  20. Love this!! We are choc/pb spirit sisters 😉 I was so nervous the first time I made a cake roll, but they are surprisingly easy!

  21. I want this for my thanksgiving dessert!

  22. Bye bye diet! This is too good to miss!

  23. can I use a boxed cake mix to make a cake roll

  24. This looks great!! I love easy, so I have a question..
    Can I use a cake mix? Or would the texture be harder to work with? Thanks!

  25. I’m the biggest Reese Cup fan EVER and I am demanding this for our Christmas dessert!! LOL Ty for sharing this beautiful (and delicious) work of art

  26. Can I grease the pan and then line it with wax paper and then
    grease and flour the paper?

  27. Try making this again BUT cook the cake on parchment paper not of foil with cooking spray and let the cake cool just enough so you can touch it ant it doesn’t stick to your fingers and do not roll them in flour, go straight into a “tea” towel or a kitchen hand towel. This is how I do my pumpkin rolls. I will be trying this, soon.

  28. This looks delicious! I don’t bake so I have a (possibly dumb) question. What size eggs should I use with this recipe? I usually have extra large eggs on hand and I’m not sure if that would be okay to use.

  29. Can this be prepared in advance and then frozen for a few weeks?

  30. How do you prevent from cracking? I made a chocolate cake roll, but it cracked a lot.  I fill Pumpkin Cake rolls with Butter Pecan ice cream or Buttercreme frosting for someone who does not like cream cheese.

    • There are so many reasons a cake can crack. I’ve had this same cake recipe crack occasionally – even though I’ve made it tons of times with success! I always err on the side of over done cake instead of underdone, that helps. But not too overdone, or it’ll crack. Literally anything can make it crack – weather, etc. If it does, just paste it together with the filling and add more stuff on top to hide it!

  31. This looks amazing. My two favorite combos (chocolate and peanut butter). Can you substitute plain Greek yogurt or sour cream for the cream cheese? or would the filling be too soft?

  32. I made this roll last night and while the filling was really good my cake came out very dry. Do you have any suggestions on how to fix this for next time?

    • While you do need to cook the cake until it’s very done, possibly it cooked a little too long? That said, these the crumb on these cakes are a little drier than a moist fluffy layer cake, so it might just be that. Next time you can always brush the cake with some liquor or a simple syrup to moisten it up a little if you prefer.

  33. My best idea… And its so simple its genius… I use when making pumpkin rolls is when cutting the finished product, use dental floss or string instead of a knife like you would with cinnamon rolls so you don’t squash them.

  34. Now that I am retired, I love to bake and when my daughter sent me this recipe, I had to make it for dessert tonight.
    I usually make a pumpkin roll or 2 each fall and a chocolate mint roll around Christmas.  They have always cracked on me when filling and rolling.
      Thanks to the video, I used foil with Pam instead of using waxed paper and I used plenty of powdered sugar on the towel, where before, I had just sprinkled it on.
     Success! my first perfect cake roll!

  35. After making, can these be stored in the freezer? I’d just need to store them for about 1-2 weeks. These look delicious!

  36. Have you ever made an egg nog roll? I make pumpkin rolls but a friend asked me to make him one that tastes like egg nog. I haven’t come up with anything. Thanks for your help

  37. At what point do you freeze the cake? After you roll it, in the jelly roll pan or when removed from the pan prior to rolling in the towel? It doesn’t  seem as though it would be to forgiving since it is so delicate. Thanks.

    • When I froze this cake, I did it after I made it completely. You can wrap it in plastic and freeze, then thaw in the refrigerator. If you’re worried about the topping getting cloudy after defrosting (mine didn’t) you can wrap the filled cake well with plastic, freeze, thaw in the fridge, then top. Enjoy!

  38. Thank you for your quick response! Now i see, you freeze the roll completely with filling and all? I thought you freeze just the cake, then defrost, fill and frost. Just wanted to clarify before I start my baking today. Thank you🍭

  39. Help i don’t know what went wrong followed it to a tee but my batter is too thick

    • Not being in your kitchen with you, I’m not sure what too thick is. If you watch the video in the post, you’ll see mine was thick too, and it takes some work to spread it in the pan. Is it thick like cookie dough? If so, I’m not sure what could have happened. It should be a thick cake batter.

  40. I just tried making this and the cake never came off the foil – should I use parchment paper? I sprayed the heck out of the foul with cooking spray… Maybe it was undercooked? But it didn’t look like it.. Help!!

    • Did you use the cooking spray with flour? That’s what I always use. If it didn’t come off the foil, that could be why, but it could also be so many other reasons. Without being with you in the kitchen, I’m not sure.

  41. Dorothy, you are a genius – and I love you so much for sharing this cake! This is pretty much the best dessert ever!

  42. Cupcake for me and the best .. very good his post.

  43. I made it yesterday, so yommy, I love it when I try a new recipe get great results. thnx for sharing. Love from ALGERIA

  44. My daughter requested a peanut butter cup cake for her 21st birthday and I found your recipe. This is the first time I have made a roll cake although I have owned a jelly roll pan for years. We had this yesterday and it was a hit with everyone. Along with some vanilla bean ice cream from Cookie and Kate it was an over the top birthday celebration, thanks for a great recipe!

  45. Hi, I could not see where my post where I asked you about “using natural organic peanut butter and not regular”. I did it 🙂 plus all the other ingredients organic and it was great!!! Next time I will forego adding 1 cup of powered sugar and use half of that, just a personal choice for sweetness. I also just finished it with a homemade whipped cream and the chopped peanut butter cups mixed in the cream. It was lovely and way plenty sweet! I was kind of in a hurry and did not wait over night for anything. I cooked the cake in my jelly roll pan lined with parch and greased with unrefined coconut oil. After the cake was cooked I took it out of the pan by lifting with the parchment paper and set it on the wire rack for 10-15 minutes but I loosened it first with no real problem. After I placed the cake on a new piece of parchment and rolled it up and place it between the knife holder and microwave to keep it in place. Then we ate our Italian sausage and pepper sandwiches that I made for dinner. After dinner I spread the cream cheese peanut butter cream on it rolled back up, while my husband whipped up some more cream w/ peanut butter cup crumbles in it. I rolled it back up, cut it in slices and dolloped w/ the whipped cream and it was good to go! Way YUM!!!!! This was the Birthday cake I made for myself tonight, LOL, w/some assistance form hubby. Like getting out ingredients, measuring cups and washing the dishes Ha! Thanks for the recipe and great sense of humor!!
    Brandee

  46. Just made this. My cake got a little too dry. It turned out OK but is WAY to sweet for me. Hopefully my husband and son will eat it. 🙂

  47. Love the Peanut Butter Cup Cake Roll recipe. Can’t wait to make it. Was wondering if these can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer? If so, how long? Would like to make a couple ahead for Thanksgiving.

  48. Do you have a recipe for the old fashioned biscuit cookie?

  49. I want to try this recipe out but I have one question.
    What can I use besides cream cheese? My husband and I are not big fans of it lol. Thank you 🙂

  50. Just made this. Followed the recipe to a “T”. As I carefully unrolled the cake to put the filling in, it not only cracked, but I ended up with 5 separate pieces! Tried to piece it back together with the filling and it looked like a disaster. Please help, what went wrong? So disappointing that I spent a lot of time preparing only to have it not even be edible 🙁

    • Can you paste it back together with the filling (Press it together) then instead of the ganache you can use a whipped cream or even double up on the ganache to cover the cracks? Usually cake rolls crack when they’re either under or over baked. You should be able to press it and have it bounce back when it’s done.

  51. do you by chance have video on how you decorated the strawberry cake roll. Its beautiful and i’m not the greatest decorator..I have tip and all just don’t know which one you used..thx

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