How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Snack Cakes

Bask in the nostalgia of old-school snack cakes with this homemade treat featuring rich chocolate and creamy peanut butter.

Nothing says “back to school” like snack cakes, and what better way to celebrate this right of passage than with a homemade treat? This version puts a nutty spin on the classic black and white swirl we all grew up with.

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1 Bake the Cake

First, you're going to want spray the bottom and sides of your jelly roll pan with nonstick spray. Then, you should line it with parchment paper cut exactly to fit the bottom of the pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk the warm water with the cocoa powder until smooth. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a whisk), beat the sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs on medium speed until combined. Turn the machine to the lowest speed and add the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir until just incorporated, but do not over mix! Slowly pour in the cocoa power and water mixture and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Stir in the buttermilk, keeping in mind that the batter will be very thin.

Spread the batter into an even layer making sure to get into the corners of the pan. Bake at 325F for 8 to 10 minutes until the cake is just barely baked through. If you over-bake it, it will be crispy (making it difficult to roll). Let cool.

A jelly roll pan is just a smaller version of a rimmed baking sheet.

2 Make the Filling

In a stand mixer, or by hand, beat together the cream cheese, peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Add the whole milk and salt and mix until everything is incorporated.

If you don’t like peanut butter, feel free to use your favorite frosting recipe to fill the cakes instead

3 Spread the Filling

Drop the filling in small dollops over the cake, then spread it evenly using an offset spatula. Remove the cake from the pan and place on a cutting board, keeping the parchment attached.

4 Cut and Roll the Cake

Using sharp scissors, cut the cake horizontally into two strips, then cut each strip into 6 even sections.

Using the parchment to help, turn the segments into a tight roll. Because the cake is pliable, you can mold it into a perfect log. Place the rolls seam side down on a wire cooling rack with a jelly roll pan underneath.


5 Make the Glaze and Glaze the Rolls

Gently melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and stir in the oil. Pour the glaze over each log and top with chopped peanuts.

Reuse the extra glaze that has dripped through the wire rack onto the parchment by simply scraping it up with a spatula and adding it back to you microwave safe bowl. If it has seized up, microwave in short 5-second bursts until it melts again.

6 Enjoy!

Let the glaze harden and enjoy your homemade treats.

About Zac Young

Contributing Host of Cooking Channel's "Unique Sweets" and Executive Pastry Chef of David Burke Group.