Peanut Butter Cup Dump Cake

Peanut Butter Cup Dump Cake Recipe


  • 2 boxes chocolate cake mixes (15.25 oz/432g each)
  • 1 package instant chocolate pudding mix (3.9 oz/110g)
  • 1 ½ cups milk (375mL)
  • 1 bag Reese’s peanut butter cups minis (8 oz/226g, unwrapped)
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened (227g)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (105g)
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream (57g)
  • 1 stick butter, melted (113g)
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip (225g)
  • 1 bag Reese’s peanut butter cups miniatures (12 oz/340g, unwrapped and chopped)
  • Chocolate syrup for garnish


  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Coat a 13″x9″ baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Prepare Cake Layer: In a large bowl, mix together 1 box of chocolate cake mix, the instant chocolate pudding mix, and milk until well combined. Fold in the bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups minis. Pour this mixture into the prepared baking pan and spread it out evenly.
  3. Prepare Cream Cheese Layer: In another bowl, beat together the cream cheese, peanut butter, powdered sugar, and heavy whipping cream until smooth. Carefully spread this mixture over the cake batter in the pan.
  4. Add Dry Cake Mix: Sprinkle the dry cake mix from the second box evenly over the cream cheese mixture.
  5. Add Butter: Pour the melted butter evenly over the dry cake mix.
  6. Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool and Top: Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan. Once cooled, spread Cool Whip over the top of the cake. Sprinkle the chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups miniatures on top.
  8. Serve: Drizzle with chocolate syrup before serving. Store the cake covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Nutrition Information:

  • Calories: Approximately 660 kcal per serving
  • Servings: Varies based on portion size

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Answers

  1. Can I use a different type of cake mix? Yes, you can experiment with different flavors, but chocolate cake mix pairs best with the peanut butter cups.
  2. Can I substitute the Cool Whip with homemade whipped cream? Yes, homemade whipped cream can be used. Whip 1 cup of heavy cream with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
  3. Can I use natural peanut butter instead of creamy peanut butter? Natural peanut butter may alter the texture slightly but can be used.
  4. What if I don’t have instant chocolate pudding mix? You can use any instant pudding mix flavor you prefer, though chocolate complements the cake best.
  5. How do I store the cake? Store the cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  6. Can I freeze this cake? It’s not recommended to freeze this cake as the texture may change, especially the cream cheese and Cool Whip layers.
  7. Can I make this cake gluten-free? Use gluten-free cake mixes and ensure all other ingredients are gluten-free.
  8. How many servings does this cake make? This cake typically serves around 12-16 people, depending on portion size.
  9. Can I use light cream cheese or low-fat ingredients? Yes, but the texture and flavor may be slightly different.
  10. Do I need to refrigerate the cake after baking? Yes, due to the cream cheese and Cool Whip, it should be stored in the refrigerator.
  11. Can I add other types of candy to the cake? Yes, feel free to add other types of chocolate or peanut butter candies.
  12. What size baking pan should I use? Use a 13″x9″ pan as recommended.
  13. Do I need to adjust baking time for high altitudes? Yes, you may need to increase the baking time slightly at higher altitudes.
  14. Can I make this cake ahead of time? Yes, you can make it a day in advance. Add the Cool Whip and garnish just before serving.
  15. How do I know when the cake is done? The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  16. What can I use if I don’t have a mixer? You can mix by hand, but ensure the ingredients are well combined and smooth.
  17. Can I add nuts to the cake? Yes, chopped nuts can be added for extra texture.
  18. What type of chocolate syrup should I use? Any store-bought chocolate syrup will work for garnish.
  19. Can I use a different type of pudding mix? Yes, but the flavor will change. Vanilla or butterscotch could be interesting alternatives.
  20. What if I don’t have a 13″x9″ pan? You can use a different size, but adjust the baking time accordingly and check for doneness with a toothpick.

Tips and Secrets for the Perfect Peanut Butter Cup Dump Cake

  1. Use Room Temperature Ingredients:
    • Ensure that your cream cheese and peanut butter are at room temperature. This will make it easier to mix them smoothly without lumps.
  2. Proper Mixing Technique:
    • When combining the cake mix, pudding mix, and milk, make sure to stir until there are no lumps. This ensures a smooth batter that bakes evenly.
  3. Even Layering:
    • Spread each layer evenly in the pan. Use a spatula to ensure the cake batter, cream cheese mixture, and dry cake mix are all evenly distributed. This helps the cake bake uniformly.
  4. Butter Distribution:
    • When pouring the melted butter over the dry cake mix, make sure it covers as much surface area as possible. This helps to create a crispy, buttery topping.
  5. Chopped Peanut Butter Cups:
    • For the final garnish, chop the Reese’s peanut butter cups into small, bite-sized pieces. This makes them easier to distribute evenly over the Cool Whip layer.
  6. Baking Time Check:
    • Start checking the cake at the 35-minute mark. Insert a toothpick into the center; if it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, the cake is done. Avoid overbaking to keep the cake moist.
  7. Cooling Completely:
    • Allow the cake to cool completely before adding the Cool Whip. If the cake is warm, the Cool Whip can melt and become runny.
  8. Storing and Serving:
    • Store the cake in the refrigerator and serve it chilled. The flavors meld together better when the cake is cold, and the texture of the Cool Whip is more enjoyable.
  9. Enhanced Flavors:
    • For an extra peanut butter flavor, consider adding a few tablespoons of peanut butter to the cake batter.
  10. Optional Add-Ins:
    • Add a handful of chocolate chips or chopped nuts to the cake batter for extra texture and flavor.
  11. Alternative Toppings:
    • If you prefer, you can use homemade whipped cream instead of Cool Whip. Just whip heavy cream with a bit of powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
  12. Even Cooling:
    • Place the cake on a wire rack to cool evenly and prevent the bottom from becoming soggy.
  13. Chocolate Syrup Garnish:
    • Drizzle the chocolate syrup in a zigzag pattern over the top of the cake for a visually appealing presentation. Add it just before serving to keep it from soaking into the Cool Whip.
  14. Cutting Clean Slices:
    • For clean slices, use a sharp knife and wipe it clean between each cut. This will help to cut through the layers without smearing.
  15. Parchment Paper:
    • Line the baking pan with parchment paper for easy removal of the cake. This helps to lift the entire cake out of the pan before cutting, making for a neater presentation.
  16. Adding Espresso:
    • For a richer chocolate flavor, add a teaspoon of instant espresso powder to the cake batter.
  17. Using High-Quality Ingredients:
    • Use high-quality chocolate cake mix and peanut butter for the best taste. The quality of ingredients can significantly affect the final flavor.
  18. Texture Balance:
    • Ensure the cream cheese mixture is smooth and creamy before spreading it over the cake batter. This helps to balance the textures in the cake.
  19. Preventing Overmixing:
    • When folding in the Reese’s peanut butter cups, do so gently to prevent overmixing, which can result in a denser cake.
  20. Make Ahead:
    • Prepare the cake a day in advance to allow the flavors to meld together. Store in the refrigerator and add the Cool Whip and garnishes just before serving.

By following these tips and secrets, you can create a delicious and visually appealing Peanut Butter Cup Dump Cake that is sure to impress your family and friends!