If you love peanut butter, cheesecake and moist chocolate cake, all your dreams have just come true. The filling is gorgeously creamy. The chocolate cake is moist and beautifully chocolatey, and is super easy to make because it’s a quick bread.
This Peanut Butter Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Loaf is possibly the most epic from-scratch creation to come out of my pokey little kitchen all year!
All I wanted was a moist chocolate loaf with a creamy peanut butter filling baked inside. A quick Google to find a recipe, and I was pretty surprised that no such thing existed.
Twelve attempts later, I understood why.
Who knew it would be so hard to create a chocolate quick bread that is truly moist without using bananas, zucchinis, apple sauce or any other ingredient not typically used in cake?
And who knew it would be so hard to get the balance just right to make a peanut butter filling that is creamy after being baked for over an hour inside chocolate cake, that is still creamy the next day, and (mostly) holds it’s form so there’s a fairly neat layer in the middle of the loaf?
I had some seriously impressive fails. The one that crumbled when I cut into it. Literally disintegrated, like sand. The one that was so dense and hard it was like a brick. I needed a saw to hack it into slices. The one(s) that collapsed. And the ones that didn’t cook through and the one with a crater in the middle (????!!).
Then there were all the ones in between. The very first one that looked so perfect when I sliced it, yet the peanut butter filling crystallised when it cooled and the cake was so dry, I couldn’t swallow it. The one where the peanut butter filling disappeared. The one where the peanut butter filling ended up “cake like”.
Here’s a look at some of the fails I had.
For the Baking Nerds: The biggest challenge I had that didn’t occur to me before I embarked on my quest was getting the consistency of the batter and peanut butter filling right so the cake came out moist and the filling mostly held it’s shape and came out creamy.
The added complication was that I was determined to make the chocolate cake a quick bread. So true to it’s name, I wanted the cake to be fuss free – specially, no creaming butter. Most chocolate quick bread recipes are made with banana, zucchinis or apple sauce because they add moisture to the loaf. But I just wanted a straight chocolate cake.
The recipes I found for chocolate quick breads were, unfortunately, quite dry and/or didn’t really taste of chocolate. Or they were ok on the day I made them, but really dry the next day.
The conundrum is that typically, the batter for fuss-free moist chocolate cakes, like my Easy Chocolate Fudge Cake, are thin so the peanut butter filling would sink. Making a typical chocolate cake batter thicker just resulted in a dry cake. I found that yoghurt was the key to a moist cake with a thicker batter. Add to that oil for moisture plus butter for flavour, plus chocolate chips for extra chocolate flavour (melted chocolate just didn’t work, batter was too thin) = success!
As for the peanut butter filling, that too caught me by surprise! I’ve seen so many slices and cookies around where the filling is just peanut butter + confectionary sugar. But that didn’t work for this cake because it is baked for so much longer. I found that the filling was ok on the day, but overnight it turned into a crystallised fudge. In the end, I had to revert to a Peanut Butter Cheesecake filling as cream cheese worked well to add structure to the filling while keeping it creamy.
Neat Peanut Butter Layer: Refrigerate
One thing I really wanted to try to achieve was a perfect neat, thick layer of peanut butter cheesecake inside the cake. While it is fairly straight forward for banana bread, carrot cake etc because the batter is so much thicker, it isn’t so easy for chocolate cake!
The challenge with the filling was that the thinner the filling is, the creamier it is once baked inside the cake. But the thinner the filling, the less neat the layer because when the batter is poured over the top, it sinks into the peanut butter filling. Also the filling swirls all over the place when the cake is baking.
Finally, I figured out a simple solution: REFRIGERATE the filling. It firms up while still being soft enough to spread, plus it slows down the cooking process slightly so the filling comes out extra creamy rather than dry and overcooked. WIN!
As you can see in the step photos below, the cake batter is quite thick. But it’s soft and silky, not dense like (some) muffin batters.
After refrigerating the peanut butter filling, it is still soft enough to pour and spread onto the bottom layer of batter and yet firm enough to pour the batter on top without it sinking into the peanut butter layer.
Bake it for 70 minutes, and this is what you end up with.
little slice of heaven.
Moist chocolate cake. Creamy Peanut Butter Cheesecake filling.
This cake is still moist the day after and day after. Both the filling and the chocolate cake. Plus it freezes well.
It’s easy to make, there are no weird ingredients in it, and you don’t even need a stand mixer for the filling.
People talk about food so good, it makes you do a happy dance. This is such food. It is just so, so, SO GOOD!!! – Nagi x
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Loaf
- 5 oz / 150 g cream cheese , at room temperature
- 1/3 cup / 85 g smooth peanut butter
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup / 75 g caster sugar / superfine sugar (2)
- 1/3 cup / 75 g sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups / 225 g plain flour (all purpose)
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup / 220 g caster sugar / superfine sugar (2)
- 1 stick / 125 g unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml vegetable oil (sub with canola, sunflower or other neutral flavoured oil)
- 1/3 cup / 40 g cocoa powder , unsweetened
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup / 125 g yoghurt (3)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups / 200 g dark chocolate chips (4)
- 2 tbsp hot water (5)
- Beat the cream cheese and peanut butter using a stand mixer, electric beater or whisk until smooth.
- Beat in egg until combined. Beat in remaining ingredients until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F (fan forced / convection) or 200C / 390F (standard).
- Spray a loaf and line a loaf pan (23.5 x 13cm / 8½ x 4¼") with parchment / baking paper. (I just tear a piece off to line the long side, per photo in post)
- Whisk together flour, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl.
- Melt butter in microwave in a large heatproof bowl, then whisk in oil and cocoa powder.
- Whisk in eggs, yoghurt and vanilla into chocolate mixture. Pour mixture into flour and mix until just combine. Stir through chocolate chips.
- Remove Filling from fridge, give it a good mix to loosen it up - if it's too stiff, it will sink into the batter.
- Pour 1/3 of the batter into the loaf pan, smooth surface.
- Pour over the Filling and smooth surface.
- Add 2 tbsp hot water into remaining Batter (5), give it a quick mix to combine. Then pour batter over the Filling and smooth surface.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then turn oven down to 160C/320F (fan forced / convection) or 180C / 350F (standard oven). Bake for 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the top half of the cake comes out almost clean.
- Stand for 15 minutes in the loaf pan before using parchment paper overhang to lift onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing - it takes a few hours.
- Optional: Drizzle with melted white chocolate and/or peanut butter white chocolate (7).
Optional: Drizzle the cake with white chocolate and peanut butter chocolate. It definitely doesn’t need the extra flavour, but it’s an option if you want to doll it up a it!
LIFE OF DOZER
I believe this is called Virtual Drooling.