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Makeover Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Our home economists accepted Janice Perdue's challenge to slim down both the cake and frosting for this tried-and-true treat. The Oroville, California baker was delighted with this revamped recipe that serves 113 fewer calories, almost half the cholesterol and 10 less grams of fat.—Taste of Home's Test Kitchen
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Unsalted peanuts, optional


  • Coat two 9-in. round baking pans with cooking spray and line with waxed paper. Coat the paper with cooking spray and dust with flour; set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly. Beat in the egg, egg whites, melted chips, applesauce and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add to peanut butter mixture alternately with buttermilk.
  • Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese, melted chips, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake. Garnish with peanuts if desired. Store in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 432 calories, 13g fat (7g saturated fat), 43mg cholesterol, 397mg sodium, 72g carbohydrate (51g sugars, 2g fiber), 9g protein.

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