Jimmy Carter Peanut Butter Cake


Basically, this cake confection is a Texas sheet cake with peanut butter between the frosting and the cake. It’s divine. It’s chocolately, not-too-sweet, but just sweet enough. And peanut buttery too.  And oh – about 4700 calories per piece….  Because one just can’t eat the recommended serving size of 1 square inch, one has to have enough to savor it in multiple bites.

It’s an odd name for a cake, though. I’m pretty sure it was created by someone during the Jimmy Carter administration, and they thought they’d be clever by adding the peanut butter to make the regular sheet cake recipe even more delicious. I’m simply theorizing this, because it’s something my family has been making back since the mid – 1970’s, and because Jimmah Cartah was a peanut farmer before he was president.  Hence, peanut butter recipes flourished during his campaign and administration.  I think.  I was really too young to remember anything then.

In fact, Jimmy Carter Peanut Butter Cake is – and has been – one of the most frequently requested cakes made on the birthday cake rotation list for years and years. First, by me, now by my kids and husband. Since my daughter requested it for her birthday this year, I thought I’d share its sinfully wonderful recipe with you.  By the way, my cousin makes this for friends and won’t give out this recipe; family secret and all…  So… shhh…. if you happen to run in to her, don’t let her know that the recipe is out from under lock and key!  😉

Jimmy Carter Peanut Butter Cake

Grease 9″ x 13″ pan.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the cake:

1 C water

1 C butter (2 sticks)

1/4 C cocoa

1/2 C buttermilk

2 well-beaten eggs

Cook over medium high heat until bubbly.  Take off the heat and add in:

2 C sugar

2 C flour

1 t baking soda

Quickly and thoroughly beat flour and soda in so the flour doesn’t get lumpy.  When completely combined, mix in:

1 t vanilla

Pour into greased pan, bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.  Cool completely!!!

Peanut Butter Layer:

While cooling,  mix together:

1 t vegetable oil

1 1/2 C peanut butter

Mix until oil is blended, and peanut butter is easy to spread.  Spread over cooled cake.


Over medium heat, mix together until bubbly:

1/2 C butter (1 stick)

1/4 C cocoa

6 T buttermilk

Take off the heat and add in:

1 lb. XXX sugar

1 T vanilla

Mix thoroughly, adding in more XXX sugar if needed.  Pour over the top of the peanut butter layer and refrigerate.  Set out to warm briefly before serving.  Although… we can never wait; we just eat it cold!



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