Peanut Butter Jelly Cake recipe

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An unusual sweet and savoury peanut butter cake with a jam and icing topping. Made with sour cream, fresh and freeze dried strawberries and strawberry jam.

  • Prep20m
  • Cook50m
  • Total1h 10m

Col’s mum always gives me her old Waitrose magazines and the latest issue featured a gorgeous looking PB&J inspired cake, which I had to make.

The original recipe advises that “peanut butters with natural oil separation may not work in this recipe” so I bought a jar of regular, smooth peanut butter but I’m sure that crunchy peanut butter would be fine too.

I tweaked the recipe slightly by adding a layer of jam underneath the icing and I’d recommend this. You can see in the photo that it’s a less stable base for the icing to sit on but in my mind you can’t make a PB&J cake without the jelly (jam).

Our British palates hadn’t encountered a cake like this before. The peanut sponge is lovely and light, thanks to the sour cream, and the savoury flavour works brilliantly with the incredibly sweet jam and icing. I froze leftovers with trepidation as I wasn’t sure if the toppings and fresh strawberries would defrost well, but it was absolutely fine.


I let the frozen cake defrost for a few hours at room temperature rather than defrosting it in a microwave.

The freeze dried strawberries are a nice addition but in my opinion the cake would be fine without them.

The original recipe advises baking the cake for 30-35 minutes but mine needed 40 minutes. I covered the tin with foil after 30 minutes to prevent the top from burning.

Recipe credit

Peanut butter and strawberry traybake from Waitrose magazine.


Peanut Butter Jelly Cake

  • Prep20m
  • Cook50m
  • Total1h 10m
Serves: 16


  • 60g unsalted peanuts
  • 5 large strawberries, 2 chopped, 3 sliced
  • 160g self-raising flour
  • 200g light brown sugar
  • ½ a 7g pack of freeze dried strawberries (plus more to serve)
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 120ml sunflower or flavourless oil (plus more for greasing)
  • 120g smooth peanut butter
  • 150g sour cream
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 100g strawberry jam (smooth if possible)


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Line a 20cm loose-bottomed square cake tin with baking paper and grease the sides with a little sunflower oil.
  2. Line a small baking tray with baking paper and spread 60g of unsalted peanuts on one side and 2 large, chopped strawberries on the other. Bake for 5-7 minutes then set the tray to one side. Chop the peanuts once they’ve cooled.
  3. In a large bowl, add 160g of self-raising flour, 200g of light brown sugar, ½ of a 7g pack of freeze dried strawberries, ⅔ of the chopped peanuts and 1 teaspoon of fine salt. Mix well.
  4. In a medium bowl or jug add 120ml of sunflower oil, 120g of smooth peanut butter, 150g soured cream, 2 beaten eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix well then add the wet ingredients into the dry and combine using a balloon whisk until the ingredients just come together. Try not to over-mix.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 30-40 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Cover the tin loosely with foil for the last 10 minutes if the top of the cake has browned but the middle hasn't cooked through. Once the cake is ready, allow it to cool for 5 minutes then remove it from its tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool fully.
  6. Mash the roasted strawberries into a purée using a fork. Sieve 150g of icing sugar into a medium sized bowl and add the strawberry purée a little at a time until the icing is thick and spoonable.
  7. Once the cake has cooled fully, spread over a thin layer of strawberry jam (around 100g) then drizzle over the icing, spreading it out with a palette knife. Top with 3 sliced strawberries, the chopped peanuts and a few freeze dried strawberries.

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