Chocolate Sunflower Cake

Chocolate Sunflower Cake Recipe with sunflower butter buttercream.

Soft chocolate sunflower cake, layered with vanilla sunflower buttercream is exactly what my cake loving heart desires on a cold winter day. I’m talking a pillowy cake texture and rich creamy frosting with a wonderful sunflower butter flavor, that elevates the classic peanut butter cake recipe. Trust me, you’re gonna thank me later!

Sunflower Butter chocolate cake with sunflower vanilla buttercream frosting.

No special occasion required, just a cake loving heart, and an appetite. Especially when you’re trapped inside during those cloudy days and need something to do. I suggest making cake. Yep, a little baking is just what those winter blues need.

To bring a little sun into your kitchen, (yes I’m a dork) I partnered with SunButter to create a rich, but not heavy, nut allergy free, decadent layer cake. Incorporating SunButter into both the cake batter and the buttercream gives a delightful flavor punch of sunflower butter. Oh, I totally licked the spatula and mixing bowl, because I couldn’t wait for the cake to bake.

Since I’m using several types of sugar in this recipe, I chose the No Sugar Added SunButter. The creamy texture blends perfectly with the olive oil, creating a batter that resembles chocolate pudding. Even better, this recipe is soy and tree nut free. My peanut allergy neighbors will be pounding on my door for a slice of this one!

Chocolate Sunflower cake with jar of SunButter.
chocolate sunflower layer cake with peanut butter buttercream frosting.

Tips for Making Chocolate Sunflower Cake:

  • This recipe will work for three 6 inch pans or two 8 inch pans. Haven’t tried it as cupcakes, but give it a go and let me know!
  • Follow the mixing directions in order.
  • Sift the flour and cocoa powder to remove lumps.
  • Use soft room temperature butter for your cake batter and buttercream.
  • Don’t microwave the butter, just let it sit on the counter for 2-3 hrs prior to baking to soften.
  • The finished cake batter should have the consistency of chocolate pudding.
  • Evenly weigh your batter into the pans for perfect layers.
  • Smooth the batter evenly into each pan with spatula.
  • I take my cake pans and ‘carefully’ slam them on the counter to release air bubbles.
  • The cakes should bake evenly without a huge dome and only small cracks on top.
  • Let cake layers freeze for about 30 minutes to help with assembling.
  • Mix your buttercream slowly. Add additional milk a Tbsp at a time if you want a thinner frosting and add additional powdered sugar to thicken.
  • Store you cake in an air tight container for 3-4 days.
chocolate layer cake with jar of SunButter.
chocolate peanut butter cake with peanut butter buttercream frosting.

Chocolate Sunflower Cake

Chocolate Sunflower Cake is a layer cake made with chocolate sunflower butter cake, then frosted with sunflower butter and vanilla buttercream frosting.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake, chocolate cake, sunflower butter
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 slices


Cake Batter

  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar lightly packed
  • 1 Cup Granulate Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup SunButter
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Milk

Vanilla Sunflower Buttercream Frosting

  • 16 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Tbsp Milk
  • 1/2 Cup SunButter
  • 4 Cups Powdered Sugar


  1. Preheat Oven to 350 F and prepare three 6 inch cake pans. Lightly grease each pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Cake Batter

  1. In a medium bowl hand whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together room temperature butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar.
  3. Add SunButter, vanilla, and oil. Mix on medium low until creamy. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl as needed.
  4. Add each egg one at a time until incorporated.
  5. Pour in milk and water. Mix until incorporated.
  6. Slowly spoon in flour mixture, scraping bottom and sides of bowl as needed until cake batter is formed.
  7. Divide batter equally amongst the three cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out with just soft crumbs.
  8. Place cake pans on cooling rack until completely cooled.
  9. Remove cake layers from pans, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.

Make Vanilla Sunflower Buttercream

  1. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, mix together room temperature butter, SunButter, vanilla, and milk until creamy.
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar a cup at a time and mix until desired consistency.

Assemble Cake

  1. Remove cake layers from fridge, unwrap and peel away parchment paper.
  2. Level cake tops with knife if needed.
  3. Place a dollop of buttercream onto cake stand.
  4. Place bottom cake layer onto dollup.
  5. Cover top of cake layer evenly with buttercream, using an offset spatula.
  6. Add second layer and cover top with buttercream.
  7. Flip top layer upside down, with flat side as the top of cake.
  8. Using spatula cover top of cake and lightly spread buttercream across the sides.
  9. Use a bench scraper to smooth top and sides.
  10. Option to completely cover cake with buttercream.
  11. Transfer remaining buttercream into piping bag with desired piping tip and pipe a ring of decor.
  12. Slice and enjoy!!

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