Nutella-Layered-and-Swirled Peanut Butter Bread {Peanut Butter Loaf Cake}

I set out to make peanut butter bread. You can call it ‘bread’ if it makes you feel better.

It’s really more like peanut butter cake baked in a loaf pan. But let’s go with bread. Sounds healthier.

The interior is soft, springy, fluffy, with an open crumb.

It’s not overly peanut buttery and reminds me of yellow butter cake, minus any butter used in the recipe.

And there’s a layer of Nutella in the middle of the bread, and more Nutella that’s swirled on top.  Anytime I combine peanut butter and Nutella, I’m very happy, and this bread made me jump for joy.

It’s an easy quickbread batter that’s whisked together in one bowl without needing to use a mixer. It’s so easy that the first 7 ingredients including buttermilk, coconut oil, and peanut butter are all just added together, before folding in the dry ingredients.

Buttermilk helps keep breads and cakes soft, springy, bouncy, tender, with the perfect balance of density and fluffiness. The results are unparalleled. You can make buttermilk by souring your own milk. Add about 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup milk, wait for 10 minutes for it to curdle, then use as indicated.

If you don’t routinely keep buttermilk on hand, I highly recommend this Powdered Buttermilk. If you don’t use buttermilk much, but sometimes see a recipe that needs a half cup, but because you think you won’t use the rest of the jug before it goes bad, you opt of trying the recipe, then this powder is your new best friend. Shelf stable, keeps for ages.

I used Nutiva Coconut Oil from Code AVE630 at checkout saves you $10 off your order. I love iHerb for everything like probioticsbulk cinnamonpumpkin pie spiceliquid vanilla stevia dropsbulk white stevia powdermedicinal fancy-grade honeychia seedsface cleanser, and nutritional yeast.

I’m no stranger to using coconut oil in muffinscakesbreadcookies and I noticed zero coconut flavor in the cake. Between the peanut butter and Nutella, any coconut flavor is totally masked, but use another oil if you’re more comfortable.

In conjunction with the the buttermilk and coconut oil, the peanut butter helps keep the bread moist and soft, without being overpowering.

After the batter comes together, turn about two-thirds of it out into the pan, and top it with about 2/3 cup Nutella in an even, smooth layer.

One tip that really helps make this easier is microwaving the jar of Nutella for about 15 seconds, or as needed, so that it loosens up. This makes pouring and spreading it on top of squishy raw cake batter so much easier.

Top with the remaining batter and add more Nutella for swirls. More is usually better when it comes to chocolate and Nutella, but don’t add more than about 1/4 cup, and make sure there aren’t any large, concentrated blobs.

Blobs are heavy, dense, and could cause the top of the loaf to fall or sink as it cools. I had a couple iffy patches because I got a bit carried away with my swirling. It sure tastes great, but visually-speaking, sunken patches don’t win blue ribbons.

To make the swirly pattern I did, I started with 3 long train tracks. Then I took a toothpick perpendicular to the tracks, traversing the length of the pan, until it was swirled. Do whatever is easiest for you.

The top is like the most perfect tasting muffin top.

Shiny and dense, but with big chocolate Nutella rivers winding over it.

And there’s the soft, buttery interior, with Nutella bisecting it.

It’s like a layer cake, without any of the work.

If we hadn’t scarfed this loaf in under 2 days, I have a feeling it would make excellent French toast, but it disappeared before I could try that.

This is my idea of ‘bread’, for sure. And since it’s bread, seconds (and thirds) are totally okay.

Nutella-Layered-and-Swirled Peanut Butter Bread {Peanut Butter Loaf Cake}

This ‘bread’ is really more like peanut butter cake baked in a loaf pan, but bread sounds healthier. The batter comes together in one bowl, without needing to use a mixer. Buttermilk, coconut oil, and peanut butter all help keep it very soft and moist. The interior is soft, springy, fluffy, with an open crumb. It’s not overly sweet nor overly peanut buttery, and reminds me of yellow butter cake, minus any butter used in the recipe. There’s a layer of Nutella in the middle of the bread, and more that’s swirled on top. Nutella and peanut butter are a wonderful pairing. Make sure when adding the Nutella top swirls that there aren’t any large, concentrated blobs because they could cause the top to fall upon cooling.

Did you make this recipe?


1 large egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
heaping 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (canola or vegetable oil may be substituted)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
about 2/3 cup Nutella for layering inside the loaf
about 1/4 cup Nutella for swirling on top the loaf


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside (don’t use an 8-by-4-inch pan; it’s too small)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the first 7 ingredients, through vanilla.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, optional salt, and stir until just combined; don’t overmix. Batter will be very thick and lumpy. Don’t try to stir the lumps smooth.
  4. Turn about 2/3 of the batter out into prepared pan (just eyeball it), smoothing the surface lightly with a spatula; set aside remaining batter.
  5. Evenly pour about 2/3 cup Nutella over the batter (just eyeball it), smoothing it lightly with a spatula to push it into the corners and cover the surface completely. Tip: Microwaving the jar of Nutella for 15 to 30 seconds, or as needed, makes pouring and spreading it easier.
  6. Top with the remaining batter, smoothing it lightly with a spatula.
  7. Drizzle about 1/4 cup Nutella (just eyeball it) over the top for swirls. Make sure there aren’t any large, concentrated blobs because they could cause the top to fall upon cooling. To create the marbled pattern shown, I made 3 long, parallel  lines, like train tracks. Then with a toothpick, I went up-and-back horizontally (perpendicular to the train tracks), covering the length of the pan until it was completely swirled. Make swirls in whatever way is easiest for you.
  8. Bake for 40 to 45minutes (I baked 42), or until top is set and firm, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
  9. Allow bread to cool in pan for at least 30 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Note that bread may fall a bit in the center as it cools. This is to be expected because it’s very weighed-down with Nutella.
  10. Bread will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or may be frozen for up to 6 months. Serve plain, with a smear of peanut butter and/or Nutella, makes wonderful French toast.

Loosely adapted from Cinnamon Sugar Crust Cinnamon Ribbon Bread

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