These Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes are just like Reese’s peanut butter cups in cake form. They’re made with super moist and fluffy chocolate cupcakes, topped with the most delicious peanut butter frosting.
If you’re a fan of peanut butter and chocolate, you’ll be delighted with these Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes! They’re chocolaty, peanut buttery, soft, fluffy, and absolutely irresistible.
What you’ll need
These amazing, yet simple cupcakes are made up of:
- Moist chocolate cupcakes from this Chocolate Ganache Cupcake recipe. This recipe uses coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor. If you don’t want to use coffee, you can use this Basic Chocolate Cupcake recipe.
- And this creamy and not too sweet Peanut Butter Frosting.
Step by Step Instructions
Make the chocolate cupcakes
- Add coffee, buttermilk, egg, oil and vanilla to a large mixing bowl. Beat with a hand whisk until combined.
- In another bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder together. Then stir in sugar and salt until well distributed. Add the flour mixture into the liquid mixture.
- Whisk until a smooth batter forms.
- Use a large cookie scoop to divide the cake batter evenly into 12 lined muffin cups.
- Bake at 350°F until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Make the peanut butter frosting
- Add all the ingredients to the stand mixer bowl. You could also use a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer.
- Stir to incorporate at first.
- Then increase the mixer speed gradually to high and beat until the frosting is lighter in color and fluffy.
Assemble your cupcakes
Once the chocolate cupcakes cool completely, pipe swirls of peanut butter frosting on top. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Optional: To create a surprised peanut butter filling center like a peanut butter cup, you can cut out a hole at the top of the cupcakes, fill it with the frosting, replace the piece of cutout cake and frost the cupcakes as usual.
For more tips on how to fill cupcakes, you can check out some of the filled cupcake recipes below:
- Either type of cocoa powder will work in this recipe: natural or dutch-process cocoa powder. I usually prefer dutch-processed because it is richer and will create a darker color cake.
- Coffee is used in this recipe to enhance the chocolate flavor but you won’t taste the coffee in the cake. Instant coffee or instant espresso can be used instead of freshly brewed coffee. Make the instant coffee per directions on the packaging and let cool before using.
- If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, check out a few different ways to make homemade buttermilk.
- I use Skippy honey peanut butter for the peanut butter frosting. But you should be able to use any common brand of creamy peanut butter.
- This frosting is very easy to make but if you have any questions or run into any trouble, check out my post on how to make Peanut Butter Frosting for more tips and FAQs on the frosting specifically.
These peanut butter chocolate cupcakes should be stored in the refrigerator since the peanut butter frosting contains butter and cream. You can take it out about half an hour before serving to let the buttercream soften up a bit.
These cupcakes will last in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To freeze the cupcakes, I would first refrigerate it to let the frosting harden completely, then wrap each cupcake in plastic and store in a freezer bag.
You can thaw frozen cupcakes at room temperature about 1 – 2 hours before serving.
More peanut butter & chocolate treats
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
- Peanut Butter Brownies
- Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (144 g)
- 6 tablespoon cocoa powder (natural or dutch-processed, 42 g)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar (199 g)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup coffee (cooled, 113 g)
- ½ cup buttermilk (115 g)
- ¼ cup vegetable oil (50 g)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Peanut Butter Frosting
- 8 oz unsalted butter (room temperature, cubed, 2 sticks, 1 cup, 227 g)
- 8 oz creamy peanut butter (about 14 tablespoons, 227 g)
- 4 tablespoon heavy whipping cream (60 g)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar (100 g)
Make the chocolate cupcakes
- Brew the coffee and let cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Line a 12 cup standard size muffin pan with cupcake paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together cooled coffee, buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla until thoroughly combined.
- Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder in another bowl, add salt and sugar and whisk until evenly distributed. Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredient mixture and stir until a smooth batter forms.
- Divide batter evenly into 12 muffin cups using a large cookie scoop and bake for 17 – 19 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean with just a few crumbs attached.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10 – 15 minutes until cool to the touch before removing them from the pan and setting them on a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the peanut butter buttercream
- Add butter, peanut butter, cream, and vanilla extract to the stand mixer bowl.
- Sift powdered sugar into the bowl.
- Stir to incorporate all of the ingredients, then increase the mixer speed gradually to high and beat until the frosting is lighter in color and fluffy, about 5 – 15 minutes.
- Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with your favorite tip and pipe a swirl on top of the cupcakes or simply frosting on top with a spatula or butter knife. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
- Instant coffee or instant espresso can be used instead of freshly brewed coffee. Make the instant coffee per directions on the packaging and let cool before using.
- Either natural or dutch-processed cocoa powder can be used, but I prefer dutch-processed.
- I use Skippy natural honey peanut butter for the peanut butter frosting. But you should be able to use any common brand of creamy peanut butter.
Originally published on 1/28/2015. Updated and republished on 3/2/2021 with process photos, retested frosting, tips and more streamlined writing.
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