One of the questions I am most asked as a food blogger is what my recommendations are for desserts to serve at an event. You know, those crowd-pleasing, guaranteed-to-disappear-quickly, everyone-asks-you-for-the-recipe, “winning” sort of recipes? Well, when it comes to dessert, I’ve learned that you pretty much can’t go wrong with anything chocolate and peanut butter. I don’t know what it is, but people lose their mind over all things chocolate peanut butter!! Just say those magic words, and the world is your oyster. Well, your oyster if it’s filled with chocolate and peanut butter. :)
So get ready to lose your mind today, because this fantastic Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes recipe has officially arrived on the blog.
And oh friends, it’s a good one.
And even better, these cupcakes are part of an amazing Virtual Bake Day with Gold Medal Flour that I’m participating in with some of my favorite blogging friends. We were all asked to bake up some delicious scratch recipes to share during the holidays. So I decided to go for the “gold” with this fantastic chocolate peanut butter cupcakes recipe. Here’s the scoop, and the how-to!
Ok, first a word about the Virtual Bake Day with Gold Medal Flour. I’m totally honored to be participating in the deliciousness today with some amazingly talented bloggers. You should definitely take a minute to hop over and visit their recipes. Some are dessert recipes…
My recipe clearly fell in the “desserts” category, although I may have had one for breakfast this morning. (Hey, it’s December, and I’m working out each day!) ;)
All of the other cupcakes, though, got spread around my neighborhood today. I took some to the guys at my coffee shop next door to sample, where one guy happily ate it “in three bites” (whoa) and another said it was the best cupcake he’d ever had (bingo!). They I went and knocked on doors around my building and delivered them to more friends, whose eyes all lit up at the promise of peanut butter and chocolate. And then I took the final batch out to Mexican dinner with some friends, where we all decided that chocolate peanut butter cupcakes were in fact a perfect dessert after tamales and chips and salsa and margaritas. Who knew?!
Once again, I was reminded of how much fun it is to spend time baking during the holidays (all the more fun with Maria and Rolfe) and share good food with people you love. These cupcakes also turned out to be surprisingly easy to make, especially with the optional little “surprise inside”. Here’s the how-to:
We begin with our sponsor for the Virtual Bake Day — Gold Medal Flour. I used all-purpose flour for this recipe.
If you want to go the extra mile and throw in a peanut butter chocolate “surprise inside”, start by unwrapping a zillion (ok, 24) mini Reese’s peanut butter cups. I used the mini size, but you could also use full-size cups if you’d like. If you want to skip this step, you can just make plain chocolate cupcakes. But I highly recommend adding these guys in!
Then whip up a batch of chocolate cake batter. (Mine is extra dark, since I used dark chocolate cocoa — my favorite!)
Place the Reese’s in the baking cups, and then spoon your cupcake batter on top of the peanut butter cups. (Edit: Actually, I’ve found it works better to place the peanut butter cups in on top of the batter, which helps prevent the bottoms of the cups from burning.) I always use an ice cream scoop to fill my cupcakes, which is the perfect amount of batter. So for these, I just eyeballed it and subtracted the size of the Reese’s from the amount of batter added. It worked!
Then while the cupcakes bake, whip up a batch of peanut butter frosting. So easy, and so good.
Once the cupcakes have cooked and cooled to room temp, add on lots of frosting! You can just spread it on with a knife, or use a piping bag like I did. (I used Wilton Tip 1M.)
And then before you snap a zillion more photos, DIVE IN!
Do you spy the little “surprise” inside? That’s what we call a winner right there.
I’ve heard that this swirly frosting technique is going out of style, but I don’t care. It’s so easy, and makes cupcakes look so pretty, so I’m sticking with it. :)
Peanut butter and chocolate at their finest.
And another closeup of the tasty Reese’s inside.
You can either leave them plain like I did…
Or if you’re feeling extra fancy, drizzle them with a bit of melted chocolate. This was my original plan with the batch, but I actually liked the clean and simple look even better. Either way, though, I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong. :)
Definitely a wonderful dessert, and a hit with my friends, and a fun contribution to all of the other great recipes in the Virtual Bake Day! Be sure to follow Gold Medal Flour on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest this holiday season for how-to recipes, videos, tips on baking, and other deliciousness.
Thanks for organizing such a great event, Gold Medal Flour. Happy baking, everyone!!!
Prepare 24 baking cups with paper baking liners. Set aside.
In the bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt until combined. Then in an additional separate bowl, stir together buttermilk and coffee. Add dry ingredients to creamed butter mixture alternately with buttermilk and coffee, beating well after each addition.
Fill baking cups with batter on top of the peanut butter cups until they are nearly 2-3 full, then nestle a peanut butter cup in on top of the batter. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
Top with peanut butter frosting. (Optional: Then drizzle with melted chocolate.)
To Make The Peanut Butter Frosting:
Using an electric mixer, beat peanut butter, butter and vanilla together on medium speed until combined and smooth. Add remaining ingredients and beat on low speed until incorporated. Then beat on medium-high speed for an additional minute until smooth and fluffy.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post from Gold Medal Flour. All opinions are 100% my own as always. I’m honored to be a part of this Virtual Bake Day and share it with you!
is it celsius or fahrenheit?
I made these a few weeks ago for a lake day… They are so good! They have a great texture and the coffee brings out the chocolate flavor. So good I followed the recipe completely and they turned out perfect. These are the new favorite.
Next time I would certainly put a bit of batter in the bottom first. The candy being at the bottom made the bottoms burn on most of the cupcakes. Not a happy camper since the were for hubby’s bday tonight. :(
do you natural or regular peanut butter?
Mmmmmmmm….delicious cupcakes with a sweet surprise! So happy to have found this recipe. I found the frosting a tad thick and will cut back on the PB….a personal preference. TFS!!
Delicious! Made these last night, and we’re already hoping to make them again soon. I second putting some batter on the bottom before putting in pb cup. They stick to the cupcake liner–not a big deal but would make an otherwise perfect recipe better!
These cupcakes were incredible. Thanks for the decadent recipe!!!!!!!!
I made these wonderful cupcakes for my grand-daughters birthday and they way big hit.
How much batter do you used per cup cake?
Hi there! These look delish and I can’t wait to make them for my friend’s bday!! Do you use salted, or unsalted butter?
Hi Chandana! Thank you! And I use unsalted. Enjoy! : )
Hi, can I turn these amazing cupcakes into a cake? Thoughts? How long would you suggest I cook them for in a cake pan? I made the cupcakes last week and they are to die for! Thanks
Thanks Valerie! You’ll need two 8 or 9 inch cake pans, and will need to bake the cake longer than the cupcakes, so keep an eye on it (probably 15-20 min more, so around 30-40 min). I hope that helps!
Your cupcakes are beautiful! I have a random question: what kind of cupcake liners do you use? I feel like they are not all created equal….
Thank you! I buy these ones online and love them — https://www.bakeitpretty.com/dark-chocolate-brown-cupcake-liners/
I love peanut butter so I ll definitely do this recipe!
I love the recipe… I love the pictures… Can’t wait to combine 2 things that I hold dear… I do chocolates with a peanut butter centre… definitely will try cupcakes…. can’t wait…
Thank you, Joyce, we hope you love them! : )
If I wanted to leave out the coffee do I need to replace it with more buttermilk?
Yes, we hope you love these!
Do you have to refrigerate them?
Di you have to refrigerate them after baking?
Hi Kara, no you do not. We hope you enjoy!
Can I half the recipe? 24 cupcakes are too much for me and my husband. :)
Hi Katherine! Of course, and we hope you guys enjoy!
Can you freeze these?
You sure can Nancy — we hope you enjoy! :)
I’d rather not add the coffee in. I saw someone commented about using more buttermilk instead. Do you just add an extra 1/2 cup of buttermilk (total 1 cup buttermilk), or do you have to scale it differently? Hoping to make these for my husband’s birthday next week :)
Hi Heather, you could certainly forgo the coffee and just up the buttermilk by another 1/2 cup. We hope you ad your husband enjoy these!
loved the cupcakes. Made them last night. Easy and fast to make. Thank you for sharing.
We’re so glad you liked them Bertha, thanks for letting us know! :)
Excellant recipe. Thanks for sharing!!!
Thanks Pat, we’re happy you like it! :)
These are in the oven now. I’m sure hoping the coffee taste bakes away.
It does, it just enhances the chocolate flavor. :)
I agree with putting some batter on bottom
My icing isn’t smooth can add more heavy cream
Sure thing! Or you could also add a little water or milk.
Although the cupcakes can be delicious, there are some very real problems with this recipe. I’ve made several batches so I know what I am talking about.
First, placing the Reese’s peanut butter cup on the bottom center of the cupcake pan almost always guarantees burning the bottom of the peanut butter cup. The peanut butter cup burns and sticks to the the liner which is then difficult to remove. The bottom tastes like burnt chocolate. The way to overcome this is to fill the cupcake liners first half way and then insert the peanut butter cup, pushing it into the batter so only the tops of the candy are visible. The cupcake bakes over the peanut butter cup immersing it into the center.
Second- the 2 cups of peanut butter to 1 cup of confectioners sugar ratio for the frosting guarantees a greasy heavy mess that isn’t workable. The ratio should be reduced to 1 cup or 1 1/4 cup peanut butter to 1 cup sugar ratio.
The coffee really does enhance the flavor quite nicely.
Great tip! And yeah, I never had problems with the peanut butter cups burning on the bottoms, but I have switched recently to placing them on top. Thanks for the feedback! :)
I dont want to put coffee in these what can I use instead?
No worries! We would just use water in place of the coffee. We hope you enjoy these! :)
How do these taste without coffee? We aren’t cofee drinkers so we never have it on hand.
Love this recipe! These will be featured in my wedding this May. What piping tip did you use to decorate these?
Thanks Brittney! Ali used a Wilton 2D tip. Congrats on your wedding! :)
The peanut butter cups burned on the bottoms while the rest of the cupcake was moist and baked according to the recipe. Any suggestions?
Oh no! Sorry, I’ve never had that happen. If that’s the case, feel free to poke the peanut butter cups in the batter so that they’re not directly touching the bottom of the pan. Hope they turn out better next time!
I had the same thing happen. The peanut butter cups were a had lump in the bottom of the cupcakes. ? Otherwise they are amazing.
These cupcakes are amazing! Every time I make them, somebody wants me to make them again! I’ve made them 2 times in 4 days!! Thanks for the amazing recipes!! Keep them coming :-)
Thanks, Talana — we’re so happy you’re a fan! :)
Did a great deal of substituting; greek yogurt and whole milk instead of heavy cream, agave instead of sugar, vanilla yogurt instead of buttermilk and half whole wheat flour and half all purpose flour. . .turned out delicious! Can really taste the chocolate! Fiance` insisted on a second cupcake :) Taking these to work tomorrow. If response from coworkers is positive, plan to use this recipe as cupcakes for my wedding reception this summer. Thank you for creating and sharing this fantastic recipe!
We’re glad you were able to make these work well with those substitutions, Sarah — we appreciate you giving them a try! :)
Hi! I loved the idea of these but honestly the frosting was way to thick and like peanut butter for us. I had to scrape off the frosting and make a different frosting. I left a small layer of this under the new stuff and it added a nice peanut butter flavor that wasn’t overwhelming. Glad I tried it but would def try to lighten it up next time! Thanks :)
We’re sorry to hear you didn’t care for the frosting, Odessa! Out of curiosity though, what kind of peanut butter did you use?
I made these for a friend who’s favorite food is peanut butter. While he hasn’t gotten them yet (he will in a little while) my family taste tested them. My husband, who is not a big peanut butter fan, said the were delicious and even better after I iced them and put them in the fridge for a few hours. I did add a little more powdered sugar (maybe a quarter of a cup) and more heavy cream (probably another 2-3 tablespoons) to the icing to make it easier to pipe out of the bag. I whipped it for quite while and it got light and fluffy and was good on it’s own. In fact, I have put the rest into a container and am going to give it to my friend – he can eat it by the spoonful – or just toss it whatever makes him happy.
It is an easy recipe to follow and will definitely be going into my files as a keeper!
Thanks for sharing with us, Laura — we’re glad to hear you and your husband enjoyed these! :)
I want to make 150 of these for my daughter’s high school graduation open house. She LOVES chocolate and peanut butter! Can I freeze them so I’m not doing all the work the day before? Was thinking it would be best to freeze the cupcake only and add frosting after thawing. What do you think?
Hi Teresa! We’re sorry we’re so late responding to your comment! You definitely can freeze these, but we think it’s best to freeze the cupcakes only and add the frosting after thawing. We hope this helps!
Do these need to be refrigerated?
We would recommend it. We hope you enjoy! :)
DELICIOUS! Great recipe. I love this site.
I pressed the Reeses into the batter and they stuck on the bottom of the liners, will have to experiment to get them to stay in the middle. The frosting was like a spreadable version of a buckeye filling. Even with my questionable frosting skills they looked good, & tasted amazing.
Thank you, Mae! We’re happy you enjoyed these!
Perfect texture and flavor, everybody happy, Thanks !
O.M.G These look SOOOOO good! I’ll have to try them. Thanks for the idea!!!!!!!
Confused on “24” peanut butter cups. Direction states, putting one on the bottom before batter and then putting one on top. 24 or 48 pb cups?
Want to make these for my sons birthday. Wondering if I have to buy the “Kraft” type peanut butter that contains hydrogenated oil or if I can use the natural, unsweetened stuff.
So good! I did a half batch and did the version where the Reese cup is added after the batter and pushed it in to sink it. Added a mini white chocolate reese cup on top like a cherry. The cake part was light and fluffy and the frosting tastes just like Reese filling. Thanks!
Delicious- we used full sized peanut butter cups though and they sank to the bottom of the cupcake wrapper- will make again for sure but will put a little graham cracker crust in the bottom like another cupcake I make to stop the PB Cup from melting into the paper
The chocolate cupcake was good – but my batter didn’t fill 24 cupcakes – more like 20. I put the peanut butter cups on the top but they still sank to the bottom and got stuck. The peanut butter frosting was too thick and too peanut buttery. I added another cup? of sugar, and more heavy cream. And then I had way too much frosting.
I’ve made these three separate times now and each time I’m running into the same issue: the reese’s cup always ends up at the bottom and gets stuck to the cupcake liner. Even if I put the batter in and then put the cup on top of the batter, I have the same issue. Anyone have a fix for this?
this recipe is AWESOME
I made these cupcakes a while ago for my little sister and her friends, everyone loved them so much I decided to make them again for my thanksgiving day baking contest and they are so easy to make! everyone loves them so much!
These smell so good! I am kid who loves to bake and all of my presents that I got from Santa were baking tools! My favorite one was a teal stand mixer and I used it for these cupcakes. They turned out great and nice and fluffy! For the people who think the buttercream is too thick, I think maybe you should microwave the peanut butter for maybe 15-20 seconds on high with the lid on. It shouldn’t be too liquidy but it should be a little bit softer. I love this recipe and I always get this tingly feeling of satisfaction when my baked goods bake well. Thank you for this recipe Mrs. Ali! I love your website!
I made this as a gift for my PB & chocolate-loving sister for her birthday. It was so decadent and delicious! Thank you!
I cant praise these rich, chocolatly cupcakes. They were a real hit with everyone who ate them and the coffee brought out the chocolate wonderfully.