Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes Recipe (with step-by-step tutorial) |

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!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes Recipe (with step-by-step tutorial) |

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…

Some are breakfast recipes…

But all of them look positively scrumptious.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes Recipe (with step-by-step tutorial) |

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:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes |

We begin with our sponsor for the Virtual Bake Day — Gold Medal Flour.  I used all-purpose flour for this recipe.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes Recipe (with step-by-step tutorial) |

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!)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes Recipe (with step-by-step tutorial) |

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!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes Recipe (with step-by-step tutorial) |

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.)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes Recipe (with step-by-step tutorial) |

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.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes Recipe (with step-by-step tutorial) |

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.  :)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes Recipe (with step-by-step tutorial) |

Peanut butter and chocolate at their finest.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes Recipe (with step-by-step tutorial) |

And another closeup of the tasty Reese’s inside.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes Recipe (with step-by-step tutorial) |

You can either leave them plain like I did…

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes Recipe (with step-by-step tutorial) |

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.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes |

Thanks for organizing such a great event, Gold Medal Flour.  Happy baking, everyone!!!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: About 24 cupcakes 1x


These peanut butter cupcakes are rich, delicious, and even come with a little “surprise” inside!



Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract, store-bought or homemade
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used Gold Medal)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used dark chocolate cocoa powder)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup coffee, lukewarm (you can use decaf coffee if desired!)
  • 24 mini peanut butter cups, unwrapped (I used Reese’s)
  • (optional: melted chocolate for drizzling)

Peanut Butter Frosting Ingredients:

  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract, store-bought or homemade
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


To Make The Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes:

  1. Prepare 24 baking cups with paper baking liners. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Top with peanut butter frosting. (Optional: Then drizzle with melted chocolate.)

To Make The Peanut Butter Frosting:

  1. 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.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes |

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!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes |

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172 comments on “Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes”

  1. Hi!
    So I really wanna make the frosting you suggested, it looks amazing.
    but 2 cups of peanut butter ?? isn’t it the whole jar?

    My basic vanilla frosting is 80 grams butter, 250 grams icing suger, 1 tspn vanilla and 1 tbsp milk,

    Are you sure adding 2 cups of peanut butter will still be solid icing?


  2. Hi Ali!
    I love your blog and these were the first things I have made from it. They are A-MA-ZING (to say the least). I just have one question- why did my frosting turn out a lot thicker and less fluffy? Is it because I over-whipped it? Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe and I plan on making them again in the future.

    • Hey Jennifer! So glad you liked the muffins! And hmmm, it could have been the brand of PB with the frosting. Some are thicker than others. If the frosting gets too thick, feel free to thin it down with a 1/2 teaspoon (or two) of water or milk. But whipping it more should actually make it more fluffy. So hmmm, not sure. Hope they turn out better next time! :)

  3. hi. can i just omit the coffee?

  4. Terribly disappointed in these. The frosting was delicious and cupcakes were very chocolatey. The cupcakes, however, stuck to the paper cupcake holders and all that could be gotten out was the middle.

  5. I haven’t yet made these, but can you skip the coffee if you want? Will it affect the consistency or cook time? Even though it’s only a little bit, nobody in my family likes it and we don’t have a coffee machine or anything, so I’d rather not go to all the trouble to add it in.

    • Sure, you can just use 1/2 cup of water or 1/2 cup milk instead. The coffee just helps intensify the flavor of the chocolate.

  6. My 16 year old granddaughter and her friend made these with the mini Reece’s pb cup and they brought me one to try. OMG it was delicious…as good as a local bakery, if not better…had to get recipe from her! I can still taste it. Can’t wait to make them for my self.

  7. Hi Ali!

    I absolutely LOVE these cupcakes and the peanut butter frosting! Every time I make chocolate cupcakes I use this recipe (the coffee makes them sooooo good). I just have one question: how do you get your peanut butter frosting so smooth and un-oily (if that’s even a word)? What brand do you use? The two times I have made them, the frosting has come out thick and oily (I use Trader Joe’s organic creamy peanut butter). Thanks!

    • Ooooh, I wish I remembered what brand I used for these photos. I switch brands of peanut butter often. But I tried these again with natural peanut butter awhile back, and they worked great! :)

  8. I addded 1.5 cups of peanut butter for my icing and still had to adjust it because it was too much. 1 cup woulda probably been sufficient for me. Love the blog and classy photography!

  9. I love these! The dark cocoa and coffee combo is fantastic. I had to add quite a bit more cream than was called for in the recipe to get the icing to consistency I prefer, it that’s about it. Thank you very much for sharing!

  10. These were pretty good!

    The frosting does not come out as creamy as it looks in the pictures though. I had to add more butter and cream. Even with that it didn’t come out as creamy.

    The chocolate cupcakes came out a little dry. I think I might put another egg or some oil in next time!

  11. We made these for a bake sale and we did modify the recipe somewhat by using a prepared dark chocolate cake mix and added more cream to the frosting. These were exceptional and sold out in 15 minutes. I will definitely make them again only next time, I think I’ll put a small amount of batter at the bottom, then the peanut butter cup, and then the rest of the batter. When the chocolate goes at the very bottom it has a tendency to get hard and crunchy when cooked. These cupcakes will disappear rather than disappoint!

  12. is it celsius or fahrenheit?

  13. 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.

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  16. 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. :(

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  18. do you natural or regular peanut butter? 

  19. 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!!

  20. 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!

  21. These cupcakes were incredible. Thanks for the decadent recipe!!!!!!!!

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  23. I made these wonderful cupcakes for my grand-daughters birthday and they way big hit.

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  27. How much batter do you used per cup cake?


  29. 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?

  30. 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!

  31. 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 —

  32. I love peanut butter so I ll definitely do this recipe!

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  35. 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…

  36. If I wanted to leave out the coffee do I need to replace it with more buttermilk? 

  37. Do you have to refrigerate them? 

  38. Di you have to refrigerate them after baking? 

  39. Can I half the recipe? 24 cupcakes are too much for me and my husband. :)

  40. Can you freeze these? 

  41. 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!

  42. loved the cupcakes.  Made them last night. Easy and fast to make. Thank you for sharing.

  43. Excellant recipe. Thanks for sharing!!!

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  45. These are in the oven now. I’m sure hoping the coffee taste bakes away. 

  46. I agree with putting some batter on bottom

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  48. My icing isn’t smooth can add more heavy cream 

  49. 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! :)

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