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Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcake
A peanut butter cup is nothing more than chocolate enrobing a salty-sweet peanut butter center in a small paper cup. This version of a peanut butter cup is still in “cup” format, albeit a larger cupcake size! These Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cupcakes should appeal to anyone whose mouth waters at the thought of a peanut butter cup and doesn’t mind a supersized package.

These are chocolate cupcakes topped with salty-sweet peanut butter and chocolate frostings. The cupcake recipe is a great basic chocolate cupcake that has a very strong chocolate flavor and a wonderful dark, decadent-looking color to it. They’re moist and tender, and good enough to go with any type of frosting you could want to put on top, even though they do go especially well with peanut butter. For the frosting, I used a national peanut butter brand (JIF) and got great results. Make sure to taste-test your frosting while you’re making it, since the frosting should have a hint of salt and you might need to add in a pinch if your peanut butter is a low salt variety.

When I was putting these together, I considered putting the peanut butter filling in the center of the cupcakes and topping them only with chocolate frosting to make them look like a regular peanut butter cup. When I did that, I found that I wanted more peanut butter than I could fit in the cupcake, so I switched to a thick layer of peanut butter frosting on top of the cake. This way, you get peanut butter cup flavors that are in better balance – and that means that you will have peanut butter and chocolate in every single bite of cake that you take.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup coffee (or water), room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Place liners in 12 cup muffin tins.
In a large bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, white sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt until thoroughly mixed.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, coffee (or water), buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Whisk coffee mixture into flour mixture until all of the ingredients are mixed in and no streaks of flour remain.
Fill muffin cups evenly with the prepared batter.
Bake at 350F for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, or with only a few crumbs.
Remove cupcakes from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Peanut Butter Cup Frosting
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tbsp milk
2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp salt (optional)
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl, beat together butter and peanut butter until smooth. Beat in milk and gradually incorporate the confectioners’ sugar until frosting is thick, smooth and creamy. Add a little extra confectioners’ sugar if the frosting is not stiff enough, and a few extra drops of milk if it becomes too stiff. Taste frosting and add extra salt if necessary.
Set aside 1/4 of the frosting in a small bowl. Add cocoa powder and vanilla to this and beat until it is well blended
Use remaining plain peanut butter frosting top top each of the chocolate cupcakes. Top each peanut butter frosted-cupcake with a small dollop of the chocolate peanut butter frosting to finish off the cupcakes.
Note: Using a piping bag makes the process neat and easy, but you can also spread the frostings on with a knife.

Makes 12.

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  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    February 27, 2013

    Oh my goodness, these look amazing!

  • ~ callee ~
    February 27, 2013

    Uhhhh, yes. I simply must make these.

  • Kate
    February 27, 2013

    I can only echo what Calle said! These *need* to be made. The new year’s diet has crashed and burned, anyway. 🙂

  • Jeff @ Cheeseburger
    February 27, 2013

    My mouth goes watery just by reading your description: “chocolate cupcakes topped with salty-sweet peanut butter and chocolate frostings”.

  • Chewthefat
    February 28, 2013

    Wow. Just. Wow.

  • Holiday Baker Man
    February 28, 2013

    Deadly little suckers

  • Elaine @ Cooking to Perfection
    February 28, 2013

    These look incredibly rich and delicious. I love anything peanut butter and chocolate, so these have my name written all over them!

  • Jill
    March 17, 2013

    I have a question–does this recipe make 12 or 24 cupcakes? The beginning says to put liners in “2-12 cup muffin tins” but at the end of the recipe, it says “Makes 12.” Thanks!

  • Nicole
    March 17, 2013

    Jill – It makes 12.

  • Krystal
    April 2, 2013

    Made these today…followed recipe exactly. The cake rose but then fell…all of my cupcakes have little craters in them 🙁

  • Ruchita
    April 20, 2013


    What could be a substitution of eggs in any cakes/cup cakes ?

  • Ashley
    September 23, 2013

    I made these and it made about 21 cupcakes for me! They were incredibly delicious! Just enough frosting! And I generously frosted each of them! 🙂 Super delicious. They reminded me of a peanut butter cup. Yummy! Everyone loved them. The cake was chocolately, moist, and delicious. The frosting was just the right amount of peanut butter and smooth and amazing!

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