Chocolate Cupcakes With Peanut Butter Frosting

Deliciously moist chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting are the ultimate dessert. Sprinkled with crushed peanuts just to give that extra texture profile.

close up of a cake stand with chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting and crushed peanuts sprinkled on top

Everyone knows chocolate and peanut butter works. Just ask Reeses. It’s a flavor combination that most people just love. Which is why I developed both this recipe and these delicious Reeses peanut butter filed doughnuts.

These chocolate cupcakes are super moist and rich and with smooth and creamy peanut butter frosting it can’t be beat.

Why This Recipe Works

close up of a cake stand with chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting and crushed peanuts sprinkled on top
  1. Chocolate and peanut butter go together like salt and pepper.
  2. The cupcakes are nice and light and fluffy and perfectly moist.
  3. Using crushed peanuts on top gives the cupcakes an extra textural dimension that is a really nice counterbalance to the creamy frosting.

Ingredients

labeled ingredients needed to make the cupcakes

All Purpose Flour – make sure you spoon and level when measuring your flour. This is important in baking.

Buttermilk – this is used as it gives a very slight tang to the flavor but most importantly buttermilk helps tenderize the gluten which gives baked goods a softer texture.

Baking Soda and Baking Powder – helps give the chocolate cupcakes a lift.

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (not Dutch Processed) – this is important. Dutch processed cocoa has less acid and so does not react with the baking soda. Regular Unsweetened cocoa powder has more acidity making it react with the baking soda ensuring a good rise. It also has a stronger chocolate flavor to it.

Raw Peanuts – for the topping you’ll want the raw peanuts, that is used in baking. Not the salted kind.

Eggs at room temperature – When baking you’ll always want to ensure your eggs are at room temperature so that the yolks break and mix easier into the batter which helps the rising of the cake batter.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Vanilla Cupcakes – You could use this peanut butter frosting on a vanilla cupcakes instead of chocolate cupcakes.
  • Reeses Peanut Butter Cups – use these as toppings instead of the crushed peanuts.
  • Reeses Pieces – again, swap out the crushed peanuts for Reeses Pieces.
  • Espresso Powder – you could add just a teaspoon of this to enhance the chocolate flavor.

Instructions

collage of four images showing how to make chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler on the stove. This may be accomplished by putting a pyrex bowl over a pot of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water) if you don’t have a double boiler. Stir until smooth. Set aside to slightly cool.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, toss the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together until combined.
  3. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together until smooth.
  4. Add the cooled butter/chocolate mixture and beat until smooth.
collage of making the cupcakes steps five to eight
  1. Add half of the flour mixture to the batter and stir a little.
  2. Then add half of the buttermilk and alternate until everything has been incorporated. Stir until just combined; do not over mix.
  3. Divide the batter into a cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  4. Sift together the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder to assure there are no lumps.
collage of making the cupcakes steps nine to 12
  1. With a handheld or stand mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter at medium speed until fluffy (approx. 2 mins.)
  2. Gradually add some of the sifted sugar/cocoa powder.
  3. Alternate with the heavy cream and vanilla. Beat on low speed after each addition.Stop adding cream when the desired consistency has been reached.
  4. Frost cooled cupcakes and top with crushed peanuts as desired. Then enjoy!

Storage

Frosted cupcakes can sit out at room temperature for up to 2 days, as long as they are stored in an airtight container, or covered.

Alternatively, you make the frosting ahead of time, storing it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Then, just allow it to come to room temperature before frosting the cupcakes.

a chocolate cupcake that has been cut in half, it has peanut butter frosting

These chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting are a peanut butter lovers dream. The rich and fluffy cupcakes are truly complimented by the creamy peanut butter frosting – one will never be enough.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting on a cakestand
A decadently rich chocolate cupcake with a perfectly creamy peanut butter frosting is the perfect taste combination.
Jenna Shaughnessy
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 48 minutes
Serving Size 12 Cupcakes

Equipment

  • 1 Stand Mixer or hand mixer
  • 2 Mixing Bowls
  • 1 Cupcake Tin
  • 1 Whisk

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
  • 2 ounces Semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder not Dutch Processed
  • 3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Eggs Large
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Frosting

  • 2/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 3/4 Cups Confectioners Sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter Room Temperature
  • 6 Tablespoons Creamy Peanut Butter Room Temperature
  • 6 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Crushed Peanuts for decoration

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake tin and set aside.
  • Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler on the stove. This may be accomplished by putting a Pyrex bowl over a pot of simmering water (don't let the bowl touch the water). Stir until smooth. Set aside to slightly cool.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, toss the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together until combined.
  • In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Add the cooled butter/chocolate mixture and beat until smooth. Add half of the flour mixture, then half of the buttermilk, alternating until everything has been incorporated. Stir until just combined; do not over mix.
  • Divide the batter into the cupcake liners. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting

  • Sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder to assure there are no lumps.
  • With a handheld or stand mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter at medium speed until fluffy (approx. 2 mins.) Gradually add the sifted sugar/cocoa powder alternating with the heavy cream and vanilla. Beat on low speed after each addition.Stop adding cream when the desired consistency has been reached.
  • Frost cooled cupcakes and top with crushed peanuts as desired. Then enjoy!

Notes

Make sure the butter mixture is appropriately cooled before moving to the next step. If the mixture is too hot, it will scramble the eggs.
Do NOT over mix the batter in the final stage of mixing. Over mixing will develop gluten and stop the cupcake from being light and fluffy.
For the frosting you may need to add more powdered sugar if the frosting is too runny or add more cream if it is too thick. 
Storage: Frosted cupcakes can sit out at room temperature for up to 2 days, as long as they are stored in an airtight container, or covered. Alternatively, you make the frosting ahead of time, storing it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Then, just allow it to come to room temperature before frosting the cupcakes.

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