Love Reese’s peanut butter cups? These rich Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes have a chocolate base and creamy peanut butter frosting piled high on top. Better than a Reese’s cup.
Reese’s peanut butter cups have to be one of the best candies ever made. That flavor combination is unbeatable. So when it comes time to making cupcakes for birthday parties and celebrations, the chocolate and peanut butter combination is the first to come to mind.
You love our Reese’s cake, so here’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes for when you want something a little more bite-size.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- 100% from scratch cupcakes and buttercream.
- Makes just 12 cupcakes.
- Pile the cupcakes high with creamy peanut butter buttercream.
- Decorate with drizzled chocolate or Reese’s cups.
This chocolate cupcake is rich and fudgy more than light and airy.
- It gets its chocolate flavor from unsweetened cocoa powder. If you’d like you could add some mini chocolate chips for an extra punch of chocolate.
- If you’d like to enhance the chocolate flavor, use strong coffee instead of water. Your cupcake won’t taste like coffee. Coffee pairs well with chocolate.
- Uses melted butter instead of oil which keeps the cupcake moist, but rich. Butter also adds to the flavor of the cupcake.
- Watch how you measure the flour. Don’t pack it in the cup. Spoon the flour into the measuring up and level it off with a knife.
- If you ever have trouble with baked goods tasting bitter, it may be the baking powder. Purchase baking powder that is aluminum free to prevent this aftertaste.
How do you tell if cupcakes are done without a toothpick? My favorite method for testing cakes and cupcakes is one that doesn’t use a toothpick. Touch the center of the cupcake (or a cake) lightly. If it bounces back when you touch it, then the cake is done.
Peanut Butter Frosting
It’s easiest to make homemade buttercream frosting with a stand mixer, but an electric hand mixer will work well too.
The key to the best homemade frosting is to have the butter at room temperature. It can’t be cold and straight from the fridge, but you also don’t want it melted and too soft. If it is melted at all, the frosting will have a strange, oily texture. Set the butter out at room temperature for a couple hours before mixing up the frosting.
Also, using heavy cream instead of milk adds richness and helps the frosting whip up to a light texture. If you don’t have heavy cream you can use half and half or whole milk. Add the milk a tablespoon at a time until you get the texture of frosting that is perfect for you.
These chocolate peanut butter cupcakes are safe to store at room temperature for up to 4 days. You can also freeze them in an airtight container.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
For the chocolate cupcakes:
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup boiling water
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar plus 3 more tablespoons
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
For the peanut butter frosting:
- 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream (or whole milk)
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
- mini Reese's peanut butter cups
Make the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF or 180ºC and line a 12 hole cupcake pan with cupcakes liners.
- Sift the cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl and pour over the boiling water. Mix into a smooth paste.
- Add all remaining cupcake ingredients and mix with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as you need.
- Scoop the cupcake batter into the liners evenly. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the top of the cupcake bounces back when you touch it.
- Leave the cupcakes in the pan for about 10 minutes to cool, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the frosting:
- Add the peanut butter, room temperature butter (not melted) and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl. Mix with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer until smooth and creamy.
- Gradually sift in the powdered sugar a little at a time, mixing after each addition. When the mixture starts to become a little too thick, add the cream 1 tablespoon at a time until a pipeable consistency is reached.
- Mix the frosting for another minute or so to get it super smooth.
Frost and decorate the cupcakes:
- Spoon, spread or pipe swirls of the peanut butter frosting on top of each cupcake. I used a Wilton 1M piping nozzle.
- If adding the dark chocolate drizzle, heat the chocolate chips in the microwave in 20-30 second bursts, stirring between each interval, until melted. Using a small spoon, drizzle chocolate over the top of each frosted cupcake.
- Add mini peanut butter cups on top (optional).
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Other Cupcake Recipes
If you love cupcakes, try one of our favorites!