Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting.

The best peanut butter cupcakes I’ve ever had. Top them with dark chocolate frosting for one out-of-this-world treat!

The best peanut butter cupcakes I've ever had. Top them with dark chocolate frosting for one out-of-this-world treat!

I can’t believe I’ve never shared my peanut butter cupcake recipe with you before…!

I mean, for a gal who frequently blogs with a jar of peanut butter and spoon at her desk (so true), it’s quite surprising that I don’t have a darn cupcake flavored by my beloved peanut butter featured on my website.  Well, today I’m changing that and am bringing you the peanutbutteriest* cupcake recipe you’ll ever find.

*Peanutbutteriest is a word today.

I slathered today’s cupcakes with a deep, dark chocolate frosting that will give anything “decadent” you’ve ever tasted a run for its money.  We’re talking pure decadence.  You’ll be screaming for a tall glass of milk after your first bite.

The best peanut butter cupcakes I've ever had. Top them with dark chocolate frosting for one out-of-this-world treat!

I’ve tasted a lot of peanut butter cupcakes and have tried my hand at several recipes.  I’ve found the peanut butter cupcakes can either be (1) way too dry, (2) much too dense, (3) lacking peanut butter flavor, or (4) all of the above.  I was often stuck in a peanut butter cupcake conundrum before this recipe happened. It’s truly a difficult cupcake flavor to master!

I know many of you (myself included!) despise the word “moist” but I must repeat myself over and over again here. These peanut butter cupcakes are SO moist and they’re extremely tender as well. Not spongey or falling apart though.  My secret little weapon is all the dark brown sugar I use to sweeten them up.   I’ve told you this a lot, but I just love baking with dark brown sugar. It delivers an unbeatable soft and moist texture and does NOT disappoint in today’s recipe.

The best part about these cupcakes?  They actually taste like peanut butter. I maxed out the batter with 2/3 cup of creamy peanut butter for only 12 cupcakes. They aren’t vanilla cupcakes with peanut butter; they are pure peanut butter in cupcake form. Told ya… the peanutbutteriest ever.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting by

What I love most about this recipe besides the taste and texture is how easy they are to make.  Just a few simple, standard ingredients mixed together and you’re finished.  Your usual suspects are present in the recipe: flour, baking powder, salt, butter, brown sugar, vanilla, milk, and oh… peanut butter.  I always use Jif Creamy for this recipe. I don’t suggest an oily, runny peanut butter here – unless the natural peanut butter you have is quite thick.

The cupcakes only take about 23-25 minutes to bake.  I’ve even used this recipe to make a peanut butter cake before – simply pour the batter into a 8-inch or 9-inch square or round baking pan and bake for about 35 minutes.   Easy!

While the cupcakes bake in the oven, prepare the creamy, dreamy, dark-as-midnight chocolate frosting.  Don’t like dark chocolate? I got ya covered.  Try my Milk Chocolate Frosting instead.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting by

{yes, everything I own is pink.}

The secret to my dark chocolate frosting? Well, there isn’t one.  It’s simply butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, and unsweetened cocoa powder.  I use less powdered sugar for this frosting and more cocoa powder than my milk chocolate frosting.  It’s not rocket science!  Just frosting. :)

I prefer heavy cream in the frosting – it lends the creamiest texture.  Heavy cream is what makes my peanut butter frosting so darn thick, fluffy, and smooth. I almost always use it for any buttercream/frosting I make.  I highly recommend it over milk or half-and-half.

For the cocoa powder, I like to use Hershey’s Special Dark here, but any unsweetened cocoa powder will be just fine.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting by

Keep in mind two very crucial notes for the frosting: (1) make sure your butter is softened and not melted in the slightest.  I simply took my butter stick out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for 45 minutes as I baked and cooled the cupcakes.  (2) Beat the butter by itself for a minute or two before adding anything else. It creates a solid creamy base this way, rather than adding the other ingredients with the butter in it’s solid state.

Mmm I could eat the dark chocolate frosting with a spoon and be set for life.  I’d also need my running shoes too, but that’s beside the point.

The best peanut butter cupcakes I've ever had. Top them with dark chocolate frosting for one out-of-this-world treat!

Is there anything better than a peanut butter cupcake topped with chocolate frosting? Yes, there is. A peanut butter cupcake topped with chocolate frosting topped with a mini peanut butter cup.  I mean, one can never have enough chocolate and peanut butter, right?!

Surely you may adorn your cupcake with any accessory of choice, but I flippin’ adore these mini peanut butter cups!  I couldn’t help myself.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting by

These cupcakes are everything you want and more in a peanut butter cupcake: moist, tender, easy-to-make, and loaded with peanut butter flavor.  Kevin describes them as “very good” which is a HUGE step up from his usual “it’s good.”  They get a very good – huge pat on the back for Sally!! 😉

There’s just something about cupcakes I love.  Perhaps it’s the portion control… nope, it’s not that.  Perhaps it’s the amount of frosting I can get away with piling on top? Getting closer.  Oh yes… it’s because I don’t need a fork or plate to dig right in. Cupcakes to the face.

I’m still looking to hire a dish-washing fairy, by the way.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting by


Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make! 


Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Print Recipe

These are absolutely the best peanut butter cupcakes I've ever had. Top them with dark chocolate frosting for one out-of-this-world treat!


  • 1 and 1/4 cups (160g)  all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (170g) creamy peanut butter
  • 8 Tablespoons (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk*

Dark Chocolate Frosting

  • 2 and 3/4 cups (330g)  powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup (80g) unsweetened cocoa powder, I used Hershey's Special Dark
  • 6 Tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 6 Tablespoons (95ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line 12-cup muffin pan with liners. Set aside.

For the cupcakes: Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. With a handheld or stand mixer, cream together the peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar until light and fluffy; about 2 minutes on medium speed. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add in vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed. Slowly beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix. Batter will be thick.

Divide batter evenly between 12 cupcake tins. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool before frosting.

For the frosting: Sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder to assure there are no lumps. Set aside.

With a handheld of stand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until fluffy - about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sifted sugar/cocoa powder alternately with the heavy cream and vanilla. Beat on low speed after each addition. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too dark. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. I used Wilton tip #12 to pipe my frosting.

Cupcakes stay fresh at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Store covered in the refrigerator is desired for up to 1 week.

Additional Notes:

*Try my Milk Chocolate Frosting if you're not a fan of dark chocolate.

*I like to use buttermilk in the cupcakes - makes them extra moist!

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

What are your favorite recipes using peanut butter and chocolate? 

Soft-Baked Monster Cookies

Monster Peanut Butter Cookies


Peanut Butter Cup Crunch Brownies

Peanut Butter Cup Crunch Brownies


Fudge Brownie Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Brownie Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting


Chocolate Frosted Reese’s Puffs Treats

Reese's Puffs Treats


Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Blondies

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Blondie Hearts. So soft, so chewy, so full of peanut butter flavor. You won't even realize these are lightened-up!


Reese’s Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies

Reese's Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies. Soft, chewy, and overloaded with peanut butter!


Ultimate Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

Ultimate Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies



And many more!


217 Responses to “Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting.”

  1. #
    Noelleposted December 19, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Hi Sally, can I use regular sugar instead of brown sugar because I’m out of brown sugar and i need to make these today!


    • Sallyreplied on December 19th, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      Hey Noelle! Unfortunately, you must use brown sugar. I find the cupcakes to be very dry without it.


  2. #
    Lindsayposted January 1, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Hi sally, I have to say I’m not a very proactive poster online but I just had to share my experience with your peanut butter cupcake recipe. The first time I thought I followed the directions well but apparently I both over mixed and over baked because they came out dry and and heavy. I gave it a second go, cutting the recipe in half just in case I messed up again, I mixed the wet ingredients with the electric mixer and to play it safe just folded the dry ingredients in by way of spatula. I made sure to watch those puppies like a hawk so as not to over bake again and TA-DA! They came out amazingly moist. I used your milk chocolate frosting recipe and jazzed ’em up a bit more with my own peanut butter drizzle and added a marshmallow fluff center; absolutely delicious! Thanks so much for sharing, will definitely be making again. :)


    • Sallyreplied on January 2nd, 2014 at 10:35 am

      Oh Lindsay, thanks for the feedback! I have to try your marshmallow fluff version. My mouth is watering thinking about it. :)


  3. #
    Sharonposted February 13, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    I made these today while stuck inside with 12 inches of snow outside. They were quite tasty, but a little dense. Did I do something wrong? I’m a decent baker, so I know about room temp ingredients and not to over mix.

    I’m eager to try other recipes you have here. Any suggestions for a real light cupcake?



    • Sallyreplied on February 13th, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      Hey Sharon! So happy you liked these. Try using cake flour instead of all-purpose. I find that makes my cupcakes taste lighter.


  4. #
    Aliposted February 24, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Hi Sally! I made these for the second time recently, and they tasted GREAT! …but they were quite dry. Remembering how dry they were the first time, I added a couple tablespoons of oil. Aside from that, I followed your recipe exactly. It helped, but not enough. In fact, my coworkers kept calling them muffins because their texture was more like that of a dry muffin. I was thinking of adding a mashed ripe banana or some boiling water next time. What do you think?
    I typically trust any recipe from you because I know how much testing you do, but I was disappointed in the lack of moisture after all the raving about how moist they are. :/


  5. #
    loopposted February 25, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Hi Sally, I am baking this cupcake at the moment. Let me ask you, is the batter supposed to be thick that you cannot pour it into a tin? Unlike your Very Vanila cupcake which is more runny instead I had to scoop them peanut one out.


    • loopreplied on February 25th, 2014 at 10:20 am

      Oh btw, they come out great! light and fluffy :)


    • Sallyreplied on February 25th, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      Yep, this batter is quite thick. That’s normal!


  6. #
    Janice Bposted March 5, 2014 at 3:47 am

    I tried this out just now and the cupcakes turned out LOOKING dry but when you bite into them, they are moist enough. Maybe they were in the oven too long. I also added some Nestle Buncha Crunch into the batter since I had some lying around here and it added a nice crunch to the cupcakes. However, the frosting was AMAZING!! I halved the recipe but still used 6 tbsp of butter just because I like butter heehee! Try it out. :)


    • Sallyreplied on March 5th, 2014 at 9:17 am

      Janice, I have to try stuffing chocolate candies into my peanut butter cupcakes next time. Great idea!


  7. #
    Lindseyposted March 18, 2014 at 11:55 am

    I make 2 dozen cupcakes every week for my husband and his coworkers. This week I had a request for peanut butter ones. I found this recipe and knew it was what I was looking for! The batter tasted like the side of a Reese’s cup. Upon baking I figured out I had to lower the temp and time to keep them from over cooking. 17 minutes did the trick.
    Weird thing is my oven cooks a little hot (7 degrees or so) and I had to turn it down to 345.
    Anyway I didn’t like the cupcake alone, or the frosting as it was a bit bitter and dark for me (I am a milk chocolate gal myself )…. But together…. AMAZING. Seriously delicious. They make the perfect pair. I was really impressed with this combination.
    Will be make these again! Thanks for sharing!


    • Sallyreplied on March 18th, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      All ovens are different, Lindsey! I use an oven thermometer to be extra accurate with mine since I’m publishing recipes. But yes, they are all so different. And I’m glad you love the combination of the cupcakes and the dark frosting. I do have a milk chocolate frosting recipe if you’re ever interested in trying that instead:


      • Lindsey toreplied on March 18th, 2014 at 2:48 pm

        I will try the milk chocolate with another cupcake I make next week I think. :)
        I use an oven thermometer also, which is how I know my oven is off. Lowering the temperature seemed to help them cook better for me.
        I’m also planning on trying to few other recipes !
        Thanks again

  8. #
    Katherineposted March 20, 2014 at 9:19 am

    I made these for my 52 weeks of cupcakes today and they were amazing! I’m surprised any batter made into the muffin tin it was so good! Thanks for the recipe.


  9. #
    Arianaposted March 28, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Great recipe! I am not such a huge fan of frosting, so I skipped that part. instead, I divided the batter and added cocoa to one half and then while filling the muffin cups, I sprinkled some chocolate chunks between the layers. It all resulted in chocolatey peanut buttery marble cupcake goodness, perfect with a glass of milk. Thanks so much!


  10. #
    Jessicaposted April 2, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Hello Sally, I want to use the frosting recipe for a three layer cake. Should I double or triple the recipe.


    • Sallyreplied on April 2nd, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      I would simply double the recipe – that would definitely be enough for your cake.


      • Jessicareplied on April 4th, 2014 at 10:33 pm

        Thanks Sally , I have been looking for a chocolaty frosting recipe and this one definitely delivers.

  11. #
    Karenposted April 5, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    Hi Sally! I found your blog while searching for a peanut butter chocolate cupcake recipe. I can’t wait to try it out but I have a few questions first since I’m really new to baking. Is it ok if I reduce the amount of sugar? Will it make the cupcakes too dry, or is there any substitute for it, perhaps adding in more butter or oil or something? Another question, if I want to add cocoa in the cupcake batter, do you reckon it will be alright?
    Looking forward to trying this out! Thanks much!!


    • Sallyreplied on April 6th, 2014 at 11:15 am

      Hi Karen! Since you’re a beginner baker, I do not suggest playing around with this recipe. Try them as they are – it’s never a good idea to substitute, reduce sugar, etc for new recipes. Especially cupcakes which are quite particular. A trick to getting them extra moist is to use buttermilk – I note that in the recipe. Enjoy!


  12. #
    bakergirlposted May 15, 2014 at 9:31 am

    hi sally, i wanted to say thankyouu for this recipe, it was delish, the frosting was definitely the best part. whenever i make cupcakes they don’t usually turn out the way i hope, its probably due to my veryy old oven, but your recipes always seem to work, so I’m very grateful for this blog.

    im really keen on getting your cookbook and i was wondering if it was available at jakarta indonesia? xx much love


  13. #
    Loriposted June 13, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    These have an excellent flavor! They taste like homemade peanut butter cookies, the kind you criss cross with a fork before baking. That said, I will admit they seem more like a muffin or pound cake in texture. So I will be trying them with cake flour next time, as you suggested to another baker who also found them too dense for cupcakes. Also, mine were a bit dry as well, but nothing that couldn’t be cured by another tablespoon of buttermilk or about a minute less on the baking time. I may even make a crumb topping with butter, flour, and brown sugar to sprinkle on prior to baking, instead if frosting them!


    • Sallyreplied on June 13th, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      Happy you enjoy them Lori! Let me know if you try them again.


  14. #
    Lillieposted August 1, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    I had to add a lot more heavy cream than 6 tbsp. It was too thick to anything. But it was super yummy! The cake itself was also delicious but kinda dry. I think when I make it again I’m gonna add more milk and a hand mixer instead. (At least my stand mixer adds a lot of thickness to my batter sometimes.)
    But it tasted great! The fam loved it!! :)


  15. #
    Amyposted September 4, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Will it make a difference if I use super chunky peanut butter for this recipe? I’m out of the creamy kind at the moment :(


    • Sallyreplied on September 4th, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      If you don’t mind your cupcakes tasting a little dry (I find crunchy is always drier) and chunks of nuts in your cupcakes, that is fine.


  16. #
    Jessiposted November 16, 2014 at 3:14 am

    I made these and they turned out super good, but they rose kind of weird. The tops were all bumpy and not smooth like the picture. I made sure I added everything in right too. Any ideas why they turned out like that?


  17. #
    roseposted January 26, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Everyyyyyyy time I look for a recipe, your website pops up and it’s always the best one I find. Uhhh I love you!


  18. #
    Gabbtposted April 26, 2015 at 11:45 am

    I have a baking science question. Why are you supposed to add the milk alternately with the dry ingredients? I’ve seen this on many recipes and have always done it but I’m curious as to why.


    • Gabbyreplied on April 26th, 2015 at 11:47 am

      Sorry, apparently I can’t spell my name…


      • Sallyreplied on April 27th, 2015 at 9:14 am

        Hahaha typed to fast, eh? If milk is added with the creamed butter/sugar mixture, it could cause the butter to separate and become curdled. No matter what temperature the milk is. So, it’s best to add it in with the flour to avoid the curdling from happening.

  19. #
    thereseposted April 28, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    How can I make the cake lighter/airier?… love the taste and combo w dark chocolate, but felt cake was too dense. Use cake flour…? Add baking soda…?


    • Sallyreplied on April 28th, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      You can try using cake flour.


  20. #
    Cristinaposted May 5, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    hi Sally!

    Thank you for this recipe! I made them last week for my boyfriend since he is a PB lover and he said they were amazing!!!! They are dense for sure but OMG, they are delicious!


  21. #
    Chandnuposted May 11, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    hey! I was just wondering if you use the same amount of buttermilk as you do milk?


  22. #
    Carrieposted July 19, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    These have a great taste, but do not rise and they pull away from the wrapper. I tried them twice thinking that my baking powder might not be as fresh as it needed to be. I had the same results both times. Is this “normal” for these cupcakes or am I doing something wrong? 


  23. #
    Melissaposted August 13, 2015 at 8:48 am

    I was very excited to make these cupcakes for my boyfriend as he’s all about the peanut butter.  Unfortunately, they turned out very dry.  I will try them again with more milk and butter as the peanut butter flavour was great, despite the crumbling.


  24. #
    Julietposted September 26, 2015 at 4:38 am

    Hi Sally (from over the pond in the UK),

    Desperate to make these PB cupcakes this weekend for my workmates, having had huge success with your salted caramel ones. Could you help me out with the measurements though, as accurate measuring is the key ! Not sure what the various cup measurements are in grams and I know they are different, depending on what you’re measuring.
    Many thanks,



    • Sallyreplied on September 26th, 2015 at 12:03 pm

      Juliet– just updated with my gram measurements. Enjoy!


  25. #
    Natalieposted October 25, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Hi Sally!

     I want to make these cupcakes in a mini version for a larger party I’ll be hosting. How long should I bake them for instead of the 25-35min? 


    • Sallyreplied on October 25th, 2015 at 5:41 pm

      Mini muffins or cupcakes usually take 10-13 minutes give or take. Enjoy!


  26. #
    Annposted January 6, 2016 at 12:44 am

    Hi! Happy New Year! I was wondering can I sub cookie butter for this recipe instead of peanut butter? Thank you!


    • Sallyreplied on January 6th, 2016 at 8:06 am

      Happy new year, Ann! Cookie butter may dry out the cupcakes. I’ve never tried it before, but that is just my guess. A super smooth and creamy peanut butter like Skippy or Jif works best. Let me know if you try them with cookie butter.


  27. #
    stephanjaposted January 30, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Hi! Thanks for the recipe! I tried another recipe that was literally horrific and made me GAG lol, then tried yours and it was exactly what I envisioned when I set out to make a PB cake. However I too had dryness, and I wanted to know what I could do to help it? I thought about doubling or tripling the milk, but I wonder if that would make it too dense.. I thought apple sauce too but the PB is already so heavy I wondered if that would be too much too, then my last thoughts were either add oil, more butter or an extra egg yolk? I’m somewhat an amateur baker obviously, so maybe none of those are good ideas.. just let me know what you think i could do please! Also, I used a peanut butter glaze on mine! With a little more moisture I think this recipe tastes almost like the inside if a reeces cup! YUM!


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