Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

The ultimate trio of your favorite flavors! Super-moist banana chocolate chip cupcakes topped with milk chocolate and peanut butter swirled frosting. 

banana chocolate chip cupcakes topped with chocolate peanut butter swirl frosting on a blue plate

Today’s recipe was inspired by my recent 10pm snack of banana slices drizzled with melted dark chocolate. I arranged the slices nicely on a fancy plate, made myself a cup of tea, and was planning to slowly enjoy my snack as I finished up some photo edits for the evening.

I inhaled it all in about 5 second flat. I don’t even think I came up for air. Anyone who has self control around the combination of chocolate and banana – I applaud you.

banana chocolate chip cupcakes topped with chocolate peanut butter swirl frosting and a banana slice

banana chocolate chip cupcakes topped with chocolate peanut butter swirl frosting on a white plate

The next day, I used the rest of my ripe bananas to make these banana chocolate chip cupcakes to bring to my friend Kristen’s house. Ultra ripe bananas are key to the cupcake’s flavor. Brown, heavily spotted bananas will make the very best banana cupcakes.

The cupcakes are the moistest cupcakes I’ve ever made. They’re soft and light, unlike a dense, tight-crumbed slice of banana bread. Even on day 2 – these banana cupcakes are still incredibly moist and soft. If you make cupcakes for a living, then you know finding a cupcake recipe that remains this way past day 1 is a major feat! You have the bananas, brown sugar, and buttermilk to thank for their moist texture.

Even without the frosting, these cupcakes are full of flavor. Complementary to their sweet banana flavor are the flavors of cinnamon and brown sugar. I can’t eat a banana baked good without brown sugar and cinnamon being present.

banana chocolate chip cupcake batter in a cupcake pan before baking

You may recognize this banana cupcake recipe from last year when I topped them with strawberry cream cheese frosting. (I beg you – please try that combo!)

Or maybe you noticed these cupcakes topped with Nutella frosting in my cookbook on page 136? I even used this banana chocolate chip cupcake batter to make a Banana Chocolate Chip Layer Cake on page 69. Topped with milk chocolate frosting, of course.

Photos of all three:

collage of 3 images of cupcakes and cakes

2 images of peanut butter frosting in an orange bowl and chocolate frosting in a white bowl

Let’s discuss the frostings. The peanut butter and milk chocolate frostings that – when combined – taste like a peanut butter cup! Oh my lanta, get ready for something amazing.

Learning to swirl two types of frosting together takes practice. It’s ok, I wasn’t a pro when I first tried my hand at it last year. Like any sport, instrument, or hobby – the more you do it, the more you’ll get comfortable with it.

I have a very detailed page about How to Make Swirled Frosting. Use this tutorial as your guide. You’ll need a piping bag and Wilton 1M swirl tip. I bought my piping bag from Michael’s, a craft store. They sell them everywhere, even online. I use a reusable piping bag, but you can also find disposable bags. The piping tip I use for swirled frosting is the Wilton 1M swirl (I also purchased this at Michaels). I love this piping tip because it makes frosting look like soft-serve ice cream.

All you do to swirl the frostings on top is spoon some peanut butter frosting into one side of your piping bag and milk chocolate frosting into the other side. Then, pipe onto cupcakes in a swirl pattern:

banana chocolate chip cupcakes topped with chocolate peanut butter swirl frosting

Again, here’s a page with more visuals to help guide you with the chocolate peanut butter swirl frosting.

I also include how I use the Wilton 1M swirl piping tip. If you’re ever curious about how I frost my cupcakes, that’s a handy page to read!

If you do not have a piping tip and bag, or are not yet comfortable using them – then just frost the banana chocolate chip cupcakes however you’d like. Frost them all with the milk chocolate frosting or with the peanut butter frosting using a knife.

Please note: if you decide to only use 1 frosting, you’ll have to double the recipe below to guarantee there is enough for all 18 cupcakes.

banana chocolate chip cupcakes topped with chocolate peanut butter swirl frosting with a bite taken from one showing the inside

Today’s recipe is a breeze to make if you just take your time with it.

Give yourself a solid 15 minutes to mix up the cupcake batter and as the cupcakes are cooling, spend some time making the frostings. Both frosting recipes are simple: add more or less cream to adjust your frostings’ thickness. Find them too sweet? Add a pinch of salt to tone down the sweetness. I must say – I’m a huge fan of the slightly salty/sweet peanut butter frosting. I often use this peanut butter frosting to frost my brownie cupcakes.

banana chocolate chip cupcakes topped with chocolate peanut butter swirl frosting on a white plate

Peanut butter, chocolate, and banana are the ultimate trio of flavors when it comes to dessert. These cupcakes have got to be one of the best cupcake recipes I’ve ever made.

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banana chocolate chip cupcakes topped with chocolate peanut butter swirl frosting on a white plate

Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 50 minutes
  • Yield: 18 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


The ultimate trio of your favorite flavors! Super-moist banana chocolate chip cupcakes topped with milk chocolate and peanut butter swirled frosting.



  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups mashed banana (about 3 large very ripe bananas)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk*
  • 1 cup (180g) mini or regular semi-sweet chocolate chips

Milk Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (210g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) heavy cream or half-and-half*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste

Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 3/4 cup (185g) creamy peanut butter
  • 4 Tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (90g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream or half-and-half*


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two 12-count muffin pans with 18 cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Make the cupcakes: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together in a large bowl on medium speed until creamed. About 2-3 minutes. With the mixer running on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the mashed bananas and vanilla, beating on low speed for about 1 minute.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 additions, stirring by hand after each addition.  Add the milk and stir until combined.  The batter will be lumpy.  Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon the batter evenly into 18 cupcake liners. Fill the unused cups one-third full with water to prevent warping. Bake each batch for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  5. Make the chocolate frosting: Sift together the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder to assure there are no lumps. Set aside. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy – about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sifted sugar/cocoa powder alternately with the heavy cream and vanilla. Beat on low speed after each addition. Once all added, beat on high speed until creamy and combined for at least 2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.
  6. Make the peanut butter frosting: With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the peanut butter and butter on medium speed until creamy and completely smooth – about 3 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Mix on medium until combined. Add the cream and mix on high until creamy, at least 2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.
  7. Frost cooled cupcakes with a knife or with a piping bag/tip. If you’d like to just make 1 kind of frosting and not both, make sure you double the frosting recipe of your choice to make sure there is enough for all cupcakes. To swirl the two frostings like I did, here is how I made the swirl frosting. There may be leftover frosting depending how much you use on each cupcake. Decorate with banana slices and/or more chocolate chips if desired. Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days and in the refrigerator up to 5.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Prepare cupcakes and frosting 1 day in advance. Keep cupcakes covered tightly at room temperature and the frosting covered tightly in the refrigerator. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before frosting and serving.
  2. Buttermilk: Buttermilk is required for this recipe. You can make your own DIY version of buttermilk if needed. Add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1/2 cup. (In a pinch, lower fat or nondairy milks work for this soured milk, but the cupcakes won’t taste as moist or rich.) Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe.
  3. Heavy Cream: For the frosting, heavy cream or half-and-half will give your frostings the creamiest texture. You may use milk instead, keeping in mind the frostings won’t be as creamy.

Keywords: banana cupcakes, banana cupcakes with chocolate peanut butter frosting


Comments are closed.

  1. Joy @ Baking-Joy says:

    These look so good Sally! I have to admit, I haven’t tried swirled frosting before, but I’m going to soon, it looks so pretty! And of course the banana/chocolate/peanut butter combination is amazing 🙂

  2. Congrats Sally, would love to listen to ur voice.waiting to hear u ASAP.

  3. Can’t wait to make these, Sally! What a perfect combination 🙂

  4. If you put me infront of a room full of people, I go completely still and silent. I freeze up like a clam! It’s so terrible! Lol But it’s over and I’m sure you did great! Phew!

    These look absolutely amazing. Whenever I order pancakes out at diners, I always go with banana, chocolate, and peanut butter chips as add-ons! Love the combo!

    1. Yes, Lauren – I’m the same way. My public speaking class in college was my worst nightmare! Hopefully I’ll get better. You diner pancake of choice – yes. Must order that whenever I go to one again!

  5. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    That frosting is especially catching my eye!! This recipe is lovely!!

  6. sue/the view from great island says:

    We’re on the same banana page today— I love the unusual combination in these cupcakes, and the frosting is spectacular—I think that needs to become a soft serve ice cream flavor, too!

  7. Congrats for coming so far. This is only the beginning. You will find so much more success in the future.
    Sally, these cupcakes are amazing. I love how you worked in all the flavors.

    1. Thanks for all the encouraging comments, Iram!

  8. PB, chocolate and banana really are the best dessert trio. These kind of remind me of the dessert I had last night when I went out for the 2nd of my many birthday dinners this week… fried banana with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a scoop of chocolate ice cream, and peanut butter sauce. All of those amazing flavors all in one bowl!

    1. That dessert just blew my mind. Must recreate. Happy birthday, Shaina!

  9. Of course I’m in love with these cupcakes already. Especially that peanut butter icing which might be the perfect finish to a bundt cake I’m planning. I can’t wait to try it =)

    1. I like that bundt cake already.

  10. That is the most beautiful multi-colored frosting, evah! And your frosting to cake ratio is even better! 😀


    1. Yes, I’m a huge fan of equal parts frosting and cupcake.

  11. Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron says:

    Bananas with drizzled dark chocolate is totally one of my favorite late night snacks 🙂 Love these cupcakes Sally – they look and sound amazing! CONGRATS for being on national radio – that is quite the accomplishment and so amazing! You’re such an inspiration!

    1. Thanks Chelsea! I have a feeling I’ll need some chocolate + banana to help calm my nerves as I listen to the interview for the first time haha.

  12. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie says:

    So excited for you!! These cupcakes are just as awesome as I am sure you will be on NPR.

    1. Oh gosh, thanks Erin. I haven’t heard the interview yet so fingers crossed it’s as awesome as you say it will be!

  13. Averie @ Averie Cooks says:

    You can never have too many recipes for bananas and these look so good, Sally! I love the two-toned frosting. And Pb, bananas, & choc are just MADE for each other 🙂 pinned

  14. Ooh these look amazing! I love the idea of the milk chocolate and peanut butter swirl icing especially 🙂
    I can’t wait to download your radio interview! Something to listen to while I am baking tonight!
    As for nighttime snacks, I’ve never tried banana drizzled with chocolate – such a great idea 🙂

  15. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says:

    bananas, pb, and chocolate are always a great snack and flavor combo! I love how you translated those flavors into these cupcakes-and that swirled frosting is so awesome!!!

  16. Caley Buxton says:

    Sally, these are STUNNING. I mean, seriously! Absolutely gorgeous photographs…I can’t believe how good the swirls look and how neat the edges are, and you captured it all so well! It is really amazing artistry. 🙂 I’m so happy for you about your publicity! Everything is really seeming to take off for you, and you totally deserve it!

  17. Kathi @ Deliciously Yum! says:

    I think this might be my favorite cupcake of yours so far – it has everything I could possibly want in a cupcake and they look like perfection. Congrats on your amazing achievements – I have loved following your journey and can’t even tell you how much you inspire me. So excited for all you’ve accomplished so far! You go, girl!!

    1. Thanks so much Kathi! I have to agree with you about the cupcakes – I think these are my favorite so far. I had no self control around the pb/choc swirl frosting!

  18. Mimi @ Culinary Couture says:

    Congraulations on your radio interview! I would have asked for these cupcakes because they look TO DIE FOR!

  19. Ari @ Ari's Menu says:

    Kevin is definitely a smart guy! I would love these anyway, but it was the peanut butter and chocolate swirl that totally did me in! What a perfect combination of flavors!

  20. Those cupcakes = AMAZING. Love all the flavor combinations and the gorgeously swirled frosting.

    Congratulations on the interview!

    1. Thank you Liz!

  21. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says:

    I love that you turned your 10PM snack into these glorious cupcakes! And the interview – how amazing is that? I can’t wait to listen to it!

    1. Thanks Chung-Ah! I’m so nervous to hear myself. Hopefully they edited out the time I paused when I almost said “crap!” lol

  22. Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures says:

    One of my favorite flavor combinations! I love the pretty swirl too!

  23. Absolutely fantastic recipe Sally!!
    I made these last night, the peanut butter icing was by far the best I have made. Bravo!!! Hit the spot!

    1. the PB frosting is the best part if you ask me. Happy you loved them Hailey!

  24. Oh my goodness! So delicious! Excites to listen to your interview! Congrats!!

  25. So excited I got my copy of your cookbook in the mail today. I will be trying out at least a couple of recipes next week for a Mad Hatter Tea Party!! Congrats on the NPR interview, I’m sure you did great!

    1. That sounds like a very fun party, Christy! Let me know which cookbook recipes you try. Have fun!

  26. Awesome interview Sally! You sounded great. I actually work next door to that NPR studio, so it’s cool to know you were giving the interview nearby!

    1. That IS very cool, Hali. I didn’t stay too long in DC, but I really should visit there more often because it is so close!

  27. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking says:

    Congrats on the NPR feature! That is HUGE!

    Moist banana cupcakes with swirled pb & chocolate frosting?! Nailed it! Picture perfect swirl…so envious over here 🙂

    1. Thanks Lindsey! These cupcakes are a winner. You can make those perfect swirls too, just takes a little practice. I messed up on the first 2!

  28. Awh Sally I just listened to your interview, it’s the sweetest (no pun intended 😉 )! I hope one day you have your own baking tv show!

    1. Thanks Hayley! It was VERY strange hearing myself on the radio. They edited out the few times I paused out of nervousness. Thank goodness!

  29. Lauren @ Jesus and a Side of Peanut Butter says:

    Seriously these cupcakes look SO GOOD. I just used my 3 ripe bananas this weekend, but I WILL make these soon! Also! I just received your cookbook in the mail!!! Love it so much already! xo

    1. So happy you are loving the cookbook so far, Lauren! Now go buy some bananas so you can make these cupcakes next weekend. 🙂

  30. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says:

    Between these and those marble cupcakes you made recently, I have seriously designated you my cupcake queen. These are rocking my universe!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally