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. I just made these, and I have to say, AMAZING! I used oil instead of butter and they came out great. How do you prevent the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the cupcake?

    1. Hey Daniela! The oil most likely made your batter too thin – so try using creamed butter. The thicker the batter, the less the chocolate chips will sink.

    2. You can also take 1-2 tablespoons of the dry ingredients and mix them with the chocolate chips before adding the chocolates to the batter.

  2. I made these cupcakes this weekend. There are so yummy and cute! My 5 year old grand daughter said: they are the best cupcakes I have had in my whole life and I love you, Granny! 🙂 How great is that?

  3. Theese cupcakes were super good. I tryed the chocolate icing and it was pefect with the cupcakes not too sweet but just the right amount. I like how you have so many pictures of each recipe! I am looking forward to try out more recipes.

  4. Is there a way to combine the two frostings? Could I make both the PB and chocolate frosting recipes in one bowl, or would that taste weird? These look absolutely delicious and I just so happen to have some ripe bananas right now! 🙂

    1. The combined frosting would be delicious, Rachel – not weird at all. Just make both separately and then beat them together. Let me know if you try it!

  5. Today I made these cakes without the chocolate chips, used your peanut butter frosting as the filling, and made a chocolate ganache for on top. They were delicious! Thanjs for the recipes. I could put that peanut butter frosting on just about anything!

  6. Bonny @ Clever hen says:

    What a great combo! Yum!

  7. Can i possibly half this recipe for 9 cupcakes?

    1. It’s a little hard to halve 3 eggs, so I do not suggest it.

  8. OMG! These taste AMAZING! Made it for my 4 yr old son & his friends & they loved it!!! Thank you for a great recipe!
    Just wanted to know how I can halve the recipe since it calls for 3 eggs?
    Will try more of your recipes…

    1. I do not recommend halving the recipe. The texture and taste won’t be the same – I find it difficult to perfectly halve 3 eggs.

  9. That picture of the bitten-cupcake is calling my sweet teeth! I like how the swirled frosting looks; I need to try doing it one day!

  10. I got a little confused the part where you say fill the unused cups with 1/3 water to prevent warping, pleaseeee advise.

    1. Hi Vivian. This recipe makes 18 cupcakes. 1 batch you will bake will have 12 cupcakes in a standard 12-count cupcake pan. The 2nd batch will only have 6. Fill unused cups with 1/3 water to prevent the pan from warping.

  11. Hey Sally! Preparing to make these for my last day of work tomorrow! Was wandering if I could use a Lindt Milk Chocolate Truffle in the center instead of the chocolate chips? Wasn’t sure if it would be too heavy or make a mess. Let me know your thoughts!

    (BTW Cake Batter Blondies=Success) 🙂

    Thank you!

  12. These cupcakes are delicious. I made them into mini cupcakes and baked them for 11:30 at 350.
    My husband has just instructed me to hide them from him!! Thanks for the recipe.

  13. Can you freeze batter to save for later use?

    1. No, batter must be baked right away.

      1. I ended up rolling the dice and doing it anyway– before I had seen your comment. I froze them in a wrapper in the muffin tray then bagged them in a ziplock once frozen. I ended up baking them a week later and they were perfect! Just passing it along.

  14. Sally, I just ran out of cocoa powder, but I want to make these! Is there a frosting you could suggest with melted choc that would still swirl well with the pb frosting?? I have unsweet and semi-sweet squares, as well as choc chips….

    1. Hi DeeDee, I do not have a frosting at the moment that uses melted chocolate. I do have a white chocolate frosting:

      Perhaps a quick internet search for the frosting recipe you are looking for will help.

  15. Theses are awesome! My son’s first bday us next week and theme is monkeys and bananas ( he LOVES banana and PB!) I’m planning on making cupcakes but also need a small smash cake for him — any idea how to do that with this batter? I was thinking of using a 9″ springform round pan but can alter if you recommend! I’m not at all an experienced baker so the fact that I could make these and they turned out attests to your skills!! Thank you!!

  16. Hi Sally

    From across the pond, in the UK it’s a BIG HELLO from me.
    I have just discovered this recipe and your website. This recipe looks devine.
    I cannot wait to bake these tomorrow .

    Take Care. 🙂

  17. Hi! I want to make the frosting(s) for a filling instead of on top of my cupcakes. Will it ruin the taste if I sub a little bit of the butter for shortening to help stabilize it? With it being a creamier frosting I want to make sure it doesn’t buckle in between. (Its only going to be an 8 inch (2 layer) 1-tiered cake)

    1. Hi Alison, I’m sure that would be fine.

  18. The frosting together taste like Reese’s and the Cupcakes are so perfect, moist and delicious! Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe!

  19. Right now I have enough extra cake flour just for this recipe. How much should I use when I substitute the AP with it?

    1. I would say 2 and 1/4 cups cake flour.

  20. I just made the cutest monster cupcakes for Halloween using this recipe. I had regular sized semi-sweet chocolate chips that I pulsed in a mini food processor until they were a mix of powder, flecks and mini chip sizes. Otherwise I followed the cupcake and chocolate frosting recipes exactly and they were awesome. I had some issues with the peanut butter frosting although I believe that was because I tried using an organic peanut butter… the kind that separates with a layer of oil. I ended up with an oily lump of un-spreadable yuck that in no way resembled frosting so it went in the trash. I went and bought a major brand of peanut butter and tried a similar frosting recipe (same ingredients, different proportions) with loads of great reviews from a popular recipe website. It turned out perfect and when it was added with the chocolate frosting into the same piping bag (with Wilton #21 tip) I was able to make cute brown and tan hairy monster cupcakes with candy eyeballs. Some frosting ears and fangy teeth made them look like cute werewolves! So fun and a huge hit at work and with the kids at home. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Mel, the festive cupcakes you made sound amazing. Thanks for telling me about them! I wouldn’t try peanut butter frosting with oily, natural peanut butter. Sorry I don’t make that more clear!

  21. Made these yesterday! The cupcakes were GREAT! The chocolate frosting was GREAT! The peanut butter frosting ….. was a big blob of greasy ick. Twice. Not sure what happened. I’m not a professional baker but I know my way around the kitchen and have done my share of baking. I used my kitchen scale to be sure my measurements matched yours, butter was softened on the counter for a few hours (not melted), etc. My only guess was I used a weird brand of peanut butter or something. Oh well – ended up making a second batch of the chocolate frosting to finish them off and everyone raved! 🙂

  22. Hi sally
    I would like to ask if i can make this recipe into a cake or bread?nor would the texture be toos soft? Thanks

    1. Hi Melinda. I’m unsure about bread, but these cupcakes can be made into a two layer cake. Bake the layers at 350F for around 22-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Here is my banana bread recipe if you’d like to try it.

      1. Hi Sally!

        I was wondering what size cake pans you use for the two layer cake. Do you use two 9×2 cake pans or two 8×2 cake pans?

  23. peggy gunnell says:

    The best trick I have learned over the years of cake decorating is to plop your frosting onto a piece of Saran Wrap and roll it up like a Tootsie Roll, then place in your piping bag with one of the twisted ends coming out the tip of the piping bag. Snip off the end of the twisted part and start piping. You can put 2 or 3 “packets” of frosting in a bag at a time to swirl colors or flavors together. The best part is cleaning your piping bag is a breeze, just throw away the plastic wrap!

  24. Thank you for the amazing recipe. I’m from Lithuania (Europe) so some products here are different. We don’t have any chocolate chips here so I substituted them for M&M’s., the peanut butter for sale is of a darker color so I couldn’t get the dual effect because the shades were similar but the taste combination is nevertheless delightful.

  25. hi Sally! I would like to prepare those irresistibile cupcakes, but I would like to substitute butter with oil, or margarine.. Could it be ok?

    1. Due to taste and texture, I never recommend oil or margarine as a sub for creamed butter.

  26. Can I leave out the chocolate chips?

  27. You’re asking the wrong person because yes that totally sounds like breakfast food…

  28. First attempt at iced cupcakes but they’ve turned out perfect and omg (!), that peanut butter frosting is delicious. Required a bit of googling for UK equivalents but will definitely do this again. Thanks

  29. I am not a very good baker and I have always struggled with baked goods. I made these cupcakes and I think they taste ok, however the consistency of the cupcake seems more like a banana muffin to me and the cupcakes are sticking to the liners to the point that when you take them off it tears the cupcake apart . The only thing I did different was I used cake flour in exchange for all purpose flour. What is the difference in these flours and would this of changed the consistency of my cupcakes?

  30. These might taste good if I could get them out of the liners. First time I’ve ever had a baked item bond with the paper 🙁 So disappointed.

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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