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 put batch number 1 in the oven and praying for a good outcome but I must have fine something wrong because I was able to get 23 cupcakes out of this recipe and I’m actually afraid I overfilled my cups. Cross your fingers.

  2. Made these exactly as shown today…awesome! Sally, your recipes are the best!

  3. i absolutely LOVE your blog!
    i want to make these cupcakes and i don’t have heavy cream or half and half so i was wondering if i could just use whipping cream for the frosting instead.
    please answer soon!

  4. Hi Sally, 

    I want to make this recipe in a two layer cake, are the measurements enough or do I need to double them or something?

    Thanks, can’t wait to try it!  

  5. When you mentioned filling the rest of the cupcake cups with water to prevemt warping, what do you mean by that?

    1. Standard cupcake pans bake 12 cupcakes. This recipe makes 18 cupcakes, so there will be 2 batches. There will be 6 empty cupcake holders. Fill them with water, as heat can warp the tray if there is nothing inside of it.

  6. Hi Sally, just wondering if I could leave out the chocolate chips in this cupcake recipe (and the banana cake recipe in your first cookbook) to make plain banana cupcakes with the frostings, or do you think the cupcakes/cake are missing something without those chocolate chips? 

    1. You can definitely leave them out! The cake/cupcakes are still so flavorful without their addition.

  7. Can these be made as regular banana cupcakes with the choc chips left out?

    1. Never mind. Just saw the answer!

  8. Veronica Garcia says:

    I made these for my son’s curious George birthday party. They turned out soo cute and tasty. Thanks for the recipe. 

  9. Hey Sally! Sound like a great recipe. I was wondering if I can triple or double the recipe since I’m making it for a lot of people. Thanks! Can’t wait to make them! 

    1. I always prefer making two or three separate batches. Less risk of overmixing because you are working with a smaller volume of batter.

      1. Okay thanks! Can i use another type of frosting? If so, what would taste good with these cupcakes?

  10. Hello!!.. Could I make this recipe into a cake. Would I have to double it?

    1. Hi there Najia!

      I was wondering the same thing and wanted to ask if you tried to make this into a cake yet, and if so, how did you go about doing that??

      I noticed Sally has a recipe for yellow cupcakes that says the recipe makes 18 cupcakes like this recipe and that for the yellow cake recipe, she said you could put the batter into two cake pans to make a layer cake. Not sure if it would work with this recipe. I was thinking of making one recipe and then seeing how much of a cake pan it fills up and then possibly making another batch and just using the extra to make cupcakes. 

      I would appreciate any feedback you could provide!

      Thanks so much!

  11. Shameika Chan says:

    Hi Sally – there’s no “baking Powder” in this recipe, only “baking soda.” is that correct?

  12. Could I add coconut to the batter? If so, how much would you suggest? Thank you!

    1. I don’t see why not! I wouldn’t add more than 3/4 – 1 cup shredded.

      1. Thanks so much for the quick reply! My thought was to add about 1/2 a cup. I don’t want to change the texture of them too much because they look absolutely delicious as is! Making them for a Thanksgiving pot luck and can not wait! Thanks again!

  13. Should these be refrigerated?  Or left out? 

  14. Dear Sally, 
    I was wondering why you didn’t put baking powder into this recipe? Instead only using baking soda.. In  your other cupcake recipe such as death by chocolate cupcakes you used both baking soda and baking powder? Really need your feedback because I really want to try making this recipe.. Thank you… 

  15. Hi if I was to make mini cupcakes do I just 1/2 the baking time? 

  16. Hi, I would love to try making these, except I’d like to add some coffee flavor. How would I go about doing that? I don’t see water or any other ingredients I could replace for coffee. If you have any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it! These look amazing!

  17. See my recipe note– enjoy the cupcakes!

  18. Hi Sally, just to let you know I’ve posted a link to this recipe on my WordPress

  19. Hi Sally! I really really really need you to answer my ultimate muffin dilemma! 🙁 I’ve had a lot of banana and blueberry muffins, and the ones I enjoy most are the ones that have ultimately gooey and sticky tops. Do the cupcakes in this recipe come out that way? If not, how do i get my cupcakes/muffins to become sticky at the top or have that sticky film on top? 🙁 Praying to the heavens I get an answer from you. 🙁

    1. They don’t really have sticky tops. Cupcake or muffin recipes with more sugar than flour (by cup quantity, not weight) usually have sticky tops.

  20. Can this recipe be cut in half successfully?
    Thanks you

  21. Hi, I just made these and I have to say soooo delicious!!! Question though, do they have to be refrigerated be used of the frosting or can they be kept at room temp?

  22. I just did these cupcakes yesterday for Memorial Day (with the Nutella Frosting) from your wonderful cookbook and I must say Sally you hit another home run with this one!!  They come out of the oven so soft, moist and full of flavor.  They taste great with or without the frosting.  I brought a bunch of them to work for my co-workers and they absolutely loved them.  Keep up the great work! 🙂

    1. I LOVE those cupcakes from the book! So happy they were a hit too. Lucky coworkers 🙂

  23. I just made this recipe and they turned out quite well. I loved the chocolate frosting. For the peanut butter frosting, I used just one tablespoon of cream and it turned out great so if you’re having trouble with that one, cut down on the liquid.

  24. These were delicious! I buy the organic, no sugar or oils added peanut butter, so it didn’t come together like yours. It was too oily/gloppy to spread, so I warmed it in the microwave for about a minute. After stirring it, it was almost like a peanut butter caramel, but still soft and spreadable. Absolutely delicious! Because it wasn’t the same fluffy consistency as the frosting, I piped the peanut butter frosting on first and then put the chocolate frosting on top. Really yummy! Thought I would share the tip for others with the organic peanut butter if it doesn’t fluff up for them. 🙂

  25. Henrietta Pigot says:

    Hi Sally! 

    I absolutely love this recipe, I’ve made them many times and they are delicious!! I want to make them into mini cupcakes this time though, how long should i bake them for?


    1. About 11-13 minutes for minis 🙂

  26. Should the batter look curdle?  I didn’t care too much for these.   I was hoping it would be more of a fluffy cupcake.  Don’t know what I did wrong? 

  27. Eden Passante says:

    These look amazing!! Love banana and peanut butter together! Match made in heaven!

    1. I 100% agree 🙂

  28. I made these today to bring to a New Year’s party and they turned out great.  Banana, chocolate and peanut butter are just the perfect combination!  I topped them with banana chips as a garnish.  Clever idea, thanks for the recipe.  

  29. Hi.  I made these cupcakes for the first time today to celebrate my daughters 1st birthday.  I’ve been following you on Pinterest for awhile now but this was the first recipe I’ve actually tried. 

    These cupcakes were excellent!  I got a lot of compliments and more than one person went in for seconds.  The combination of banana, chocolate and peanut butter really can’t be beat.  

  30. Melissa Ricca says:

    My husband wants a banana nut cake for his bday tomorrow. I can’t seem to find a good recipe and I always trust you!! I have made so many of your recipes and you never disappoint!! Would this recipe be good for a cake as well? If so, should I make any changes for any reason?

    1. Here is my favorite banana cake— you can add 1 cup of chopped walnuts. Enjoy!!

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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