Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting

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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

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


  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line 12-cup muffin pan with liners. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. For the frosting: Sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder to assure there are no lumps. Set aside.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Recipe 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!

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What are your favorite recipes using peanut butter and chocolate? 

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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!


    1. So good! These are so delicious, rich, and lovely! This recipe actually made a few more than twelve cupcakes, but who doesn’t want that? Thanks, Sally! Your recipes are always tasty!

  1. 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? 

  2. 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.

  3. 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,


  4. 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? 

    1. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. Way too dry! I even cooked at lower end of baking time range. I thought the batter might have been too thick – should have trusted my instinct and added way more milk / butter. 

    Frosting was very good. 

  7. Good flavor but I could barely make it through one cupcake. Too dense and rich–reminded me of a strange muffin. Also I had trouble with the icing. It was very thick and wouldn’t stick to the cupcake, which was odd. Although they weren’t a complete failure, I don’t think I will be making these again.

  8. I see there are no responses to several dryness observations. I was going to reduce baking time, but I see that wasn’t helpful for another baker. Would love for these to work out! The dark chocolate frosting is excellent!

    1. Try using a combination of butter & oil. Butter for flavor & oil for moistness. Maybe 5 TBSP butter & 3 TBSP canola, melted coconut or other vegetable oil.

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