Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting

This was a favorite peanut butter cupcake recipe a few years back. Since then, I’ve worked to perfect them. My updated peanut butter cupcakes recipe is extra moist, soft, and completely packed with peanut flavor. Using oil instead of butter, adding sour cream, and extra milk are the secrets. I would love to know if you try either recipe!

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

I’ve never shared my peanut butter cupcake recipe with you before and today I’m bringing the peanutbutteriest recipe I’ve made yet. I slathered these peanut butter cupcakes with dark chocolate frosting. This perfect pairing will give anything “decadent” you’ve ever tasted a run for its money.

You’ll be yearning 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!

After recipe testing, I’ve found that 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 came to life. Dark brown sugar, 2/3 cup peanut butter, 2 eggs, and a little milk work their magic to make these cupcakes extra delicious.

Update: And you know what? I have an even better peanut butter cupcakes recipe on my blog now. After several of you made the peanut butter cupcake recipe below and commented that they still tasted dry, I worked to improve them. I’m so pleased with the new peanut butter cupcake recipe, so let me know if you try them! I’m leaving the original peanut butter cupcake recipe below too!

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting by sallysbakingaddiction.com

While the peanut butter cupcakes cool down, prepare the creamy dark-as-midnight chocolate frosting. For the darkest chocolate flavor, I suggest using Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder. Don’t like dark chocolate? Try my Milk Chocolate Frosting instead.

Keep two very crucial notes in mind: (1) make sure your butter is properly softened. Let the butter sit on the counter for about 1 hour before beginning. (2) Beat the butter by itself for 1-2 minutes before adding anything else. This creates a nice creamy base.

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!

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting by sallysbakingaddiction.com

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. 🙂

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Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 23 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This was a favorite peanut butter cupcake recipe a few years back. Since then, I’ve worked to perfect them. My updated peanut butter cupcakes recipe is extra moist, soft, and completely packed with peanut flavor. Using oil instead of butter, adding sour cream, and extra milk are the secrets. I would love to know if you try either recipe!


Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1 and 1/4 cups (160g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 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 pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk*

Dark Chocolate Frosting

  • 2 and 3/4 cups (330g) confectioners’ 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 pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 12-cup muffin pan with liners. Set aside.
  2. Make 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 over-mix. 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. Make 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.

Notes

  1. Frosting: Don’t like dark chocolate? Try my Milk Chocolate Frosting instead.
  2. Milk: I usually use buttermilk in this recipe. Buttermilk will add extra moisture.
  3. Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!

Keywords: peanut butter cupcakes

21 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. hi Sally!
    I adore your blog-it is always the first one i come to when looking for a recipe!
    I just made these this afternoon. Oh my gosh. I pressed a mini reese’s into the center of half of them before baking, and they turned out great!
    I am in love with these cupcakes.
    Now to go take a run. 🙂

  2. I have a fabulous chocolate frosting recipe and was looking for a PB cupcake recipe to go with it. This one was AWESOME! My husband called it the best cupcake he has ever ate. They are the cupcake version of a delicious PB cookie, They are moist, not dense, but do have that grainy texture you get from PB. Perfect amout of PB and sweet. LOVE THEM!!

  3. My father-in-law is a huge Reese’s fan so I found this recipe when I was looking for a cake to make for his birthday. I couldn’t get mini Reese’s pieces here in the UK so I cut the big ones in half and used them butterfly-cake style, with peanut m&ms in a row down the middle for the butterfly bodies… Everyone was delighted by them and my father-in-law had seconds 🙂
    Definite winner!!

    1. That’s great Adele! I’m so glad everyone loved these easy cupcakes! Love the butterfly-style cake idea.

  4. In case this is helpful for anyone, I just made these as mini cupcakes. I got about 28 cupcakes out of the recipe and they took 14 minutes to cook.

    And they’re delicious 🙂

  5. I just finished making these for a birthday potluck at work tomorrow. My house smells like I hope heaven does! I used my own homemade Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract and in the frosting used sour dream instead of the heavy cream. Just a dab more than called for. I’ve never had it fail me and it didn’t this time either. It makes a great mix with the dark chocolate. I’m now subscribing to your blog. Now I just need to figure out how to make these with natural peanut butter.

  6. 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.

    1. Oh btw, they come out great! light and fluffy 🙂

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

  7. 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. 🙂

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

  8. 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. 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. 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!! 🙂

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

  12. 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!

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

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. Abbie Dennison says:

    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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