Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Lightened-up chocolate cupcakes made from Greek yogurt, whole wheat flour, bananas, cocoa powder, and not much else! Frosted with a little peanut butter swirl. You’ll have no idea they’re skinny!

Lightened-up chocolate cupcakes made from Greek yogurt, whole wheat flour, bananas, cocoa powder, and not much else! Frosted with a little peanut butter swirl. So good!

Another peanut butter and chocolate recipe for you today. I have no shame!

Today I’m sharing aย skinny versionย of a chocolate cupcake. Filled with dark chocolate chips, swirled with peanut butter, and topped with peanut butter chips. This recipe was born from my Skinny Chocolate Banana Fudge Muffin recipe. I replaced all of the applesauce and some of the banana with creamy 0% plain greek yogurt. I added a generous dash of vanilla extract and replaced the egg with 2 egg whites. These cupcakes are full of protein packed ingredients – about 6 grams of protein per cupcake, which is impressive for a cupcake.

*Feel free to plug the ingredients into an online calorie counter to get the full nutrition stats.

The cupcakes have whole wheat flour, no butter and no oil, and only 1/2 cup of sugar for the whole recipe – not bad at all for dessert. Feel free to leave out the chocolate and peanut butter chips to reduce the sugar even more. I loved how the chocolate chips got all melty inside, so I don’t think I’ll ever cut those from the recipe. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lightened-up chocolate cupcakes made from Greek yogurt, whole wheat flour, bananas, cocoa powder, and not much else! Frosted with a little peanut butter swirl. So good!

Now, I’ve had readers tell me that just because there is no butter or oil in some of my recipes, that doesn’t make them healthy. However, I firmly believe that chocolate is good for the soul, protein is necessary for our fabulous thigh muscles, and the peanut butter keeps our hair, skin, and smiles glowing. I’m so corny, I know.

Which is why I’m labeling this dessert cupcake as skinny – it’s a lightened up version of a traditional chocolate cupcake, made with more nutritional alternatives. ๐Ÿ™‚

Let’s dig a little deeper into how you can make them.

Skinny Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Cupcakes - lightened-up and protein packed!

The first step is to mix your wet ingredients together. The wet ingredients are 0% plain greek yogurt, 2 egg whites, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla extract, and 2 large bananas. Feel free to use a vanilla flavored yogurt instead. I do not recommend reducing the sugar because there is so much cocoa powder in the dry ingredients that your cupcakes may taste bitter. Make sure your bananas are extra ripe. Mine had been dying on the counter for several days. The riper, the better (I cannot stress this enough!). Also, you may use 1 full egg instead of egg whites if you’d like.

I wanted to keep the banana taste down to a minimum, so that the focus is mainly on the chocolate and peanut butter. I made a test recipe on Saturday and used 1.5 cups of mashed banana (about 3 large bananas) and brought them to my friends. While certainly tasty, they said, the banana taste was strong. I made the cupcakes again on Sunday and reduced the mashed banana to 1 cup (about 2 large bananas) and replaced the extra moisture with greek yogurt.

The greek yogurt and mashed bananas make for some very moist and soft cupcakes. I find that dessert items without butter or oil tend to be very dry. That is SO not the case with these. Some of my friends were in shock when I told them that the recipe is full of healthier substitutes.

Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cupcakes by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Once you mix up all of the wet ingredients, you may be surprised at the volume of it all. You did nothing wrong – there is supposed to be a lot of wet ingredients to soak up all of the flour and cocoa powder.

The dry ingredients used are a mix of all-purpose and whole wheat flours, unsweetened cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda. I steered away from using strictly whole wheat flour in the cupcakes because I didn’t want them to taste heavy – more like a cupcake, less like a muffin. Feel free to use all whole wheat flour or even white-whole wheat flour (I was all out).

There is a whopping 1/2 cup of cocoa powder in this recipe. That makes for some intense fudgy cupcakes. I love using unsweetened cocoa powder in healthy recipes โ€“ you get chocolate flavor for hardly any calories. I always have a couple containers of Hershey’s Special Dark in my pantry.

An important note:ย try to sift the dry ingredients together. Cocoa powder is full of lumps and the last thing you want are pockets of dry cocoa powder when you bite into your finished cupcake. I always sift my cocoa powder when a recipe calls for it. With sifting, you will still measure the amounts of the dry ingredients in the recipe, then sift them together. If you do not own a sifter, whisk the dry ingredients together VERY well to get all of the lumps out.

Lightened-up chocolate cupcakes made from Greek yogurt, whole wheat flour, bananas, cocoa powder, and not much else! Frosted with a little peanut butter swirl. So good!

Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Gently mix it up with a large spoon or rubber spatula. No mixer is required! Make sure you get all of the pockets of cocoa powder and flour out of the batter, there may be some hiding at the bottom of the bowl.

When it comes to mixing this batter, I like to think of it as “less is more.” Go for the least amount of mixing possible to combine the wet and dry ingredients.

Gently fold some dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips into the batter. These are optional, but I have to tell you how unbelievable the melty chocolate chips inside taste. Even when the cupcakes have cooled, the chocolate chips still stay soft and melty; they don’t harden up much at all.

Divide the batter between 12 cupcake liners. You want every last drop of this batter, so scrape that bowl clean. PS: good luck not tasting the batter.ย It tastes like brownie batter.

Ok, so you may be asking me… where’s the frosting? No cupcakes are complete with frosting! Well, to keep the cupcakes on the lighter side, I used a thick peanut butter swirl as the frosting and topped them with peanut butter chips. In my world, if peanut butter and frosting had a battle, I’m not sure who would win. I have an equal affection for both.

So peanut butter = frosting in this recipe. And you don’t see me complaining.

Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cupcakes by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Melt 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter (or use runny natural peanut butter) and spoon 1 teaspoon of it onto each cupcake. Using a knife or a toothpick, gently swirl it around into the batter. Top with peanut butter chips.

There’s a double dose of peanut butter here and I like it.

Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cupcakes by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cupcakes by sallysbakingaddiction.com

The cupcakes take about 20 minutes in the oven. Try with all of your self control to wait until they cool before unwrapping and eating one. That didn’t go over so well with me – I mean, I could hardly wait an extra minute when I pulled them out.

You will never, ever guess that these dessert cupcakes are made with good-for-you ingredients like bananas, whole wheat flour, egg whites, and greek yogurt. They are so rich in chocolate flavor that you’ll think you are eating a brownie. The thick creamy peanut butter swirl and peanut butter chips give each bite that little something extra. The texture is moist, fluffy, and soft like the best chocolate cake you’ve ever had.

It will be love at first chocolatey bite.

Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cupcakes by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let’s not forget about how EASY and quick this recipe is. There are no strange ingredients requiring a trip to a specialty grocery store – the ingredients are convenient and normal. The batter is mixed by hand in about 5-10 minutes and the cupcakes take about 20 minutes in the oven.

And it will take you only about 30 seconds to polish one off.ย And if all of this wasn’t enough, the best part about this recipe is that you are not sacrificing taste or convenience for a lightened up chocolate peanut butter cupcake.

Followย me on Instagramย and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make!ย 

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Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cupcakes

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These dessert cupcakes are made with healthier alternatives and ingredients that are convenient and easy. No trips to a specialty grocery store. They are unbelievably fudgy, with subtle banana flavor, and a thick swirl of peanut butter as the frosting. They have 6 grams of protein each; full nutrition information available by visiting a calorie counting website and plugging in the ingredients.


Ingredients

  • 2 large *very* ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup – the riper, the better)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter, melted
  • optional: 1/3 cup peanut butter chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ยฐF (191ยฐC). Line a muffin tin with baking cups. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mash the bananas with a fork or use a hand mixer. Mash them very well โ€“ no big lumps. Stir in the sugar, egg whites, greek yogurt, and vanilla extract.
  3. Sift* the flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Slowly stir in the wet ingredients, being careful not to overmix. Fold in chocolate chips. The batter will be a little chunky.
  4. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups โ€“ fill them all the way to the top. Take 1 teaspoon of melted peanut butter and spoon it on top of the batter. Swirl it around with a knife or a toothpick. Sprinkle with peanut butter chips. Repeat with all 12 cupcakes.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Muffins stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Yogurt: You can use low fat, nonfat, vanilla, or plain Greek yogurt or regular yogurt.
  2. Peanut Butter: Natural peanut butter is OK, do not use powdered peanut butter.
  3. Sift Dry Ingredients: Be sure to sift your dry ingredients together to avoid pockets of cocoa powder lumps. If you have no sifter, whisk the dry ingredients together very well to remove the lumps.

Keywords: healthy chocolate peanut butter swirl cupcakes, healthy cupcakes

182 Comments

  1. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers says:

    Keep bringing on the PB recipes!! Your cupcakes look amazing!! Wouldn’t mind one with my breakfast!!

  2. Nicky @ Pink Recipe Box says:

    Skinny chocolate peanut butter cupcakes!? You’ve totally just made my day! Pinning ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hey Nicky! Thanks for the pin!

  3. melissa {persnickety plates} says:

    These look awesome!…but I’m allergic to bananas ๐Ÿ™ do you think swapping out bananas for all Greek yogurt would work? Or do I just have to skip this one?

    1. Hey Melissa! Using 1 and 3/4 cup of greek yogurt is just way too much and would ruin the cupcakes. You could use applesauce but the texture would be way off and I find using too much applesauce makes my baked goods taste rubbery. Pumpkin could work but with a lowered amount – maybe 6 oz and some milk, but without testing it first, I don’t want to recommend it. How about you try my skinny peanut butter swirl brownies instead? No bananas there! https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/06/10/skinny-peanut-butter-swirl-brownies/

      1. melissa {persnickety plates} says:

        Damn, that’s what I was thinking. It’s ok. Me & your skinny PB swirl brownies are already good friends =)

  4. Avery @ Southern Belle Living Well says:

    I love how you contrasted the dark cake with the lighter peanut butter chips. Normally it’s the other way around. Good idea!

    1. Thanks Avery!

  5. Averie @ Averie Cooks says:

    Love the idea and post! And your cupcake liners are always so bold and vibrant. I have a cupcake recipe coming and I have to replace/double up and do all kinds of things b/c mine never stay vibrant. Yes I use oil but even when it’s not excessive they fade and run…and I refuse to buy those really expensive ones but maybe I should. Yours are so pretty!

    Not reducing the sugar and using super ripe bananas, amen. I always have people ask me if they can reduce the sugar in recipes that are like my raw/vegan things…and generally in those recipes it’s already at a minimum and going any lower is just not going to taste good!

    And Hershey’s Special Dark. I have been to FIVE groc stores in my area and no one has it. It’s always tricky to find for me, but the past 3 mos, I cannot seem to get it anywhere!

    1. Let me know if you ever want me to send you some hershey’s special dark, Averie! I have readers asking me about lowering sugar as well – it’s just not possible with all of the deep dark chocolate flavor and dark chocolate chips. I have readers ask me if they can use powdered peanut butter as well, so I made sure to say that wouldn’t work here. I got like a dozen packs of cupcake liners from my sister and mom over Christmas. I guess I’m easy to shop for!

  6. These look delicious! I love the addition of greek yogurt to cupcakes to give them that extra protein punch, definitely ups the health factor even if it is a cupcake. As always, I love reading your descriptions of the baking/recipe creating the process, it’s so interesting to know the ‘whys’ behind the ingredients and process! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Emilia! I’m glad the descriptions are helpful. I learn as I bake, and I love reading about the “whys” of recipes, so I love sharing it! Yep, I love hte extra punch of protein as well.

  7. No way those a good for me! They look so fudgy and decadent! Thanks so much for the recipe, Sally. I can’t wait to give them a try.

    1. Let me know how you like them Ruta! Thank you =)

  8. Jen @ Savory Simple says:

    I love that these are skinny!

  9. I can’t wait to have bananas ripe enough to try these! I would totally devour them for breakfast, healthy enough!

    1. I like your thinking! Cupcakes for breakfast!

      1. When it’s not entirely unhealthy with with no oil and the whole wheat flour! Though I would call it an indulgent, weekend breakfast!

  10. Love your cupcake liners! So cute and spring-y (hey, it’s only like a month away ;)), and the color is great in a brown-and-brown dessert. Thanks for all the experimenting you do to deliver delicious recipes…and for throwing some healthy (as healthy as dessert can be! :)) recipes into the mix as well.

    1. as healthy as dessert can be – exactly. it’s a lightened up decadent dessert. Oh! and I knew I needed a splash of color with all of the dark and light brown. I have an obsession with buying cupcake liners Caley!

  11. Angela @ AnotherBitePlease says:

    i love corny talk…and i love that you bring a fun treat like this out that doesn’t have much granulated sugar…so when my boys want to eat 2-3 why not ๐Ÿ™‚ and i am all for anything skinny – jeans & cupcakes ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. skinny jeans, skinny cupcakes, everyone is happy. Thanks Angela:)

  12. Eva @ Eva Bakes says:

    Um, chocolate is definitely healthy. Any recipe with chocolate cancels out all the supposedly “bad” ingredients. At least that is what I tell myself! I love the substitution of Greek yogurt – I’m starting to bake with that ingredient a bunch too!

    1. Glad you agree with me, Eva! chocolate is healthy for the soul. =) I use greek yogurt ALL of the time!

  13. I totally agree Colleen! I love adorably decorated and swirly baked goods ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Can’t go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter! And it’s a healthier version! Nice!

  15. Each recipe is more good than before and the same goes for the photos! These cupcakes are earmarks of being a real vice! I love your blog and recipes to read new things is always a pleasure, thanks

  16. [email protected] Plaid and Paisley Kitchen says:

    Healthy good for you amazing muffins! Oh My Oh My! Wonderful recipe!

  17. What do you usually do with the egg yolks once you get the egg whites out? Throw them out? Or can you put them to use in a different recipe?

    1. Hi Ruosi! I can either make a recipe calling for an extra egg yolk or cook them into an omelet or scrambled eggs. I hardly ever throw them out. Here is a recipe calling for an extra egg yolk: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/01/23/rainbow-mm-cookies/

      Here is another recipe calling for an extra egg yolk: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/09/03/super-chunk-white-chocolate-macadamia-nut-cookies/

  18. This may sound sad but I would eat these for breakfast too as my pre run fuel. ๐Ÿ˜‰ LOL! They look very yummy!

    1. Shelby, I’m not embarrassed to say that I did that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. A girl after My own heart. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie says:

    Yes!! Totally making these with my plethora of bananas I have.

    1. Let me know how you like them Erin! They are right up your alley.

  20. Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} says:

    These look awesome, but anything that combines peanut butter and chocolate is awesome in my world!

    I also have an obsession with cupcake/muffin liners, pretty much every trip to the store I pick some up. I’ve got tons of both classic size and mini ones. Oops! Same with sprinkles, last count I had 9 different kinds in the cupboards, LOL.

    1. Anna, we are almost the same person. I collect sprinkles and cupcake liners too! I have baskets of them!

      1. Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} says:

        That’s too funny! Glad I’m not the only “crazy” one, ha ha. I should also mention that I have a thing for baskets, I’ve got baskets for everything, nothing is safe. Jars too, lots and lots of mason jars. I’ve got issues.

      2. I collect mason jars too! And pretty plates lol. I have many collections!!

  21. Elaine @ Cooking to Perfection says:

    You’ve got to be kidding. I literally was on your website last night about to make the Skinny Chocolate Banana Fudge Muffins but realized I only had two bananas; so, I was trying to figure out how much yogurt I could use to replace the third banana. You, Sally, read my mind at the perfect time!! I was going to make-up my own version tonight, but since you just posted this recipe I’m going to make it instead. Thanks a bunch ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. That is TOO funny Elaine!!!! Wow. Almost scary too. I can’t believe it! Well, let me know how you like these ok? ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. These look awesome!

  23. Meghan @ The Tasty Fork says:

    It’s like you knew I finished off my Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Explosion ice cream last night. Looks awesome!! I’ll have to make these muffins ASAP!

    1. Ok that ice cream sounds way too good to be true. =)

  24. Marcie @ FlavortheMoments says:

    Thank you, thank you for a skinny recipe that rocks! I love baking things that are still indulgent but on the healthier side so that we don’t have to feel as guilty, or spend an additional hour at the gym!

  25. Yum! Loving the swirls on these beauties!

  26. Natasha @ The Cake Merchant says:

    Sally, you’ve outdone yourself with these. Chocolate, peanut butter, and skinny? Sold!

  27. Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes says:

    Loving these! Loving these! Loving theeeeeese while fitting into my skinny jeeeeeeeeans!

    Seriously, between the egg whites, bananas and Greek yogurt, these cupcakes are just WINNING, Sally!

    1. Haha! Thanks Meagan! I always love your enthusiasm!!

  28. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain says:

    I’m sorry perhaps I didn’t hear you correctly – there’s protein in this delicious cupcake?!? And it’s health(ier) ?! Swoon. Sally these look so decadent I wouldn’t have ever guessed they were a light version. Great job! ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Well thank you Jess! Yep, about 6 grams of protein per cupcake. Not bad for dessert!

  29. Oh my gosh those look irresistible – yummy!

  30. Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies says:

    I love when you post healthier recipes! These look so tasty and like I could trick pretty much anyone into eating something a little better for them without knowing it ๐Ÿ™‚ I love when I watch someone devour a *few* cupcakes, they get a look of guilt all over their face, and I get to tell them that it’s not really *THAT* bad for them ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. I knew you’d like this post, Kelly ๐Ÿ˜‰

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