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

185 Comments

    1. I completel agree Alyssa! I just tried to leave you a comment on your amazing sound soup but WP didn’t supply an option to enter/send my comment to you! I’ve seen this on many WP blogs lately. Just letting you know it looks wonderful!

  1. You know what I’m like for peanut butter, chocolate + peanut butter chips ๐Ÿ™‚ This look fantastic and it’s a bonus that they’re lightened up (that means I can eat more, yes?)

  2. O.K., you totally had me at peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes…but throw in SKINNY too? It’s a girl’s dream come true. Seriously. These look and sound amazing Sally! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Chocolate is definitely good for you so I’ll have about 5 of these please!

    I especially love the studded peanut butter chips on top!

  4. These look amazing, Sally! Love that you didn’t add any frosting either… I’m sure these taste even better without it! Going to check out all your other mouthwatering skinny recipes now…

  5. It always amuses me when I hear about the paradox of so-called “healthy” desserts like carrot cakes (some parents say it’s the only way to sneak veggies into their children’s meals! What a shame, since veggies are so delicious :] ). I’m glad to hear that this one really sounds like a great, guilt-free indulgence, though! You’re a miracle worker, girl.

  6. Do you have the nutritional info on these?! Just kidding. ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m feeling kind of, um, troll-y, today. ๐Ÿ™‚

    These look fantastic! I’m intrigued by the huge amount of Greek yogurt in these. I’ve been baking a lot with it lately and I’m always amazed.

    This reminds me that I have several bags of peanut butter chips and now that I’m going to the US in a few months and can get refill… I can still hoarding them! YES!

    1. hahahahah OMG Erin, I am dying with laughter. You are very troll-y. ๐Ÿ˜‰ only kidding. I think you would LOVE these. They have whole wheat flour, woo hoo!

      1. Yes they do! Yay! ๐Ÿ™‚

        And oh my gosh. I just typed a really long rant about the calories deal but then deleted it. The recipe where everyone asks pays the bills so I’ll keep quiet. But… OH MY GOD…

  7. I love the fact that there are bananas in your chocolate cupcakes. When we were in Thailand all the chocolate cupcakes had banana in them too. First I was surprised but with time I came to love them. And peanut butter sounds like a fantastic addition to that.

  8. Omg that looks soo good! I want to try making these too! And I definitely will. On Valentine’s day my boyfriend gave me an unusual Valentine’s present – he made a private booking for one of the courses organized by Zacโ€™s cooking school in our native Vancouver – cooking classes for couples so I’m now collecting interesting recipes to come up with during that course. And I’m sure this recipe will most certainly be among the first ones we’ll try together.

    1. That sounds like a fantastic Valentine’s Day gift Sarah! How cool! Let me know how you like the cupcakes. These are a favorite for sure!

  9. I entered the ingredients online and got 5 points plus on weight watchers per cupcake for anyone interested! These are calling my name…

  10. I’ve made these 3 times already. They are a big hit in our house. My young kids love them as much as I do. I actually think I prefer these over your skinny pb swirl brownies… And that says a lot! ๐Ÿ™‚

    The first time I made these, I made them as per the recipe. My kids and I decided that next time round we would like to intensify the banana flavor so we went with 1.5c banana (as you said you had originally made them for your friends) and decreased the Greek yogurt by 1/4c. I also substituted half of the sugar with Splenda, as I often do in my baking and added some cinnamon ’cause I am a cinnamon fanatic.

    Keep the great recipes coming Sally!

    1. Hey Jackie! That is SO great to hear. I love these cupcakes so much and make them quite often. I love that you added cinnamon AND increased the banana amount. Sounds like I need to try that next! Thank you so much for reporting back, I love hearing about it!

  11. I definitely did a couple things a little wrong while making them.. (somewhere along the lines of probably too much banana and too much cocoa powder) So it was a very thick batter… but it tasted so good so I made them anyway without trying to figure out what I did. haha ๐Ÿ™‚ I put some peanut butter in the middle as well as on top…yum. And they turned out to be absolutely delicious, like chocolate peanut butter banana bread cupcakes. I had no problem with the extra banana taste, its my favorite trio. ๐Ÿ™‚ Time to make more!

    1. Hey Alisha – well, the batter is supposed to be pretty thick. But I’m glad you liked them regardless! Now you have me wanting to make these again asap…

  12. Sally, ignore the naysayers. I say if someone thinks one of your recipes is not healthy enough, they don’t have to eat it. I for one enjoy every post you make! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I was thinking of trying these as gluten-free, but I’m new to that style of baking. Think I could substitute GF all purpose flour in for the flours in this recipe? Thanks for input!

  14. I love this recipe! Would there be a way to make it as a cake instead of the cupcakes? Looking for a birthday recipe!

    1. Hi Margaret! I have ever tried it before, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work in a 8×8 or 9×9 square baking pan. I am unsure of the baking time since I’ve never tried it myself.

  15. Hi Sally! I made these yesterday and tried one a little while later, they were really good. I left them on a rack overnight, and today they were a bit rubbery on the edges ๐Ÿ™ any ideas why? Did I perhaps overbake them? I got 16 cupcakes instead of 12 and baked them for almost 20 minutes. Thanks!

    Ps: the banana can’t be tasted! LOVE.

    1. Hi Ida – it sounds like they were over baked, unfortunately. Or the batter was overmixed. Rubbery edges is the result of either.

  16. Hello Sally, I love your blog. You are hysterical, the way you talk about your food and your pictures are absolutely beautiful.

    I think I know why Ida’s cupcakes were dry and why she had a few extra. She may have done the same thing that I did. For some crazy reason, I only filled the muffins 3/4 of the way and then added in the melted peanut butter. This resulted in having three extra cupcakes, but they were all dry. All of those ingredients- $$ – down the tubes.

    I’ll definitely try again when I have more ripe bananas. The thick batter looked so fudgy and delicious, I need to make these work. I didn’t over mix the wet into dry, so it must have been under filling the muffin tins.

    Thank you for posting wonderful recipes that both my family and I can enjoy.

    1. Try to fill them all the way up next time, Theresa. I hope these will work for you next time! And thank you for the kind words about my blog and my writing. That really, really means a lot to me. Thank YOU for reading. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Hi Sally!!! I was so excited when I found your blog! Everything looks amazing and you are a beautiful writer.
    Last night I tried to make these cupcakes but unfortunately something went wrong. ๐Ÿ™
    I used a cup of bananas but they have a strong banana flavor & smell. I followed the recipe to the t, unless using greek vanilla yogurt did something.
    I might sound so dumb, but how do I know if my bananas are ripe enough? I’m guessing my bananas wasn’t right? If you have any advise I’d love to hear it. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Kennethia! I’m so glad you found my blog and are loving it so far. The bananas should be speckled brown when they are ripe. You could try to replace 1 banana with 1/3 cup of applesauce instead. That might get rid of some of the banana flavor. Enjoy!

  18. Is it pathetic that I’m reading this recipe while eating one of your peanut butter swirl brownies? Probably. But I’m gunna make these this weekend anyways

  19. As I sit hear eating these highly addictive cupcakes I am stil in awe over the fact that a cupcake with no butter and healthy alternatives is so delicious! Thank you for this amazing recipe!

  20. I’ve had so much chocolate peanut butter desserts this holiday season, but I’m going to make these! Could I use natural cocoa powder in these cupcakes?

    1. Hi Patricia – I use natural unsweetened cocoa powder in this recipe. So yes, you may use it! And there is never enough choc/pb desserts in my mind. Especially this time of year!

  21. I just made these and they are absolutely delicious… The slight undertone of banana combined with rich chocolate and peanut butter – what an amazing combination! And of top of that, it’s healthy (for the most part!).

    I love how the peanut butter is just swirled on top so the flavor doesn’t get lost in the cupcakes. Thanks so much for the fab recipe!

  22. So glad I pinned this a while back, these are perfect for my husbands new diet. I JUST made these. These came to about 95 calories each (I a-little-more-than halved the peanut butter & chocolate chips and omitted the peanut butter chips for said husband diet). I love the texture, I think I would prefer them as intended without my omissions, I would also love to try these covered in icing… or with a big scoop of ice cream, since I’m not the one on a diet.
    I just uploaded a pic to my instagram (see link)

    1. Oh Nic, I just looked at your cupcakes on Instagram. They look fantastic! I still can’t get over that they have 6 grams of protein in them. Not bad, right? I’ve actually had one of these crumbled on top of vanilla frozen yogurt. It’s safe to say that it was the best thing ever.

    2. Thanks for posting that Nic. ๐Ÿ™‚ Knowing approx what the calories are helps alot! I hate wasting my time plugging into a recipe counter just to find out its way too high for us! I think I am going to tweak it similar to your suggestions and make it for a Valentines Day splurge! It looks yummy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Just made these for the first time and they are delicious! Peanut butter and chocolate make the world a better place. ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Hi Sally, these were delicious! Moist and dense. Perfect for breakfast with fruit and yogurt or as an afternoon snack to satisfy my chocolate craving without breaking my diet. My only issue was the amount of caffeine. I used dark chocolate chips and after two muffins my heart was racing. So if you’re sensitive to caffeine, as I apparently am, you might want to skip the chocolate chips altogether or use milk chocolate instead. Or just eat one–if you can!

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