dark chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting on platter

Cakes & Cupcakes Currently Craving

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

July 9, 2021

Calling all peanut butter lovers! These dark chocolate cupcakes with creamy peanut butter frosting are the cupcake equivalent of a […]

Calling all peanut butter lovers! These dark chocolate cupcakes with creamy peanut butter frosting are the cupcake equivalent of a giant peanut butter cup. Chocolate and peanut butter is the ultimate flavor combo and everyone will swoon over these rich and fudgy dark chocolate cupcakes topped with a giant swirl of light and fluffy peanut butter frosting. Made from scratch with simple ingredients from your pantry, these cupcakes are easy to make and positively irresistible!

I don’t know about you, but peanut butter and chocolate is one flavor combo I can never get enough of. A little sweet, a little salty….it’s the perfect marriage of flavors that is so simple, yet so indulgent. These dark chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting are pretty much the equivalent of a giant peanut butter cup and I AM HERE FOR IT. They’re easy to make, fun to share, and let’s face it, peanut butter and chocolate is always a crowd pleaser. And since this dynamic duo never goes out of season, you can put these cupcakes on repeat all year long. Let me tell you how to make them.

dark-chocolate-cupcakes-peanut-butter-frosting

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED FOR DARK CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING

These chocolate cupcakes with easy peanut butter frosting are easy to whip up with a few pantry staples and a jar of your favorite creamy peanut butter. Here’s what you’ll need:

All purpose flour – There is not a lot of flour in this recipe but make sure you measure it correctly so you don’t end up with a dry cupcake. Use a digital scale like this one or spoon and level your flour carefully.

Cocoa powder – We’re using Dutch process cocoa powder for a rich, deep chocolate flavor that pairs perfectly with the peanut butter frosting. ohhhmmmgeeeee, SO GOOD!

Sugar – Adding in both granulated sugar and brown sugar keeps these cupcakes sweet and moist!

Eggs – Don’t forget to use room temperature eggs for best results!

Oil – Some bakers swear by butter in their cupcake recipes but I find that a little bit of neutral oil delivers a moist crumb that stays fresh for days!

Buttermilk – Good old fashioned buttermilk is the secret to extra moist cupcakes that are big on flavor. The acid in the buttermilk activates the baking soda and helps give the cupcakes both flavor and rise. I always forget to stock up on buttermilk but you can easily make your own at home with just two ingredients.  

Vanilla – Just a splash rounds out the flavor of the chocolate cake and adds dimension to the peanut butter frosting. Use the best vanilla you can find for the very best flavor. 

Peanut butter – We can’t have peanut butter cupcakes without peanut butter, now can we? But not any peanut butter will do. All natural peanut butter is too oily so go for the inexpensive creamy brands that you loved as a kid.

Confectioners sugar – Powdered sugar gives the frosting structure and just the right amount of sweetness to balance the salty peanut butter. For the creamiest frosting, sift your sugar first!

Heavy cream – Just a little goes a long way to make a creamy, silky smooth peanut butter frosting. If you don’t have heavy cream on hand, use whole milk.

HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

If you’re looking for the best ever chocolate cupcake recipe, you’ve come to the right place! This recipe starts with my all-time favorite dark chocolate cupcake recipe. The flavor is rich and dark and they bake up ultra chocolatey and super moist every time. A lot of cupcakes bake up flat and crunchy on top but these have perfectly domed tops which are just begging for a generous swirl of creamy peanut butter frosting. It’s a match made in heaven if you ask me! And the good news is you don’t even need a stand mixer to bake the cupcakes. Just grab a whisk and a bowl and follow the tips below for the ultimate pb & chocolate lover’s cupcakes.

Use Dutch process cocoa. Dutch process cocoa delivers a deeper, darker chocolate flavor that takes these cupcakes up a notch. I love Rodelle Dutch process cocoa powder. 

Combine buttermilk and oil for extra moisture. Skip the butter and use canola oil and buttermilk for the very best texture and flavor. These cupcakes will stay moist for several days after baking if stored properly. 

Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Not 1/2 way full. Not 3/4 full. 2/3 full people! For those perfectly domed tops fill the liners 2/3 of the way. You’ll have exactly the right amount of batter for 12 cupcakes. Plus a little leftover to eat straight from the spoon! 

Do not over bake. No one likes a dry cupcake so keep a close eye on your oven as they bake. My cupcakes are ready after 20 minutes every time. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of a cupcake. It should come out mostly clean or with a few tiny crumbs remaining. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for just 5-10 minutes and then carefully remove them to cool completely on a wire rack. 

dark-chocolate-cupcakes-peanut-butter-frosting

TIPS FOR THE BEST PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING

This peanut butter frosting comes together in no time and it’s so good you’ll have a hard time not eating it straight from the bowl. Bookmark this frosting recipe to spread on top of your favorite layer cakes and it makes a delicious topping over brownies too!

Soften the butter to room temperature. For best results, be sure your butter is room temperature before you begin making the frosting. Cold butter will not incorporate well with the peanut butter and sugar. The butter should be slightly soft to the touch but not too soft or melted. 

Sift the confectioners sugar. For a silky smooth frosting, always sift the powdered sugar first. It takes a few extra seconds but it’s worth it!

Use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. I recommend making buttercream frosting in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment – rather than the whisk attachment. The frosting will mix up perfectly smooth and creamy every time. 

Mix until light and fluffy. Once all of your ingredients have been added, mix on medium high speed for 2-3 minutes until the frosting is light and airy. Now comes the fun part! Transfer the frosting to a large piping bag fitted with a star tip and swirl a generous dollop on top of the cooled cupcakes. If you don’t have a piping bag, use an offset spatula or butter knife to spread the peanut butter frosting on the cupcakes. If the frosting gets too warm to pipe as you work, place the piping bag in the refrigerator for 10 minute to firm up. Frost the remaining cupcakes and top with chopped peanuts for an added crunch!

WHICH PEANUT BUTTER WORKS BEST FOR FROSTING?

Not all peanut butters are created equal when it comes to frosting. You might love natural peanut butter for spreading on your morning toast or adding to your daily smoothie, but the oils on top can cause the frosting to split and curdle. For a smooth, creamy frosting you’ll want to reach for a cheap, ultra creamy peanut butter like Skippy or Jif. I don’t recommend using a reduced-fat version because they often have added sugars which can make the frosting overly sweet. The peanut butter should be at room temperature so it will combine easily with the softened butter. 

HOW TO STORE CUPCAKES

I’m betting these peanut butter frosted chocolate cupcakes won’t last past lunchtime, but if you have a few leftover that need safe keeping, store them covered in the refrigerator. The peanut butter frosting is soft and fluffy so storing them chilled will help those pretty swirls hold their shape. I love a cold cupcake with a side of cold milk straight from the fridge, but if you’re more of the room temperature type, let the cupcakes sit out on the counter for 20-30 minutes before digging in.

CAN CUPCAKES BE FROZEN?

Good news! If you are making the cupcakes ahead of time, you can freeze them unfrosted and tightly covered for up to 30 days. Simply set them on the counter for about an hour to defrost and then top with the peanut butter frosting just before serving. Everyone will LOVE these cupcakes so double the batch if you are serving a crowd. 

dark-chocolate-cupcakes-peanut-butter-frosting

I can’t wait for you to try these chocolate peanut butter cupcakes! If you make this recipe I would love for you to leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

Be sure to tag @brownedbutterblondie over on Instagram if you make this recipe.

Happy weekend and baking!!

For more peanut butter and chocolate deliciousness, try these recipes:

Peanut Butter S’mores Bars

Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Peanut Butter Swirl Skillet Brownie

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
dark chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting on platter

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

  • Author: Heather | Browned Butter Blondie
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 25 + cooling time
  • Total Time: 90 min
  • Yield: 12 1x

Description

Calling all peanut butter lovers! These dark chocolate cupcakes with creamy peanut butter frosting are the cupcake equivalent of a giant peanut butter cup. Chocolate and peanut butter is the ultimate flavor combo and everyone will swoon over these rich and fudgy dark chocolate cupcakes topped with a giant swirl of light and fluffy peanut butter frosting. Made from scratch with simple ingredients from your pantry, these cupcakes are easy to make and positively irresistible!


Ingredients

Units Scale

For Cupcakes

1 cup all-purpose flour, scooped and leveled (125 g)

1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa, sifted (30 g)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup neutral oil (I use canola oil)

1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 g)

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed (50 g)

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature

4 tablespoons chopped peanuts (optional)

For Frosting

1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 3/4 cups creamy peanut butter (like Skippy or Jif)

2 1/4 cups (290 g) confectioners sugar, sifted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

45 tablespoons heavy cream


Instructions

For Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sifted cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Whisk together oil and sugars in a medium mixing bowl.

Whisk in one egg at a time. Add in vanilla extract.

Alternate mixing in half of the dry ingredients and half of the buttermilk to the wet ingredients until everything is added. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix.

Fill each liner two-thirds full. Do not over fill the liners.

Bake for 20-22 minutes. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs remaining. Let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Cool completely before frosting.

For Frosting

Add the room temperature butter to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Whip for 20-30 seconds on medium.

Add the peanut butter and mix on medium high for 1 minute.

Add the confectioners sugar and vanilla, mixing on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium high for one minute.

Add the heavy cream and beat on medium high speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. If the frosting is too thick, add more heavy cream. If too thin, add more confectioners sugar.

Transfer the frosting to a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Swirl the frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes. Alternatively, you can use a knife or offset spatula to spread the frosting on top.

Top with chopped peanuts if desired.


Notes

Store tightly covered in the refrigerator.

Cupcakes may be frozen. Defrost at room temperature before frosting.

Keywords: chocolate peanut butter cupcakes, peanut butter frosting, chocolate cupcakes

    Leave a Reply

    Recipe rating