Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Peanut butter and chocolate are the lifelong besties of food, and these homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting will prove it. Deep, dark buttermilk chocolate cake slathered with a soft and creamy peanut butter frosting…what a beautiful friendship. Bring a batch to your next party, but only if you want to delight absolutely everyone in the room.

These soft, luscious chocolate cupcakes are the most flavorful you’ll find, and they are perfect topped with lots of peanut butter frosting. Looking for more Peanut butter and chocolate? Try my no-bake peanut butter bars, peanut butter Buckeyes, peanut butter Blossoms, or my favorite Scotcheroos!

The most luscious, creamiest, most velvety peanut butter frosting is yours for the spreading. If you need peanut butter frosting for cupcakes, brownies, or a big chocolate cake, this is the recipe that wins all the prizes. Easy to make, easy to love, and oh, so hard to resist.

Lately, I‘ve been living by these words: Make It Count. In life, in work, and yes, even in food. Some fancy cupcakes look great, but by the time I put down my fork, it didn’t seem quite worth it.

And while this may just look like just another ‘best homemade cupcake recipe,’ look a little closer—it has all the sophistication of a real chocolate cake, just…smaller.

If you’re dreaming of chocolate cupcakes, ingredients matter. This recipe pulls out all the stops to ensure the most tender and luscious made-from-scratch chocolate cupcake imaginable. But it doesn’t stop there; I show you a super-easy peanut butter buttercream (can I just say peanutbuttercream?) that is, literally and figuratively, the frosting on the cake.

If you want to make it count, you couldn’t do better than these cupcakes.

Want to bake Chocolate Cupcakes for 100? Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.

How to make Chocolate Cupcakes from scratch:

First, brew some strong coffee, or grab an extra shot of espresso from your favorite coffee place. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla.

Peanut butter and chocolate are the lifelong besties of food, and these homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting will prove it. Deep, dark buttermilk chocolate cake slathered with a soft and creamy peanut butter frosting…what a beautiful friendship. Bring a batch to your next party, but only if you want to delight absolutely everyone in the room.

In a separate bowl, mix together the sour cream (gasp!) buttermilk, and that coffee you brewed.

In yet another bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.
Take turns adding the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture, while the mixer is on low speed. Don’t add everything at once, though, try to space it out into three batches. Mix until just blended.

Measure out 1/2 cup batter into each cupcake cup. I like to use cute cupcake liners, like these.

Peanut butter and chocolate are the lifelong besties of food, and these homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting will prove it. Deep, dark buttermilk chocolate cake slathered with a soft and creamy peanut butter frosting…what a beautiful friendship. Bring a batch to your next party, but only if you want to delight absolutely everyone in the room.

Bake at 350 degrees, for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. While the cupcakes are baking, it’s time to make the frosting.

How to make Peanut Butter Frosting:

To make the best peanut butter frosting you’ll ever have, mix together the peanut butter, powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt with an electric mixer. You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl, because this part can get sticky. Once that’s blended, slowly add the heavy cream. Beat on high speed until silky and smooth.

Peanut butter and chocolate are the lifelong besties of food, and these homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting will prove it. Deep, dark buttermilk chocolate cake slathered with a soft and creamy peanut butter frosting…what a beautiful friendship. Bring a batch to your next party, but only if you want to delight absolutely everyone in the room.

What can you use as a substitute for buttermilk?

Make your own buttermilk, or switch it out using one of these suggestions:

  • For each cup of buttermilk, you can use 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to measure 1 cup. Stir, then let stand for 5 minutes.
  • You can also use 1 cup of plain yogurt or 1 3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar plus 1 cup milk.
  • Some people use a good quality plain, unsweetened yogurt in place of buttermilk, volume for volume.

Peanut butter and chocolate are the lifelong besties of food, and these homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting will prove it. Deep, dark buttermilk chocolate cake slathered with a soft and creamy peanut butter frosting…what a beautiful friendship. Bring a batch to your next party, but only if you want to delight absolutely everyone in the room.

Can you make this Chocolate Cupcakes recipe eggless?

If you’re avoiding eggs, you can use one of the following egg substitutes:

  • Unsweetened applesauce: Using one-fourth cup of applesauce in place of one egg will work.
  • Banana: Using one-fourth cup of ripe, mashed banana in place of one egg might be a nice substitution.
  • Make a chia seed or flax seed egg: To replace one egg, whisk together 1 tablespoon of ground chia or flaxseeds with 3 tablespoons of water until fully absorbed and thickened.

What is the best cocoa to use for baking?

I love a deep velvety cocoa like the kind Guittard makes. It can be found online, and it also makes phenomenal hot chocolate.

Peanut butter and chocolate are the lifelong besties of food, and these homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting will prove it. Deep, dark buttermilk chocolate cake slathered with a soft and creamy peanut butter frosting…what a beautiful friendship. Bring a batch to your next party, but only if you want to delight absolutely everyone in the room.

What other frosting can you use for Chocolate Cupcakes?

Two of my favorites, just in case you have to have the cupcakes but want to pass on the peanut butter.

Vanilla Frosting:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Combine sugar, butter, milk and vanilla.
  2. Beat on medium speed until smooth and fluffy.
  3. Spread over cupcakes. Store in refrigerator.

Mocha Frosting:

  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Combine coffee and cocoa in small bowl of electric mixer.
  2. Beat until blended.
  3. Add sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla. Beat until blended.
  4. Scrape bowl, and beat icing until it is smooth and spreadable.
  5. Spread over cupcakes. Store in refrigerator.

Peanut butter and chocolate are the lifelong besties of food, and these homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting will prove it. Deep, dark buttermilk chocolate cake slathered with a soft and creamy peanut butter frosting…what a beautiful friendship. Bring a batch to your next party, but only if you want to delight absolutely everyone in the room.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Peanut butter and chocolate are the lifelong besties of food, and these homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting will prove it. Deep, dark buttermilk chocolate cake slathered with a soft and creamy peanut butter frosting…what a beautiful friendship. Bring a batch to your next party, but only if you want to delight absolutely everyone in the room.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate, cupcakes, peanut butter
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 267 kcal

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the peanut butter frosting:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup creamy (smooth) peanut butter
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Instructions

To make the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners and coat with nonstick spray.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and both sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla and mix well.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. Then in another bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

  4. On low speed, add buttermilk mixture and flour mixture alternatively in 3 batches to mixer bowl, beginning with buttermilk mixture and ending with flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold batter with a rubber spatula to make sure it is completely blended. 

  5. Divide batter among the 24 cupcake liners, using about 1/4 cup batter per cup. Bake on rack in the middle of the oven for 19 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. 

  6. Cool completely before frosting.

To make the peanut butter frosting:

  1. Place the powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as you go. Add cream and beat on high speed until mixture is light and smooth. 

  2. When the cupcakes are completely cool, frost each cupcake with peanut butter frosting and sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired. 

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2 comments

  1. Oh my. I’m running to the kitchen! Would you recommend regular or dutch process cocoa? Thank-you in advance. love and trust your recipes!

    • Hi Sharon! You’re so nice, thank you! I recommend natural (regular) cocoa powder, not Dutch processed. The reason is, Dutch cocoa powder is not acidic so it will not react with the baking soda in my recipe. You’d have to use baking powder instead which I’m sure is possible, but I haven’t tested it that way so I don’t know what else would need to be changed in the recipe to make it perfect. I used regular because it’s more widely available in my experience. I’ve seen the Dutch-processed cocoa powder at Trader Joes, but I doubt everyone has access to that. So. Regular it is! I hope that’s what you have on hand! Thank you so much and you’re too kind, Happy Valentine’s Day. :D -Meggan

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