Chocolate peanut butter cupcakes are moist, chocolate cupcakes topped with a light and fluffy chocolate peanut butter buttercream. Perfect for any celebration.
Chocolate cupcakes are a classic recipe that everyone should have in their recipe box. They are a go-to recipe for myself when I am hosting a birthday party or making cupcakes for a baking order. As delicious as they with chocolate buttercream or even swiss meringue buttercream, chocolate peanut butter buttercream takes chocolate cupcakes to the next level. The peanut butter adds a delightful flavor that complements that chocolate without being overpowering.
These cupcakes are easy to make with simple baking pantry staples. Skip the store-bought kind and make these homemade chocolate peanut butter cupcakes.
Before you begin
Take out the following baking equipment:
Digital kitchen scale
1 muffin pan
1 medium bowl
1 small bowl
Stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
1 silicone spatula
1 wire cooling rack
Allow your butter, eggs, and milk to come to room temperature.
Read the recipe through from start to finish.
The first step of the recipe involves beating the fat (butter) and sugar together until the mixture is creamy, light in color, and increased in volume. This creaming method is an important step that creates the air needed for leavening and producing a light and fluffy cupcake.
It’s essential to begin with room temperature butter, eggs, and milk. This will allow you to mix your ingredients together easily and evenly without becoming curdled.
In this recipe, I use natural unsweetened cocoa powder as oppose to dutch-process cocoa. Because chocolate is naturally acidic, natural cocoa powder is as well. This recipe calls for baking soda as its leavening agent, and therefore the acidic natural unsweetened cocoa powder creates the reaction with the leavening agent. Dutch-process cocoa powder, on the other hand, is not acidic and will not cause the baking soda to react.
How to make chocolate peanut butter buttercream
Begin by beating softened unsalted butter for 5 minutes (using a paddle attachment) to get your butter fluffy. Add the peanut butter and continue to mix until well combined. Mix in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt until incorporated and then add the vanilla extract. Slowly add in milk or cream until desired consistency is achieved. Beat the buttercream for an additional 5 minutes on medium-high speed to create a light and airy texture. Additionally, you will see that the chocolate buttercream gets lighter in color.
Tips and takeaways
- Do not overmix the cupcake batter. If you do, the resulting cupcake will become dense with a tighter grain. Additionally, hollow tunnels will form inside the cupcakes from the overworked air bubbles.
- Use a scoop to fill your cupcake liners to ensure even batter distribution and, thus evenly baked cupcakes.
- Resist the urge to open the oven door during the baking stage to check your cupcake progress. When the oven door is opened it can cause the air bubbles that you so carefully created in the mixing process to burst, leaving you with dense cupcakes. Additionally, you may find that you will have sunken cupcakes.
- For the best frosting texture, I recommend using a processed creamy peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy. For this recipe, I do not recommend a natural-style peanut butter.
More chocolate recipes
Make sure to tag me @thesweetoccasion on Instagram and leave me a review below if you make the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes. I’d love to see your creations and read your feedback. And if you would like to make this recipe later, be sure to pin this recipe using the button on any of these images. Let’s make every occasion, a sweet occasion!Print
For the cupcakes
- 1 1/4 cups (150 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (50 g) cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.8 g) baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.4 g) salt
- 4 oz (113 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups (275 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large (100 g) eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (6 g) pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (227 g) whole milk, at room temperature
For the frosting
- 2 sticks (226 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup (70 g) creamy peanut butter
- 1 pound (450 g) powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup (45 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) pure vanilla extract
- 2–4 (28-56 g) tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk
For the cupcake
- Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together softened butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, 4-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the vanilla until mixed well. With the mixer on low speed and in three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat until just combined.
- Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow cupcakes to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack before frosting.
For the frosting
- In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. Add the peanut butter and continue to mix until completely combined. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt, beating until the sugar is completely incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add the heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved. Beat the buttercream on medium-high for an additional 5 minutes.
- Make Ahead: Make cupcakes up to 1 day in advance. Cover in an airtight container at room temperature. Chocolate peanut buttercream can be made up to 1 week in advanced and stored covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When ready to use bring to room temperature and rewhip for 5 minutes using a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Freezing: Freeze cupcakes frosted or unfrosted for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to sit for 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.