PB&J but make it grown-up! These peanut butter and jelly cupcakes have all the classic flavors of your favorite childhood sandwich but in fancy cupcake form! They have a brown butter peanut butter cupcake base filled with strawberry jelly, then topped with creamy peanut butter frosting and garnished with crushed peanuts and fresh strawberries!
You only need a few ingredients to make these fun peanut butter and jelly cupcakes!
- Cake flour - I always use cake flour in my cupcakes because it makes them super soft and tender, but all purpose flour also works great!
- Brown butter - My favorite ingredient of all time is brown butter!! Brown butter is just unsalted butter that has been melted and gently cooked to bring out a toasty, nutty flavor. If you've never made brown butter before, you can check out this post with all my tips for how to make brown butter!
- Peanut butter - It's important to use the right kind of peanut butter in baked goods! And by that I mean, smooth processed peanut butter like Jif or Skippy! Varieties of peanut butter labeled "natural" or "minimally processed" are typically thinner and the oil separates more easily, making them less than ideal for baking. That's especially problematic when making the peanut butter frosting!
- Strawberry jelly - I just used my favorite high quality store-bought jam for these cupcakes, but you can also make homemade strawberry jam instead! You could also swap out the strawberry jelly for raspberry, grape, blackberry, etc.! Just pick something that you know you like!
I recommend making the brown butter the night before you make the cupcakes, so that it has time to fully cool to room temperature!
Since both the cupcakes and the frosting call for brown butter, I find it easier to just make one large batch and then weigh out the difference using a kitchen scale (½ cup of butter weighs about 113 grams).
However, if you don't have a scale you can just make two separate batches of brown butter!
The complete list of ingredients and amounts is located in the recipe card below.
Step by Step Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup pan with cupcake liners.
Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the softened brown butter and creamy peanut butter until fully combined and smooth.
Then add in the brown sugar and granulated sugar and cream until light and fluffy.
Add in the eggs and vanilla and continue to mix until fully incorporated.
Stir in about half the flour mixture. Then stir in the milk and the rest of the flour and mix until just combined.
Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner (they should be about halfway full).
Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack. Let the peanut butter cupcakes cool completely before filling and frosting.
Use a cupcake corer to remove the center of each cupcake, then fill with 1-2 teaspoons of strawberry jelly.
Frost the cooled cupcakes with creamy peanut butter buttercream. Then garnish with a drizzle of jelly, crushed peanuts, and fresh strawberries!
These peanut butter and jelly cupcakes are best eaten the same day!
Tips for the Best Baked Goods
Use room temperature ingredients! Always make sure ingredients like butter, eggs, milk, yogurt, etc. are at room temperature before baking (unless the recipe indicates otherwise)! This ensures they'll incorporate into the batter more easily and leads to overall better texture. Remove all ingredients from the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before baking for best results.
Measure your flour correctly! It's most accurate to use a kitchen scale, but if you're measuring by volume you want to spoon and level! Fluff up the flour a bit with a spoon, and then spoon flour into the measuring cup. Once it's overflowing, use the back of a knife to level it off. Don't ever pack flour into the measuring cup or you'll end up with way too much! Improperly measured flour can lead to dry, dense baked goods. [Measure cocoa powder the same way!]
Use an oven thermometer! Just because your oven says it's 350, doesn't mean it is! If you oven hasn't been calibrated recently, it can be as much as 30 degrees off, which will negatively affect all baked goods from cakes to macarons! An oven thermometer is the easiest/cheapest way to ensure your oven is always at the proper temperature.
Make sure you baking powder is fresh! Baking powder is important for helping baked goods rise properly, but it has a relatively short shelf life once opened, so it's one of the few items I never buy in bulk! To test if your baking powder is still fresh, add a small amount to boiling water. If it bubbles it's still good to use, but if not it's time to toss it!
Cupcake Decorating Tips
- Make sure you let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting!!
- Use a cupcake corer to easily remove the center of your cupcakes before filling with jelly.
- For these big beautiful peanut butter frosting swirls on these peanut butter and jelly cupcakes, I use the large round tip from this decorating kit. The tips are much larger than standard sizes and so fun for decorating cupcakes!
- After frosting garnish with chopped peanuts, a drizzle of jelly, and fresh strawberries!
These cupcakes will last in the fridge for up to 3 days. However, they taste best when served at room temperature! I like to let them sit at room temperature for about an hour before serving. Wait to top with fresh strawberries until immediately before serving.
Of course not! You can absolutely substitute regular unsalted butter. I just love the flavor that brown butter adds!
It's important to use smooth, processed peanut butter in baked goods! Varieties of peanut butter labeled "natural" or "minimally processed" are typically thinner and the oil separates more easily, making them less than ideal for baking. That's especially problematic when making things peanut butter frosting! So just stick to the good stuff!
Tips for Success!
For best results I always recommend using weight measurements (especially when baking) because it's the most accurate. Kitchen scales are super affordable and also reduce the number of dishes you have to do! However, all my recipes also include US customary measurements for convince. Use this chart to convert measurements for common ingredients!
Substitutions: In all my recipes, I've included substitutions that I know will work, but I cannot guarantee results if you substitute ingredients that I have not recommended. [For example, granulated sugar and honey are indeed both sweeteners but they have very different properties so they can not always be swapped 1:1. Using honey in a cookie recipe that calls for granulated sugar will yield a giant mess.] In the recipe card you'll find links to the specific ingredients/brands that I use.
A note on salt: I almost exclusively use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt because it's the best all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If you're not using kosher salt, consult this handy guide for a conversion chart! When in doubt, if you're using table salt just reduce the amount by half for baked goods. When cooking, I prefer to under-salt because you can always add more! If you've over-salted, adding a little bit of acid (like lemon juice) can help.
More Cupcake Recipes You Might Like!
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Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes
- 1 ½ cups cake flour, substitute all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted brown butter, room temperature
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter, Jif or Skippy
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup whole milk
Peanut Butter Frosting
- ½ cup strawberry jam
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts, crushed
- fresh strawberries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup pan with cupcake liners.
- Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the softened brown butter and creamy peanut butter until fully combined and smooth.
- Then add in the brown sugar and granulated sugar and cream until light and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs and vanilla and continue to mix until fully incorporated.
- Stir in about half the flour mixture. Then stir in the milk and the rest of the flour and mix until just combined.
- Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner (they should be about halfway full).
- Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack. Let the peanut butter cupcakes cool completely before filling and frosting.
- Use a cupcake corer to remove the center of each cupcake, then fill with 1-2 teaspoons of strawberry jelly.
Peanut Butter Frosting
- In a large bowl using a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the room temperature brown butter and peanut butter together until smooth.
- Add in the powdered sugar and mix until fully incorporated.
- Mix in the vanilla and beat the frosting on high for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy!
- Add in 2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream if needed to thin out the frosting.
- Frost the cooled cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream. Then garnish with a drizzle of jelly, crushed peanuts, and fresh strawberries!
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.