These peanut butter cupcakes have a brown butter peanut butter cupcake base topped with chocolate peanut butter frosting, and garnished with crushed peanuts and Reese's cups!
You only need a few ingredients to make these peanut butter chocolate 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!
- Dark chocolate - Use dark chocolate baking bars as opposed to chocolate chips!! Chips contain emulsifiers that help them keep their shape, which also means they won't combine as smoothly as chocolate bars. If desired, you can use milk chocolate instead.
- Crushed peanuts - Dry roasted, unsalted peanuts are best for this recipe!
- Reese's Cups - I love topping these peanut butter chocolate cupcakes with Reese's chocolate peanut butter cups!
How to Make Peanut Butter Cupcakes
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.
Frost the cooled peanut butter cupcakes with chocolate peanut butter buttercream. Then garnish with crushed peanuts and Reese's cups!
These peanut butter chocolate 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!!
- For these big beautiful chocolate peanut butter frosting swirls on these cupcakes, I use the open star from this decorating kit. The tips are much larger than standard sizes and so fun for decorating cupcakes!
- Garnish with crushed peanuts and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!
- If desired, you could also fill the cupcakes with creamy chocolate ganache!
These cupcakes are best eaten the same day but will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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 like the 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!
If you make this recipe, please leave a star rating at the bottom of the page! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. And if you want more delicious, scratch-made recipes you can subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!
Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream
Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter, Jif or Skippy
- 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 4 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream, as needed
- crushed peanuts
- Reese's cups
- 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 cupcakes cool completely before filling and frosting.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting
- Melt the dark chocolate and let cool almost to room temperature. It should be melted but cool to the touch. I prefer to melt the chocolate in the microwave in intervals of 20 seconds, stirring each time.
- In a large bowl using a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the room temperature butter and peanut butter together until smooth.
- Add in the powdered sugar and mix until fully incorporated.
- Set the mixer to low speed and slowly drizzle in the melted chocolate until it's fully incorporated into the buttercream.
- Beat the frosting on high for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
- If the frosting in too thick, add in 1 tablespoon of cream at a time to thin it out a bit.
- Frost the cooled cupcakes with chocolate peanut butter buttercream. Then garnish with crushed peanuts and Reese's cups!
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.