The blending of a rich dark chocolate cake and the creamy deliciousness of peanut butter frosting makes for the most amazing Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes in the world. If you love chocolate and peanut butter (and who doesn’t), you’re gonna go bonkers over this outrageous sweet snack. There’s even a little peanut butter surprise tucked in the middle of this wonder.
With all my heart, I love surprises! My husband taking me on a long road trip to pick up a “surprise” golden-doodle puppy a few years back. My daughter organizing a “surprise” jazz concert on the steps of the MET in NYC for my 50th. Going to bed with a terribly messy kitchen after a long hard day of cooking and photographing and waking up to a clean one that my husband “surprised” me with. Sweet surprises … they’re the absolute best!
When you bite into one of these Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes, a little Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup surprise awaits you on the inside. You’d never know it looking on the outside but stashed away in this chocolatey delight is a creamy peanut butter filling that makes these so addictive you’ll never be able to eat just one.
How to make these simple Cupcakes:
Baking is different than cooking. Baking is definitely more of science whereas cooking is more of an art. That’s why it is important to follow the recipe. With cooking, you can throw a little of this in, throw a little of that and, voila, you have a beautifully prepared dish. Baking not so much.
#1 – Combining the Dry Ingredients
Why should the dry ingredients be whisked together separately from the wet ones? There are many components that go into baking a cake or making cookies. And in order to get the raising agents (baking soda and baking powder), salt, sugar, flour, and cocoa powder evenly distributed throughout the batter, they need to be combined independently from the wet ingredients.
#2 Adding the Dry Ingredients to the Combined Wet Ones
Why should the eggs, buttermilk, and coffee be at room temperature? Room-temperature ingredients bond together easier and make for a more uniform texture which produces lighter and fluffier baked goods. Also, adding hot coffee can cook the eggs a bit.
It requires some patience. Place the hot coffee in the refrigerator while you take out the eggs and buttermilk and let them sit for 20-30 minutes.
Why buttermilk instead of whole milk? The acidity in buttermilk plays and important roll in softening gluten giving the cupcake a more tender texture with extra body. This tangy secret adds depth and complexity to the baked goods.
Why you should use higher quality products like pure vanilla extract and cocoa powder. In my opinion, when it comes to vanilla, always grab the pure vanilla extract (sorry, not pictured above). I get that it comes with a hefty price tag. But with some products, you tend to get what you pay for. Pure vanilla extract gives baked goods a fully infused and rich flavor that imitation just can give.
If you want rich, dark chocolate cupcakes, buy a name-brand cocoa powder (like Ghirardelli, Hershey’s, or Hershey’s Special Dark). I purchased an off-brand recently and ended up throwing it out because there was no color to it.
Why is there coffee in this batter? Coffee enhances the chocolate flavor without leaving a taste of coffee. Using a really strong cup of coffee will create deep dark results in the cupcake itself.
Why you should not over-mix the batter? Once the flour is hydrated, the more it is mixed, the tougher the finished cupcake will be, resulting in a dense, chewy one. Mix the batter just until all of the ingredients are combined. At the point when you no longer see streaks of flour, stop mixing.
#3 Getting the best results when baking these peanut butter stuffed cupcakes
Why you should not overfill the cupcake liners. Normally you should fill the liners about 2/3 full, but because I added the miniature Reese’s cups, I decreased it to 1/2 full. When they were baked together, they ended up coming out of the oven perfectly domed.
You can see in the photo below I pressed Reese’s cups down into the middle of the batter only until it was level with the batter. If you press it all the way down, it can easily burn on the bottom. The batter will swell up around the cup.
Why you should not peek while the cupcakes are baking. Once the muffin tin goes into the oven, don’t continually open the oven door to check on them. Give it about 12-13 minutes before you begin checking to see how they’re doing. Otherwise, it will release heat and mess with the baking times. Also, if you slam the door early on when baking, you could end up with dense fallen cupcakes.
Baking times vary from oven to oven. The true test comes from using a toothpick. Normally you would insert it into the center of the cupcake and draw it out. If it comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. But because we added the Reese’s cups in the middle, checking the doneness comes from inserting the toothpick on the outer rim.
Why you should not leave the cupcakes in the pan while cooling. The cupcakes will continue to cook in the hot pan and dry out if you leave them in. Let them cool for a minute and use a butter knife, sliding it down the side of the pan outside the liner and gently raise up the cupcake until you can grab it easily. I use a wire baking rack to completely cool the cupcakes before frosting.
How to make the icing and Frost the Cupcakes:
#1 Combining the Peanut Butter Frosting Ingredients
Why it’s best to cream the butter and the peanut butter before adding the additional ingredients. The fats need to be creamy and without lumps in order to end with a nice smooth frosting. You don’t want to taste chunks of butter when you bite into the cupcake. Start with a softened cube of butter and beat it with the peanut butter until both are incorporated together.
Why it’s best to add the powdered sugar and vanilla first and lastly the half and half. Once you’ve used the mixer to combine the powdered sugar and vanilla with the butters, you can begin with adding 1/4 cup of the half and half and then little by little until you get the right consistency.
#2 Using a Piping Bag for the Frosting
I used a large piping bag and a large open star tip to get the look of these cupcakes below. Starting from the outside of the cupcake and working toward the center, I squeezed the bag as I swirled around the cupcake making a small mound upward in the center.
The truth is, you can frost them however you like, with a knife for goodness sake. They’re going to be AMAZING no matter how that creamy deliciousness gets on those chocolate delights.
And as if this wasn’t enough, I grabbed a bag of “mini” Reese’s cups and gently pressed each cupcake with one. From the very tip to the bottom of this cupcake, it’s pure decadence.
Irresistibly satisfying and luxuriously rich! This cupcake is a chocolate and peanut butter lover’s dream come true!
If you love this sweet snack recipe, check out these for more goodies:
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Reese’s Surprise
The blending of a rich dark chocolate cake and the creamy deliciousness of peanut butter frosting makes for the most amazing Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake in the world. If you love chocolate and peanut butter (and who doesn’t), you’re gonna go bonkers over this outrageous sweet snack. There’s even a little surprise tucked in the middle of this wonder.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 30 Cupcakes 1x
- Category: Cupcakes
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Baked Goods
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
- 2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2 cups Sugar
- 3/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 Large Eggs (room temperature)
- 1 cup Buttermilk (room temperature)
- 1 cup Cold Strong Coffee
- 1/2 cup Canola Oil
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 28–30 Miniature Reese’s Cups
Peanut Butter Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups Peanut Butter
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter (softened)
- 3 cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/2–3/4 cup Half and Half
- 30 Mini Reese’s Cups
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup cocoa, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk 2 large eggs. Add 1 cup buttermilk, 1 cup cold strong coffee, 1/2 cup canola oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until combined.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, only until combined. Do not overmix.
- Line muffin tins with cupcake liners and fill them 1/2 full with the chocolate batter.
- Press a miniature Reese’s cup into each cupcake lined muffin tin until they are even with the batter.
- Bake in a 350°F oven for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted around the outer edges comes out clean.
- Let the cupcakes cool for one minute and remove them from the pan. Let them cool completely on a wire baking rack.
Peanut Butter Frosting
- In a large mixing bowl, beat 1 stick of softened butter and 1 cup of peanut butter until smooth.
- Add in 3 cups of powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and beat until crumbly.
- Add 1/4 cup half and half and beat with mixer. Continue to add half and half until the consistency is right.
- Frost the cupcakes and garnish with mini Reese’s cups (optional)
- Bring eggs, buttermilk and coffee to room temperature. They will bond easier and make for a more uniform texture that will produce lighter and fluffier baked goods.
- Use buttermilk instead of whole milk. The acidity in buttermilk softens gluten and gives the cupcake a more tender texture with extra body.
- If you want rich, dark chocolate cupcakes, buy a name-brand cocoa powder (like Ghirardelli, Hershey’s, or Hershey’s Special Dark).
- Coffee enhances the chocolate flavor without leaving a taste of coffee. Using a really strong cup of coffee will create deep dark results in the cupcake itself.
- Do not overmix the batter. Resulting in a tougher, more dense and chewy cupcakes. Mix the batter just until all of the ingredients are combined. At the point when you no longer see streaks of flour, stop mixing.
- Normally you should fill the liners about 2/3 full, but because I added the miniature Reese’s cups, I decreased it to 1/2 full.
- Once the muffin tin goes into the oven, don’t continually open the oven door to check on them. Give it about 12-13 minutes before you begin checking.
- The cupcakes will continue to cook in the hot pan and dry out if you leave them in to cool. Let them sit for 1 minute and then remove them from the pans.
- Let the cupcakes completely cool on a wire baking rack before frosting.
- I used a large piping bag and a large open star tip. Starting from the outside of the cupcake and working toward the center, I squeezed the bag as I swirled around the cupcake making a small mound upward in the center.
- Serving Size: 1 Cupcake
- Calories: 415
- Sugar: 34 g
- Sodium: 298 mg
- Fat: 23 g
- Saturated Fat: 8 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 4 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 45 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 9 g
- Cholesterol: 29 mg
Keywords: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Reese's, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes, Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter filling, Chocolate Cupcakes