Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes are the bees’ knees! Don’t miss this incredible, classic combination in cake form.


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Today is my darling mother’s birthday. And it’s also my birthday. How cool is that?

There’s a very low probability that a child will share a birthday with one of his or her parents, so I’m pretty lucky to share this day with her.

So far, I’ve had a great day with lots of lovely wishes from friends and family, and tonight I’m headed to dinner with my mom. Happy birthday to us, Mom!

This day of birthdays seemed as good a day as any to share my favorite cake. I love peanut butter and chocolate together. That combination is the best.

My friend Heidi knows this, because she made me a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing for my birthday two years ago.

She topped it with, like, 17 kinds of chocolate peanut butter candies. (OK, maybe I’m exaggerating. It was only, like, three. Or four.) And it was incredible.

Before this cake, I had never considered putting these flavors together in a cake. I’ve been itching to make one ever since I got off the amazing year-long sugar high that Heidi’s cake gave me.

So, I tried to mimic Heidi’s genius by making this cake for a friend’s birthday a while back. I made it again recently for another friend, as cupcakes this time.

It works beautifully both ways. It’s so good, you guys. The cake is so rich and decadent, and the frosting — oh, the frosting. It’s to die for. You can go crunchy or creamy with the frosting, too, depending on your preference.

Then for the toppings, you can add all your favorite peanut butter candies. Reese’s Cups, Reese’s Pieces, Snickers, Butterfinger, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips — you name it! You can even add homemade sprinkles.

If you like chocolate and peanut butter together as much as I do, you’ll love this recipe!

The Best Cake Ever Award probably still goes to Heidi, but this recipe comes pretty darn close. Let me know what you think! // susannah

chocolate peanut butter cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Whoever thought to put chocolate with peanut butter is a genius, and these cupcakes are proof!


Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips 

Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (substitute almond extract for nuttier flavor)
  • Chocolate peanut butter candies, optional (see note)


  1. Make the cupcakes. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the eggs, buttermilk, water, oil and vanilla. Fold in the chocolate. (If not using chocolate chips, chop the chocolate into fine pieces.)
  3. Fill the cupcakes 2/3 of the way with batter. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking time. Let cakes cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  4. Make the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and peanut butter on medium speed until smooth.
  5. Add the confectioner's sugar, half-and-half and vanilla or almond extract. Continue beating for about 3 minutes, until the frosting is light and creamy.
  6. Use frosting at room temperature. It will keep for up to three days, or it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. If refrigerated, it will need to warm up to room temperature and re-whipped before using.
  7. Frost cupcakes. Decorate cupcakes with chocolate peanut butter candies.


Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cakes One Bowl Chocolate Cake and Vintage Cakes Peanut Butter Frosting Recipe

For the toppings, I recommend a combination of chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, peanut butter cups, Snickers, Butterfingers, Reese's Pieces or Peanut Butter M&M's

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 272Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 217mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 2gSugar: 26gProtein: 5g

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  1. Marilyn says

    My birthday isn’t ’till September. My daughter’s birthday is in September too… she wasn’t born on the same day, but I went into labour on my birthday (hers is two days later)– does that count? AND peanut butter and chocolate are probably my favourite flavours ever. I think I have to make this. Thanks for sharing!

    • Susannah says

      Marilyn, I think it definitely does count! How special, indeed. I hope you try the cupcakes and let me know what you think!

  2. Margaret Cowley says

    Looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it. Have just made a caramel, chocolate, and peanut butter fridge cake with an Oreo base for a friend’s birthday tomorrow. Can’t wait to try that either.

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