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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Chocolate peanut butter cupcakes are every peanut butter lover’s dream!

These chocolate peanut butter cupcakes are light and fluffy, and deliciously creamy! They are rich, full of flavor and perfectly balanced, with just the right amount of fine sea salt to compliment the chocolate and peanut butter. Best of all, they will make you nostalgic for your favorite chocolate peanut butter cup! If you haven’t tried them, I personally prefer Trader Joe’s chocolate peanut butter cups over Reese’s!

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The chocolate cupcakes

If you enjoyed my Chocolate Cupcakes with Mocha & Espresso Buttercream, you are sure to love these cupcakes just as much! While you might say that peanut butter is the star of this cupcake, the cake is so good, you could eat it on its own!

What makes this peanut butter buttercream unique

The golden (cane) syrup used in this recipe is thick and buttery and adds a caramelized, honey-like sweetness to enhance the buttercream.

Cane syrup being poured into the bowl of a stand mixer containing butter and peanut butter

This peanut butter buttercream calls for unsalted peanut butter to better control the salt level. Unsalted peanut butter can sometimes be hard to find in a grocery store, but if you need to buy it in a pinch, opt for the lowest sodium you can find (and omit the added salt from the recipe). For baking, I use Haddar’s, All-Natural Pure Creamy Peanut Butter that can easily be ordered on Amazon.

Equipment needed for these chocolate peanut butter cupcakes

  • (2) sets of cupcake tins with paper liners or if you only have one, you can split the batter in half and bake them back-to-back.
  • Normally I would recommend using a piping bag to frost the cupcakes, but since this buttercream is so thick, it is easier to frost them using an offset spatula,

Prepare in advance – Note that this recipe makes 24 cupcakes!

  • Measure and set out all ingredients ahead of time.
  • Set out the following ingredients to bring to room temperature:
    • 180 ML whole milk
    • 180 g full-fat sour cream
    • 438 g unsalted butter
    • 4 large eggs
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

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  • Author: Amy @ The Pastry Blog
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 24 cupcakes 1x


Note: This recipe makes 24 cupcakes! To make one dozen, cut the ingredients in half.


Units Scale

For the chocolate cupcakes:

  • 180 ml whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 300 g unbleached all purpose flour
  • 70 g dark dutched proccessed cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 226 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 400 g granulated sugar
  • 180 g full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs (200 g), at room temperature
  • 60 ml hot espresso
  • 60 ml hot water

For the peanut butter buttercream:

  • 213 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 244 g unsalted peanut butter
  • 114 g Lyle’s Golden Syrup (cane syrup)
  • 1/3 tsp fine sea salt
  • 700 g confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 5 tbsp whole milk
  • 1/3 tsp pure vanilla extract


For the chocolate cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F and line (2) cupcake tins with paper liners.
  • Combine the milk and vanilla, set aside.
  • Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the sour cream, mixing until fully incorporated.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated after each addition.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated – do not overmix!
  • Add the boiling water and hot espresso and mix until incorporated.
  • Remove the mixing bowl from the stand and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, being sure to incorporate any hiding ingredients.
  • Divide the batter evenly into (2) cupcake tins (or bake half at a time) and bake at 350°F for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

For the peanut butter buttercream:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, cream the butter, peanut butter, golden syrup and salt on medium speed until combined.
  • Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the confectioner’s sugar, alternately adding the whole milk 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to keep the buttercream soft and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla and mix until just combined.
  • Using an off-set spatula or butter knife, evenly frost the chocolate cupcakes with the peanut butter buttercream. These cupcakes are best stored at room temperature in an airtight container!
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18-20 minutes

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