These Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes are my go-to cupcake recipe. They’re rich, dark, and incredibly moist. The Peanut Butter Buttercream on top is the perfect pairing for the dark chocolate flavor.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes - with Chocolate Syrup Drizzle and Chopped Peanuts On top

Even though I’m not solely a baker, I would totally go to that Cupcake Wars show with these Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes. They’ve become my go-to when I need cupcakes for something, whether it’s for a party, to give to a neighbor, or to satisfy a chocolate cupcake craving.

What I love about this recipe is it’s easy to make, and you can use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour. I don’t usually have cake flour on hand, so it’s nice when you can use AP flour and still get an incredibly soft and moist texture.

In fact, the Chocolate Cupcake batter doesn’t have anything out of the ordinary in it, and the peanut butter buttercream only calls for 4 ingredients that you whip together in a bowl.

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe - with Peanut Butter Frosting on Top of Wood Board

The reason I mention that is because usually I’m somewhat of a buttercream snob and prefer to make it without confectioner’s sugar so I can avoid the subtle grittiness that comes with it.

But because the peanut butter is such a big component of the buttercream, it’s much less noticeable, and the buttercream is plenty luscious, light, and smooth.

Or to say it another way: When you put the peanut butter buttercream in a piping bag, you’ll find yourself piping little tastes onto your finger, and think momentarily about piping some into your mouth (real talk, here).

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter buttercream Frosting with Chocolate Syrup Drizzle and Peanuts

Let me show you how to make them!

How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes:

First whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt:

Cocoa Powder and Flour Whisked in Bowl

In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk (I’ve done this successfully with milk or almond milk mixed with a little vinegar), a neutral oil, one egg, and vanilla:

Buttermilk, Eggs, Oil, and Vanilla in Bowl

Add the wet to the dry:

Dry Cocoa Flour Mixture in Bowl Mixed with Wet Ingredients

When the flour is almost incorporated, pause for a moment:

Chocolate Cupcake Batter in Mixing Bowl with Spatula

Add coffee to the mixture, then finish mixing until the flour streaks disappear. The batter will be very thin:

Coffee Mixed Into Chocolate Cupcake Batter in Mixing Bowl with Spatula

Divide evenly into 12 cupcake wells:

Chocolate Cake Batter in Paper Liner Muffin Wells

Bake for 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean:

Chocolate Cupcakes Baked in Muffin Tin

They will be so dark and chocolatey!

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes - on Wooden Board Showing Moist Texture and Dark Color

Let the cupcakes cool, then make the peanut butter buttercream by whipping together butter, confectioner’s sugar, peanut butter, and a little vanilla:

Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting in Mixing Bowl

Pipe the buttercream onto the cooled cupcakes. Then, I like to drizzle a little bit of chocolate syrup on top and add chopped peanuts for garnish, but it’s totally optional.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting on Top on Wood Board

Everything is so soft and tender, and the peanut butter buttercream is OH so smooth:

Chocolate Cupcake with Bite Taken to Show Fluffy Interior

Enjoy!

More Chocolate Dessert Recipes:

Irish Cream Cupcakes with Caramelized White Chocolate Buttercream

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Coconut Oil Brownies

Salted Caramel Chocolate Ganache Tart

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies from Love from the Oven

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Syrup Drizzle and Chopped Peanuts On top

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

These Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes are my go-to cupcake recipe! They’re rich, dark, and insanely moist. The Peanut Butter Buttercream on top is the perfect pairing, and only has 4 ingredients.
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Ingredients

For the cupcakes::

  • 3.75 oz all purpose flour, by weight (3/4 cup, measured)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup whole buttermilk*
  • 1/4 cup oil**
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coffee
  • chocolate syrup for drizzling, optional
  • chopped peanuts for garnish, optional

For the peanut butter buttercream::

  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 5 oz confectioner's sugar, by weight (1 cup, measured)
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  • Whisk to combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, whisk to combine the buttermilk, grapeseed oil, egg, and vanilla. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry while stirring, and before the flour has disappeared into the batter, stir in the coffee. It will make the batter quite thin. Evenly divide the batter into the 12 muffin cups, but make sure they are no more than 3/4 full.
  • Bake for 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool on a wire rack completely.
  • To make the buttercream, beat all buttercream ingredients in a bowl until smooth and blended, about 3 minutes on high speed.
  • Pipe on the buttercream as desired. Optional: drizzle with chocolate syrup, and sprinkle on some chopped peanuts. Enjoy!

Notes

*I’ve successfully substituted 1/2 cup milk or almond milk mixed with 1 teaspoon white vinegar.
**Any neutral oil works, such as sunflower, canola, grapeseed, etc

Nutrition

Calories: 427kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 57mg, Sodium: 240mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 29g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting (Video):

 

Post updated in July 2018 with new photos, writing, and a video. Originally published October 2011