Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cupcakes

If you love peanut butter and chocolate (the perfect tantalizing trifecta of creamy, sweet and salty) you will want to try these Reese’s and chocolate cupcakes. They are like candy and cake all in one! Made with our favorite intensely chocolate and super moist cocoa cake, Reese’s Minis, peanut butter chips and dark chocolate chips, all topped with chocolate peanut butter frosting, and then just a drizzle of homemade chocolate sauce, they are sooooo much fun and so good! And what kid (adult or child) doesn’t love a cupcake!

We used to love shipping cakes to our kids’ friends for their birthdays! What could be more fun than opening a package with a … birthday cake inside??? One year, one of their friends requested chocolate peanut butter cake … and not wanting to disappoint, we created this fun cake as a three-layer cake. This is the first time we’ve made the recipe into cupcakes, but we love them so much, we may just forget about a layer cake and run with these perfectly decadent individual servings! What kid, adult or child, doesn’t love a cupcake!

We made the frosting for this batch in two flavors for decorating and to have both plain peanut butter buttercream and chocolate peanut butter buttercream flavors. But, don’t worry, you can make just one batch of peanut buttercream frosting, and then add the cocoa powder after you’ve separated enough to make the little flower top decorations on the tippy top of the cupcake frosting. You will probably need to add just a little extra milk to make the consistency just right after you’ve added the cocoa powder!

The cupcakes can be made ahead of time and either refrigerated or frozen until you’re ready to frost and serve them. You can also make the frosting ahead of time and even store it in the pastry bags in the refrigerator until you’re ready to frost and decorate your cupcakes. Just be sure to bring it to room temperature before piping the frosting onto the cupcakes.

After all of the frosting is done, then you can add a little drizzle of homemade chocolate sauce for that extra pizzazz! Our chocolate sauce recipe is below and whatever extra you have leftover, you can use over ice cream for your next ice cream sundae social!

Here is a little Time Lapse video on how to do the decorations!

Decorating your chocolate peanut butter cupcakes with frosting, Reese’s and baking chips!

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Dark chocolate cake filled with Reese’s Minis, Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips and dark chocolate chips, all covered in chocolate peanut butter buttercream frosting!
Servings 12 Cupcakes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Frosting Time 10 mins

Equipment

  • 2 Pastry bags
  • 1 #824 open star cake decorating tip and complementary coupler
  • 1 small open star #32 cake decorating tip and complementary coupler

Ingredients

Dark Chocolate Cocoa Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder we like Dutch processed cocoa powder for this recipe
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips we like Ghirardelli’s 60% cacao or Guittard’s coconut sugar sweetened dark chocolate chips
  • 36 Reese’s minis unwrapped, divided (keep 12 whole and cut 24 of them in halves.) if you cannot find minis, the regular small Reese’s will do and you can just cut them into fourths.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 4 oz. unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. milk or cream +/- you may need to add a little extra milk, or a little extra sifted powdered sugar to get to just the right piping consistency.

Chocolate Sauce

  • 6 oz. dark chocolate chips, or chopped dark chocolate about 1 cup
  • 2 tbsp. light agave syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 +/- hot water

Instructions

Dark Chocolate Cocoa Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 12 muffin tin with paper cupcake liners. Lightly spray the inside of the liners with cooking spray.
  • Place dries (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt) in a large mixing bowl. Mix well with a wire whisk.
  • Slowly stir in cold water and mix well. Then add oil and mix until incorporated. Finally, add the vanilla and blend in well.
  • Evenly pour the batter into the prepared cupcake liners.
  • Drop 2-3 Reese‘s halves into the center of each cupcake and then sprinkle the dark chocolate chips and the peanut butter chips over the top of the cupcake.
  • Bake for approximately 14-16 minutes, or until the cake seems set in the middle. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
  • You can make the cupcakes ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze them until you are ready to frost and serve them.
  • When you’re ready to frost them, use the #824 large open star tip to cover the cupcake with a beautiful swirl of the chocolate peanut butter buttercream frosting. Then using the smaller #32 open star tip, make a cute little star right in the center of the chocolate frosting with the peanut butter buttercream. This gives a nice contrast and makes them look so festive.
  • Finally, place a whole Reese’s mini right in the center of the lighter colored peanut butter buttercream frosting and drizzle a little bit of chocolate sauce over the top of the cupcake. Now you’re ready to dive in and enjoy these luscious treats! 🧁

Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

  • Place the butter into the bowl of your standing mixer and beat on medium high speed for about 3 minutes, or until the butter is very light colored and creamy. Add the creamy peanut butter and blend well.
  • Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time and beat after each addition, alternating with the milk (or cream). You may not need all of the liquid, but save it for the next step. When you have the consistency you want for the peanut butter buttercream, take a couple of large serving spoons and move it to a pastry bag fitted with the small #32 open star tip and couples.
  • Now, add the cocoa powder to the frosting left in the mixer and beat on low speed to integrate. Note* you want to do this slowly, or you will have cocoa powder all over the kitchen!
  • Once the cocoa powder is integrated, add a little more milk (or cream) to arrive at the consistency you want for frosting. If you need to add more sugar or more liquid, that is just fine. Different butters have different moisture content and when you add the cocoa powder, you might need more liquid.
  • When the chocolate peanut butter buttercream is ready, spoon that into the pastry bag with the large #824 open star tip. Now you are ready to decorate your cupcakes. You can also make the frosting in advance and keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to frost the cupcakes. Just remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temp before piping onto the cupcakes.

Chocolate Sauce

  • Place chocolate chips along with agave and vanilla in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until the chocolate is melted. Now add the hot water, just about 2 tablespoons at time, whisking all the while, until you have a chocolate sauce consistency that you can drizzle onto the cupcakes or over ice cream! This keeps really well for a week or two and you can just reheat it when you’re ready for a sundae!
Course: Dessert
Keyword: chocolate peanut butter cupcakes, dark chocolate, Reese’s chocolate cupcakes, Reese’s peanut butter cups

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