What’s more delicious than some rich and delicious chocolate cupcakes? Well, nothing really. But adding some peanut butter to the mix is reeeeeally close! My chocolate cupcakes are by far my most requested (recipe coming soon!), but I decided to have a little fun with them and add a peanut butter spin on them. With an extra large swirl of peanut butter cream cheese buttercream, these Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes were an experiment gone RIGHT!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Secret Ingredients
Let’s jump right in! For this, you’ll need your basics: flour, sugar, butter, etc. You know, the stuff that goes in pretty much every cake. But there are a few things that make these cakes extra special and delicious.
- The cocoa. I use Hershey’s Special Dark. It provides SUCH an intense chocolatey flavor.
- Powdered peanut butter. You can usually find it in the health food section (LOL)
- Hot, strong coffee. But not just any coffee. I only use HEB’s Cafe Ole Snickernut Cookie blend. It adds a little extra magic that a typical blend doesn’t have.
So a little bit about this PB2 Powdered peanut butter (paid link). It’s fluffy powder, but it an actually be used as regular peanut butter (and it tastes really good!). I’ve used it on toast, sandwiches, smoothies, oatmeal… pretty much everywhere you’d used peanut butter. It’s much lower in fat and calories but still tastes delicious. But today, we’re going to forget about all that healthy stuff and INDULGE!
Mixing the Peanut Butter Chocolate Batter
Start with all the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, peanut butter, baking soda, baking powder, and salt) and mix together. Tip: Sift everything. First, it gets rid of all the clumps. No one like clumpy batter. Second (and most important), it incorporates air into the ingredients, which helps create a light, fluffy cake. Once those are all mixed together, set aside.
In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, mix the butter on high until smooth and creamy. As always, make sure the butter is room temperature. This will help all the ingredients to mix together nicely. Add the sugar and continue to mix on high for a couple minutes. The butter and sugar will get very light and fluffy. This is good! Air is being whipped into the mix and will continue to add to the light and fluffy cake later. Add the eggs, vanilla, and peanut butter oil. Mix throughly.
After all those ingredients have been all whipped up, reduce speed to low and add spoonfuls of the dry mixture a little at a time. Alternate dry mix/milk in few portions until everything is all mixed. Don’t get impatient and turn up the speed. Low speed is important so gluten doesn’t overdevelop and create a tough cake.
After the dry mix and milk is all mixed it, slooooowly pour in the HOT coffee as the mixer continues to mix on low. Coffee really intensifies the chocolate flavor and adds a little special *pow* to the taste. It does not, however, add coffee flavor. They won’t taste like a mocha cake.
Note: The peanut butter flavor in the cakes is on the subtler side, but it’s there for sure. But just wait until we add the frosting. It’ll REALLY pop then.
You might have to stop the mixer and finish by hand just to make sure eeeeeeverything gets all mixed in. The batter will be on the thinner side. It’ll be a rich, luxe, fudgey batter. Try not to just eat it by the spoonful. You’ll want to.
Fill the cupcake liners a little more than halfway (you’ll get plenty of rise out of these) and bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when tested on the cake. My oven is pretty dead on at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and mine baked to perfection at exactly 15 minutes. When the cupcakes are finished, let them cool completely before frosting. No one wants to see their beautifully piped frosting slide off the cake! (I mean, it’ll still taste good though).
The Peanut Butter Buttercream
I went back and forth on this one. Regular American buttercream or cream cheese buttercream? I eventually settled on cream cheese buttercream, and BOY and I glad I did. Super easy, super creamy, SUPER DELICIOUS.
Get that whisk attachment back out and cream together the butter and cream cheese. I always use room temperature butter, but any time I used cream cheese, it’s usually cold, and it works great. Sometimes, the buttercream is TOO loose when the cream cheese is room temperature.
Sift together the powdered sugar and peanut butter, and slowly add it to the mixer. Medium speed works fine. Otherwise you’ll end of with a mushroom cloud of sugar.
Learn from my mistakes. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I normally add the milk one tablespoon at a time periodically while the sugar is mixing in just to help it along. If you wait until the end, I’ve found that the buttercream can get toooo thick and clumpy. Add in the vanilla extract at some point during the mixing (it honestly doesn’t matter when).
Put it in a piping bag, swirl it on up, add some mini chips or chocolate sprinkles, and people will think they came straight from a bakery.
And that’s it! Feels like a lot of stuff, but it’s worth EVERY. DELICIOUS. BITE.
So grab a glass of ice cold milk and sink your teeth into these Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes. Enjoy!
While you’re here, these cupcakes out for a little variety:
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes
For the cake
- 400 grams granulated sugar
- 1 cup butter 2 sticks (226 grams)
- 2 eggs
- 300 grams All purpose flour
- 50 grams powdered peanut butter
- 100 grams baking cocoa I use Hershey's Special Dark
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 dram LorAnn peanut butter oil
- 1 cup milk full fat
- 1 1/4 cup hot coffee extra strong
For the buttercream
- 1/2 cup butter 1 stick (113 grams)
- 8 ounce cream cheese 1 block (226 grams)
- 3-4 tbsp whole milk
- 500 grams powdered sugar
- 100 grams powdered peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- In a large bowl, mix flour, baking cocoa, peanut butter, (all sifted), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, mix the room temperature butter on high speed until creamy (about 2 minutes). Add granulated sugar and continue mixing until creamy and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add vanilla and peanut butter oil.
- Reduce speed to the lowest setting. Spoon in dry mixture a little at a time. Alternate with milk until all of the dry mixture and milk is completely mixed in.
- While the mixer is mixing on the lowest setting, slowly pour in the hot coffee until all mixed in. Do not overmix. You may have to stop the mixer an finish by hand so everything thoroughly incorporates.
- Fill cupcake liners a little more than halfway. This batter should make 36 cupcakes.
- Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. or until the cupcakes pass the "toothpick" test.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely on cooling rack before frosting.
For the buttercream
- Mix together sifted powdered sugar and powdered peanut butter.
- In a stand mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth.
- A little at a time, add spoonfuls of the dry mixture to the stand mixer (on medium speed).
- Add 2-3 of the tablespoons of milk one at a time in between portions of dry mixture. After all of the dry mixture is added, add another 1-2 tablespoons of milk if needed. At some point during the mixing process, add the vanilla.
- After cupcakes are cooled completely, frost the cupcakes with your desired frosting method. Top with chocolate sprinkles or mini chocolate chips for some added texture and visual appeal. Enjoy!