I’ve been trying to get my brain around the idea of peanut butter and jelly cupcakes for awhile now. I’ve agonized over the hows and whys in my mind–where the jelly would go, what kind of jelly I would use, what flavor of cupcakes, yada yada yada. And then, out of nowhere as I was lying in bed awake and hungry, the simple solution came to me: why use jelly when you can use chocolate? I think that rule can pretty much be applied to all areas of life. Honestly, I’m kind of shocked it’s taken me this long to come up with this one–it’s not like no one’s ever put peanut butter and chocolate together.

I really am not  much of a semi-homemade kind of girl–I really do make almost everything from scratch. But when it comes to cupcakes, doctored-up cake mix cupcakes really are my favorite way to go. They’re quick, easy, delicious, and fail-proof, regardless of elevation, humidity, or political affiliation. My only snobbery when it comes to doctoring up cake mixes is that I will only use Duncan Hines cake mixes (and they don’t even pay me to say that…in fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve never had a conversation with anyone affiliated with Duncan Hines). You’ll need a white or yellow Duncan Hines cake mix as well as canola oil, 3 eggs, sour cream, vanilla, small Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and peanut butter.

Preheat your oven to 350 and line 2 12-opening muffin tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Combine all the ingredients except the peanut butter cups in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium-low for 30 seconds, scraping the bottom and sides often, then beat on high for 3 minutes.

Fill each cupcake liner about 1/3 full with cupcake batter. Top with an unwrapped mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup,

and then top the Peanut Butter Cups with the remaining batter. You want to make sure that the candy is covered and the liner is about 3/4 full.

Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until they are golden on top.

Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling, you’ll want to get the frostings ready. Yep, that would be “frostings.” Plural.  It’s hot and Friday and the end of summer and your kids are fighting–I promise, you need frostings. For these cupcakes, I used the peanut butter frosting from these cookies and then the chocolate frosting from the infamous Tim Riggins Brownies.

Why that chocolate frosting, you ask? Mostly because between that frosting, this one, and this one, Mr. Riggins’ frosting is the quickest, easiest, and I always have those ingredients. Plus, the Old-Fashioned Chocolate Frosting is awesome, but it totally deserves to be the star of its own show rather than in an ensemble production, you know?

When the cupcakes have cooled completely, use this tutorial to frost your cupcakes. Squeeze a dollop of remaining frosting onto your finger, lick it, and ponder the wonder of the forthcoming school year, then pour a few glasses of milk and watch your kids ponder the wonder of you and your awesome cupcakes.

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