Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

CATEGORIES: Cakes and Cupcakes, Kate

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. Enter Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes.

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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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes


Along with a great cupcake base, the unique frosting combination on top really makes these shine!


For the Cupcakes

  • 1 Duncan Hines yellow or white cake mix
  • 1 cup sour cream (full-fat or light, but not fat-free)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 24 unwrapped mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

For the Chocolate Frosting

  • 1/4 cup melted butter (real butter, not margarine)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 pound powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup real butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 23 tablespoons (or more) of milk (you can use some of the leftover evaporated milk; it’s awesome in this frosting)


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the cupcake ingredients except for the peanut butter cups with an electric mixer on medium-low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl frequently. Turn the speed to high and beat for another 3 minutes.
  3. Fill each muffin cup about 1/2 full with batter. Top with an unwrapped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup , then fill the muffin cups with the remaining batter. Make sure the Peanut Butter Cups are covered and the cups are about 3/4 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the tops are golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  4. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frostings. For both frostings, just combine all the ingredients for each one and whip until light and fluffy, adding additional milk as needed. Frost the cupcakes with the swirled frosting in tutorial linked to below.

Use this tutorial to frost your cupcakes!




  1. I’ve been trying to think of a reason NOT to make cupcakes for an upcoming BBQ (me+cupcakes=totally predictable). Buttttt this didn’t help the case. Being a chocoholic I kinda want to do chocolate cupcakes. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

  2. Why not do a peanut butter flavored cupcake with a jelly-filling…and whatever frosting flavor you’d like?

  3. My mouth watered when I saw the name of this recipe and it’s perfect timing because my husband’s birthday is right around the corner and guess what his favorite candy is?

    I have one change; I am a mad addict of the dark chocolate reese’s. I found the minis a little while ago and horded them like a crazed squirrel so I could chunk them in the food processor and mix it in place of the cadbury eggs in your cadbury egg cookies, which happens to be a family staple. I think I’m going to put those in there.

    But anyways, the real point to my comment…let’s say someone can’t have sour cream (someone who strangely resembles me). What would you suggest as a substitute?

          1. Oh dear…now that I know that there might be a crazy bake off at my house. I have SO many recipes I want to try, but haven’t because of the sour cream.

  4. I, too, have been trying to come up with an idea for PB & J cupcakes. In my mind what I’d do is have jelly-filled vanilla cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. But of COURSE peanut butter and chocolate is even better (writes the lady with chocolate-PB brownies cooling in a pan). 🙂

    1. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around these because of the peanut butter and jelly muffins I made – peanut butter batter with a dollop of strawberry jam baked inside. Those were greasy and slight salty and quite unlike these in every way. But when I force myself to forget those…let’s just say I wish my husband (and therefore children) were bigger chocolate-and-peanut-butter fans, because these would be so much fun to make!

  5. making these for my son’s b-day this weekend…only with Chocolate cake mix, and MM’s on top…b/c that’s what he requested : )

  6. I actually made PB & J cupcakes for my son’s second birthday this year. They were really tasty! I made a basic vanilla cupcake, took out a core of it, and put a dollop of grape jelly in the center(I bought the squeeze bottle, low sugar kind and it worked excellent!),replaced the core, topped with pb frosting. I made a little well at the top of my frosting to put another small dollop of jelly so that you could tell what kind of cupcakes they were.

    They weren’t anything too special to look at, but they tasted really good. In fact, I got a lot more compliments on them rather than the “hot fudge sundae” cupcakes I made, which looked a lot cooler, but didn’t have as special of a flavor. 🙂

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