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. These look amazing! Could you use a chocolate or devils food cake mix instead? One of our family favorites is a devils food cake topped with peanut butter chocolate frosting. Since your frosting looks super cool, I think I might give it a whirl!

  2. These look so amazing! Feeling VERY sorry for myself that not only are Duncan Hines cake mixes not available here in the Netherlands…but neither are Reeses peanut butter cups of ANY kind, let alone these cute, small ones! I’ll have to live vicariously through your blog and imagine myself having one of these for dessert this evening!

    1. Your comment makes me extremely sad! You should provide your mailing address so us US foodies can send you the ingredients you can’t get your hands on! 🙂

  3. Seeing as how I have been craving peanut butter during my pregnancy (18 1/2 weeks along), I will be making these this weekend!!! Thanks for the pb fix! By the way, your cookbook and recipes from your website ROCK!

  4. These look so good. At first I read it as: Top with an UNWANTED mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, and I was thinking What??? Who would not want a Reese PBC? I have so many upcoming occassions to make this for, but I think I will make it just because it is Friday and I took my last final for the semester.

  5. Mindi, you can totally use plain yogurt–I’d recommend high-quality fat free plain Greek yogurt (I’m not impressed with the Yoplait or Dannon Greek yogurts).

    As far as Duncan Hines goes, I’ve just found the cake mixes from Betty Crocker and Pillsbury to both be dry and flavorless, even when they’re doctored up. When you doctor up a Duncan Hines cake mix, it ends up tasting and feeling like something from a high-end bakery.

  6. These sound delicious, but I always try to substitute healthier options if I can (I know they are cupcakes, so essentially unhealthy, but I try…). So can you use plain yogurt in place of the sour cream? And why do you only use duncan hines?

  7. I am going to make these for my husbands birthday next week! I have been looking up lots of cupcake recipes and these are simple enough for my son (2.5yrs) to help me. We bake constantly! My husband LOVES peanutbutter and chcolate. I may have to make them with a chocolate cupcake batter though 😉

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