dark chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

by Amy on 7 October 2010

i can be pretty picky when it comes to sweets + desserts. most evenings i would rather have another helping of dinner or a handful of a salty snack instead of something sweet. i occasionally do fall in love with a dessert, + when i do, it is almost always something small, yet rich + decadent.

i came across the Brown Eyed Baker’s blog the other day + her ode to chocolate + peanut butter got my attention immediately, as that is one of the dessert flavor combinations that i adore. peanut butter + chocolate = perfection! we were going out to celebrate a friend’s birthday that evening, + i thought that these cupcakes would be a wonderful treat for the birthday girl. what says happy birthday better than peanut butter + chocolate? not much!

since i tend to prefer sweets that are small in size but powerful in flavor,  i altered the recipe to create mini-cupcakes instead of the standard size that the original recipe made. they turned out amazing – rich + flavorful cupcakes with a creamy, decadent frosting, all in the perfect size for someone who just wants a little something sweet after a great meal. if you’re looking for an amazing dessert, look no further – these are chocolaty, peanut buttery perfection!

dark chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

makes about 30 mini-cupcakes or 12 standard size cupcakes, from brown eyed baker,
cupcake recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, frosting recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home.

dark chocolate cupcakes


8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
¾ cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon table salt
½ cup (4 ounces) sour cream


adjust oven rack to lower-middle position + preheat to 350 degrees. (if using a non-stick muffin pan, heat the oven to 325 degrees.) line mini-muffin pan with baking cup liners.

combine butter, chocolate, + cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter + chocolate are melted + whisk until smooth + combined. set aside to cool until just warm to the touch.

whisk flour, baking soda + baking powder in small bowl to combine. whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine. add sugar, vanilla + salt until fully incorporated. add cooled chocolate mixture, whisk until combined.

sift about 1/3 of flour mixture over chocolate mixture + whisk until combined, then whisk in sour cream. sift in remaining flour mixture + whisk until batter is homogeneous + thick.

divide the batter evenly among muffin cups. bake until toothpick inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, about 12-14 minutes.

cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes, then transfer each cupcake to cooling rack. cool to room temperature before icing.

peanut butter frosting


1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream


place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla + salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. add the cream + beat on high speed until the mixture is light + smooth.

ice the cupcakes using a piping bag + the tip of your choice. i used a medium-size star tip to get the swirl appearance on the frosting.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker October 7, 2010 at 10:48 am

I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed these cupcakes, that frosting is one of my all-time favorites! Happy belated birthday to your friend! :)

2 amy October 7, 2010 at 11:07 am

thanks so much, michelle! the recipe was wonderful so i appreciate you sharing it. =)

3 samantha janney October 7, 2010 at 11:16 am

Amy – I love what you have created here! What a beautiful site! Congratulations….and now I’m going to love me some peanut butter cupcakes. These are spectacular looking.

4 amy October 7, 2010 at 11:54 am

aww, thanks sam. my cupcake frosting skills still need some help, but these did turn out surprisingly pretty. =)

5 Bruce Barone October 7, 2010 at 11:58 am


Does this get served with a Chocolate Martini?

6 amy October 7, 2010 at 2:26 pm

i like the way you think, bruce!

7 Mollie January 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I’ve made these twice and they were a huge hit both times! I love chocolate and PB together, it’s the world’s greatest food combo!!

8 amy January 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm

i agree – there are few flavor combinations as delicious as chocolate + peanut butter. i think i’m going to make a choco/p.b. cake soon – get excited! =D

9 MELISA May 3, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I am making a chocolate fudge cake, double layer, putting the peanut butter frosting in between & frosting the top with chocolte fudge icing, piping some of the peanut butter frosting around the edges & sprinkling crushed peants all over the top!….yummy!

10 amy May 5, 2011 at 4:53 pm

whoa, sounds amazing! i’d love to see pics of that yummy creation once it’s done! =)

11 Rachel @ The Avid Appetite January 24, 2012 at 11:32 am

somehow I missed the memo that it’s PB Day! Oh well, I can now live vicariously through your yummy cupcakes! I want one! (or five).

12 amy January 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm

ha! i missed the memo, too, until i saw it on twitter. as if i need another excuse to crave peanut butter, right?!

13 Amy L January 25, 2012 at 11:29 pm

I’ve actually never made a peanut butter icing before~ I’ve also never tried making a frosting using both cream and butter together. I think I’ll try this!

14 amy January 26, 2012 at 8:25 am

if you like peanut butter, you’ll loooove this frosting. it is so insanely good. i’ve brought these cupcakes to probably 5 parties in the last year + they’ve always been a huge hit – especially the frosting! happy baking!

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