Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

If a peanut butter cup could morph into a cupcake, this would be it!  This is one of my favorite cupcakes of all time. I love anything with peanut butter and chocolate, and this cupcake combines them perfectly.  A moist, dark chocolate cupcake is topped with a fluffy peanut butter frosting and garnished with a peanut butter cup. Doesn’t get much better than that!


For the cupcakes:
1 ¾ cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
¾ cup Hershey’s Cocoa Special Dark
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup hot water

For the frosting:
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups peanut butter
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream

12 peanut butter cups, cut in half


Step 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add the milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the hot water and beat at low speed until combined.

Step 2. Fill 2 paper lined cupcake trays (12 cupcakes in each tray) about ¾ full. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the trays. Let cool completely.

Step 3: Make the frosting! Beat the butter on medium speed with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds, then add the peanut butter and beat for an additional 30 seconds. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until fully combined, about a minute.  Beat in the vanilla extract. Gradually add the heavy cream, a little bit at a times, and continue to beat for an additional minute, or until frosting is a desired consistency.

Step 4: Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. If you do not have a pastry bag, you can fill a Ziplock bag with frosting, cut the tip off one of the bottom corners of the bag, and pipe the frosting onto the cupcake. Or just take a knife and generously smear it on! Gently wedge half a peanut butter cup into the frosting on the side of the cupcake.






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