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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

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These are the Ultimate Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes – and they start with a cake mix! A few adjustments to your favorite box cake gives you an incredibly moist chocolate cupcake that is filled with a peanut butter cup and topped with chocolate peanut butter frosting. THE most requested cupcake for me to take to family parties!

Searching for more sweet treats? Browse the 60+ cakes and cupcakes that inspired my cookbook!

single chocolate cupcake with chocolate peanut butter frosting topped with a Reese's peanut butter cup

Recipe Features

  • Cake Mix Hack: Does this cake work with from scratch chocolate cupcakes? Yes. Does this box mix recipe taste bakery worthy? Also yes.
  • Freezer Friendly: You can make BOTH the cupcakes and the frosting ahead of time and keep stored in the freezer.
  • Family Favorite: These are the most requested treat for me to bring to family functions. And NO ONE knows they are a cake mix.

I have been working on this recipe for a few weeks now. I enlisted the help of a few A+ cake testers, who also happen to be my friends most adorable children, and we have created the BEST chocolate peanut butter cupcakes. They are every Reese’s lovers dream.

This cake is rich, moist, and oh-so chocolaty. The frosting? Rich, creamy and the perfect balance of peanut butter and chocolate. Pair the two with a peanut butter surprise filling and you have got a match made in dessert heaven.

cake mix box on a black marble table top

Reese’s Cupcakes Ingredients

Finding everything you need for these peanut butter cupcakes is a snap, most items you might even already have on hand. Let’s break down everything you need to make these cupcakes:

  • Cake Mix: Pick your favorite chocolate cake mix. Out of pure nostalgia, I reach for Betty Crocker. It’s the cake mix my Grandma would use and never fails.
  • Butter: To help give a little extra richness in the cake, we’re swapping the oil for butter. You will also need this for the frosting.
  • Coffee OR Milk: If you have it on hand, opt for coffee. This doesn’t add any coffee flavor to the cake but does kick the chocolate flavor up 3 notches. You could also use milk in its place if you’re not feeling up to running out for coffee.
  • Eggs: Large eggs at room temperature. This helps to ensure everything mixes evenly without too much work.
  • Sour Cream: The double secret ingredient. This adds a little more moisture and a tiny bit of tang that compliments all of the flavors.

For the Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

  • Peanut Butter Cups: Grab a bag of mini Reese’s while shopping. These go inside the cake as well as serving as a super cute cupcake decoration.
  • Peanut Butter: Creamy peanut butter is going to go inside the frosting.
  • Cocoa Powder: Dutch cocoa will give you a deep, rich, dark chocolate while regular cocoa will give you a lighter flavor profile. Both are equally delicious.
  • Powdered Sugar: Not too much, just enough to give you a dreamy frosting.
  • Vanilla Extract: If possible, always reach for pure vanilla. Artificial vanilla leaves a slight chemical aftertaste that isn’t complimentary to cupcakes.
  • Heavy Cream: Another secret ingredient. Cream is added to the frosting and whipped until light and fluffy. This gives you an insanely delicious, and easy to spread or pipe, frosting consistency.
glass mixing bowl filled with chocolate cake ingredients on a black marble counter

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

These all start with a cake mix and a secret. I’m about to share how I take a boring old box mix and make it taste bakery worthy. Pin, save, and share this recipe because it is GOLD.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line 2 standard cupcake trays with paper liners and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry cake mix, coffee (or milk), melted butter, eggs, and sour cream.
  4. Whisk by hand. or with a handheld mixer, for 2 minutes, or until all of the ingredients are incorporated into each other fully.
  5. Scoop 1 tablespoon of batter into each paper liner.
  6. Top the batter with 1 mini Reese’s cup candy.
  7. Add an additional 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter directly on top of each candy filled liner, until the batter is 2/3 full.
  8. Bake the cupcakes for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the tops are light and bounce back when lightly pressed.
  9. Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Bakers tip: I like to frost my cupcakes with a Wilton 1M tip. This gives you that big beautiful spiral seen in the photos.

Cupcake Tips and FAQs

Can I freeze these cupcakes?

Yes! Bake the cupcakes as directed and allow to cool completely. Place in an airtight freezer safe container or zip top bag and place in the freezer. Frozen cupcakes will last up to 3 months.
When ready to enjoy, allow the cupcakes to come to room temperature and frost.
To freeze the frosting, whip the frosting as directed. Place in a freezer safe container or bag. Freeze.
When ready to use allow the frosting to thaw in the refrigerator. Whip with a mixer to fluff and spread onto your cupcakes.

How long will these cupcakes last?

Cupcakes are best eaten within the first 24 hours. However, you can keep them stored covered at room temperature up to two days.

Can I use this recipe to make a layer cake?

Yes. This cake batter will make a great 9×13 or layer cake. I would recommend leaving the candies out of the cake batter and making the following adjustments to the ingredients:
1 cake mix
1-1/4 cup coffee or milk
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 large eggs

What kind of cake mix should I use?

Use your favorite chocolate cake mix. Just check that the box is 15.25 oz. We enjoy the Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge (not sponsored).

More Cake Mix Recipes:

More Cupcake Recipes:

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Assembly Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

These are the Ultimate Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes – and they start with a cake mix! A few adjustments to your favorite box cake gives you an incredibly moist chocolate cupcake that is filled with a peanut butter cup and topped with chocolate peanut butter frosting. THE most requested cupcake for me to take to family parties!

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 (15.25 oz) box chocolate cake mix
  • 1-1/4 cup coffee or milk
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 3 large eggs*
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 24 mini reeses cups

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions

For the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line 2 standard cupcake trays with paper liners and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry cake mix, coffee (or milk), melted butter, eggs, and sour cream.
  4. Whisk by hand. or with a handheld mixer, for 2 minutes, or until all of the ingredients are incorporated into each other fully.
  5. Scoop 1 tablespoon of batter into each paper liner.
  6. Top the batter with 1 mini Reese’s cup candy.
  7. Add an additional 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter directly on top of each candy filled liner, until the batter is 2/3 full.
  8. Bake the cupcakes for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the tops are light and bounce back when lightly pressed.
  9. Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely before frosting.


For the Frosting:

  1. Add 1 cup butter with the peanut butter to the mixing bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  2. Whip the butter for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping the sides once halfway through, until the butter is soft and fluffy.
  3. Add the cocoa powder with the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing in between each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides for even mixing.
  4. Scrape the sides one final time, adding in the vanilla and cream.
  5. Turn the mixer on low/medium speed and allow the frosting to whip for 5 minutes.
  6. Pipe or spread onto the cooled cupcakes and enjoy.

Notes

*There are 4 eggs pictured in this post. We have adjusted the recipe to only use 3 large eggs.

Looking for more peanut butter flavor? Leave out the candies and follow the following adjustments to the cake ingredients:

  • 1 cake mix
  • 1-1/4 cup coffee or milk
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 large eggs
Pinterest graphic image showing chocolate cupcakes with text overlay reading "cake mix hack chocolate peanut butter cupcakes"
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