Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

These dark chocolate cupcakes are loaded with rich chocolate flavor, and topped with a light and creamy peanut butter frosting. If you are a chocolate/peanut butter fan, these are your jam!

A display of chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting.

I have a secret that I’m about to blab. It’s about me. And it’s a doozie. It’s going to rock your world…

I don’t really like cake…



Can you believe it? It’s the truth. Hard to fathom, with all those cakes that I decorate.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I will eat cake. But it pretty much ranks at the very, very bottom of the dessert hierarchy for me. Given options, I would choose pretty much anything over cake. Now, if you’re talking cheesecakes, flourless chocolate cakes, coffee cakes, crumb cakes, and things of that nature, well then that’s a whole different ballgame. But regular cake? Like birthday cake-cake? Meh. It’s just never really been my cup of tea.

But what I do love is frosting. And phenomenal frosting can absolutely make my day. Peanut butter or cream cheese frosting? It may as well just be Christmas. As a result, I love cupcakes because I can pile them sky-high with dreamy frosting and enjoy each and every bite. These dark chocolate cupcakes are a dream come true for anyone who is a cake or frosting lover – they are truly the best of both worlds.

Chocolate cupcake batter in muffin cups before going into the oven.

These cupcakes are insanely rich and moist, and are made using the same type of method used for making brownies – melted chocolate is added to a whisked mixture of eggs and sugar, and then flour is stirred in.

The resulting batter almost resembled a mousse; both thick and light. It creates incredibly moist cupcakes that also have a light and fluffy texture.

Baked chocolate cupcakes on a cooling rack.

And the frosting. Oh the frosting. Bestill my heart.

I have been using this recipe for a couple of years now (how has it never made it on here before?!), mostly as a filling for chocolate cakes. But on top of cupcakes? Where I purposefully try to create a 2:1 frosting to cupcake ratio? AH-MAZING.

A display of chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting.

I cannot make this without taking spoonful after spoonful out of the bowl before decorating. It’s seriously irresistible.

Sometimes I’m tempted to make it to just have. Smeared on toast? Used as a dipping vessel for bananas or apples? So many possibilities. The “secret ingredient” in this frosting, just as in the Easy Vanilla Bean Buttercream, is the heavy cream. It creates a smooth and fluffy frosting that is easy to slather or pipe on.

If you are a fellow chocolate/peanut butter-aholic, you will love, love, LOVE these cupcakes. Put them on your baking list NOW!

Chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting with a bite taken out.

Can’t Get Enough? More Favorite Chocolate/Peanut Butter Recipes:

One year ago: Sweet and Sour Chicken
Two years ago: Fresh Strawberry Tart

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Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

These dark chocolate cupcakes are loaded with rich chocolate flavor, and topped with a light and creamy peanut butter frosting. Sublime!


For the Cupcakes

  • 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ cup (43 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup (106 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup (149 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ½ cup (113 grams) sour cream

For the Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 1 cup (113 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (270 grams) creamy peanut butter
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) heavy cream


  1. Make the Cupcakes: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F. (If you are using a non-stick muffin pan, heat the oven to 325 degrees F.) Line standard-size muffin pan with baking cup liners.
  2. Combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and combined. (Alternately, you can microwave the mixture at 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted.) Set aside to cool until just warm to the touch.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs combine; add sugar, vanilla, and salt and whisk until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined, then sift remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is homogeneous and thick.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.
  6. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and set on wire rack to cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes.
  7. Make the Peanut Butter Frosting: Place the powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and 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 and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.
  8. Assemble the Cupcakes: Frost the cupcakes with an offset spatula, or with a decorating tip (I used a Wilton 1M tip). Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Recipe Notes:

  • Since first making these cupcakes, this chocolate cupcake recipe has become my favorite. Feel free to use either!
  • If you do not have sour cream, you can substitute plain yogurt or buttermilk.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

(Dark Chocolate Cupcakes recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, Peanut Butter Frosting recipe from Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten)

All images and text ©

[photos by Whitney Wright]

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting :: Rich, chocolate cupcakes topped with a silky smooth peanut butter frosting. Perfect for anyone who is a chocolate and peanut butter lover! #cupcakes #chocolateandpeanutbutter #peanutbutter #frosting