Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

For those of you who don’t know, I work at a university in DC.  Our office is very busy, so each year we have several student workers who help us out.  Unfortunately two of our favorite students graduated this year, to leave us for bigger and better things : )  They have both been with us for a while, so we decided to send them off with some treats.  That’s where these cupcakes came in.

Of course I had to taste one before bringing these into work and I almost didn’t want to part with them.  Our students are lucky that I like them enough to turn these babies over!  Just kidding…

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Anyway, while I love chocolate, when it comes to cupcakes I usually prefer a vanilla base.  But I found that I absolutely loved these.  First, chocolate and peanut butter always pair perfectly together.  Second, this chocolate base is wonderfully moist.  Finally, the frosting.  Oh the frosting.  I have to confess that I definitely ate spoonfuls of the frosting when I was assembling these cupcakes.  It is packed full of peanut butter flavor and has a smooth creamy texture.  It’s perfect.  I think I may have found my new favorite frosting….

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Recipe for homemade dark chocolate cupcakes. Fluffy and moist cupcakes topped with a creamy peanut butter frosting!

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For the cupcakes:

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

For the frosting:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream


  1. To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with baking cups and set aside.
  2. In a medium heatproof bowl, add the butter, chocolate and cocoa powder. Place the bowl over a saucepan with barely simmering water. Whisk occasionally and heat until the mixture is completely melted and well combined. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside to cool (until it is warm to the touch).
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs. Next, add in the sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Continue to whisk until well combined. Slowly whisk in the cooled chocolate (be sure that it is warm and no longer hot). Sift ⅓ of the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture, whisk to combine. Add in ½ of the sour cream and mix well. Then repeat this process. Sift in another ⅓ of the flour mixture, whisk to combine. Add in the remaining ½ of the sour cream and mix well. Finally sift in the remaining ⅓ of the flour mixture and whisk to combine.
  4. Scoop the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tins. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes in the tins. Then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  5. To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla extract and salt. With the mixer on medium-low, beat until creamy (scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed). Next add in the cream and beat on high speed until smooth. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Garnish as desired.

Cupcakes from Brown Eyed Baker. Originally from Cook’s Illustrated. Frosting also from Brown Eyed Baker. Originally from Barefoot Contessa at Home.