For many years I have been on the hunt for the perfect peanut butter cupcakes. I adore peanut butter and will eat it with almost anything and quite happily on its own straight from the jar with a spoon. Crunchy or smooth either will do and strangely I am very partial to banana and peanut butter sandwiches… mmm peanut butter and banana, now that could work in a cake!

But back to the subject at hand of peanut butter cupcakes, I’ve tried many recipes before and I have always found them to be too dense or too dry.

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peanut butter cupcakes |


And after a day they are almost always far too hard to really enjoy. I don’t know why I never seemed to be able to crack this recipe.

A few times I have been on holiday or working in America and I had visited cake shops and had enjoyed a peanut butter cupcake. They were always amazingly delicious and the supermarket aisles are always jammed pack full of cool peanut butter stuff, especially in the baking aisle. I never allowed this to put me off trying again if anything it made me more determined to crack this recipe.


Peanut butter cupcakes with a spoonful of peanut butter |


So recently I decided to take another crack at the fabled peanut butter cupcake. I went through all the recipes I had tried before and even a few American ones for comparison.


Most of the British recipes called for caster sugar but a couple of the American ones called for brown sugar. Brown sugar in cakes can give added moistness, (sorry to keep saying this word but I can’t think of another! Anyway as I was saying…) to the sponge to try and get as much of this in the cake I decided to use dark brown sugar for added punch. And brown sugar always adds another flavour dimension its self.


Peanut butter cupcakes


I also added milk to the recipe to keep the batter a little more liquid in the hopes this would help battle the dreaded dryness. I also used smooth peanut butter in this cake batter, it was a conscious choice, I have both in the cupboard but I thought the smooth might blend in a little better.


The cake turned out perfect; it was light, moist and just the right amount out peanut butter flavour. I was so happy I personally think I had cracked it.


Now there are 1000 and 1 ways to frost these babies! I originally wanted a vanilla buttercream with a strawberry jam swirl through it so I could get the whole peanut butter and jelly thing going on, but I had no strawberry jam at hand. Cream cheese frosting would be lovely; a plain peanut butter frosting would be very nice for ramping up the peanut butter flavour. But I went with another classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate.


peanut butter cupcakes |


These two flavours like all peanut butter lovers know go so well together, it’s like a food marriage made in heaven. I love the classic American PB&J though our jam in the UK is a little different than the American version Jelly so for me, it’s never quite the same.


peanut butter cupcakes |


I used a classic chocolate frosting with a peanut butter swirl through it. It was super sweet and super yummy. Now I could wax lyrical forever about the delights and wonder of peanut butter so I shall stop myself now and get on with the recipe and directions. I hope you give these a go, as they really are so scrummy! Just one word of warning before you go on, this is the worlds best-tasting cake batter and you will find it almost impossible not to scoff the lot before you get it in the oven.


peanut butter cupcake

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

A lovely combination of peanut butter and chocolate. A light and fluffy peanut butter sponge topped with a chocolate and peanut butter frosting.
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Course: Cakes / Afternoon Tea
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Calories: 462kcal
Author: Emma


For the cupcakes

  • 75 grams unsalted butter - at room temperature ((2/3 of a stick))
  • 130 grams smooth peanut butter ((1/2 cup))
  • 190 grams soft dark brown sugar ((a scant 1 cup))
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 120 grams Plain flour (All Purpose, (1 cup))
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 60 millilitres milk ((1/4 cup))

Ingredients For Frosting

  • 115 grams unsalted butter - at room temperature ((1 stick))
  • 60 millilitres milk ((1/4 cup))
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 415 grams Icing sugar (Confectioners sugar, (3 and 3/4 cup))
  • 75 grams good quality cocoa powder ((2/3 cup))
  • 100 grams smooth peanut butter ((2/3 cup))


Directions for the sponge

  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas mark 4 and prep a 12 hole muffin tin with liners.
  • In a medium size-mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer cream together the butter, peanut butter and the sugar until they are well mixed and light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time whisking in-between each addition. More air in the batter at this time will keep your sponge light and fluffy.
  • Once the eggs are well mixed in add the vanilla extract and whisk again for another minute.
  • In another bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.
  • Add a third of the flour to the mix and gently fold in. Then add a third of the milk and fold in. Carry on this way until all the flour mix and milk are all mixed in and well combined.
  • Carefully put the mixture into your prepared cupcake tins, filling each one no more than two thirds full.
  • Bake in the centre of your oven for 20 minutes, and if a skewer comes out clean they are done, if not pop them back in for a couple of minutes.
  • Once they are cooked, take them out of the oven but keep them in their tins for 10 minutes.
  • After those 10 minutes pop them on a cooling rack to fully cool down.

Directions for the frosting

  • Beat the butter until it is light in colour, almost white.
  • Add the milk and vanilla extract to the butter and mix in well.
  • Sieve in the icing sugar and cocoa powder together and add half of it to the butter mixture.
  • Once fully combined add the other half of the icing sugar and cocoa powder and mix vigorously.
  • Generously fill one side of your piping bag with your chocolate buttercream and fill the other side with smooth peanut butter. You want to have a higher ratio of chocolate buttercream to peanut butter.
  • And swirl on top.
Nutrition Facts
Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving (1 cupcake)
Calories 462 Calories from Fat 221
% Daily Value*
Fat 24.5g38%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 66mg22%
Sodium 132mg6%
Carbohydrates 56.9g19%
Fiber 3.3g14%
Sugar 17.9g20%
Protein 8.6g17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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