Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

These peanut butter chocolate cupcakes have it all – the moist chocolate cupcakes, the amazing peanut butter frosting, the luscious chocolate fudge sauce AND the sprinkling of chopped candied peanuts. They’re a real treat – decadent and pretty, but still easy to make.

Chocolate cupcakes topped with piped peanut butter frosting, a drizzle of chocolate fudge sauce and chopped candied peanuts, on a wooden platter.

Listen, we’ve made s’mores cupcakes and triple chocolate cupcakes and chocolate chip cupcakes… and yet, among all this deliciousness, these are my favourite cupcakes. These peanut butter chocolate cupcakes, with their pretty frosting, luscious drizzle and a sprinkling of candied peanuts.

I could write a book on the topic of why these are one of the best cupcakes you’ll ever taste… but I’ll keep things short and sweet.

Peanut butter chocolate cupcake drizzled with chocolate fudge sauce and decorated with chopped candied peanuts on a light backdrop.

Before we get to the bits and bobs of why these cupcakes are SO AMAZING – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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7 reasons for why these peanut butter chocolate cupcake are the best cupcakes ever

1. The brownie chocolate cupcakes – You’ve seen the cupcakes themselves before (in the raspberry brownie cupcakes and in the s’mores cupcakes), and the reason for that is simple: these are THE ONLY chocolate cupcakes you need to know about. Why mess with perfection, right? They’re moist and intensely chocolatey, basically a chocolate dream come true.

2. The peanut butter frosting – Without doubt the best part of these cupcakes, the peanut butter frosting is fluffy, peanut buttery and just sweet enough. I want to put in on everything – on cupcakes, cakes, brownies, and (most importantly) on a spoon quickly approaching my mouth.

3. The chocolate fudge sauce – Another old friend! This chocolate fudge sauce crops up again and again in my recipes, it’s simply that good. In addition to being luscious and delicious and decadent, it also makes the cupcakes approximately 100-times more beautiful.

4. The candied peanuts – Because these are peanut butter chocolate cupcakes, we’re going a step further with the peanut theme, and these candied peanuts are just the thing. They give the cupcakes an extra crunch, plus there’s something about sweet-salty candied peanuts that will get your tastebuds VERY happy. (And always always always make extra… trust me. They are the best snack ever.)

5. They’re gluten free – That’s right, these delicious little beauties are gluten free. And, no, you can’t actually tell they’re gluten free.

6. Easy to make – Sure, making these cupcakes may require 4 separate components, but both making each individual component and then putting them all together is incredibly simple. And 100% worth it, because chocolate and peanut butter and OMG SO DELICIOUS.

7. SO. INCREDIBLY. PRETTY. – I mean, this one really requires no explanation. Have you seen them?!

Chocolate cupcakes topped with piped peanut butter frosting, a drizzle of chocolate fudge sauce and chopped candied peanuts, on a wooden platter.

How do you keep chocolate cupcakes moist?

There’s a very good reason why I call these chocolate cupcakes also brownie cupcakes. If you check out the recipe below, you’ll see that the cupcakes require a surprisingly small amount of flour (and part of that is almond flour), and a relatively large amount of chocolate… just like brownies.

This proportion of ingredients is what keeps these gluten free chocolate cupcakes moist – and they are as moist on day 3 (or even on day 4) as they were on the day they were baked. And before you worry: they’re not as gooey as a brownie, they really are cupcakes (as opposed to brownies baked in a cupcake baking tin).

But just like brownies, they’re packed with chocolate flavour. Just like brownies, they’re soft and sweet and delicious. And just like brownies, one bite is never enough.

Chocolate peanut butter cupcake cut in half.

How do you make peanut butter frosting?

The peanut butter frosting in these peanut butter chocolate cupcakes is basically your standard American buttercream, with A LOT of peanut butter added.

The standard American buttercream is just softened unsalted butter and powdered (icing) sugar, whipped up until pale and fluffy and creamy – for the peanut butter frosting, part of the unsalted butter is replaced by peanut butter.

While many American buttercream recipes call for a 1:2 ratio of butter:sugar, I keep my frostings nearer to a 1:1 ratio or lower, which cuts down on the sweetness and really allows the flavours to shine through. A spoonful of vanilla paste or extract gives the frosting an even richer taste.

And the last ingredient – which may seem unimportant but is actually crucial: a generous pinch of salt. You might be sceptical, but that pinch of salt makes A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE. Give it a try – make the frosting first without the salt, give it a taste, and then add the salt.

I promise you, tasting the peanut butter frosting after the salt has been added will blow your mind. That pinch of salt takes a very good frosting and makes it into a freaking taste explosion.

Chocolate cupcakes topped with piped peanut butter frosting, on a wooden platter.

Peanut butter chocolate cupcake drizzled with chocolate fudge sauce and decorated with chopped candied peanuts on a light backdrop, with the cupcake case partially unwrapped.

If you want a dessert that’s bursting with flavour, pretty as a picture, and will stop people in their tracks – look no further than these peanut butter chocolate cupcakes. The flavour combination alone should tell you how amazing they are… but then, it’s the little details that elevate them from your usual cupcake to taste bud-tingling, drool-worthy showstoppers that they are.

The pinch of salt in the peanut butter frosting. The chocolate fudge sauce, all glossy and shiny and tempting. The crunch of the candied peanuts.

Give them a try. Share them with a friend. Go crazy with the piping and the drizzling. Above all, enjoy, savour and have fun.

Chocolate peanut butter cupcake cut in half, with more cupcakes in the background.

If you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes (Gluten Free)

These peanut butter chocolate cupcakes have it all – the moist chocolate cupcakes, the amazing peanut butter frosting, the luscious chocolate fudge sauce AND the sprinkling of chopped candied peanuts. They're a real treat – decadent and pretty, but still easy to make.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten Free
Keyword brownie cupcakes, candied peanuts, chocolate cupcakes, chocolate fudge sauce, peanut butter chocolate cupcajkes, peanut butter cupcakes, peanut butter frosting
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Author Kat | The Loopy Whisk

Ingredients

For candied peanuts:

  • 1 cup (145 g) peanuts, lightly toasted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp (20 mL) water
  • pinch of salt

For chocolate cupcakes:

  • 7 oz (200 g) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/3 sticks (150 g) unsalted butter
  • 1/8 cup (15 g) cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 medium eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup + 1/2 tbsp (65 g) plain gluten free flour blend (I've used Doves Farm plain gluten free flour blend, which doesn't contain xanthan gum)
  • 1/3 cup (32 g) almond flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (omit if your GF flour blend already contains xanthan)
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/8 cup boiling hot water

For peanut butter frosting:

  • 2 2/3 sticks (300 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (250 g) natural unsweetened smooth peanut butter
  • 2 cups (250 g) powdered/icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • pinch of salt (to taste)

For chocolate fudge sauce:

  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) milk
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 1/2 oz (100 g) dark chocolate, chopped, divided
  • 1 1/2 tbsp (40 g) unsalted butter

Instructions

For candied peanuts:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a saucepan, cook the sugar and water together on medium-high heat for 3 - 5 minutes without stirring.

  3. Add the peanuts and immediately start stirring (with a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula): the sugar will start crystallising and coating the peanuts. Continue stirring the sugar-coated peanuts on medium-high heat. They will start caramelising and browning, make sure to scrape any caramel forming on the bottom of the saucepan. If they start browning too quickly, briefly remove from heat.

  4. Once the peanuts are caramelised, transfer them to the lined baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and spread them out using a wooden spoon or spatula. Allow to cool completely, then set aside until needed.

For chocolate cupcakes:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 320 ºF (160 ºC) and line a 12-hole cupcake/muffin baking tin with cupcake liners.

  2. In a heat-proof bowl above a pot of simmering water, melt together the chocolate and butter.

  3. Once melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Then, mix in the cocoa powder and sugar.

  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition.

  5. Sift together the gluten free flour blend, almond flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt, and add them to the wet ingredients. Mix well until combined.

  6. Add the boiling hot water to the cupcake batter, and whisk well until you get a smooth, glossy batter.

  7. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 cupcakes, so that each cupcake liner is about 3/4 full.

  8. Bake at 320 ºF (160 ºC) for 25 to 28 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached.

  9. Remove the cupcakes from the cupcake tin, and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack.

For peanut butter frosting:

  1. In a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer with the double beater attachments, beat the butter for 2 - 3 minutes, until pale and fluffy.

  2. Add the peanut butter and beat for about 2 minutes, until fully incorporated and fluffy.

  3. Add the powdered/icing sugar, and beat for a further 5 - 7 minutes.

  4. Adjust the sweetness if needed (by adding more powdered sugar), and add the vanilla paste/extract and a generous pinch of salt.

  5. Set aside until needed.

For chocolate fudge sauce:

  1. In a saucepan, mix together the cocoa powder, sugar, milk, salt and half of the chopped chocolate. Heat until the chocolate has melted and you get a smooth mixture.

  2. Remove from heat, and add in the butter and the rest of the chopped chocolate. Mix everything together until the butter and chocolate have melted.

  3. Set aside. The chocolate fudge sauce will thicken slightly while cooling.

Assembling the cupcakes:

  1. Roughly chop the cooled candied peanuts.

  2. Pipe the peanut butter frosting on top of the cooled chocolate cupcakes with a piping nozzle of your choice.

  3. Drizzle the chocolate fudge sauce on top of the frosting (if it's thickened too much on cooling, reheat it briefly in the microwave), and top with chopped candied peanuts.

  4. Enjoy!

Storage:

  1. The peanut butter chocolate cupcakes keep well in a closed container in a cool dry place for about 2 - 3 days.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes (Gluten Free) - These peanut butter chocolate cupcakes have it all – the moist chocolate cupcakes, the amazing peanut butter frosting, the luscious chocolate fudge sauce AND the sprinkling of chopped candied peanuts. They're a real treat – decadent and pretty, but still easy to make. Gluten free cupcakes. Peanut butter cupcakes. Chocolate dessert recipes. Gluten free recipes. Gluten free desserts. Brownie cupcakes. Candied peanuts. #cupcakes #glutenfree Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes (Gluten Free) - These peanut butter chocolate cupcakes have it all – the moist chocolate cupcakes, the amazing peanut butter frosting, the luscious chocolate fudge sauce AND the sprinkling of chopped candied peanuts. They're a real treat – decadent and pretty, but still easy to make. Gluten free cupcakes. Peanut butter cupcakes. Chocolate dessert recipes. Gluten free recipes. Gluten free desserts. Brownie cupcakes. Candied peanuts. #cupcakes #glutenfree Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes (Gluten Free) - These peanut butter chocolate cupcakes have it all – the moist chocolate cupcakes, the amazing peanut butter frosting, the luscious chocolate fudge sauce AND the sprinkling of chopped candied peanuts. They're a real treat – decadent and pretty, but still easy to make. Gluten free cupcakes. Peanut butter cupcakes. Chocolate dessert recipes. Gluten free recipes. Gluten free desserts. Brownie cupcakes. Candied peanuts. #cupcakes #glutenfree Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes (Gluten Free) - These peanut butter chocolate cupcakes have it all – the moist chocolate cupcakes, the amazing peanut butter frosting, the luscious chocolate fudge sauce AND the sprinkling of chopped candied peanuts. They're a real treat – decadent and pretty, but still easy to make. Gluten free cupcakes. Peanut butter cupcakes. Chocolate dessert recipes. Gluten free recipes. Gluten free desserts. Brownie cupcakes. Candied peanuts. #cupcakes #glutenfree

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