My very most favorite Halloween candy has always, and will always, be a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Really any form of Reese’s will do, but specifically the fun-size cups just get me feeling some kind of way. Is it the way you can easily eat 47 in one sitting and feel minimal guilt? Perhaps the absolutely insane way chocolate and peanut butter go so perfectly together with no real explanation (except for the sciencey kind of explanation which isn’t as fun)? I dunno man, but to me there are few things more delicious.
A few days ago, a friend of mine asked if I could bake a dozen of my Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes (hence forth known as Peanut Butter Cup-Cakes) for her, and in turn she would pay me.
Hold on. Pay me? For baking? My Very Ultimate Life Goal™? No pressure or anything. I’m so excited to have finally had my first paid order – I would be happy baking out of my kitchen for the rest of my life if I could, but unfortunately that’s not always practical. Here’s hoping that this one is the first of many!
Peanut Butter Cup-Cakes
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup coffee, room temperature or slightly warmer
- 12 mini peanut butter cups, unwrapped (I used Trader Joe’s dark chocolate cups for extra decadence. If you’re making mini cupcakes, you’ll need to get the actual mini bite sized peanut butter cups.)
- (optional: about 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips for drizzling)
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 cup whole milk (it’s a little lighter in fat than heavy cream so the frosting doesn’t feel as heavy)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line 12-cup muffin pan with muffin liners. For this recipe I used fluted black liners to mimic the look of a peanut butter cup but literally any kind will work.
- In the bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, beating well, and add in vanilla.
- In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. If your cocoa is a little lumpy, be sure to sift it first. In a different bowl, stir together buttermilk and coffee. Add dry ingredients to creamed butter mixture in thirds alternately with buttermilk/coffee mixture, beating well after each addition.
- Fill liner with batter on top of the peanut butter cups until they are about two-thirds full (I used a 1/4 measuring cup to make it an even fill. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely (if you skip this step, your hidden PB cups will stick to the liner which is so, so sad).
- In the meantime, while the cupcakes cool, prepare the frosting. Beat together, in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, peanut butter, butter and vanilla. Add in the powdered sugar gradually with the milk and salt. Beat until the frosting comes together and has the desired consistency – for a stiffer or looser frosting, add more powdered sugar or milk respectively until you’re satisfied with the results.
- Once cooled, top with frosting (I used the Wilton 1M tip) and drizzle with melted chocolate if you choose to do so! To melt the chocolate, put chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second bursts until the chocolate is liquid enough to drizzle. I used a condiment bottle to make this as painless as possible.
These cupcakes are so moist and crazy decadent, and the frosting alone makes it all worthwhile. Enjoy!