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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

Peanut butter cup cupcakes, complete with a chocolate shell!
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Course: Dessert
Servings: 6 cupcakes
Author: I Heart Cuppcakes | Smitten Kitchen | Have Cake, Will Travel


  • For the peanut butter cupcakes:
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter room temp
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup milk
  • For the chocolate ganache:
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter room temperature
  • peanuts
  • For the shells:
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter divided
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tin cups with paper cupcake liners.
  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar until smoothly blended and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Mix in egg. Add vanilla and beat for 1 minute or until batter smooth.
  • On low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing until the flour is incorporated and the batter looks smooth.
  • Fill each liner with a generous ¼ cup of batter, to about ⅓ inch below the top of the liner. Bake just until the tops feel firm and are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 22 minutes. There will be cracks on the top. Cool cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pan on wire rack.
  • When cool, double-dip cupcakes into chocolate ganache (recipe follows) and top each with a peanut. When the ganache is set, place the cupcake into a chocolate peanut butter shell (recipe follows) to finish. Store cupcakes in refrigerator.
  • For the ganache: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and stir until combined.
  • Dip cooled cupcakes into ganache and thoroughly coat the tops. Allow to set for at least 10 minutes, then dip the cupcakes again. Place a peanut on top of each cupcake.
  • For the shells: Line a cupcake pan with 6 or 7 paper cupcake liners.
  • Melt chocolate chips in double boiler. Stir in the 2 tablespoons peanut butter until smooth and thoroughly combined. Drop 1-2 tablespoons of melted chocolate into one paper cupcake liner at a time and use a small spoon to entirely coat the paper liner with a good layer of chocolate. When finished with all the chocolate, put the tray into the refrigerator until the chocolate is solid, at least 30 minutes (you can put it in the freezer if you like).
  • While the chocolate cups are in the refrigerator, prepare the peanut butter filling by thoroughly combining ½ cup peanut butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
  • When the chocolate is solid, fill each cup with 1-2 teaspoons of peanut butter filling. You will definitely have leftovers of the filling. Smooth the filling down into the cup with the back of a small spoon. Place cupcake inside.