Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream

The Reece’s commercial says it all.  Chocolate and peanut butter are the PERFECT combination.  I, especially, cannot resist chocolate and peanut butter together.  Whether it is ice cream, a cookie, a cake or just a graham cracker spread with pb and chocolate chips, I’m an addict.

Luckily, I am not the only one that loves this flavor combination!  If I was, I would have to eat a whole batch of cupcakes by myself!

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You see, we were supposed to attend a 4th of July party last night and I made these delicious cupcakes to take along.  But we have had none stop rain and severe thunder and lightning.  So the party was cancelled and will be re-scheduled for later in the month.  The good thing is that my kids will hopefully all get to go!  My older two were both scheduled to work yesterday and we dropped my youngest off at camp this weekend so they were all going to miss our traditional family get together with food, family, friends and fireworks!

But there is a downside.  Well, maybe not really a downside. Now I have 20 cupcakes in my all time favorite flavor combination sitting on the counter.  SO MUCH TEMPTATION!  I had to find a new home for them before they became my breakfast!  (Yes, I baked them early in the morning and no one else was up.  If no one is watching, the calories don’t count, right??).

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Well, luckily I have new neighbors across the street and I have been meaning to take over a treat and introduce myself.  Since I had these cupcakes and  a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies, I put together a tray and walked on over.  Whew!  That’s a relief!  Got rid of half of them!  Now, what to do with the rest?  Well, the kids got up and had one each (except for my non-chocolate lover…I know, that’s just wrong!).  But there are still 10 of these babies sitting there, just calling my name!

I must avoid the temptation!  I’ll just go check e-mail and facebook to get my mind off of it.  And there it is!  You know how facebook gently reminds you of everyones’ birthday?  Well, I forgot that one of my favorite people has a birthday today!  That’s the ticket!  Share them with the birthday girl and everyone will be happy!  Now if I can just keep my hands off of them until we can deliver them to her…

Decadent Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream and topped with Reece’s PB Cups.

Makes about 18 to 20 cupcakes.

For the cake:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk (I use 2 % milk)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee (left over from this mornings’ brew is fine or just use slightly boiling water if you don’t have coffee.)

For the Buttercream:

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 5 to 6 cups icing sugar, sifted (powdered sugar)
  • 6 Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups, cut into small pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Line muffin tin with paper baking cups.
  2. Combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and espresso powder in bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.  Blend together on low for about 1 minute.
  3. Stop the mixer and add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat for 3 minutes on medium speed.  Stop mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times.
  4. Stop the mixer and pour in the hot coffee (or hot water, if you don’t have coffee). Mix on low until combined, stopping once and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into each cupcake liner so that they are 3/4 full.  The better is VERY thin – don’t worry!  It will bake up fine!
  6. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched.  Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack and cool completely before icing.

To make the icing:

  1. Cream the butter, cream cheese, peanut butter, cream, and vanilla until combined and smooth.  Add 3 cups of sifted icing sugar and mix on low about 2 to 3 minutes, stopping the mixer twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  2. Add 1 cup of the remaining icing sugar at a time and mix on medium speed until incorporated.  Add more icing sugar if the buttercream is too thin or 1 teaspoon more cream if it is too thick.
  3. Increase the speed to med-high and beat for 3 or 4 minutes more until fluffy.
  4. Pipe buttercream onto cupcakes.  Top each cupcake with diced up peanut butter cups.

I’ll just warn you now.  These are COMPLETELY IRRESISTIBLE!

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