Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

I know I’m getting to be that age where birthdays shouldn’t be a huge deal. I really don’t expect the entire world to associate the numbers “11/13” with the name “Rachel” and immediately think of me. I don’t expect that everyone and their brother celebrate the entire month of November, just because a random woman who blogs about food happened to come into the world on that particular date back in 1975. That being said, last week, I will fully admit to having hurt feelings yet again this year, because it felt like no one cared at all. I know it’s babyish, but I want a little acknowledgment on my birthday. I don’t need gifts (though they are nice). I don’t need everyone to make a big deal about it. The one thing I want each year (but never seem to get) is a dinner out. On my actual birthday. Not the night before, not 2 days after. I feel stupid and shallow for that, but really. Is that too much to ask? And I know, I shouldn’t be griping. Jay did get me a gift this year, which was nice. We’ve been skimping on birthday and Christmas presents for years, because daycare for the bambino was so frakking expensive. But still. I just wanted to go out for dinner. Let someone else do the cooking and the clean-up. Instead, this year, I had 3 small brownies. Happy birthday to me indeed.

I debated on whether or not to make treats to take to work. Almost no one else bothers to bring anything on their birthdays, and in my case, I’ve got enough friends in other departments, if I’m going to bring something, I have to bring a LOT. I won’t get into my reasons why, but in the end I opted not to bother as well. I still wanted cupcakes, though, so I made Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes:

Chocolate Peanut Butter CupcakesAfter last year’s depressing birthday and cake fiasco, I learned my lesson, and didn’t bake until after my birthday. That, and I was sulking and being bratty and hating everything, so I just couldn’t muster the energy to actually get myself in the kitchen. But these were worth the wait.

Chocolate Peanut Butter CupcakesChocolate and Peanut Butter pair so well together. It’s my favorite combination of flavors.

Yield: 24-30

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


For the Cupcakes:

  • 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C Dutch cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 C sugar
  • 2/3 C canola or extra light olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 C sour milk* or buttermilk
  • 1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the Frosting:

  • 1/3 C peanut butter (conventional PB will work better here, rather than natural-style or homemade)
  • 4 1/2 C confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 C milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 24-30 mini Reese's PB Cup candies (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, canola or olive oil, eggs and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Alternately add the flour/cocoa mixture with the sour milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Be careful not to overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Using a large (3-Tbsp.) scoop, add the batter to the muffin tins, and bake the cupcakes for 23-27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 10 minutes before cooling completely on wire racks.

To make the frosting, beat the peanut butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until lightened, about 2 minutes on medium-high speed. Drop the speed to low, and begin adding half the powdered sugar, a little at a time. Add the vanilla, and slowly stream in the milk. Add the remaining powdered sugar.

Once all the powdered sugar has been added, increase the speed back to medium-high, and beat for 1-2 minutes. Spread on cooled cupcakes, and decorate with the peanut butter cups, if desired.


*To make sour milk, place a Tbsp. of white vinegar into a measuring cup. Fill the remaining 8 oz. with milk. Stir together, then allow to sit for 5 minutes before using.

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I think the only problem with these cupcakes is the amount of mini Reese’s cups I consumed before decorating them!

Chocolate Peanut Butter CupcakesThey’re so very delicious. And I’m glad I waited on making them, because gods know, had I done these last week after all, something would’ve gone seriously wrong and I’d’ve been even more miserable than I already was! Here’s hoping next year is better.

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6 Replies to “Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes”

  1. Sorry you had such a crappy birthday. :-( I feel your pain. My in-laws forgot mine this year, but have no problem asking me to make them a $100 cake for theirs, and expect to get it for free. :-/ I didn’t feel like making my own cake this year, so I bought one from a store. NEVER AGAIN! Next year, I will make my own birthday treat and this one looks like the perfect goodie to enjoy! Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Yeah, I’ve had that happen, where my parents as well as my in-laws have forgotten. It’s never fun, is it? I hope that if you do make these next year, they turn out well and you have a happy birthday! :)

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