Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

How to make chocolate cupcakes with creamy peanut butter frosting

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Chocolate Cupcakes with  Peanut Butter Frosting

Get ready for wow.  I know, usually in the past when I’ve made cupcakes I’ve used a cake mix and they fall apart in my hand or they stick to the wrapper so that when its unwrapped it’s just the frosting left.  No more!  These Chocolate Cake Mix Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting take it over the top.  I’ll share a secret with you (it’s the add ins that make it wonderful:)) 

So why not just make it from scratch?

‘Cause sometimes you just want to try things a little different and sometimes things take less time.  I’m not sure doctoring up a cake mix takes much less time than doing a cake from scratch, but the taste of these Chocolate Cake Mix Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting taste really, really good and it’s super easy! 12 Hacks for making a cake mix taste homemade is a recent post with a free printable for easy reference!

Sometimes scratch chocolate cake doesn’t have the depth that this one does.  Okay and all of you out there who are thinking right now “she just doesn’t have the right recipe” could be right.  I’ve tried a lot and many were good.  It’s nice to have a variety of cake mixes on your shelf in a pinch and to try new combo’s and let’s face it, there a lot of things you can make from a cake mix!  That will be another post:)


I tried quite a few different types and add ins as I worked on these yummy creations.  Remember, when baking a lot, try to have a few events you can take the finished product to…..or you’re going to be eating a lot of cupcakes.  I made mini and I made large batches of chocolate chocolate and chocolate peanut butter (and Key Lime and Raspberry Lemonade) Many people like the minis because the investment’s not as big as a large cupcake.  You don’t mind trying one of every kind because, really, isn’t 4 minis equal to 1 regular cupcake?  Let me believe it is, please?

Doctor, Doctor?

One of the things to remember above all is that a regular cake mix does about a dozen and a half regular cupcakes.  Add a few extra things into the batter and you better think about doubling that amount.  So be ready for it.  That’s what’s nice too, if you have a large party one batch will do it:).  I have a free printable for great ideas to add to cake mixes that you can print and put in your recipe library for easy reference.




  • Preheat Oven to 400°
  • Add cake mix and other ingredients in a mixing bowl or mixer with bowl
  • Beat on low for 1 minute and medium for 2 minutes.  It should be a thick batter
  • Put 1 cupcake liner in each place in the muffin tins (abt 36)
  • Spray the cupcake liners lightly with non stick spray  (this helps with removing the liners when eating)
  • Using an cookie scoop, fill each cup cake liner with 1 scoop.
  •  If using a gallon sized zip lock bag, fill the bag with batter (you’ll use a large cup to stand the bag up in)  When filled, try to take most of the air out and zip the top closed.  Cut a corner off the bag and fill each cupcake liner 2/3 way full.  It’s much easier to do it this way than with a spoon but it’s a preference.  The scoop is the most accurate
  • Bake at 400° for 5 minutes.  Then turn down to 350° for an additional 12 minutes.  DO NOT OVERBAKE.  Test them with a toothpick at 12 minutes and you may need to bake for an additional 3 minutes
  • Take out of muffin tins and place on racks to cool

**I actually made half with Peanut Butter Frosting and the other half with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting**

Peanut Butter Frosting:

  • In a mixer, beat butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy
  • Add powdered sugar
  • Add  Vanilla Extract
  • Add 4-6 TBSP of Cream
  • Beat until light and fluffy.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

  • In a mixer beat butter until light and fluffy
  • Mix together cocoa and powdered sugar and add slowly to the butter.  Beat until all the sugar mixture is incorporated
  • Add a tsp of vanilla
  • Add Cream to help the mixture be the best texture to pipe easily.  The cream brings it to the next level.  Don’t worry if you think you added too much, just add a little more sugar!


  • Using a frosting bag (with disposable or reusable) and a large Wilton 2a (or 2D) tip; put the tip in the bag 
  • Put the frosting bag inside a large cup and fold the sides over the top 
  • Using a spatula, fill the bag to 3/4 full (leaving enough room to clip or twist is closed and still hold it in your hand
  • Starting on the outside of the cupcake, do a circular swirl, ending in the center. For the 2D tip, it will come out ruffled.  Do a circular swirl as well and then go back and forth a little in the middle to build your frosting tower up:)  
  • Garnish with a 1/2 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and a few Reese’s Pieces; For Chocolate Frosted cupcakes, drizzle with some ganache and top with a chunk of chocolate bar.  Soooo good on both!  

** As you can see from my pictures, I used a little star of the chocolate frosting on my peanut butter cupcake for a reese’s pieces to sit on and I also drizzled some leftover ganache on some too.  

Chocolate Ganache:

      Tessa at Handle the Heat gives some great ratios for different kinds of ganache!

  • Put 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream in a microwave proof dish
  • Microwave on high for 30 seconds, check to see if it’s hot and do for another 30 seconds, checking on it half way through
  • Take it out and pour over 1 cup of Chocolate Chips (or chopped chocolate)  
  • Let sit a few minutes and stir.  
  • Put ganache in a disposable piping bag (or small zip loc bag) and cut the end (corner) off just a little bit.  
  • Drizzle over the cupcake top.  If you need to soften it, just put it in the microwave for 10 seconds or hold it in your hand for a minute

These are delicious, plain and simple.  The peanut butter frosting isn’t as sweet as conventional buttercream frosting and adds a nice touch to the chocolate cupcake.  I want to thank Kari, from @karibakescakes on instagram who helped me become a better cake decorator.  You should follow her, she is so creative!  Don’t forget your free printable from 12 Cake Mix Hacks for better cakes/cupcakes using cake mixes!

Enjoy, we did!


Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


Yield: 35 Cupcakes

How to make chocolate cupcakes with creamy peanut butter frosting


  • Chocolate Cupcakes:
  • 1 Box Duncan Hines Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup Cocoa
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips
  • Peanut Butter Frosting:
  • 1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Soft Butter
  • 4-5 Cups (or more) Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 4-6 TBSP Cream
  • Reese's Peanut Butter cups (regular or thins) You'll need about 18
  • Reese's Pieces (1 package)
  • Ganache (Optional)
  • 1/2 Cup Cream
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Chips


  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Combine ingredients in the bowl and beat for 1 minute at low and 2 minutes at medium.
  • Line muffin tins with cupcake liners. Spray lightly with non stick cooking spray (this helps the cake not stick to the liners)
  • Using a Zip loc bag (filled with the batter) fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full. If using a large cookie scoop, do 1 scoop per liner (this should make between 30 and 35 cupcakes)
  • Bake at 400 for 5 minutes. Turn down heat to 350 and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Test them at 12 minutes
  • Remove from oven. Wait 5 minutes and remove from muffin tins to cooling racks
  • Peanut Butter Frosting:
  • Combine butter and peanut butter and whip until fluffy
  • Add 4-5 cups of powdered sugar. Beat until incorporated
  • Add 1 tsp vanilla
  • Mix
  • Add 4-5 TBSP of heavy cream. You may need to add additional powdered sugar after. Don't worry. The cream makes it lighter and fluffier
  • Using a piping bag, put A2 Tip in the bottom. Fill to 3/4 full so you can still twist the top
  • Pipe in a circular manner around the cupcake.
  • Top with 1/2 Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and a few Reese's Pieces.
  • Ganache:
  • Heat cream in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds. If not hot yet, continue for 15 second intervals until piping hot
  • Pour over chocolate chips. Let sit for a few minutes
  • Stir
  • Place in disposable piping bag or quart size zip loc bag, cutting the tip off near the end.

Want to remember this?  Post Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting to your favorite Pinterest Board!

How to make chocolate cupcakes 

How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting









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I love to do anything creative and enjoy learning new things. Once I know how, I also love to teach it to others. Homemade by Cheryl, teaching homemade one project at a time! Have fun learning!

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