Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

This past weekend, we had our Central Florida Food Blogger Bake Sale as part of the National Food Blogger Bake Sale to benefit Share Our Strength. I’m pleased to announced that we raised over $1300!!! Considering our goal was to surpass last year’s fundraising here in Central Florida and make it to $500, I call it a resounding success! Thank you to everyone who came out and bought our baked goods and bought raffle tickets.

And a huge thank you to these food bloggers who baked and helped out so much! Aggie from Aggie’s Kitchen, Pearleen from MegaYummo!, Katie from Katie’s Cucina, Jaclyn from food + words, Jim from Comfort in Crumbs, Dawn from Wicked Good Dinner, Suzanne from My Adventures in Food, Robin from Simply Southern Baking, Wanda from My Sweet Zepol, and Holly from I Could Eat and Zeema from Sweet ‘Scapes Catering. And thank you to Gaby from What’s Gaby Cooking, the founder of the National Food Blogger Bake Sale, we raised over $24,500 nationally. If you came out to support the bake sales across the country, thank you so much! We are one step closer to getting rid of childhood hunger.

A little bit of the bake sale. That’s Aggie’s kids, aren’t they cute? And there’s a group picture we took as we were breaking down, I wish we got one with everyone!

I wanted to share with you the recipe for the cupcakes I made for the bake sale and then proceeded to make for the NASA Tweetup I attended for the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour. These cupcakes are to die for and when I first saw them on My Baking Addiction, I pinned it and knew I had to try them one day. When the bake sale came up, I knew this cupcake would be the perfect thing to make for it. Um, there are no words, first of all, Jamie is a genius and these cupcakes are officially my new favorite cupcake. I’m going be making them ALL the time!

The cupcake has the perfect moistness and icing is amazing. And you can’t go wrong with a peanut butter cup inside. The recipe is incredibly easy to make and I’m so happy that Jamie said it was okay for me to share the recipe on my blog! I only modified it slightly and that’s because I didn’t read her recipe close enough when I asked my husband to pick up some of the ingredients for me. I had him buy the smaller boxes of instant pudding and it worked out just fine.

I knew I was going to love this recipe when I saw the batter was pudding-like. I really think the sour cream and pudding mix really make for a moist cupcake.

Once you fill the cupcake liners up with 3 Tbsp of batter, you place frozen miniature peanut butter cups on top and every so slightly push them down.

If you make any of recipes and decide to share them on instagram or twitter be sure to tag me @thelittlekitchn and use the hashtag #thelittlekitchenrecipes! I love seeing your posts and photos!

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes



1 (18.25 oz) package devil’s food cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)

1 (3.4 oz) package instant chocolate pudding mix

1 cup sour cream

1 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon instant espresso granules, dissolve it in 1/2 cup warm water

30 Reese’s Miniatures peanut butter cups, unwrapped and frozen

Peanut Butter Buttercream Icing

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 cup creamy peanut butter

2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract

2 lbs powdered sugar

3-4 Tablespoons low-fat milk

Reese's peanut butter cups minis (in a bag & they come unwrapped)



  1. Be sure to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place cupcake liners in your cupcake or muffin pan.

  2. In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer or your stand mixer bowl using the paddle attachment, mix together all of your ingredients except the peanut butter cups for minute or two until well mixed.

  3. Place 3 Tbsp of cake batter in each cupcake liner. Take one frozen peanut butter cup and place in the center of each cupcake on top of the batter, press down a little bit.

  4. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until several cupcakes pricked with a toothpick come out clean. Do not prick the cupcake where the peanut butter cup is inserted. There will be a slight indentation or hole where the cupcake is sunken in from the peanut butter cup, you'll fill that with icing. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes.

  5. Remove cupcakes from the pans and place them on a cooling rack & let them cool all the way. While the cupcakes are baking you can make the buttercream icing.

Peanut Butter Buttercream

  1. In your stand mixer bowl using the paddle attachment, mix thoroughly the softened butter and peanut butter on low to medium speed. Turn off your mixer and in two batches, add the powdered sugar and mixing until well blended. Be careful, the powered sugar can go everywhere!

  2. Add vanilla and 3 to 4 tablespoons of milk a little bit at a time while blending on low speed. Blend until well combined. You'll start to see the icing pull from the sides of the bowl. Add a little bit more milk to get to the right thinness (to your preference). Keep blending, higher the speed, until nice and fluffy, about 5 to 7 minutes.

  3. Using a big round tip and decorator bag, pipe icing onto cooled cupcakes and top with a mini on each cupcake.

Some notes:

  • I used a smaller box of instant pudding because that's what I told my husband but it worked out just fine.

  • I don't like tons of icing on my cupcakes so one batch of peanut butter icing actually worked for 2 batches of cupcakes for me.

  • I used a Tbsp measuring spoon, I really need to get a cookie scoop or a ice cream scoop that measures out to 3 Tbsp.

  • I actually ended up with 30 cupcakes in the even more to share or to keep for yourself! I don't like putting 3 cupcake pans in the oven so I'll usually fill up two of them (24 cupcakes), bake them and then fill one with the remaining 6 cupcakes.

  • I prefer to make buttercream icing in a stand mixer but you can make it with a hand mixer in a large bowl, it may take a little longer to make but it's worth it!

  • I actually left the cupcakes on a cooling rack covered with a kitchen towel and placed the icing in the fridge overnight. When you're ready to frost your cupcakes, allow to the icing to sit on the counter for at least 20 to 30 minutes. I even added splashes of water to it to make it even more fluffy before piping the icing onto the cupcakes.

Slightly modified from Jamie of My Baking Addiction.

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99 Responses to “Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes”

  1. 41
    Marly — September 9, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

    Those cupcakes look SO good! What a classic combo of flavors!


  2. 42
    Diane {Created by Diane} — September 13, 2011 @ 12:57 am

    These look fabulous!


  3. 43
    Shaina — September 13, 2011 @ 4:17 pm

    These are so cute, Julie. I love peanut butter and chocolate together, and that buttercream…


  4. 44
    Kita — September 25, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

    These cupcakes look sinful! I would not be able to resist those peanut butter cups in them!
    The bake sale looks awesome too! It’s great to see everyone pulling together. $1300 is a great result for all the work you guys put in!


  5. 45
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — September 26, 2011 @ 9:06 am

    Absolutely adorable! I’m slightly in love with the mini pb cups. Very hard to save some for baking with.


  6. 46
    Alaina — October 1, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

    If my oven worked, I would be making these right now. They look divine! Bookmarking this page forever and ever.



  7. 47
    daisy — October 5, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

    A reeses pieces INSIDE a cupcake??? With another mini pieces on top!?! Brilliant!


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  9. 48
    Sara V — October 20, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

    I was wondering if you could make this into a 9×13 cake as well?


    • JulieD replied: October 20th, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

      Hi Sara,

      I’ll bet you can. I would put half of the cake batter down and spread it down evenly. Then, place the peanut butter cups in rows on top of the batter and then add the rest of the cake batter on top. If you try it, let me know how it goes! :)


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  12. 49
    Paula- bell'alimento — January 20, 2012 @ 10:51 am

    Will you please come and deliver a dozen of those to me now… Swoon


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  14. 50
    JoyHey — January 24, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

    Love love love!! Thanks for sharing :)


  15. 51
    kelly — February 4, 2012 @ 11:29 am

    hi julie. i selected your cupcakes as part of my 52 weeks of Pinspiration series and shared a link to your recipe on my blog – OMG. these are just amazing. the cake is so tender and moist and the pb frosting is delicious!! thanks for the pinspiration! :)


  16. 52
    Monica — February 13, 2012 @ 11:03 am

    Are these darling things cupcakes or mini cupcakes? It is hard to tell from the picture. They are so stinkin’ cute!


    • JulieD replied: February 14th, 2012 @ 2:03 am

      Hi Monica, thanks! These are regular-sized cupcakes. :)


  17. 53
    Thea — February 13, 2012 @ 3:28 pm

    I made these last night and they were absolutely delicious. With your tip about the icing recipe making a lot, I halved it and it covered all 24 cupcakes. Also, I added a little more peanut butter and didn’t use a full pound of powdered sugar. I hate overly sweet icing, but that’s just my personal taste.

    Oh and one other thing- when I used 3 Tbsp of batter per cupcake, they ballooned way over the top and ended up looking more like muffins than cupcakes. So I backed it down to 2 Tbsp per cake and that was perfect.

    Thank you for this yummy recipe!


    • JulieD replied: February 14th, 2012 @ 2:04 am

      Hi Thea!

      That’s really strange…when I use the 3 Tbsp scoop and put the peanut butter cup inside it, it doesn’t overflow. I’m sorry that happened to you! So glad it was still yummy!


  18. 54
    Kara — February 19, 2012 @ 12:05 am

    Are the peanut butter cups inside the same size as the ones on top, or are they a little bigger?


    • JulieD replied: February 19th, 2012 @ 9:28 am

      Hi Kara, the ones inside the cupcakes are definitely bigger. I have the kinds spelled out in the recipe. The ones inside the cupcakes are called Miniatures, the ones on the frosting are called Minis. Hope that helps!


  19. 55
    Ashley — March 1, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

    How much butter did you use in the icing? A “block” where I live is 2 cups. Just wanted to make sure. Thanks


    • JulieD replied: March 1st, 2012 @ 9:38 pm

      Sorry about that! 1 1/2 cups which is equal to 24 tablespoons. I hope that helps!


  20. 56
    Ahley — March 5, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

    These turned out AMAZING!! The cupcake is delicious and the icing is easily the BEST I’ve ever had! It was a huge hit with everyone.. thank you so much!!


  21. 57
    Tosha — March 19, 2012 @ 11:58 am

    I’m trying to make these, but can’t seem to find instant espresso. Where did you get yours from?


    • JulieD replied: March 19th, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

      I found it at my grocery store in the coffee section & also at specialty food stores. It’s a small bottle & looks like instant coffee. You can try coffee too if you can’t find it.


  22. 58
    jen @ one curly fry — March 30, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

    Gorgeous! I love love love peanut butter Buttercream icing. These look amazing.


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  24. 59
    sweetsugarbelle — April 14, 2012 @ 12:32 am



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  26. 60
    Karin — May 29, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

    These are phenomenal cupcakes and very easy to make!! My favorite recipe I’ve found online!!! I was wondering about freezing or storing them. Any idea on if they can keep ok in the freezer for a week and be thawed? Thank you!


  27. 61
    ATasteOfMadness — July 13, 2012 @ 2:19 am

    Now this is what I need. Like, right now. Tonight. It’s never too late in the night to bake 😉


  28. 62
    Chelsea — October 16, 2012 @ 11:33 am

    These sound great! I am making them today for a group I am involved in with my church. BUT, I dont have sour cream. I could have sworn I had some on hand but turns out that I dont. Is there anything I can substitute?


    • Julie Deily replied: October 16th, 2012 @ 11:42 am

      Hi, Chelsea! Looks like when you google it, there are a lot of substitutions for sour cream but I would be wary because you’re baking here, not cooking. What I would do in this situation is just make the cake mix with the instructions on the box and follow through with the rest of the recipe. Hope they enjoy the cupcakes!


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  30. 63
    Jecca — January 23, 2013 @ 6:27 pm

    I made this recipe this weekend, and it was a huge hit. I made a two tiered cake instead of cupcakes, so I chopped up some Reese’s to put on top, instead of cooking them inside. I also had to use more than a few substitutions (almond milk instead of regular, part olive oil because my canola ran out, Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, instant coffee instead of espresso, and also used the small box of pudding) and this recipe still turned out FABULOUS! Everyone raved, and this has inspired me to try the pudding effect on other boxed cakes/flavors. Best. Icing. Ever. I just had a piece for dinner (don’t judge me). Thanks for sharing this recipe!


  31. 64
    Megan — January 29, 2013 @ 11:45 pm

    I made these for a function at work. I used a 1/8 measuring cup and then topped up with a tablespoon measure. I only got 26 out of the batter. I kind of wish I had only made half the icing as I am dong Weight Watchers and it is tough to have all this leftover icing around. I calculated the points and I think I may have to share mine with a friend. They look amazing and I hope everyone likes them. Thanks for the recipe.


  32. 65
    Tara — February 14, 2013 @ 1:52 pm

    this recipe sounds amazing! i’m definitely going to try to make these; however, i’m not a big fan of espresso or coffee flavors. would it dramatically change the taste of the cupcake if i leave the espresso out?

    thanks again for the amazing recipe!


    • Julie Deily replied: February 14th, 2013 @ 1:53 pm

      Hi Tara,

      Actually in this recipe, you don’t really taste the espresso flavor or at least I don’t. When I add coffee or espresso to chocolate cake recipes, it just heightens the flavor of the chocolate and doesn’t leave a coffee taste. Hope that helps!


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  34. 66
    Amy — May 3, 2013 @ 8:08 pm

    I love this batter. It is so versatile. I’ve made the cupcakes and a cake version several times. Tonight I am altering it with snickers instead of pb cups. I will then add a caramel buttercream to the top. Thanks so much for sharing.


  35. 67
    Sweet Revenge — June 12, 2013 @ 8:08 am

    The cupcakes in the photos look really delicious. I like chocolate and its a great combination of peanut butter and chocolate.


  36. 68
    Wendy Levesque — October 6, 2013 @ 9:10 am

    These are by far THE BEST cupcakes I have ever made. They are so moist and a perfect blend of peanut butter and chocolate. I will say that I have made them twice already and I actually only made 1/4 of the icing recipe the second time around because the whole recipe was way too much for my liking.


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