Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

I’m guessing you figured that Peanut Butter Love Week wouldn’t be complete without at least one cupcake recipe. I’ve whipped up an insanely rich and delicious cupcake recipe that is bursting with the peanut buttery goodness we all adore.

You’ve heard me reminisce about my father and brother and our mutual love of candy in several posts. Jared and I prefer our candy on the fruity side of the spectrum; Starbursts, Gummi Bears, and Hi-Chews. My dad is definitely more of the chocolate lover with a list of favorites that most certainly contain Reese Peanut Butter Cups, especially of the Easter egg variety. He claims they’re better than the traditional cups, and I must say that happen to wholeheartedly agree. Along with Snickers, he was and still is quite fond of placing (hiding) his Reese Easter Eggs in the freezer. He says they’re better frozen, I think he’s sneaky…little does he know everyone has been on to his game for a very long time.

I have made Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes before, but this time I they are so much better! The frosting had the perfect balance of sweet and salty and the baked in Mini Reese Cup was a little surprise of pure peanut butter bliss.

Just a fair warning to all you cake mix haters out there…I used my favorite doctored up cake mix for this recipe, but you can certainly use this as a framework and make adjustments according to whatever floats your boat.

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

Yield: 24 Cupcakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 18-22 minutes

Total Time: 42 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso granules dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water
  • 24 Reese’s Miniatures; frozen (this prevents them from disappearing into the batter)

For the Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1.5 pounds (24 ounces or about 5.5 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 6-8 tablespoons heavy cream (if using milk, amount will be less)

Directions:

For the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, eggs, vanilla and espresso water mixture. Beat for about two minutes on medium speed until well combined.
  3. Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells; about 3 tablespoons of batter per well.
  4. Press one frozen Reese’s Miniature into the center of each cupcake.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched. There will be a small sink hole in the top of the cupcakes from the Reese’s Miniatures, that’s okay - you’ll cover that with frosting. Allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow to fully cool on a wire rack. Once cupcakes are cool, prepare your frosting.

For the Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, cream butter and peanut butter on medium speed until fluffy. Turn your mixer down to low speed and slowly add in the confectioner’s sugar, and continue mixing until well blended.
  2. Add vanilla and 4 tablespoons of heavy cream. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add an additional 1 to 4 tablespoons of heavy cream until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
  3. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and finish with chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Notes:

  • Frosting was piped onto cupcakes using the large round tip.
  • Cupcakes are best served the day they are made, but will store in a sealed container within the refrigerator for two days.

127 Responses to “Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes”

  1. Jess — March 2, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Hi! Can I leave out the sour cream? I have a mild dairy allergy so I try to omit it when possible. I plan to use goat milk for cow’s milk. What could I sub for the sour cream to get the right consistency? Thanks! P.S. Love the tip about using ice cream scoop for uniform size cup cakes!

    • Jamie — March 22nd, 2012 at 8:16 pm

      Jess-
      I wouldn’t suggest leaving out the sour cream as that adds to the moisture of the cake. Maybe just try preparing the cake according to the package directions? Sorry I am not more of a help!
      -Jamie

  2. Imma — March 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Amazing! … I found that the baking time was a bit longer — 25-30 minutes, otherwise the cupcakes would fall. Also, I used almost a full half pint of whipping cream to make the frosting really fluffy, and could have still halved the frosting recipe and covered all of the cupcakes. With all that frosting left over, I wound up making a simple chocolate cake just to use it all up! Instead of baking in Reeses cups, I topped with Reeses Pieces. Adorable! … Thanks so much for the post!

  3. Mayoli — March 8, 2012 at 10:43 am

    I am so excited to make these!!! I just have a question… when you talk about sticks of butter… It might be just here in Canada but we’ve got various different sizes of sticks of butter… are you referring to the small ones?

  4. min — March 15, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    hi! i’m going to make these cupcakes this weekend for my son’s birthday. i looked for the devil’s food cake mix, but duncan heinz and betty crocker both were less than 18.25 ounces. (it’s 16.5) can i still use it, or should i get find one that’s 18.25 ounces?

    • Jamie — March 15th, 2012 at 9:45 pm

      Min-
      Yep, you should be just fine. Have a great weekend!
      -Jamie

  5. Sarah — April 10, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Hi! These look amazing. I want to make them for my boss’ birthday. My question is, would the cupcakes be ok if I made them 1-2 days before and made the frosting the day of? I want them to taste great so just let me know if you wouldn’t recommend that. Thank you!

    • Jamie — April 17th, 2012 at 6:50 pm

      Sarah-
      Personally speaking, I wouldn’t go 2 days prior – 1 day would be fine though. Definitely frost them the day of. Have fun and let me know how they turn out.
      -Jamie

  6. jo — May 13, 2012 at 5:53 am

    Hi, The 18.5 oz. devils food cake mix already has pudding in the mix. would i still add more pudding mix or is there a brand without pudding i should hunt for? Thank you, Jo

    • Jamie — May 13th, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      Jo-
      Yes, I still add the pudding. Have a great day.
      Jamie

  7. Abby — May 17, 2012 at 8:34 am

    I have to agree with your dad… Reese’s eggs are the BEST Reese’s product they produce. I love them for the sheer fact that they have more of the peanut buttery goodness than the normal Reese’s do.

    I’m excited to try this recipe!! :)
    Abby

  8. Melissa — June 4, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    I made these yesterday for a friend’s birthday party and they were a HUGE success! Everyone raved about them; one girl said she doesn’t even like cupcakes but she LOVED these (she ate 2 and took a 3rd for the road, so I believe her). I didn’t put the Reese’s in the cupcake itself, but rather just diced it up and put it on top of the frosting. Amazing!!!! Thanks!

    • Jamie — June 6th, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      Melissa-
      So glad to hear you enjoyed these cupcakes! Thanks so much for taking the time to report back on your success with the recipe. Have a great day!
      -Jamie

  9. Tabitha — July 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    I’m going to make these this weekend for a work event! Wondering if you think it would be okay to sub plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. I usually use Greek yogurt in place of mayo and sour cream for just about everything.

    • Tabitha — July 9th, 2012 at 6:16 pm

      FYI: I did it with Fage 0% yogurt and it turned out spectacular!

  10. Karrie at Electra Films — July 18, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I should not be reading / lusting after these while I’m on a diet but …

  11. lucy — July 23, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    made these today and i love them! although i added just some water and left out the coffee and i think that 2 pounds of powdered sugar was way too much. i ended up with way too much frosting and 1/2 lb of sugar to spare. but it was still yummy and delicious and everyone loved them! i will just add less sugar the next time i make the frosting.

    • Jamie — August 5th, 2012 at 4:58 pm

      Lucy-
      I’m with ya on the sugar. I’ve decreased the amount that I use now to 1.5 pounds, I’ll update this recipe to reflect the change. Thanks so much.
      -Jamie

  12. Cynthia Gergel — August 6, 2012 at 9:41 am

    I made these for my family reunion last weekend. I accidentally bought crunchy PB so I went ahead and used it for the frosting and I just cooled down 1/2 cup of that morning’s coffee instead of using the instant espresso. I had three different relatives tell me they were the best cupcakes they ever had in their lives! AND my mom asked if she could take a couple home AND my cousin’s teenaged daughter was delighted when told her she could take one home AND I saw my dad eat one and LICK HIS FINGERS.

    I found the frosting recipe to be about twice as much as I needed – and I thought i was being VERY generous with it. Refrigerated the rest and will make another batch of these cupcakes for the office next week when our student worker returns.

    Also – and the rest of you are probably smart enough to KNOW this already – the Reese’s miniatures are easier to unwrap BEFORE you freeze them. I would probably refrigerate them for 15 minutes first if the air is really warm and/or humid, then put them in a plastic bag and to freeze.

  13. I’ve searching today for some peanut butter cupcakes and found these ones! Absolutely awesome! I will try these recipes! Photo is great also! Regards

  14. WENDY — August 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    IM MAKING THESE CUPCAKES TONIGHT FOR MY BOYFRIENDS BDAY PARTY TOMORROW BUT I BOUGHT SNACK PACK PUDDING… DOES IT WORK THE SAME OR SHOULD I EXCHANGE THEM?

    LET ME KNOW ASAP!

    • Jamie — August 12th, 2012 at 8:11 pm

      Wendy-
      The recipe calls for the pudding mix (powdered form), so you will definitely get a different outcome than the recipe pictured here.
      -Jamie

  15. Johnathon — August 13, 2012 at 12:47 am

    I just made these and they’re wonderful! I put in 2 tablespoons of espresso instead of the one (just because I love the taste of coffee), and i also omitted the peanut butter cups. These go really well with a nice big glass of milk.
    Here’s a picture of how mine turned out!
    http://i1073.photobucket.com/albums/w388/johnhfortune/535945d0.jpg

  16. sara — August 22, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    These were so fun to make. the buttercream is amazing (hubby licked the bowl when I finished). I got rave reviews for them and a friend of mine from LA commented they were better than the bakery owned by a woman who won Cupcake Wars…
    definitely going into my cupcake recipe book!

  17. Alexis — August 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Has anyone added peanut butter to the recipe? I want to add about 1/2 cup to the cake mixture for an extra kick.
    Let me know if you have!
    Thanks

  18. Darlene — August 29, 2012 at 8:58 am

    i have made these about 4 different times and each time they come out amazing! absolutly love them.

    • Jamie — August 31st, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      Darlene-
      I am so happy to hear that you’ve enjoyed the cupcakes numerous times – they’re a family fave around here. Have a great weekend and thanks so much for reading My Baking Addiction.
      -Jamie

  19. Cynthia Gergel — September 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Jamie, I made this for three different crowds now and each time, they have gotten rave reviews! In fact, the last time I made them, they were highly praised by a couple of friends that not only frequent gourmet restaurants, they also do their own gourmet cooking.

    I garnish mine with one of those tiny Reese’s minis on top of the frosting instead of the chopped peanut butter cups.

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for posting this recipe. I can’t wait to try some of your other offerings!

    • Jamie — September 8th, 2012 at 10:15 am

      Cynthia-
      I am so happy to hear the cupcakes turned out so well! Thanks for coming back and commenting on your experience with the recipe. Have a great day!
      -Jamie

  20. Angie — September 23, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    If you use BC cake mix it already has pudding. are you suppose to use box pudding mix also. Sorry, just a little confused.

    • Jamie — September 24th, 2012 at 5:57 pm

      Angie-
      Hi! Yes, still use the pudding, but I typically just use the smaller box. I hope this helps!
      -Jamie

  21. Molly — October 4, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Awesome recipe, I may overdose on this frosting!!:)

  22. Melissa — October 4, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    I made these tonight and they turned out amazing! I couldn’t find espresso powder so I just used regular instant coffee. My daughter promised to bring a cupcake to anyone at school who liked her Facebook status. One boy requested a cupcake with a peanut butter cup in the middle so these fit the bill perfectly. My family said these were better than any cupcake they had ever had I will definitely be making these again.

  23. Humaira — October 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Can u tell me a replacement for cake mix and instant pudding?something which can be prepared at home

    • Jamie — October 29th, 2012 at 8:54 am

      Humaira-
      I would simply substitute your favorite chocolate cake recipe for the cupcakes, then top with the frosting from this recipe. Thanks for stopping by.
      Jamie

  24. mary — December 8, 2012 at 7:03 am

    looking forward to making these for my grandkids. hoping they love the pnut butter and choc. mixture!! thank you for posting, they look absolutely fabulous!

    mary

  25. Aly — December 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    I made these for my boyfriend’s birthday last year and am about to make them again this year. They were a hit! Thanks!

    • MBA — January 4th, 2013 at 9:55 am

      Aly-
      I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for stopping by and providing your feedback – have a great day!
      -Jamie

  26. Yummy — January 14, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Oh My goodness!!! A-MAZING!! I cannot wait to try more of your recipes. Thank you!

  27. Jean — March 23, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    I made these a couple of times and I love them! I found a muffin tin with 12 cups and in the middle is a long metal pin in the middle and instead of freezing the peanut butter cups( so they won’t fall to the bottom) you just push them on the pin in the middle then fill pan with the batter to cover candy and they stay right where you put them in the pan. They are made by Chicago Metalic…..

  28. Lisa — April 18, 2013 at 10:02 am

    I love Reese’s peanut butter cups. So hard to find in Perth, finally got some and I NEED to make it! Anyway stupid question but would I still add the ingredients the cake mixes tell you to add? Or just the powder mix and add what you specified? Never cooked with cake mixes before. So very much a newbie!

  29. Jen — May 8, 2013 at 2:47 am

    This recipe looks fantastic, and I am thinking of making these for my little boy’s birthday party. I have a question though about the “dip” the leave on the top. I plan on using a poured fondant icing instead of a buttercream version. If I freeze the PB cups, then pour a bit of the batter, add the cup and cover with more batter will it still leave a “dip?” For the poured fondant I need a completely smooth, rounded top. Thanks so much for the idea, I can’t wait to read your response!

    • Jamie — May 8th, 2013 at 8:04 am

      Jen-
      I would recommend making a test batch before your son’s party. Sometimes I get the divot, other times I don’t – but your method may definitely help with the little dip. Let me know how it goes!
      -Jamie

      • Jen — May 8th, 2013 at 6:18 pm

        Yes, I will for sure make a test batch, especially since I have never made PF, or used it. So I will probably need practicing doing both. I plan on using your PF recipe, and adding color and peanut butter flavoring oil to make up for the lack of a pb buttercream topping. I will definetly let you know how the test batch turns out, just as soon as the oils I ordered are delivered. :-)

  30. Brittany — May 13, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe. My extended family absolutely loved them at our party. Do you know of any substitutions for espresso or coffee? I know chocolate recipes taste better with it, but we are not coffee drinkers, so I’m trying to find a replacement. I think you could mention to not press the peanut butter cup too far into the batter. Mine ended up all the way on the bottom.

  31. SandyH — November 15, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Hi, I usually make cupcakes before an event and freeze them, would it be possible to do that with this recipe? Of course I would frost them the day I serve them. Thank you!

    • Jamie — January 10th, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      Hi Sandy, that should work fine.
      – Jamie

  32. Michele — November 30, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    OMG!! I just made these cupcakes and they are unbelievably delicious! Thanks, Jamie, for another great recipe!

    • Jamie — December 1st, 2013 at 11:22 am

      Michele-

      You are so welcome! Thanks for stopping in to let us know! Have a great day and thanks for following MBA!

      -Jamie

  33. Shanna — December 15, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Salted butter work (rather than unsalted)?

    • Jamie — January 10th, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      Salted butter should be fine in the frosting, Shanna.
      – Jamie

  34. Sharon Corcoran — February 18, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    These look amazing! I was wondering if they could be made into mini cupcakes? And maybe halve the mini reeses inside? Or would the ratio be thrown off? Sorry, don’t back that much, but am making some for a baby shower…thanks!

    • Jamie Lothridge — May 5th, 2014 at 9:07 pm

      Sharon,
      I’m sure you could bake them as mini cupcakes, but I suggest leaving the Reese’s out the first time, or doing a test batch with them before committing yourself.
      – Jamie

  35. Shilpa Deshpande — March 20, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Hi, I would love to make these cupcakes for my boyfriend’s birthday, but unfortunately I won’t have time to make/ice them the day of. I will be making them around 9-10 PM, and serving them around 1-2 PM the next day. Do you think this will be an issue, or would you suggest any alternations to the icing recipe so it doesn’t dry out? Thanks!!

    • Jamie Lothridge — May 5th, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      The icing should be fine so long as the cupcakes remain refrigerated.
      – Jamie

  36. Laureen — March 25, 2014 at 12:29 am

    Oh my goodness those look scrumptious!

  37. Darlene — March 30, 2014 at 11:06 am

    I have made these at least a dozen times and each time they are a huge success! People (to include myself) can not get enough of them. They are moist and so flavorful! The only thing different that I do is quarter up the Reese’s and push them into the batter before baking. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

    • Jamie — April 9th, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      Darlene-

      Thanks so much! It’s great to hear that the recipe is such a hit. Thank you for stopping in to share and have a wonderful day!

      -Jamie

  38. LHS — April 20, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Hi,

    Since they’ve downsized the cake mixes (they’re roughly 15.25 -16.5 oz.), would you use the same amounts of oil, sour cream, eggs, etc.? It just seems like there are not enough dry ingredients for the wet ingredients (i.e., soupy batter). It would seem you would need to add the missing 2-3 oz. of flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder? Have you modified your recipe for the smaller boxes? If so, can you please post it? Thanx so much and I appreciate your help.

    LHS

  39. Angel — June 6, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    I made these cupcakes last night, and they were absolutely WONDERFUL! Great recipe!

  40. Maddie — July 28, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    I am so excited to try these! Is ther anyway that the water coffe mixture could be substituted for something else? Thanks! :)

    • Jamie — August 12th, 2014 at 10:32 am

      You might try hot water. Thanks for stopping by.

      -Jamie

  41. Sis — January 30, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    In love with this recipe! I am one who likes the cake more than the frosting, so I halved the frosting recipe and still had a little bit left over. Delicious! Thanks for posting it!

    • Jamie — January 31st, 2015 at 10:03 am

      Sis-
      I am so glad to here you enjoyed the recipe – thank so much for reporting back!
      -Jamie

  42. Ashton — February 26, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Love this recipe can’t wait to go make some for my birthday

    • Jamie — March 1st, 2015 at 9:33 am

      Ashton-
      I hope you get the chance to try them! Thanks for visiting.

      -Jamie

  43. Deena — March 30, 2015 at 10:10 am

    I just made these for a Baby Shower and everybody cant stop talking about them. People that don’t even like cupcakes want more lol. I did a trial run I couldn’t find 18.25 cake mix or the 5.9 pudding packets so I used 15.25oz cake mix and 3 2.02oz and they came out amazing. After I did my trial run I saw the revised recipe but I decide not to change a thing they came out so good!!!

    • Jamie — March 30th, 2015 at 11:31 am

      Deena-
      I’m glad that the recipe turned out so well for you. Thanks so much for stopping by.

      -Jamie

  44. Katita — May 25, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    These were amazing!! Thank you so much!!! I volunteered to bake Reeses cupcakes before I even had a recipe (lol) and am so grateful I found these! I was told these were better than the cupcake place in town! I omitted the coffee, only used half the amount of pudding, and found that one batch of frosting was great for 50 cupcakes!

    • Jamie — May 26th, 2015 at 11:45 am

      Katita-
      I’m so glad they were a hit for you! Thanks so much for visiting!

      -Jamie

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