Small Batch Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

This cupcake recipe is perfect for a small gathering! They taste like a chocolate peanut butter cup! Warning: Recipe is delicious and contains peanut products.

Photo by Ahmed Aqtai on

Peanut Butter is a spread made from peanuts. It was a reliable source of protein during two world wars. There has been evidence that ancient Inca people of South America were the first to grind peanuts together to make peanut butter. As for the United States it has been noted that a St. Louis physician named Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, invented a version of peanut butter in 1895. In 1904, peanut butter was first introduced at the St. Louis World’s Fair.

Cupcakes were first described in 1796 in American Cookery by Amelia Simmons. It was described as “a light cake to bake in small cups”. The first documented time the term “cupcake” was used was in 1828 in Receipts a cookbook by Eliza Leslie. They are called cupcakes because before muffin tins were used, cupcakes were baked in individual cups like ramekins, molds, or pottery cups.

I think one of the greatest challenges as a baker is creating small batch cupcake recipes, but it is also one of the most rewarding tasks. Most recipes create a dozen or two dozen cupcakes and as much as I love cupcakes, those sizes are for parties. I enjoy making small batches of cupcakes because they are perfect for small gatherings or dessert for immediate family.

I invented this recipe for my sister-in-law. She adores the combination of chocolate and peanut butter. There was a family party where my mother-in-law wanted to get a bunch of cupcakes in a multitude of flavors to please everyone in attendance. Unfortunately, the bakery did not have any options with peanut butter in them, only chocolate. Thus I volunteered to make a small batch of chocolate peanut butter cupcakes for the occasion. I got out a jar of peanut butter and started experimenting. When I presented the final product at the party, they were a huge success. I hope that your family likes this recipe as well! Please enjoy!

Small Batch Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes Recipe

Yields 7 cupcakes

Specialty Tools: Hand Held Mixer, rubber spatula, cupcake/muffin pan, and paper cupcake liners.

Prep Time 20 minutes

Bake Time 18 to 20 minutes

Inactive Time 2 hours

Drink Pairing suggestion: milk


4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup butter, softened

7 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

2 Tablespoons smooth peanut butter

7 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

Finish with: peanut butter frosting (recipe below)*


Preheat oven to 375 F

In a small saucepan, boil the water.

Mix together the cocoa and water in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside and let it cool a little.

In a large bowl, beat together sugar and butter until incorporated. Add vanilla extract and the egg, then mix.

Add flour, baking, powder, and salt. Stir until just combined.

Add cocoa mixture and peanut butter to batter and mix until smooth.

Using a rubber spatula, pour and scoop batter into a cupcake pan lined with paper cupcake liners.

There should be enough batter for 7 standard size cupcakes.

Place pan in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting. (About 2 hours).

*Frosting recipe below

Peanut allergy warning: Recipe contains peanut products

Feel free to add some chocolate chips or peanut butter chips to the batter for extra decadence!

Cupcakes are always a fun activity to do with kids!

A hand mixer is preferred when mixing cupcakes. It will create a smooth batter.

Rubber spatulas are a great way to scoop up batter.

Paper cupcake liners are a great for reducing residue in your cupcake pan.

If you want more ideas for small batch cupcakes check out my recipes for carrot cake cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes.

Peanut Butter Frosting Recipe*

Yields almost 1 cup frosting

Specialty Tool: Handheld mixer


2/3 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon butter, softened

4 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons milk plus extra


Whip all the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth, thick, and creamy.

Use to frost cupcakes or cake.

A hand mixer is preferred when mixing frosting. It will end up very smooth.


Tag @culinary_cupcake when you upload your photo on Instagram and hashtag #culinary_cupcake


One thought on “Small Batch Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: