I am beyond excited to share these cupcakes with you. The flavor combinations are classic, and the cupcakes are crazy delicious.
These cupcakes have been billed as “the best cupcakes I’ve ever had” by two different people. The PB&J version resulted in another cupcake-eater having a bit of a moment, and then declaring that they “taste like childhood”. The chocolate-filled cupcakes resulted in appreciative eye-rolling and silence.
Not to toot my own horn anything, but, you know… beep beep.
Trying to squeeze two separate blog posts out of these cupcakes seemed a bit like cheating, so today you’re getting a twofer!
This may seem like a lot of steps/ingredients, but trust me, it’s really not so bad, and totally worth it. Alternately, you could make just one of these varieties of cupcakes to cut down on ingredients.
For the cupcakes (makes 24) –
- 2¼ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
For the fillings (enough chocolate frosting for 24 cupcakes; enough preserves for 12 cupcakes) –
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp milk
- 1 15 oz. jar raspberry preserves
For the salted peanut butter buttercream (enough to frost 24 cupcakes) –
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tbs vanilla extract
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 tbs milk
For the toppings –
- 12 raspberries
- 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
- milk chocolate, for shaving
To make the peanut butter cupcakes, start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the peanut butter, butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Do this until everything is light and fluffy looking, which will take about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat the mixture for about 1 minute at medium speed between egg additions. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
On low speed, add half of the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture. Then slowly add all of the buttermilk. Once things are just coming together, add the remaining flour mixture and continue beating on low speed until everything comes together.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. They should be filled approximately 3/4 of the way.
Bake for 15-20, or until a toothpick/knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cakes. Allow the cupcakes to cool for about 5 minutes in the pan before moving them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
To make the chocolate cream cheese filling, place the softened cream cheese in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the cream cheese for about 1 minute, until it is soft and fluffy. Stop the mixer and use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the butter to the bowl. Beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed for 1 minute until thoroughly combined.
Add the cocoa powder and beat on medium speed, until incorporated. Turn the mixer on low and add the salt, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk. Beat until almost incorporated.
Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl. Beat on medium speed until all of the powdered sugar has disappeared and mixture is smooth.
To make the salted peanut butter buttercream, add the other softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment. Beat the butter on medium speed until it is softened (about 1 minute).
Add the creamy peanut butter, salt, and vanilla extract and beat well.
Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar and beat on low until well combined.
Add another 2 cups of sugar along with 1 tbs of heavy cream/milk. Beat until combined.
Add the remaining 1 cup of sugar (depending on your desired consistency) and remaining cream/milk and beat until the frosting reaches the desired thickness.
Beat on medium speed until the frosting is smooth and fluffy (about 4 minutes).
Now that all of our ingredients are prepped and ready to go, you’ll want to hollow out the cupcakes. Using a melon baller, scoop out the middles of the cupcakes, setting the scooped out cupcake bits aside (snacks for the baker!).
Spoon raspberry preserves into half of the cupcakes (you’ll end up using the entire jar). Spoon or pipe the chocolate cream cheese frosting into the other half of the cupcakes (you’ll have some left over).
Once the cupcakes are filled, frost with the peanut butter buttercream. Top the PB&J cupcakes with a single raspberry and some chopped peanuts.