mini chocolate & peanut butter cupcakes

I know I inherited my love of chocolate from my dad, but more recently, I’ve come to realize my infatuation with peanut butter must be genetic as well. Aren’t dads the best? They teach us things we’d never know otherwise, like how satisfying a toasted peanut butter and honey sandwich can be, or that a sense of humor is absolutely essential to navigating life.

Mini Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cupcakes | Tutti Dolci

These mini chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes are dedicated to my dad. Stuffed with a mini peanut butter cup and topped with creamy peanut butter frosting, they make a dream dessert for peanut butter lovers. (More Father’s Day ideas: chocolate pound cake, malt ball bark, or peanut butter swirl brownies.)

Happy Father’s Day, Dad! You are truly the best!

Mini Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cupcakes | Tutti Dolci

Mini Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups boiling water
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp instant espresso
1 2/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
48 mini peanut butter cups

Peanut Butter Frosting
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
pinch of salt
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp low-fat milk
48 mini peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 350°F and line two 12-cup mini muffin pans with baking cups. Whisk together boiling water, cocoa, and espresso, then cool completely. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with cooled cocoa mixture (begin and end with flour mixture).

Fill each baking cup half full of batter; add a mini peanut butter cup plus just enough batter to cover the cup completely. Bake for 13 minutes, until tops spring back to the touch. Cool cupcakes for 2 minutes in pans on a wire rack, then carefully remove from pans and place on wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting, beat butter, cream cheese, and salt in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add peanut butter and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time and beat well, scraping down bowl as needed. Add milk and beat on medium-high speed until light and airy. Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip and pipe frosting onto each cupcake; top with a mini peanut butter cup. Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Yield – 48 mini cupcakes
Calories – 160 (per cupcake)
Carbs – 23

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  1. Peanut butter love truly must come from our dads! (I know mine did!)
    These cupcakes look like the perfect balance of healthy chocolate and even healthier p.b.! 😀

  2. I can see your dad finishing up all these cupcakes in the next few days… 😀 He’s so lucky to have a great baker in the family! These cupcakes are so cute – love the abundant peanut butter frosting! Happy Father’s Day to your dad!

  3. Aw, I love that this is for your dad. Ironically enough, I think the PB/chocolate combo is the best combo out there and my dad HATES it. Looks like I’ll just have to make these for myself and get him a six-pack of beer instead. 😉

  4. The mini cupcakes look gorgeous and your Dad will be so proud you dedicated the post to him. My Dad used to love when I baked him fruit cakes and apple tarts. 🙂

  5. The Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes are a compelling reason to celebrate-everyday! I hope you get to share them with your dad, I know he would be charmed!

  6. Those look delicious Laura and my chocoholics and peanutholics in the house would finish those yummy cupcakes in minutes 😀 Have a wonderful weekend ahead, and happy father’s day to your Dad!

  7. They look incredible! Did you use the mini peanut butter cups that are individually wrapped? Or the really small ones that come in a resealable pouch?

    1. Hi Gail, I used the mini PB cups from a resealable pouch. Not sure where you are located, but Trader Joe’s also carries plastic tubs of mini PB cups, though those are slightly smaller than the ones pictured here. Hope that helps! 🙂

      1. Yes, that absolutely helps! I have an order for mini pb cupcakes for next weekend and I’ve been searching for a perfect recipe! I’ve found it! Thank you so much for your quick response!

  8. PB and chocolate are perfect together and my hubby would love these as well as my Dad. PB must be a guy thing my hubby eats tons of it and so does my dad 🙂

  9. I always love you images! hey are just so beautiful… I really should pop over more often. These cupcakes look amazing! Dads are great, mine didnt cook often, but when he did he made great food. Fried cheese sandwiches YUM!

  10. Such a sweet post…I should make these cupcakes for my dad too – pb and chocolate is his favorite candy combo!! They are gorgeous, Laura!

    1. Hi Nicole, yes it can – the recipe should make 24 full-sized cupcakes. For full-sized, you can use a cupcake corer to make a hole in the center of the baked cupcakes and fill the holes with the mini peanut butter cups. Then just top with the peanut butter frosting. Hope that helps!

  11. I just made these as full sized cupcakes and they are definitely my favorite cupcake recipe ever! The only thing I changed was that I used real vanilla bean caviar instead of vanilla extract. Both the cupcake and the frosting came out magnificently — thanks for the brilliant recipe of peanut butter joy!

  12. Can you leave out the Espresso? I’m guessing that is like adding coffee to make the chocolate flavor come out more.

  13. I previously made these minis and they were great! Just made them as full sized cupcakes (but left out the peanut butter cup). Filled 3/4 full and baked ~20 minutes @350. They came out perfect and delicious! Definitely my new go to chocolate cupcake recipe both with or without the peanut butter cups and for mini or regular! Thank you!

    1. Thanks so much for letting me know, Rachael! Glad these worked for you, have a great weekend! 🙂