Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

These Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes have a rich dark chocolate cake and a fluffy peanut butter frosting, all in a perfectly portioned bite!

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting topped with chopped chocolate covered peanuts
Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Most of the cupcake recipes I’ve found online are for, at a minimum, 18-24 cupcakes.  I developed this recipe for those times when I don’t feel like supplying the neighborhood with baked goods.  I just want enough cupcakes to feel like maybe I shouldn’t eat another cupcake, but oh look there’s only 4 cupcakes left, I better eat another before they’re all gone.  Like, that many cupcakes.  I also made the recipe for an appropriate amount of frosting to frost these cupcakes and then turn around and stick one spoonful of frosting in your mouth before giving someone else the bowl to scrape with their finger.  So, a “love yourself” amount of frosting.  Stick with me guys, I got all the tricks 🤫

This recipe makes 12 cupcakes and just enough frosting to cover them, and not one bit more 😉

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

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  • 1 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour 195 g
  • cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder 35 g
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk 120 g
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee 120 g
  • ½ tsp instant espresso
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup unsalted butter 113 g
  • ½ cup granulated sugar 100 g
  • 1 large egg

Peanut Butter Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter 113 g, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter 192 g
  • 2 cups powdered sugar 240 g
  • 1 tbsp whole milk

Garnishes (optional)

  • chopped peanuts
  • chopped peanut butter and chocolate candies



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin pan with muffin cup liners.
  • Brew coffee. Dissolve instant espresso in hot coffee. Add vanilla and buttermilk and set aside.
  • Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set Aside.
  • Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Beat in egg.
  • Add in dry ingredients, alternating with the coffee mixture, ending with the dry. (Dry, wet, dry, wet, and finally the last of the dry.)
  • Place ¼ cup of batter in each cupcake liner, filling them about ⅔ full.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, turning your pans around halfway through. They are done when a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center comes out almost completely clean. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool completely on a cooling rack.


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and peanut butter on low speed until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, beating until smooth. Add in the milk and increase mixer speed to medium and beat until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Frost your fully cooled cupcakes by whatever method you are comfortable using. That can mean just using a butter knife to schmear a good dollop of frosting over the tops, or you can use a plastic zip top bag or a piping bag fitted with a tip and pipe the frosting on top in swirls or dollops. Finally, you can garnish the tops of your cupcakes fancy-like with chopped peanuts or, like me, crush up some Reese’s Crunchers and sprinkle them on top. It’s all delicious and headed straight for a mouth near you 😋

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