Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

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Chocolate and peanut butter lovers, these are for you! Rich, gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting are made with simple ingredients and are as perfect for celebrations as they are for everyday occasions. This wonderful cupcake recipe is a dream come true.

Gluten free chocolate cupcakes are shown topped with peanut butter frosting.

The Best Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Who doesn’t love chocolate cupcakes? And the combination of chocolate and peanut butter is one of the world’s best. These tender little cakes hit all the high notes you expect from chocolate cupcakes: a tender, gluten-free crumb with a moist texture and loads of chocolate. Then you’ll frost them with the most fluffy and decadent peanut butter frosting for an out-of-this-world treat. Even better, the cupcake batter needs just one bowl to make!

If you need a solid gluten-free recipe for chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting, you’ve come to the right place. It’s made from simple ingredients, follows an easy preparation method, and delivers consistent results every time. The cupcakes are amazing frosted with my creamy peanut butter frosting, or you can choose any flavor of frosting you like. Try chocolate, vanilla, or tangy cream cheese frosting, or lightly dust them with powdered sugar for a classic finish.

I love to make peanut butter chocolate cupcakes for birthday parties (another bonus is that you can double the recipe to make enough for a crowd) or school events. They’re always received with happy smiles, and when you make them gluten-free no one has to worry. This is a win-win recipe!

Gluten free chocolate cupcakes are shown topped with peanut butter frosting.

Why You’ll Love These Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate peanut butter cupcakes are one of life’s essential pleasures! I love that these are gluten-free but you’d hardly know it. Here’s why you’ll also love this recipe for chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting recipe:

  • Tender and chocolatey. A good chocolate cake needs to have a tender crumb, and this one truly delivers. It also needs to be packed with chocolate flavor! These gluten-free cupcakes are nice and chocolatey and will satisfy any chocolate craving.
  • Easy to make. Did I mention the one-bowl aspect of this recipe? It will take you mere minutes to whip up the batter for these little cakes, and you’ll need just one bowl to do so.
  • Totally gluten-free. All of the ingredients needed to make gluten-free chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting are gluten-free, meaning you can simply enjoy them. Plus, I doubt anyone will be able to tell that these are gluten-free.
  • Great for birthdays. Cupcakes are so fun to serve at birthday parties! You can make gluten-free peanut butter chocolate cupcakes in a double batch if you are feeding a large group.
  • An irresistible flavor combo. Chocolate + peanut butter is right up there as one of the absolute best flavor pairings imaginable.
Gluten free chocolate cupcakes are shown topped with peanut butter frosting.

Recipe Ingredients

Peanut butter chocolate cupcakes are not fussy, and you’ll recognize all the ingredients needed to make them. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need to make these cupcakes. Don’t forget to check the recipe card at the end of this post for the full ingredient amounts:

For the Cupcakes

  • Gluten-free 1:1 Baking Flour: You can use your favorite brand of all-purpose gluten-free flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill).
  • Granulated sugar: Granulated sugar provides neutral sweetness and gives consistent results.
  • Cocoa Powder: Use unsweetened cocoa powder for these GF chocolate cupcakes.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Baking powder and soda react together to help the cupcakes rise perfectly.
  • Salt: A little bit of salt in the batter enhances the sweetness of the cupcakes.
  • Eggs: Eggs bring structure to the structure. They’re best at room temperature.
  • Milk: Whole milk or 2% milk is fine in this recipe.
  • Vegetable Oil: Oil in cakes makes them incredibly tender and moist.
  • Vanilla Extract: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
  • Boiling water
  • Mini chocolate chips, chocolate curls, etc.: Used to decorate the cupcakes.

For the Peanut Butter Frosting

  • Peanut Butter: I always use creamy peanut butter in frosting for the smoothest texture.
  • Butter: I like to use unsalted butter for the frosting. If you want a more salted peanut frosting, you can use salted butter.
  • Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar, or confectioners’ sugar, is a must when you’re making frosting.
  • Milk: Milk helps to lighten up the frosting. You can use whole milk or 2% milk with good results.
Ingredients for gluten free chocolate cupcakes are shown in bowls: flour, cocoa powder, sugar, eggs, butter.

How To Make Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Here’s my easy method for making gluten-free chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting:

Make the Cupcakes

  • Heat the oven and prepare the cupcake pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12-cup cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  • Combine the dry ingredients. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add the wet ingredients. Add the eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract and whisk together until combined. Stir in the boiling water.
  • Divide up the batter and bake the cupcakes. Divide the batter between the 12 wells in the pan, filling each cupcake liner about 2/3 full with the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
A cupcake tray full of chocolate cupcakes.
  • Cool the cupcakes. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Frost the cupcakes. Prepare the peanut butter frosting according to the directions in this post for Peanut Butter Frosting, and frost the cooled cupcakes, then decorate as desired.

Tips for Success

If you’ve made chocolate cupcakes before, you can definitely make gluten-free chocolate cupcakes. Because gluten-free flour performs a bit differently than all-purpose flour, there are a few tips I’ve included below that will help these cupcakes turn out well:

  • Measure your ingredients correctly. When measuring your ingredients, particularly the gluten-free 1:1 flour, use the spoon-and-sweep method for the most accurate measurement. To use this method, spoon the flour from the bag into your measuring cup, then use the back of a knife to level it off.
  • Rest the batter. Gluten-free free flour greatly benefits from a rest before it’s baked. A rest of about 10 minutes hydrates the starches in the gluten-free flour, which will give you cupcakes with a better structure and crumb. You can let the batter rest while the oven preheats.
  • How to tell if your gluten-free cupcakes are done: Your cupcakes are ready to come out when a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
A gluten free chocolate cupcake is shown topped with peanut butter frosting.

Decorating Ideas

A gluten-free chocolate cupcake needs some frosting to make it shine! Here are a few of my favorite ways to serve chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting as well as some variation options:

  • Top with peanut butter frosting. Peanut butter and chocolate are one of my absolute favorite flavor combos! Top these gluten-free chocolate cupcakes with a creamy, fluffy homemade peanut butter frosting for an over-the-top dessert.
  • Frost with chocolate buttercream instead. For double the chocolate, swap the peanut butter frosting with Homemade Chocolate Frosting.
  • Or try another frosting. You can use the chocolate cupcake recipe as your base and frost it with Vanilla Frosting or Cream Cheese Frosting.
  • Add garnishes. You can add whatever garnishes you like to these cupcakes once you’ve frosted them! You can toss on some sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, chopped Reese’s, toasted nuts, or mini M&Ms.
  • Do a simple topping. For the ultimate simple finish to cupcakes, just sift some powdered sugar over the tops of the cupcakes and serve. Or drizzle frosted or unfrosted cupcakes with chocolate glaze.
A gluten free chocolate cupcake is shown topped with peanut butter frosting.

How to Store Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Store your chocolate peanut butter cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. If you still have cupcakes after a few days, place the container in the fridge and keep it for up to 5 days. Let the cupcakes come to room temperature again before serving.

Gluten free chocolate cupcakes are shown topped with peanut butter frosting.

Things You’ll Need

Here are a few of my favorite items for making cupcakes. Of course, you’ll need a cupcake pan, and I can’t live without stackable cooling racks as a place to cool and frost my cupcakes. I’m no cake decorator, but I find piping easier than spreading frosting on cupcakes. Plus it makes them look extra special. So I always have disposable piping bags and a selection of tips on hand.

A gluten free chocolate cupcake is shown topped with peanut butter frosting.
5 from 2 votes

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Chocolate and peanut butter lovers, these are for you! Rich, gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting are made with simple ingredients and are as perfect for celebrations as they are for everyday occasions. This wonderful cupcake recipe is a dream come true.
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes

  • 1 cup gluten-free 1:1 baking flour, recommended: Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 or King Arthur Measure for Measure
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup whole or 2% milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • Mini chocolate chips, chocolate curls, etc. for decorating the cupcakes if desired

For the Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup/1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk

Instructions

For the Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12-cup cupcake pan with cup cake liners.
  • In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add the eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract and whisk together until combined. Stir in the boiling water.
  • Divide the batter between the 12 wells in the pan, filling each cupcake liner about 2/3 full with the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Prepare the peanut butter frosting and frost the cooled cupcakes, then decorate as desired.

For the Peanut Butter Frosting

  • Using the beaters of a hand mixer or whisk attachment on a stand mixer, beat together the peanut butter and butter at medium speed for at least 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy
  • Reduce speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar.
  • Once the sugar is incorporated, increase the mixer speed back to medium and add 2 tablespoons of the milk, adding an additional 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Immediately frost your cooled cakes or cupcakes, or store in an airtight container for later use.
Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 365 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Trans Fat 0.04g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 27mg9%
Sodium 200mg8%
Potassium 224mg6%
Carbohydrates 51g17%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 39g43%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 42IU1%
Vitamin C 0.01mg0%
Calcium 44mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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2 Comments
  1. Linda Lowry

    Question! Will this recipe work for a cake vs cupcakes? If so, what sizes and how long to bake? Also, can I cut back on the sugar? Thanks!

5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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