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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes Version Two

by on January 28, 2014 · 9 comments

If you want to find us on a Sunday afternoon, check Trader Joe’s. We’re there on a pretty regular basis, stocking up on a few of our favorite items (wine!) and checking out what’s new. I could make you a list of all the reasons we like the store, but this post is about cupcakes — specifically these peanut butter filled cupcakes that were inspired by the ones at Trader Joe’s.

Peanut  Butter Filled Cupcake

Fuzz’s chocolate cupcakes were awesome, but I wanted to try using a different recipe and topping them with a ganache (like you know who’s) and this recipe was the result.

Peanut Butter Filled Cupcake

I am very happy with it. The downside is that it only makes 12, but that might also be an upside as it’s always nice to have a mix of different cupcakes, so you could throw together a batch of these and then do some vanilla or carrot cupcakes.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Dark chocolate cupcakes filled with peanut butter and topped with chocolate ganache.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
  • 3 oz. dark chocolate, chopped (I used Trader Joe's Dark)
  • 5 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa (Hershey’s Dark)
  • 3/4 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 3/4 cup (4.1 oz) bread flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Peanut Butter Buttercream
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream at room temperature
Chocolate Ganache
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz chopped dark chocolate (again, Trader Joe's)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons softened butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 standard size muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. Place chocolate and cocoa in a mixing bowl and pour the hot coffee over. Whisk until smooth then cool.
  3. In another bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda together, set aside.
  4. Whisk oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth, then stir in the flour mixture. Divide batter between the baking cups.
  5. Bake 17-19 minutes, until cupcakes are set and just firm to the touch. Cool completely on a rack.
  6. Next, make the ganache. It needs time to cool, so I like to make it early on.
  7. Heat the cream in a microwave-safe measuring cup (I use a 2 cup Pyrex) just until it begins to boil. Add the finely chopped chocolate and stir. Let sit for a few minutes, then stir again until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in the softened butter. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then pour into a pastry bag or a heavy duty freeze bag and let cool and thicken.
  8. Make the peanut butter filling, combine the butter and peanut butter and beat until creamy. Add the confectioner’s sugar gradually, beating until well mixed, then add the salt, vanilla and cream and beat until smooth.
  9. Carve a small well in each cupcake and fill with peanut butter filling. You can spoon it in or pipe it out of a snipped freezer bag.
  10. At this point the ganache should be cool and slightly thick. If it's not, throw it in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. Snip the tip off the decorating bag (or Freezer bag) and pipe the ganache over the cupcake.
  11. Pipe or spoon a little dab of peanut butter in the center.
The base of this cupcake is adapted from the Cook's Illustrated Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake. You can substitute all-purpose flour for the bread flour, but the cupcake will be crumblier. The extra protein in the bread flour is supposed to help keep the cupcake from falling apart since it has so much extra chocolate.


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Published on January 28, 2014

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

katherine January 28, 2014 at 3:00 pm

These look delish! I really like Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate too. Which wines do you buy? Always looking for good TJ’s recommendations. Thanks.

Anna January 28, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Katherine, I am working my way through their wines. I like the

La Granja 360 Tempranillo – $3.99 (has a pig on it)
Archero Nero d’Avola – $4.99 (but I like almost all Nero d’Avola and am not picky)
Lagranja 360 Tempranillo/Garnacha Blend — $6.99 (Has a zebra on it)
So far the only one I didn’t care for was the “Happiness”. I got lured in by the smiley face on the bottle, but it wasn’t for me.

Jeryry January 28, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Why bread flour??

Anna January 28, 2014 at 5:19 pm

The extra gluten in the bread flour is supposed to keep the cupcakes from being too crumbly. Not all cupcakes need bread flour for structure, but this one’s composition is such that the extra gluten in the flour kind of helps with the overall structure.

Sarah January 28, 2014 at 8:01 pm

Wow, these look amazing! I can’t get enough of the chocolate cake/ganache lately, so will definitely be trying these:)

Anna January 28, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Sarah, I had a lot of fun with the ganache. I normally drizzle it over things, but this time I (patiently) waited for it to thicken and had no problems piping it out. By the way, I had to use crunchy peanut butter because that was all we had, but I think creamy peanut butter would be even better.

Shari January 29, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Would it work to substitute cookie butter for the peanut butter? If we’re going for full on TJ’s theme here…

Anna January 29, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Shari, I like cookie butter but not with chocolate, so I really can’t say.

Michelle @ My Gluten-free Kitchen February 11, 2014 at 12:15 am

Drooling! You had me at chocolate and peanut butter! These look fantastic. I’d love to try this combo with my gluten-free chocolate cupcakes.

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