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Small Batch Peanut Butter Cupcakes

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These small batch peanut butter cupcakes are easy to make, incredibly soft and moist, and rich in true peanut butter flavor!  Crown the cupcakes with chocolate peanut butter frosting and you’ll have a treat reminiscent of your favorite peanut butter cup candy.

Peanut butter cupcake with chocolate frosting and topped with peanut butter candy.

Why I To Love These Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Why does peanut butter evoke a sense of summer?  Or is it just me?  When I think of peanut butter I think of eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by the pool when I was 10.  Or peanut butter desserts from Dairy Queen.  And now that I’m a little older (ahem …) and wiser, I take my peanut butter in the form of pb&j scones, peanut butter s’mores icebox cake, or the uber-refined – pb&j overnight oats!

Though, the argument could be made that peanut butter is an all-season treat.  Peanut butter candy at Easter or in your trick-or-treat bag.  Regardless, these cupcakes – when paired with chocolate peanut butter frosting – taste just like the perfect candy cup!

You heard that right.  One bite of these small batch cupcakes and you will think you’re eating Reese’s peanut butter cup candy in pillowy, moist, cupcake form!

Key Ingredients and Notes

Wet and dry ingredients in mixing bowls for cupcakes.
  • All-Purpose Flour – I have not tested a gluten free version of these peanut butter cupcakes.  You can certainly try a cup-4-cup gluten free flour blend.
  • Brown Sugar – Light or dark brown sugar will work.  The brown sugar adds richness to the cupcakes and I like to use dark brown sugar for this reason.
  • Peanut Butter Powder – This is a wonderful alternative to actual peanut butter!  It adds robust peanut butter flavor without adding unnecessary moisture or oil.  You can usually find this next to the peanut butter at your grocery.
  • Baking Powder & Salt – To give the cupcakes the perfect rise.  And salt will balance and enhance all the flavors.
  • Unsalted Butter – I like to use unsalted butter since we add our own salt.  The butter should be room temperature – cool to the touch but will leave a slight indentation when you press it.
  • Milk – I use 2% milk, but whole milk or even dairy-free milk will work.
  • Egg White – I find the egg white gives the peanut butter cupcakes a light and airy crumb – much like my small batch of lemon cupcakes.
  • Sour Cream – Sour cream will add moisture and soft texture to the cupcakes.  My recommendation is full-fat to achieve the desired results.
Powdered peanut butter in a bowl next to the container.

Peanut butter powder is just as it sounds – peanuts that have been pressed into a powder.  This removes a lot of the oil and fat and leaves you with a powder that is great for baking!  Perfect to add to a small batch of cupcakes!

How To Make Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Dry ingredients for cake batter in a mixing bowl.

1.  Add the flour, sugar, peanut butter powder, baking powder, and salt to a mixing bowl.  I use my 3-quart mixing bowl with my stand mixer since this is a small batch of batter.  This will mix the batter more efficiently.

Butter cubes added to dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

2.  Add the butter cubes to the dry ingredients.  This method is called reverse mixing.  The butter coats the flour and reduces gluten development, resulting in a super light cupcake crumb.

Reverse creaming methode example of dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

3.  Mix the butter with the dry ingredients until you have a sandy mixture.  Literally, it will look like sand!  It is ok if you have a few larger butter lumps.

4.  Add the milk, egg white, sour cream, and vanilla to a liquid measuring cup.  Give it a good whisk until everything is incorporated.

Peanut butter cupcake batter in a mixing bowl.

5.  Drizzle the wet ingredients into the dry.  Mix the batter until it is incorporated and no dry streaks remain.  The peanut butter cupcake batter will be loose.

Small batch cupcake batter in the baking pan ready to be baked.

6.  Pour the batter into your prepared cupcake pan.  Bake the peanut butter cupcakes for 18 to 20 minutes, or until they are springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting!  Now comes the hard part – deciding which small batch frosting recipe to choose? If I haven’t already convinced you to use the chocolate peanut butter frosting! 🙂

Fluffy inside of a sliced peanut butter cupcake topped with fudgy peanut butter frosting.

Recipe FAQ’s

Can I swap the peanut butter powder for regular peanut butter?

You may be able to. The cupcakes may be a bit more dense with that simple swap.

What can I make with the extra egg yolk?

How about a small batch of chocolate pudding to use as a filling in the peanut butter cupcakes?

How should I store the cupcakes?

Unfrosted cupcakes can be covered and stored a room temp for up to 3 days. For frosted cupcakes, you probably want to refrigerate them after 8 hours, especially if you use the chocolate peanut butter frosting.

Can I freeze the cupcakes?

Yes! Place unfrosted cupcakes in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then bring to room temp to serve.

Single peanut butter cupcake topped with fudgy frosting on a mini cake stand.
Peanut butter cupcake with chocolate frosting and topped with peanut butter candy.
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5 from 1 review

Small Batch Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Yield: 4 Cupcakes
These small batch peanut butter cupcakes are easy to make, incredibly soft and moist, and rich in true peanut butter flavor!  Crown the cupcakes with chocolate peanut butter frosting and you'll have a treat reminiscent of your favorite peanut butter cup candy.
Prep10 minutes
Cook18 minutes
Total35 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar, light or dark
  • 1 ½ tablespoons peanut butter powder
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into cubes
  • ¼ cup milk, room temperature (any kind)
  • 1 tablespoon full fat sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 large egg white, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.  Line a cupcake pan with 4 cupcake liners.
  • In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, sugar, peanut butter powder, baking powder, and salt. Give it a quick mix to combine. Note – If using a stand mixer, I recommend the 3-quart mixing bowl (link above) for the small batch batter. Otherwise, you can use a hand held mixer and medium mixing bowl.
    ½ cup all-purpose flour, 5 tablespoons brown sugar, light or dark, ⅓ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 ½ tablespoons peanut butter powder
  • Add the butter cubes to the dry ingredients. Mix on medium-high speed until the butter is broken up and the mix resembles coarse sand.
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into cubes
  • In a liquid measuring cup, add the milk, sour cream, egg white, and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
    ¼ cup milk, room temperature, 1 tablespoon full fat sour cream, room temperature, 1 large egg white, room temperature, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Turn the mixer on low speed. Slowly drizzle the wet ingredients into the dry until incorporated and no dry streaks remain. Do not overmix.
  • Pour equal amounts of batter into the prepared cupcake liners. TipUse a small cookie scoop to help with portioning and less mess!
  • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean. Cool the cupcakes in the pan set on a wire cooling rack for 5 minutes. Then transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack to cool completely.
  • Frost the cooled cupcakes with any frosting of choice (chocolate peanut butter frosting is delicious!) Unfrosted cupcakes can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. For frosted cupcakes (especially with the chocolate peanut butter frosting), I recommend refrigerating them after 6 to 8 hours.
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RECIPE NOTES

  • Serving Size – This is a small batch recipe and only tested as such.  If you choose to double the recipe, use 1 whole egg vs. 2 egg whites.
  • Stand Mixer – You can use your stand mixer with standard bowl and attachments.  However, because this is a small batch batter, it will mix more evenly when you use a 3-quart mixing bowl.
  • 1/3 Teaspoon – Amazon sells odd-size measuring spoons – which are a must for any small batch baker!
  • Peanut Butter Powder – This recipe has only been tested using peanut butter powder.  If you choose to try peanut butter, I recommend regular, creamy peanut butter, like Jif or Skippy.   Note the peanut butter may make the cupcakes a little more dense.
  • Reverse Creaming Method – You will notice we mix the butter and sugar with the other dry ingredients first.  This method of mixing limits gluten development and yields fluffy and airy cupcakes.
  • Storing – Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored covered at room temperature for up to 3 days.  I recommend refrigerating frosted cupcakes after 6 to 8 hours because of the frosting.
  • Freezing – The baked, unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen for up to 3 months.  Wrap individually in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag.  Thaw in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature to serve.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin Cernich

NUTRITION ESTIMATES

Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 224mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 228IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition information is calculated by a third-party and should only be considered an estimate and not a guarantee.
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I'm Erin and I'm all about desserts - and a little bit of butter!

I've tested, written, and photographed hundreds of recipes on my website. Here you'll find the tastiest small batch desserts - all homemade, all simple, and all for you! Click here to learn more about me!

5 from 1 vote

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comments & reviews

1 thought on “Small Batch Peanut Butter Cupcakes”

  1. 5 stars
    I love to make these peanut butter cupcakes for birthday’s – they are a fun change from traditional vanilla or chocolate cupcakes!

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