Peanut Butter and Chocolate Swirl Cupcakes pair two of my favorite flavors together in one delicious treat. Rich, sweet, and creamy doesn’t begin to describe these things. Be sure to pour yourself a big glass of milk to go with them!
The secret to this recipe is Jif Peanut Powder, which has 85% less fat than traditional peanut butter, so you can use it in all sorts of recipes. I found Jif Peanut Powder at Walmart with the regular peanut butter, but I bet you can find it at Target or just about any major grocer, too.
You know that amazing smell when you first open a jar of peanut butter? That’s the same smell I got when I opened this bag. I don’t know what I was expecting peanut powder to look like.
I guess I thought I’d find a few chunks of peanuts in it, but this powder is made by pressing freshly-roasted peanuts and it is so fine. That texture makes it perfect for smoothies, or for using in cupcakes and frosting like I did.
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Swirl Cupcakes
The great thing about making this recipe is that you don’t have to make two different batters: just divide the batter in half once you get it mixed.
Then, stir melted chocolate chips into one half, and 2 tablespoons of Jif Peanut Powder into the other half.
If you accidentally use the same spoon to stir, resist the urge to loudly proclaim “Hey, you got your peanut butter in my chocolate! No, you got your chocolate in my peanut butter!” or your kid, who doesn’t get classic TV ad references, will think you’re insane. Guess how I know that?
Making the swirl happen is easy. First, fill your cupcake liners halfway with the chocolate batter and top with the peanut butter batter. (Try saying that three times fast.)
Then, using a toothpick, swirl the batters together. I found it works best to swirl up and down, scooping the chocolate batter up into the peanut butter batter, instead of trying to stir it side-to-side.
Either way, once you’ve swirled the batters, pop the cupcakes into the oven and bake 20-25 minutes.
Make your cream cheese frosting while the cupcakes are baking if you like, but be sure they are completely cool before adding the frosting.
As always, cream cheese frosting does best in cooler weather (hooray for Fall!) but you can add 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch to make it hardy enough to handle hot afternoons, a bonus tip for those of you who do bake sales for your kids’ school fundraisers!
Once frosted, grate a chocolate bar over the top for garnish and dig in.
If you happen to have any frosting left over, try dipping cookies in it — or berries! It’s so good.
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Swirl Cupcakes
- 1½ cups all-purpose white flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons Jif Peanut Powder
- ½ cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
- 3 tbsp Jif Peanut Powder
- 4 cups confectioner's sugar (about 1 lb.)
- 1 plain chocolate bar or chocolate sprinkles (optional)
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar and butter until creamy. Add eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla extract.
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk to the bowl of the stand mixer, pausing if needed to scrape down the sides.
- Remove half the batter to a large bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of the peanut butter powder.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips for 25 seconds on HIGH and stir. Continue microwaving 10-seconds at a time, then stirring, until melted. Stir the melted chocolate chips into the batter remaining in the stand mixer.
- Fill the cupcake liners halfway with chocolate batter. Top with peanut butter batter. Using a toothpick, swirl the two batters together, then bake at 350°F / 177° for 20 minutes, or until done. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.
- Whip the cream cheese and butter together in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy. Stir in the peanut powder.
- Slowly mix in the confectioner's sugar until the frosting reaches desired consistency. Pipe or spread this onto completely cooled cupcakes and garnish with a shaved chocolate bar or sprinkles if desired.