These chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes have a secret peanut butter cup treat at the bottom and Reese’s frosting. Decorated like witches, they are the perfect Halloween trick AND treat. Jump to Recipe
The weeks leading up to Halloween mark the start of my favorite season. That’s when it starts to really feel like fall. It’s a smell in the air that’s hard to pin down, but there none-the-less.
And even though Halloween isn’t half as exciting as it was when I was a kid, the nostalgia still works its magic.
I remember how ecstatic I was to come home with all my candy, pour it out on the floor, and sort it into categories. There was the “I’m not eating that” pile that was given to my Dad. And then there were the like, love, and absolute favorites piles.
And Halloween wasn’t successful if I didn’t get any Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. It was devastating, the biggest trick of Halloween.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes
These Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes are an ode to that trick, but instead of just a trick, your taste buds are rewarded with a treat too.
On the outside, they appear to be just regular frosted chocolate cupcakes. But when you bite into that cupcake, the Reese’s flavor in the frosting and the surprise peanut butter cup at the bottom of the cupcake give your taste buds the best treat ever.
You might notice from the pictures that there are two types of frostings. I originally set out to create a Reese’s version of my White Chocolate Buttercream I used in this Rosemary Sponge Cake. I played around with the recipe but still couldn’t get the frosting to hold well.
But I really liked the taste and I decided to keep it. And then, after I had taken the pictures, I changed my mind. It was just too droopy. So then I spent some time and lots of Reese’s creating another frosting recipe.
I felt conflicted on whether I should share both because of the pictures and decided to go ahead a let people make up their own minds.
American Buttercream Pros and Cons
- Holds its shape at room temperature
- You can pipe designs with it
- Really easy to make
- Sweeter than the Flour Buttercream
Flour Buttercream Pros and Cons
- Makes it look like the witches are melting, like from the Wizard of Oz
- Not as sweet as American Buttercream
- Very silky texture
- Melts easily and doesn’t hold at room temperature
- You can’t pipe designs with it
- More work than American buttercream
I’ve made the American buttercream the “official” frosting recipe of these Reese’s Peanut Butter Cupcakes, and it’s included in the primary recipe card.
Just in case people are interested in trying the flour buttercream despite its downfalls, I’ve included it in a separate recipe card.
Heat and Stomach Pains
The weather has been in the mid-90s and 100s lately, which is just painful. Fall is ever on my mind but there isn’t even a hint of it in the air.
Which is really a bummer because I’ve been recipe testing and taking pictures of fall-related subjects:
- I walked around Vacaville in 95-degree heat on the hunt for fall leaves for a freelance job. The leaves on the ground were crispy critters and all the same shade of brown. Fake will have to do.
- I’ve made stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie for both future blog posts and freelance work. At least the house smells like fall.
I’ve been busy and it feels good but I’m a little run down at the moment. I’m writing this in the early morning (5 am) in order to get the post up today.
Yesterday I had a bit of a scare with my stomach that forced me to stop work earlier than I wanted. My health has been great lately but my stomach pain was no joke. It dropped me to the floor and had me withering around.
I think the likely cause was dehydration, which is no joke for everyone, but especially if you don’t have a colon. Lots of fluids, a liquid dinner of dashi and miso broth, a hot shower, a heating pad to the stomach, and CBD oil came to my rescue.
I hope you enjoy these Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes. What was your favorite Halloween candy treat?
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes
- 2 (10.5) ounce bags Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (snack size)*
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cups 100% cocoa powder Dutch Processed*
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoons Morton Coarse Kosher Salt 1 teaspoon if you use table salt
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup boiling water
Frosting Ingredients (the American Buttercream version)
- 1 cup butter at room temperature
- 1 (10.5) ounce bag Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (snack size), melted
- 2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
- salt to taste
- 10 to 12 drops green food dye optional
- chocolate ice cream cones* optional
- edible decorative eyes* optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cupcake tins with paper liners. Place a snack size Reese’s Peanut Butter cup in the bottom of each liner.
Measure and sift all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Whisk to mix.
Whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and oil together in a medium bowl.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, whisking until just combined.
Whisk in the boiling water.
Pour batter into the cupcake liners, filling them up about 3/4 of the way. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
Let the cupcakes cool ten minutes in the pan and then remove them and let them cool on wire racks.
Frosting Instructions (the American Buttercream version)
Melt the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in a glass bowl in 20 second intervals in the microwave until the chocolate is melted and the peanut butter filling has softened.
Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the cooled and beaten Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and beat until fluffy.
Add the powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time until it’s the consistency you want. If you add the green food dye, you’ll have to add more powdered sugar.
- A 10.5-ounce bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups has 14 cups
- Natural cocoa powder (like Hershey’s) also works, but the Dutch Process gets a darker color and softer crumb.
- I couldn't find chocolate ice cream cones, which requires much less work. If you also can't find them, buy regular cones. Melt some chocolate melting wafers in the microwave and pour it onto a plate. Roll the cones in the chocolate until they are completely covered and set on top of parchment paper to dry.
- Some grocery stores might have edible decorative eyes but I got mine at Michaels. I also got the cute Happy Halloween and witches legs there too.
- 1 (10.5) ounce bag Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (snack size)
- 4 and 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cubed and at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- sea salt to taste
- 10 to 12 drops green food dye optional
Melt the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in a glass bowl in 20-second intervals in the microwave. Set aside to cool.
In a medium saucepan on low heat, combine the flour, sugar, and milk, stirring constantly. It will take a while to start to boil cooking on low but once it starts, the pudding will thicken up really quick. Cook for one minute after the mixture has started to boil, stirring continually.
Take the pudding off the heat and pour it into a shallow plate (you can strain it if necessary to prevent lumps).
Press plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding’s surface and let it cool to room temperature.
In a mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Pour in the cooled melted Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and beat until the butter is fluffy.
Add the cooled pudding a tablespoon at a time, mixing until smooth each time.
Beat in the powdered sugar to thicken up the frosting (if desired)