Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layered Cupcakes

First time’s the charm, if you’re hobby baker Cara Sapida. The local reporter and pal of our Head of Advertising, Michelle, whipped up her first original recipe to submit to Pillsbury’s annual Bake-Off contest, only to end up as a finalist in the running for $1 million. Cara didn’t end up winning, but her Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layered Cupcakes were a big hit in the ModOffice when Michelle brought in a batch!

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layered Cupcakes
Makes about 18 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup Reese’s peanut butter chips
1/4 cup Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate baking chips

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Place a paper baking cup in each of 18 regular-size muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Add the oil, water, vinegar and vanilla to the flour mixture, stirring just until smooth (do not over mix).
  3. In another large bowl, beat the egg, cream cheese, peanut butter and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar; beat until creamy.
  4. Spoon 1 level tablespoon chocolate batter into each cup; evenly spread 1 level tablespoon peanut butter filling on top. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with peanut butter chips and chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (do not over bake). Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan to a cooling rack; cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm or cool.

Have you ever created your own recipe, or entered a baking contest before?

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  1. Aire (ModCloth) 04/28/2010 at 11:25 am #

    I’m soooooo sad I missed these when they were in the office! They look amazing!! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  2. Jessica M. 04/28/2010 at 11:36 am #

    chocolate plus PB equals drool….thanks so much for making me hungry….lol

  3. Sydney 04/28/2010 at 11:42 am #

    Those. Look. Incredible.

    Darn my pre-wedding diet!!!!!

  4. Lyraida 04/28/2010 at 12:09 pm #

    WOW, those look delicious!

  5. Victoria / Justice Pirate 04/28/2010 at 12:15 pm #

    oh goodness. I am going to copy this recipe down!

  6. Christen (ModCloth) 04/28/2010 at 1:16 pm #

    WOWZERS, these look delectable! I’m going to make them…right now.

  7. Lulu 04/28/2010 at 2:28 pm #


  8. Alicia 04/28/2010 at 3:37 pm #

    MMMM… must bake now!

  9. Natasha (ModCloth) 04/28/2010 at 5:28 pm #

    why oh why

    bride diet…over.

  10. Kit 04/28/2010 at 10:43 pm #

    They look SOOO good!! This is the reason I hate being allergic to peanuts:(

  11. Scarlett 04/29/2010 at 3:23 pm #


  12. Cady 04/29/2010 at 3:54 pm #

    i can not wait to make these…. right now 🙂

  13. Pam 04/29/2010 at 8:23 pm #

    Those look amazing! I think I might just try them.. 🙂

    And Kit: if you’re not allergic to all nuts, I’m sure they’d be amazing with hazelnut or almond butter! 🙂

  14. court 04/29/2010 at 11:53 pm #

    yummm…these sound delicious! This is definitely getting added to my recipe box.

  15. Kit 04/30/2010 at 6:28 pm #

    Pam: Yeah, I was thinking I might be able to subsitute with something else since peanuts are the only nut I’m allergic to. Thanks for reminding me, I saw some plain hazelnut paste and hazelnut&chocolate chips once, hopefully I’ll be able to find them again! But still, I LOVE the taste of peanuts! YUM!

  16. yak 06/14/2010 at 9:45 pm #

    have them in the oven currently…the anticipation is killing me!

  17. CassidBassid 09/12/2010 at 9:21 pm #

    I made these and they were delicious. They were super moist and yummy. Also we used mini reeses cups that we cut into 4ths and they looked really cool.

  18. CassidBassid 09/12/2010 at 9:22 pm #

    Mini reeses cups instead of reeses chips*

  19. Jessica 07/04/2011 at 10:57 pm #

    I made these on July 4th for me and my Dad. And they were amazingly delicious and so moist! I changed up the recipe a bit by making a half recipe which was a bit of a challenge, but turned out well. I also used penut butter and chocolate swirl chips and put a mini penut butter cup in the center of the cupcake and it added just a little extra surprise when you dug into it 🙂

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