Triple Decker Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Okay friends, things are about to get a little ridiculous here. I may or may not have made mini outrageous towers of peanut butter and chocolate goodness that are almost so over-the-top they’re practically about to top over.  What we have here are regular sized and a mini-muffin sized chocolate cupcakes both filled with peanut butter filling topped with fluffy peanut butter frosting and a frosted miniature Reese’s to make the 3rd tier.  I told you it’s ridiculous!!  I’ve been dreaming up this idea in my head for awhile, but was waiting for the right moment to bust out such a monument of a dessert.  Since my husband happens to be peanut butter-obsessed, I knew he could appreciate a towering shrine of peanut butter and chocolate for his birthday, especially since he’s an engineer! And boy was I right, turns out 3 tiered peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes are the perfect way to usher in your “late” twenties.

There were a few important factors here that make the whole tower possible and in my opinion, can’t be overlooked. First of all, you’ll need dark brown cupcake liners for the regular and mini-muffin sized cupcakes so that they nicely match the Reese’s wrappers. If you’re going to go for this dessert, you have to go all out! And you need a peanut butter frosting that’s firm enough to hold up to layering more cake on top of it, so no cream cheese or whipped cream frosting here. Lastly, gather your peanut butter fanatic friends when your creation is complete because this dessert is not for the faint of sweet-tooth. It’s definitely up there with the richest and more decadent treats here on the blog, but what’s a baking blog without a couple of cookie-stuffed-cookies, caramel covered thingamabobs, and triple decker chocolate peanut butter cupcakes?? Plus as a baking blogger, when your husband’s birthday comes around, you have to go a little crazy. Crazy in love, for him and for peanut butter!!

Although eating one of these cupcakes is a bit challenging, it’s not so bad if you just approach it in a step-by-step fashion. Or do what Ryan did and stuff the whole thing in your mouth and somehow discard the wrappers! Either way it’s a really great cupcake that delivers triple the fun. I’ve always loved topsy-turvy cakes and these cupcakes are no exception. Fun to look at, fun to eat, and the food coma afterwards is pretty fun too :) Happy Belated Birthday Ry, here’s to many, many more ridiculous birthday desserts in our future.

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Triple Decker Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Ingredients:

for the peanut butter filling:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the chocolate cupcakes:
1-2/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs

for the peanut butter frosting:
24 tbsp (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp vanilla extract
5 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tbsp milk

18 miniature Reese's peanut butter cups for topping

Directions:

for the peanut butter filling:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla and beat on medium speed until well combined. Use your hands to roll about 18 balls of 1" diameter and 18 balls of 1/4-1/2" diameter. Place them on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Set aside while you make the cupcakes.

for the chocolate cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 18 regular muffins tins and 18 mini muffin tins with dark brown liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a liquid measuring cup combine the sour cream, milk, and vanilla extract. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry and wet ingredients, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until just incorporated.

Place about a tablespoon of batter into the bottom of each regular-sized cupcake liner and about half of that into the bottom of the mini-muffin liners. Place a ball of peanut butter filling in each cupcake well and top them with the remaining batter until liners are 3/4 filled.

Bake the mini muffins for 15-18 minutes and regular muffins for 18-22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

for the peanut butter frosting:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and peanut butter on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated. Reduce the mixer's speed and slowly add the sugar. Once the sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium and beat the frosting for another 2 minutes. Add the milk and beat again until smooth. Transfer frosting to a piping bag fit with a large star tip.

for assembly:

Pipe a swirl of frosting on top of all of the cupcakes and unwrapped Reese's. I recommend chilling the cupcakes for about 10-20 minutes before stacking them to allow the frosting to harden a bit and gain some structural integrity. Then carefully stack the cupcake and miniature Reese's on top of each other, at a topsy-turvy angle if you prefer. Add some sprinkles if you'd like and enjoy!