Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcake

The Ron Bennington
The Ron Bennington

If you love chocolate and peanut butter you will LOVE this. If you pop Reese Peanut Butter Cups like potato chips, you NEED this! I am in love with the Ron Bennington cupcake found at Molly’s cupcakes, and being the bakery’s next door neighbor is not doing my wallet (or my waist!) any favors. Molly’s Cupcake’s number one selling cupcake is the Ron Bennington- a chocolately decadent cupcake that oozes perfectly sweet and salty peanut butter. Reese Peanut Butter Cups are also the Hershey factory’s number one seller. I doubt that this is a coincidence. Chocolate and peanut butter are just a match made in heaven ya’ll. My chocolatey know all might be related to the fact that I have lived a mile from the Hershey factory in Hershey, PA for three years, and I now happen to live next door to the reknowned Molly’s cupcakes (neither my husband or I are employees of the chocolate or bakery industry). I take this as a very clear sign of my destiny…to be a chocolate-peanut butter lover who must share the love with you all.

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Decorate the dark chocolate frosting with peanut butter chips or crushed peanuts and toffee.

My equally obsessed with chocolate + peanut butter baker buddy Suzane (Hey Suzane!) came over and we decided to embark on our own Ron Bennington because we just cannot afford the time or money to constantly stop at Molly’s. So here is our ripped recipe that is actually super easy. Really, we pulled this off with 2 screaming toddlers running around and a major time crunch! While my walls and bed sheets ended up with a mess of crumbled cheese and whatever else the girls were getting into, these lovely cakes met a much sweeter destiny of chocolatey peanut buttery perfection. The peanut butter filling is very easy: creamy peanut butter, brown sugar, powdered sugar, butter, and whipping cream. The chocolate cupcake  is a very rich and decadent formation of cocoa powder and melted chocolate. The dark chocolate frosting is to die for. This is my favorite chocolate frosting and it is definitely going into my archives!

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For the cupcakes you must use the buttermilk because  it reacts with the baking soda to fluff up these babies, so as gross as buttermilk looks and/or smells do not omit! To fill the cupcake, there are two ways to go about it. You could actually drop dollops of the peanut butter mixture into the center of the cupcake batter in tin pans before it bakes and it will bake right into the center of the cupcake! You could also bake the cupcakes as usual, then hollow them out with a corer and fill with as much peanut butter filling as you want. The latter option is better if you want to core out more cake and control how much peanut butter you insert. You can follow the process with the images below. 

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The above cupcake had the peanut butter baked in, and the lower cupcake had it inserted after baking. You cannot really see a difference in the texture except that when baked the peanut butter is melted into the batter.


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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcake
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
18 min
Total Time
38 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
18 min
Total Time
38 min
For the Cupcake
  1. 1/2 c unsalted butter (1 stick)
  2. 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  3. 1/2 c cocoa powder (not dutch processed)
  4. 3/4 c all purpose flour
  5. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  6. 3/4 tsp baking powder
  7. 1/4 tsp salt
  8. 2 large eggs at room temperature
  9. 1/2 c granulated sugar
  10. 1/4 c light brown sugar
  11. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  12. 1/2 c buttermilk
  13. 6 oz warm espresso
For the peanut butter filling
  1. 1 c peanut butter
  2. 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  3. 1/3 c light brown sugar
  4. 3/4 c powdered sugar
  5. 2 tbsp of heavy cream
For the frosting
  1. 2 3/4 confectioner sugar
  2. 2/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. 6 tbsp softened butter
  4. 6 tbsp heavy cream
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan with wrappers.
For the Peanut butter filling
  1. Start by preparing the peanut butter filling. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy.
For the Cupcakes
  1. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a microwave stirring every 20-30 seconds.
  2. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. In a larger bowl combine the sugars, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the cooled melted chocolate mixture and stir until smooth.
  5. Add half the flour mixture and then half the buttermilk and stir. Repeat to combine the remaining flour and buttermilk. Do not over mix. Stir in the warm espresso.
  6. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way, then drop a teaspoon of peanut butter into the center of each cupcake, and bake for 30 minutes. You could also add the peanut butter AFTER you bake the cupcakes by coring them out once cooled and piping in the peanut butter with a pastry bag.
For the Frosting
  1. Whip the butter until fluffy.
  2. Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa to ensure there are no lumps. Slowly stir into the butter until combined.
  3. Add the heavy cream and stir to dark chocolatey perfection.
  4. Pipe the frosting on with a zip bag or a pastry bag.
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Sugar & Garlic