Peanut Butter Lava Fudge Cupcakes
The softest, most tender chocolate cupcake ever, filled to the brim with luscious hot fudge sauce, frosted with whipped, fluffy peanut butter frosting and finished of with French chocolate sprinkles and a chocolate-covered pretzel. This is a chocolate and peanut butter lover dream come true!
Here’s a thought for you to “chew” on:
Are cupcakes still in?
Or did cronuts and macarons steal their thunder?
Debatable? I assume so.
But does it make a difference? Absolutely not because it’s enough that I’m letting fashion stick its nose in my wardrobe, that I strongly refuse to let it decide what I eat. Yeaaah! Because I’m rebel like that! Um-hmm!
Especially when its a cupcake like this one.
Peanut butter. Lava. Fudge! Keep scrolling to see what I mean…
If you’re like me and believe that peanut butter and chocolate is one of the best food combinations in the history of mankind, you might just shed a tear of joy while biting into this.
But then, the lava center will erupt in your mouth, and you’ll be too much in Pleasantville to cry.
A super soft, ultra moist, melt in your mouth chocolate cupcake, cradles the best hot fudge sauce you’ll ever have. When you bite into it, it oozes. And if that’s not enough, the cupcake is topped with a very peanut buttery frosting that gets whipped the heck out of it, so it’s all airy, fluffy and mousse-y. See all those air bubbles in the frosting? It’s from all the whipping, which mean it’s so light and not dense at all.
The rim of the cupcake is studded with French chocolate sprinkles for a fun textural contrast, another pop of flavor and for pretty looks. It’s like a necklace for the cupcake. And this one surely deserves itself some jewelry. The French chocolate sprinkles are softer than their classic cousins and actually taste like chocolate. I’m in love with them, but I know how hard they are to find. So the regular ones are always welcome to take their place, but also consider chopped peanuts, pretzels, toffee bits…the possibilities are endless.
The cupcake then gets a final adornment of a chocolate-covered pretzel, you know…because pretzels and peanut butter are meant for one another. I made my own chocolate-covered pretzels because I’m food nerd, but in my defense, they only took like 10 minutes to make. Max. Substitute with store-bought ones if you’d rather use your 10 minutes doing something more useful.
Let’s get into the details.
That hot fudge sauce…is simply the best! Uber chocolatey, perfectly sweet, satiny smooth, thick enough to cling on ice cream, yet thin enough for drizzling and oozing purposes. I use it over so many things including cake, ice cream and fingers. You could of course take a shortcut and use your favorite store-bought hot fudge, but please don’t. You’ll thank me later.
I’ve tried so many recipes for hot fudge sauce before, but something would always go wrong. Most of them would have the sugar crystallize over me and cause the whole thing to seize…aarrrrghhhh! But then those that turned out smooth, tasted too sweet. So when I found this recipe, I made a few tweaks to adjust it to our taste and then never looked back.
I mean look at that…do I even need to convince you with a sight like this?
Don’t be fooled by it’s light color thinking it lacks in peanut butter flavor, because it’s anything but. With 1 1/3 cups of peanut butter going into it, this frosting screams peanut butter. But unlike peanut butter frostings that taste so heavy, that a nap is required after its consumptions, this one is so light (in texture, not in calories) and ethereal. It gets whipped like there’s no tomorrow, which causes the color to lighten, and incorporates air bubbles into it, so it feels fluffy on the tongue.
It’s also just sweet enough with salty notes coming from the peanut butter and the touch of added salt. I could just eat it with the spoon (sigh!)
They’ve made a show on the blog with these Nutella Lava Cupcakes and in so much more in my home baking. I’ve been using this recipe for years, modifying it along the way, until it has reached my definition of perfection. The crumb is unreal! So light, fluffy and tender and of course moist, because I hate dry cakes. I’ve never had anyone try it without complimenting how soft they are. If you love the texture of cake mix, then this is the recipe you’ll want in your life, because they are as close to their texture as there ever will be. The flavor, however, is light years better because they actually taste like chocolate.
*I overfilled the cupcake pan just a bit because I wanted the cupcake to have a muffin-top-like cap. This produced a cupcake with a rim, which gave room for the sprinkles to stick on. If you’re not planning on sticking sprinkles, then fill the pan with less batter. More details on that, down in the NOTES section of the recipe. To fill the cupcake with the hot fudge sauce, we need to make a hole in center; a place where the sauce could sit in. Using a paring knife, and being careful not to pierce the bottom, you’ll make a circular cut about halfway through , then pop it out. Hey check out exactly how I do this step on instagram! I posted a video!
Take the cake “plug” out and cut its end and shove it in your mouth. You’ll get a preview of the taste before everyone else:)) Save the top part to cover the hole later.
Then using a spoon or a piping bag, fill the now empty hole with that luscious hot fudge sauce. You might need to warm up the sauce just a little for easy filling. Remember the top part of the cake “plug” I asked you to save? I hope you didn’t eat it up because now is the time to plug it back in.
To stick the sprinkles around the rim of the cupcake, you’ll need something for it to adhere on. I chose melted chocolate, because once dried, it pretty stable. However, leftover hot fudge sauce will do the trick, although might cause the sprinkles to move around a bit.
So easy, just use a paint brush (I have a few saved for food use only) dip it in melted chocolate and paint with it all around the rim. Or just dip the rim in a bowl of melted chocolate. Then roll around the cupcake’s rim in a plate full of sprinkles. Or peanuts. Or crushed pretzels!
There…now your cupcakes are wearing a halo of chocolate sprinkles. My kind of halo!
Pipe on this yummy yummy frosting, using a tip of your choice. But if you want see how I frosted those, check out that video on instagram.
You got yourself a treat made in peanut butter and chocolate heaven.
Now who cares if cupcakes are out of style?
Eat your heart out food fashion police!
Chocolate Cupcakes recipe adapted from Food Network Hot Fudge Sauce slightly adapted from America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book. Peanut Butter Frosting adapted from America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book. Measurements Note: All recipes of this site have been developed using weight measurements. Although US volume measurements have been included for your convenience, it is highly encouraged that you weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale to get the best possible results. Due to the sensitive nature of baking, kitchen scales are proven to yield more accurate and consistent results than measuring cups. Enjoy!
For the Hot Fudge Sauce:
For the Cupcakes: (you can substitute your favorite cake mix for a shortcut)
Peanut Butter Frosting:
For Garnish: (optional)
To make the Hot Fudge Sauce: (could be made up to 2 weeks in advance & refrigerated)
For the cupcakes:
To make the Peanut Butter Frosting: (could be made up to 3 days ahead)*
Chocolate Cupcakes recipe adapted from Food Network
Hot Fudge Sauce slightly adapted from America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book.
Peanut Butter Frosting adapted from America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book.
Measurements Note: All recipes of this site have been developed using weight measurements. Although US volume measurements have been included for your convenience, it is highly encouraged that you weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale to get the best possible results. Due to the sensitive nature of baking, kitchen scales are proven to yield more accurate and consistent results than measuring cups. Enjoy!
This post may contain affiliate links.
All images and content are owned by Cleobuttera® and are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you would like to republish a recipe, please rewrite it in your own words and link back to the recipe page on my site. Original recipes and creations of this site are intended for personal and home use. Commercial replication or media consumption are only allowed with a written consent and agreement with Cleobuttera owners. Otherwise it is considered a violation of intellectual property. Thank you for respecting and appreciating the amount of time and effort that goes into creating free, unique recipes that make people happy.