Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

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vegan chocolate peanut butter cupcakes

Vegan chocolate peanut butter cupcakes are ET’s favorite cupcake because he likes Reese’s Pieces. The peanut butter frosting tastes exactly like the inside of a Reese’s Pieces candy. These vegan cupcakes are easy to make and delicious. And nobody will ever know they’re vegan.

This recipe makes 22 vegan chocolate peanut butter cupcakes.

Table of Contents

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♫ Listening to ♫

Broken Record by Little Boots

These chocolate peanut butter cupcakes won a cupcake contest at RPS. RPS stands for rock, paper, scissors, for those of who don’t live in the bay area. RPS is a cool DIY space in Oakland, and the vegan cupcake contest was one of their fundraisers. It wasn’t a vegan cupcake contest, so these vegan cupcakes competed against non-vegan cupcakes and still won!

My recipe is an adaptation of a recipe in the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World cookbook, which seems appropriate given their placement in the ultimate vegan contest. These vegan chocolate peanut butter cupcakes were first featured on my old blog (ieatcupcakes.com) in 2011. You can also bake this recipe into a tacocat cake if you like.

Ingredients for Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

(jump to the substitutions section to see ingredient details and suggestions for substitutions)

  • 2 cups (480mL/16oz/460g) nondairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) apple cider vinegar
  • 2 ½ cups (325g) unbleached white flour
  • ⅔ cup (65g) cocoa powder
  • ½ tablespoon (9g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) salt
  • ⅔ cup (144g/160ml) sunflower oil
  • 1 ¾ cups (340g) organic sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (12g) vanilla extract

How to Make Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

prep time: 30 min | bake time: 18 min

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Line 2 cupcake pans with 24 paper cupcake liners.

Combine 1 tablespoon (14g) apple cider vinegar and (480mL/16oz/460g) nondairy milk and let sit.

Sift 2 ½ cups (325g) unbleached white flour, ⅔ cup (65g) cocoa powder, ½ tablespoon (9g) baking soda, 1 teaspoon (6g) baking powder, and ½ teaspoon (2g) salt into another bowl.

Add (144g/160ml) oil, (340g) sugar, and (12g) vanilla to the nondairy milk mixture and stir well. Sift dry ingredients into the wet and mix until smooth.

Fill the baking cups about ⅔ full with chocolate cupcake batter.

making vegan chocolate cupcakes

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until when you insert a toothpick into the center of one, it comes out clean. If you’re making mini cupcakes, bake for 9 minutes.

making vegan chocolate cupcakes

Ingredients for Vegan Peanut Butter Frosting

(jump to the substitutions section to see ingredient details and suggestions for substitutions)

  • ¼ cup (60g) vegan butter or margarine
  • ½ cup (96) organic palm shortening (I use Spectrum brand because it's sustainable)*
  • ½ cup (128g) peanut butter
  • 3-6 tablespoons (45-90g) of nondairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon (12g) vanilla extract
  • 5 cups (600g) organic powdered sugar
  • ¼ - ½ cup peanut butter powder (optional)

How to Make Vegan Peanut Butter Frosting for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

prep time: 30 min

Whisk ¼ cup (60g) vegan butter or margarine, ½ cup (96) organic palm shortening, ½ cup (128g) peanut butter, and 1 tablespoon (12g) vanilla extract using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a whisk attachment. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a handheld electric mixer.

Sift in 5 cups (600g) organic powdered sugar, a cup at a time, mixing in between each addition. Add tablespoons of plant-based milk when it gets too thick.

Sift and mix in the optional peanut butter powder if the consistency is too thin.

Fill a piping bag fitted with your favorite tip with the frosting. I used my favorite tip: Wilton Tip 1M.

Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Decorate with vegan candies or chocolate chips and vegan sprinkles.

Chill immediately to set the frosting before it melts. This peanut butter frosting is very delicate and cannot be left outside the fridge for too long.

peanut butter chocolate vegan cupcakes

Frequently Asked Questions About Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

How can I convert this cupcake recipe into a cake recipe?

To make a chocolate peanut butter cake instead of chocolate peanut butter cupcakes, use the recipe for my tacocat cake.

What is the best type of chocolate to use in chocolate peanut butter cupcakes?

When I’m choosing a cocoa powder for a cake or cupcake recipe, I try to look for one that is fair trade and organic. Sometimes the best cocoa powder is a cacao powder.

Can you make chocolate peanut butter cupcakes without eggs?

This recipe shows you how to make chocolate peanut butter cupcakes without eggs. The secret is to take advantage of the chemical reaction from baking soda and vinegar to cause the cake to rise in the oven. Therefore, after mixing your wet ingredients with your dry ingredients, you want to fill your cupcake liners as quickly as possible so that the chemical reaction is happening during the baking process and not on your kitchen counter.

How many calories are in a chocolate peanut butter cupcake?

These vegan chocolate peanut butter cupcakes have 327 calories in each cupcake.

organic chocolate peanut butter vegan cupcakes

Ingredient Substitutions for Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

  • Vinegar: You can replace the 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in this recipe with white vinegar or even lemon or lime juice. You just need something acidic to interact with the baking soda.
  • Flour: To make these cupcakes gluten-free, just replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend.
  • Baking Powder: Keep in mind that baking powder does expire, so it works best if it’s fresh/newish. I use non-aluminum baking powder but regular baking powder is fine too. If you’re out of baking powder, you can replace the teaspoon of baking powder in this recipe with an additional ¼ teaspoon of baking soda.
  • Baking Soda: Keep in mind that baking soda does expire, so it works best if it’s fresh/newish. If you’re out of baking soda, you can replace the ½ tablespoon (9g) baking soda in this recipe with an additional 1 ½ tablespoons (27g) of baking powder.
  • Nondairy Milk: You can use any kind and flavor of nondairy milk in this recipe. You can even mix nondairy creamer with water. The recipe is super forgiving. I’ve used almond milk, soymilk, oat milk, coconut milk, and even cashew milk. I never notice a difference with different milks.
  • Oil: I recommend using safflower, sunflower, or coconut oil for baking cakes because those oils are made for high heat, which helps you avoid transfats. However, you can use any other oil such as vegetable oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, etc. People even make cakes with olive oil, but I don’t recommend it.
  • Sugar: For the 1 ¾ cups sugar in this vegan cupcake recipe, you can use any number of sugars, as long as they’re vegan: sucanat, coconut sugar, raw sugar, organic sugar, or demerara. If you’re not sure if your sugar is vegan, you can contact the company and ask, but basically, just avoid conventional white sugar or granulated sugar, and you should be ok.
  • Vanilla Extract: If you don’t have vanilla extract, you can omit it, but the cake will taste much better if you include it. I always use 100% pure vanilla extract or flavoring. If the ingredients don’t specifically say vanilla bean, then it may be made with chemicals that replicate vanilla.
  • Vegan Butter: My favorite kind of vegan butter is the Organic Whipped Earth Balance. If you avoid soy, you can use soy-free Earth Balance.
  • Vegan Shortening: I use the Spectrum brand of vegan shortening because it’s sustainable. If you don’t have access to vegan shortening, you can replace it with additional vegan butter or margarine. If you do this, your frosting will be less stable at room temperature, so you definitely want to keep the cupcakes in the fridge instead of on the counter.
  • Peanut Butter: Make sure you use smooth creamy peanut butter (not crunchy).
  • Peanut Butter Powder: You can omit this from the recipe if you don’t have it.

If you like peanut butter and chocolate together, check out my vegan peanut butter cups, my gluten-free vegan chocolate peanut butter cup cupcakes, my peanut butter chocolate pretzels, and my peanut butter chocolate cake.

ET's Favorite Vegan Cupcakes


I use mostly organic ingredients when I cook. I realize that not everyone has the disposable income to buy only organic ingredients. Therefore, I only specify organic on the ingredients that really matter: when buying the organic (or non-GMO) version is the only way to ensure that an item is vegan.

This post links to items I used when I made this recipe. If you click on the purple Buy Now button on a product page, you will go to a website (like Amazon) where you can purchase the same product I used. Sometimes, the store you purchase from (Amazon, Etsy, etc.) will pay me for referring you. This costs you nothing extra, and I would never recommend a product that I don’t use. These affiliate programs help me buy the ingredients to create these recipes for you. Read more about this in my privacy policy.



Your website/recipes are so well done! I can't wait to try some out. Thank you!
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I can always immediately tell when a recipe is yours, I love your style! Thanks for all the recipes, I've made a few and they've all been great!
Consistent_Pea -⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is adorable! I've seen your recipes a couple of times before and they're always so pretty and creative!
pepperohni -⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐