Super rich and decadent, moist chocolate cupcakes with a creamy peanut butter filling that’s like a peanut butter cup and all topped with a fluffy dairy free peanut butter buttercream! If you love chocolate and peanut butter, you will LOVE these naturally vegan, dairy free, and easily gluten free cupcakes!

vegan peanut butter cupcakes

Why you need to try these secretly vegan chocolate peanut butter cupcakes:

Whether or not you’re vegan, you are going to LOVE these easy chocolate peanut butter cupcakes that are naturally vegan, eggless, and dairy free. And I have this confirmed as a fact by several vegan baking skeptics. These are truly just as good as, if not better, than the more traditional peanut butter filled cupcake.

Let me explain. We have a super tender, decadent, and rich chocolate cupcake that has the absolute perfect crumb. Filled with a creamy and sweet peanut butter filling that resembles that of a Reese’s peanut butter cup. Topped with an ultra smooth and fluffy dairy free peanut butter buttercream and vegan peanut butter cups.

These vegan cupcakes are the ultimate treat for any chocolate and peanut butter lover out there.

What’s more, these peanut butter cupcakes are so easy to make as well. Simple ingredients that are not complicated and will make you switch to from-scratch baking over a box mix any day.

Oh, and these chocolate peanut butter cupcakes are easily made refined sugar free and gluten free as needed! Let’s begin!

peanut butter cupcakes

Ingredients & Substitutions

If you’ve never baked vegan before, please do not worry. These ingredients are super simple, and definitely able to found at any grocery store (though I will note that some of my European readers have noted it’s more difficult to find a good applesauce in grocery stores. For that, you can also make it from scratch!).

For these chocolate peanut butter cupcakes, you’ll need:

  • Flour: you can use all-purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour here.
  • Cocoa powder: I go over why I use all-natural cocoa powder over Dutch-processed cocoa and cacao powder down below, but make sure to use cocoa powder!
  • Coconut sugar: you can also swap in organic granulated sugar, but I have found cheaper coconut sugars at Trader Joe’s if you’re looking for a great less expensive option.
  • Unsweetened applesauce: this is a vegan egg replacement.
  • Vegan buttermilk: this is a simple combination of dairy free milk and either lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. You can use any type of dairy free milk here that you’d like.
  • Vegan butter: I recommend Flora Plant Butter for the best tasting vegan butter!
  • Peanut butter: use creamy and no sugar added peanut butter here!
peanut butter cupcake ingredients

How to make chocolate peanut butter cupcakes (overview)

For the full written instructions and ingredient measurements, see the bottom of this post in the recipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.

You’ll make these chocolate peanut butter cupcakes in 3 stages: first the cupcakes, then the filling, and finally the frosting!

To make the vegan chocolate cupcakes:

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients.

    This is the flour, cocoa powder, and leavening agents.

  2. In a separate bowl, cream together the wet ingredients.

    You’ll mix together the vegan butter, sugar, and applesauce until fluffy.

  3. Add in the dry ingredients.

    Use the vegan buttermilk to help fold everything together.

  4. Divide the batter amongst the cupcake liners.

    Fill the cupcakes about 2/3 of the way full. This will yield you 12 cupcakes. If you fill to more of the 3/4 line, then you’ll end up with 10-11!

  5. Bake!

    Once baked, allow the cupcakes to cool in their tin for 10 minutes before fully cooling on a cooling rack.

how to make chocolate peanut butter cupcakes

How to fill peanut butter cupcakes

For these chocolate peanut butter cupcakes, the peanut butter filling is not just the peanut butter buttercream on top. In fact, the filling is much closer to an actual peanut butter cup!

But first, we need to core the cupcakes. I recommend purchasing a cupcake corer (they go for about $7-10). It makes making filled cupcakes so much cleaner and faster (no more cupcake crumbs everywhere!). For more cupcake filling tips, my good friend, Camila from Pies & Tacos, wrote a whole cookbook on filled cupcakes! There are some vegan recipes in there, but her tips in general are amazing!

As for the peanut butter filling, it’s similar in ingredients to the vegan peanut butter buttercream. However, the ratios are different, yielding a much different consistency. We’ll cream together the vegan butter and peanut butter. Then add in the sugar and cream together again.

Pipe the filling into the middle of each cupcake, then we’ll make the vegan peanut butter buttercream.

chocolate peanut butter cup with filling

Vegan Peanut Butter Buttercream

This peanut butter buttercream could actually be eaten with a spoon. It’s lush, smooth, creamy, deliciously sweet, and fluffy, without being too much like peanut butter or too sweet.

I based this peanut butter buttercream off of my vegan buttercream recipe, but it’s not as sweet, so that the peanut butter flavor can really come through.

You’ll cream together the vegan butter (room temperature is a must!) and peanut butter, then add in the powdered sugar. For refined sugar free, you can use powdered coconut sugar (simply pulse the coconut sugar in a food processor until you reach a powdered consistency). Pipe onto your chocolate peanut butter cupcakes, and enjoy!

peanut butter buttercream on chocolate cupcake

What peanut butter cups are vegan?

If you are following a vegan lifestyle, then, like me, you’ve probably scoured the internet for the best store bought vegan peanut butter cups. Sure, we can easily make homemade peanut butter cups, but when you’re incorporating them into a recipe that you’re already making from scratch, it saves some time to use store bought!

Here are a few of my favorite vegan peanut butter cups to purchase from the grocery store:

  • Theo Chocolate
  • Justin’s Chocolate
  • Unreal

For making your own, I recommend using Pascha Organics chocolate. They’re my absolute favorite, and I truly wish they would come out with a peanut butter cup as well ha! Maybe in the works 🙂 But their chocolate is truly Fair Trade and responsibly sourced, which always makes me feel better about supporting their brand.

Can I make this into a layer cake?

We actually already have a great vegan chocolate peanut butter layer cake that this recipe was based off of!

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks

Know what room temperature vegan butter really is!

This is especially important for the vegan buttercream, as warm butter with peanut butter will result in a sugary pool rather than pipe-able frosting. Room temperature vegan butter is not actually room temperature, but 65F. There will be a slight cool feeling to the butter, and you can easily indent it. It’s important that there is still coolness in the vegan butter, as vegan butter is not as stable at room temperature as regular butter when it comes to making frosting.

Make your own creamy peanut butter!

I love homemade peanut butter. It has such a fresh taste to it that will make these homemade vegan chocolate peanut butter cupcakes unreal!

Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

This trick makes sure that the cupcake liner peels right off easily!

Make these peanut butter cupcakes entirely gluten free.

For gluten-free, use Bob’s Red Mill’s Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Flour in the blue bag. This works like a charm!

For making these cupcakes ahead of time:

I recommend making the cupcakes a day ahead, and filling and piping them the day of. Once the cupcakes are baked, you can allow them to cool then cover them to be stored at room temperature. Try to avoid storing them in the fridge overnight, as they might dry out. The next day, make the filling and frosting, and assemble the cupcakes. You can then store them in the fridge for a few hours, as now the tops of the cupcakes are covered, and a few hours won’t dry out the cupcakes.

Use all-natural cocoa powder over cacao powder.

I recommend this also even over Dutch-processed cocoa (very good for brownies!). This is because all-natural cocoa powder has the highest acidity content out of the three options, which will help these cupcakes rise.

chocolate peanut butter cupcakes

You are just going to absolutely LOVE these easy vegan chocolate peanut butter cupcakes! Absolutely no one will believe they’re vegan, and trust me, they’re even easier to make.

These peanut butter filled cupcakes are perfect for:

  • Birthdays
  • Graduations
  • Weddings
  • Holidays, like Christmas and Thanksgiving!
  • Baby showers
  • To use up leftover Halloween candy
  • As an any time treat!
sliced vegan peanut butter cupcakes

More chocolate peanut butter recipes you’ll love:

Best Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Homemade Vegan Snickers

Vegan Peanut Butter Pie

Homemade Vegan Buckeyes

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookie Skillet

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

AMAZING Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes (Vegan!)

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
peanut butter cupcakes

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes (Gluten Free)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


Super rich and decadent, moist chocolate cupcakes with a creamy peanut butter filling that’s like a peanut butter cup and all topped with a fluffy dairy free peanut butter buttercream! If you love chocolate and peanut butter, you will LOVE these naturally vegan, dairy free, and easily gluten free cupcakes!



Chocolate cupcake base:

  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) vegan buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (157 g) all purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) all natural cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cups (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup (110 g) neutral oil
  • 2 tbsp (35 g) unsweetened applesauce or dairy free yogurt, room temperature
  • 1/3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) hot water + 1 tsp dissolvable espresso powder
  • 1 batch vegan peanut butter frosting

Peanut butter filling:

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 tbsp vegan butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar or coconut sugar, sifted


  1. Please read through all instructions. Measure out all ingredients before beginning.
  2. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and line a cupcake tin with liners. Make sure for the vegan buttermilk, the dairy-free milk and lemon juice/ACV are mixed together and set aside to curdle. 
  3. Prepare the dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt. Set aside.
  4. Make the chocolate cupcakes batter: In a  large bowl with a hand mixer or whisk, mix together the neutral oil, sugar, brown sugar, applesauce, and vanilla until combined. Carefully add in about half of the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and half of the vegan buttermilk. Mix again lightly until almost all of the dry ingredients are incorporated, then add in the remaining dry mixture and vegan buttermilk, being careful not to over mix the batter. Finally, pour in the hot coffee and mix to incorporate throughout the batter.
  5. Bake the cupcakes: Pour the batter into the cupcake liners, filling the liners about 2/3 of the way full. You should get 11-12 cupcakes. Place the cupcakes into the over and bake for 25-27 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Cool: Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the cupcake tin. After 10 minutes, transfer the cupcakes to the cooling rack until they are fully cooled. Once the cupcakes are fully cooled, use a cupcake corer or with a spoon, remove the center/core of each cupcake. You can save the extra pieces for cake truffles!
  7. Fill the cupcakes: Once the cupcakes are cored, you can make the peanut butter filling. In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the vegan butter and creamy peanut butter. Add in the powdered sugar, and cream together again until smooth. The consistency should be not quite as smooth and fluffy as buttercream, but thicker than peanut butter- enough to pipe into the middle of each cupcake! Fill a piping bag with any piping nozzle attached, and pipe the filling into the middle of each cupcake until it reaches the top. Now set aside as you make the peanut butter buttercream.
  8. Make the peanut butter buttercream: use a hand mixer in a large bowl to cream the vegan butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Then add in the peanut butter, and mix again until the peanut butter is incorporated. Then sift in the the powdered sugar (or coconut sugar) in 1 cup increments, continuing to cream the frosting. Add in 2-3 tbsp of dairy free milk to help combine the sugar into the butter. The buttercream should be fluffy and thick. The important thing here is to make sure it’s still cold so that it pipes well. 
  9. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes: Fill a piping bag with a tip and pipe the vegan buttercream frosting onto the cupcakes. Top with homemade vegan peanut butter cups or store bought vegan peanut butter cups. Serve and enjoy!
  10. Storage: store any leftover cupcakes in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to 4 days.


Gluten free: use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour for completely gluten free peanut butter chocolate cupcakes.

Refined sugar free: you can use coconut sugar for the entirety of this recipe, including the frosting. Be sure to process the coconut sugar through the food processor when using in the buttercream section. This will simulate powdered sugar.