One of my favorite things about dessert is how incredibly personal it is. While I think that Chocolate Chip Cookies are the most perfect dessert, someone else may think I’m completely wrong and say that Cheesecake is the ultimate treat. And, on the flip side, I have never liked cake. As a kid, for my birthday, my mom would always buy a super cool themed ice cream cake, because it’s a kid birthday party and the other kids all expected cake. So I would just eat the ice cream layer and leave the cake parts behind. Even today, if you ask me my ideal birthday cake, it would be a cake-shaped cookie. But, there’s no going around it, cake is the quintessential dessert for a celebration. And to celebrate my best friend’s birthday this month, I set out to make her perfect birthday dessert, and created these healthified Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cupcakes. And I have to say, this cake is just so good, that even I, the cake-hater, have fallen deeply in love.
To be fair, the reason I probably love this cake is because it’s more reminiscent of an airy but still super moist brownie, and less like a standard cake texture. The cupcake is deeply chocolatey from the cocoa powder, has a satisfying chewy exterior, and soft interior. The peanut butter filling is the perfect counterpart to the balanced sweetness of the chocolate cupcake. The filling is thick and creamy, and really, PB & chocolate is always a winning combo. But, that being said, if peanut butter isn’t your thing, or you want to keep these paleo, simply use any nut/seed butter that strikes your fancy. Almond butter is always a good substitute, but I also think cashew butter would be incredible in these as well. And then, because what would a cupcake be if not for the top action, we add frosting. I went with a pre-made frosting because sometimes you just don’t feel like messing around with making another component for a single recipe. I used Simple Mills vegan frosting and it’s a very solid choice in the “healthier” frosting category.
This recipe is simple enough to make and made easier with a few extra tools. The cupcake batter comes together in a breeze, has only 8 ingredients, and bakes up in just 20 minutes. After the cupcakes cool, I create a well in each using the handle of a fork (or any utensil). The peanut butter filling is made with just 4 ingredients and then piped into the cupcakes wells. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a small spoon to fill the cupcakes; although this would take some extra time and a good amount of patience. Or, simply fill a large plastic bag with the filling, cut the tip off one of the lower corner and use as a makeshift piping bag! The frosting can then either be piped on top or just spread on with a knife! I purchased this cake decorating set a little while ago and I have to say, as a newbie cake decorator, I’m very satisfied with the quality and the plethora of tools that comes with it.
The best part of these cupcakes is that they are better-for-you than your typical cupcake recipe. They are made with no refined flours, oils, or sugars. They are paleo-possible if you substitute the peanut butter for a paleo compliant nut/seed butter. They are grain free, gluten free, and dairy free. And of course, still taste amazing! My husband, who prefers the full sugar, white flour version of everything actually thought they were made as such! And if that’s not a full endorsement to how delicious these cupcakes actually are, well, I just don’t know what is.paleo friendly (gluten/grain/dairy free), refined sugar free
If you make this recipe, please feel free to leave a review or rating down below. And I’d LOVE to see your creation! Please tag me on Instagram @freshlydafna and use #freshlydafna.
Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cupcakes
The classic combination of PB & chocolate in a cupcake! It's a super moist and fudgy cupcake, similar to a brownie, stuffed with a simple peanut butter filling and topped with frosting. These are made better for you with no refined sugars, oils, or flours!
gluten free, grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free
- 1/2 cup almond flour, packed
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder unsweetened
- 1/4 cup tapioca powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil melted and cooled
- 2 eggs large
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 5 tbsp peanut butter or other nut/seed butter
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp tapioca powder
- 1 tbsp coconut oil melted
Frosting of Choice
Heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare muffin tin by greasing 8 wells with oil or lining with muffin liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients until fully incorporated and no lumps remain, set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl if mixing by hand, beat together the wet ingredients until thick and frothy.
Add in the dry ingredients and stir until just fully incorporated, ensuring not to overmix.
Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter evenly into 8 wells.
Bake in the center of the oven for 19-21 minutes or until edges are turning a slightly darker color and top is set and slightly puffed.
Let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes in the muffin tin before removing and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, at least 20 more minutes.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the peanut butter filling by mixing all the ingredients together in a small bowl until thick and smooth.
Once cupcakes are cool, use the handle of a fork or knife and gently press down in the center of each cupcake and press outwards to form a 1 inch wide well. The wider and deeper the well, the more peanut butter will fit inside. Just be sure to leave a far border at the bottom of the cupcake. Place the filling in a frosting bag or use a plastic bag with the lower corner cut off to fill each cupcake well with filling.
Once all cupcakes are filled, top each cupcake with frosting of your choice. Keep at room temperature until ready to serve!
Feel free to use any nut/seed butter you like. Almond or cashew are great options to keep this paleo-friendly.
For the frosting I used Simple Mills Vegan Chocolate Frosting.
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