Chocolate Hi Hat Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream

The chocolate glaze shines gloriously on these chocolate hi hat cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream. #peanutbutter #chocolate #cupcakes #buttercream

these chocolate hi hat cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream scream celebration. say, for a 21st birthday (when i first made these), or for finishing one’s junior year of college (almost!! i will officially be done by tuesday at 12:30pm). i’ve grown so much this year: i don’t hermit in my apartment all weekend. progress, i tell you. i spent the beginning of college waiting for it to be over, but in stereotypical fashion, now that i’m 75% done, i’d be fine staying a little longer (if it weren’t for all the studying…).

and dare i say, for once, i’m not dying for summer? though i’ve been going to class (i haven’t skipped any this quarter!! can i have my a’s now?) and getting my things done, this quarter has been dreamy: 2 1/2 days at disneyland, a weekend in davis, weekend visits from high school friends, a trip to la for ice cream and FREE us the duo (i’ve only seen them for free and i’m loving it), the kind of weenie roast that doesn’t involve hot dogs and campfires, and a stop off at universal studios. so while i’m appreciative of the fact that i was able to land an internship for summer, i’m not like, HERE I COME, 40 hour work weeks!!!

but back to chocolate hi hat cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream. (long titles are great and very evocative of pop punk song titles from a decade ago. the longest one i could find in my 5 minute google search: mayday parade’s “you be the anchor that keeps my feet on the ground, i’ll be the wings that keep your heart in the clouds”).

there’s moist chocolate cake. and it’s not the same as my (well, more like ina garten’s) standard, coffee-heavy chocolate cake recipe, though it’s pretty delicious in its own right. there’s silky peanut butter buttercream. i normally go for crunchy pb, but the smooth kind is crucial here unless you want your magic shell to look lumpy. if you’re looking for something more along the lines of delicious not gorgeous, be my guest and use crunchy. i know that you and your cupcakes will still be plenty popular! and speaking of magic shell, this one’s a super easy version so that you can get your dark chocolate fix in. you’re welcome.

a couple of notes: you can definitely sprinkle the top of the cupcakes with some chopped, roasted peanuts and coarse sea salt for some crunch (and the salt helps because it’s a pretty rich cupcake). want more chocolate? then chocolate chips in the cake wouldn’t hurt. these chocolate hi hat cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream do have a high frosting to cake ratio, so if you’re not down, use less frosting for each cupcake. a shorter beehive makes it slightly harder to dip them into the magic shell, though you could forgo the dipping and drizzle it with a fork onto the buttercream. lastly, if you want to cut the cupcakes (not sure why though, since you simply need to peel back the cupcake liner and shove it into your mouth nibble daintily), use a warm knife. dip the knife in hot water, then wipe it dry, and you’ll be able to slice through the chocolate cleanly!

1 year ago: Creamy Strawberry Avocado Yogurt (Italian Flag) Popsicles, Cherry Jasmine Waffles
2 years ago: West Coast Brownies, Rant Thursday #4

Creamy peanut butter buttercream is revealed when these chocolate hi hat cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream are split open. #peanutbutter #chocolate #cupcakes #buttercream

Chocolate Hi Hat Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins

These chocolate hi hat cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream are a chocolate and peanut butter lover's dream.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 cupcakes
Calories: 486 kcal
Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 T granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Peanut Butter Buttercream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 12 T softened unsalted butter cut into 1 T pieces
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter make sure it's no-stir
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate Coating
  • 6 oz dark chocolate finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 T vegetable oil
  1. For the cupcakes: In medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients.

  2. In large bowl, whisk the wet ingredients until smooth. Whisk in the dry mixture until smooth.
  3. Spoon the batter into 10 lined muffin cups. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. For the buttercream: Whisk the sugar, egg whites and salt until combined. Set over a bain marie and gently whisk until the mixture registers 160F. Whip until the bowl is cool to the touch and the mixture is white and creamy looking. Switch to a paddle attachment. Mix in the butter, one piece at a time, until combined and creamy. If it breaks, just keep whipping. If it's looking too soupy, pop it int the fridge, then re-whip. When in doubt, whip it up. Add the peanut butter and vanilla; beat until smooth. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a plain 1/2" tip (#808), or a ziptop bag with a 1/2" hole cut in one corner.

  5. Pipe 1/3 cup frosting onto each cupcake. Alternatively, you could also use a butterknife or offset spatula to spread a mound onto each cupcake (check out the right hand side of the photo at the top of this post, and you'll see how this looks). I personally prefer the piped look. Refrigerate the cupcakes until the buttercream is completely firm, about 1 hour.
  6. For the chocolate coating: Melt the chocolate and oil until smooth. Transfer to a deep mug that's wide enough to accommodate the cupcake and your hand.

  7. Holding the cupcake by the bottom, carefully dip in the chocolate to submerge all of the frosting. Pull up and let excess chocolate drip off for a few seconds before turning cupcake right side up. Transfer to a wire rack and repeat. Let cupcakes rest a few minutes to allow chocolate to set and buttercream to soften before serving.
Recipe Notes

From Yvonne Ruperti via Serious Eats.


A half hidden chocolate hi hat cupcake with peanut butter buttercream. I decided to not caption this: "As mysterious as the dark side of the moon." #peanutbutter #chocolate #cupcakes #buttercream

These chocolate hi hat cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream are perfect for the peanut butter cup lover in your life. #peanutbutter #chocolate #cupcakes #buttercream

more cake??
A slice taken out of this strawberry lemonade cake with fresh mint buttercream. #strawberry #lemon #mint #cake

strawberry lemonade cake with fresh mint buttercream

This Thai tea Vietnamese coffee cake combines moist coffee-flavored cake soaked with sweetened condensed milk and fluffy Thai tea buttercream. #thaitea #vietnamesecoffee #cake #dessert

thai tea vietnamese coffee cake

60 Replies to “Chocolate Hi Hat Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream”

  1. Mmmmmm. Yes. I want to eat ALL these cupcakes!! Happy almost summer break. I can’t wait to hear all about your summer adventures. I’ll take care of eating any leftover cupcakes if you need help 😉 xoxo

    1. summer has already been such a whirlwind and it’s been less than 2 weeks! will blog about it soon. and so kind of you to offer your leftover cupcake consumption skills (;

  2. Heather! These look incredible! Great job!

  3. This looks divine!! Can’t go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter right! Also have a fun summer and hope you have an equally exciting and great experience at your internship!

    1. chocolate and pb is always amazing :3 thanks!! i’ve only had 4 days of internship so far, but i’m really liking it (:

  4. I have been wanting to make these hi hats! They look so sinfully indulgent and chocolate and peanut butter are such a fun, yummy combo! Pinning!! Have a great Monday Heather!!

    1. if you’re into a lot of frosting on your cupcakes, hi hats are great! i’m normally not that into frosting, but give me a hi hat with swiss meringue buttercream, and i will gladly devour all of it 😋

  5. They look AMAZING. That frosting. Insane!
    Love the image of the cupcake cut open.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. thanks!! that picture might be my favorite too (;

  6. These look amazing beyond words, Heather! Congrats on being almost done with your junior year! I hope you have an awesome summer–maybe filled with some of these beauties!

    1. thanks! even though i haven’t had any of these this summer, it’s been pretty great so far (:

  7. Holy CRAP Heather! that cupcake is freaking insane! cutting it open and seeing the peanut butter buttercream inside was such a fun surprise 🙂 tottaly impressed with this one

    1. thanks, cara! (:

  8. Your cupcake looks amazing. Enjoy your summer vacation and hope you passed your junior year with flying colours.

    1. thanks!! not sure i passed with flying colors (i wish! also still waiting to see the full details) but i passed, so good enough (;

  9. So these are like my favorite kind of cupcakes ever. I have got to make them for my own special occasion someday! Congrats on (almost) finishing junior year!!
    Also, I also have a thing for long titles and I attribute it to the fact that my favorite band in high school was Fall Out Boy (so embarrassing) and their titles were constant like run-on sentences.

    1. everyone seems to have a punk rock/emo phase, and i’m definitely still in the thick of it. i went to a fall out boy (and wiz khalifa; weirdest combo ever) concert a couple years ago, and got a free upgrade from the lawn to the pit! it was amazing.

  10. Ok, my mouth is watering. These look heavenly! My favorite flavor combo, too! I’m trying to figure out when I could make these….hmmm. Congrats on finishing your Junior year!

    1. they’re worth blocking out some time to make them! so good that i’m wishing i had one with me right now :3

  11. These are STUNNING. Hi-hats are so so adorable. Love.

    1. thanks, kate! (:

  12. These look crazy good! Congrats on finishing junior year! Enjoy your summer and internship!

    1. thanks, patrick!!


    1. YES. normally, i’m not that into frosting, and want a lot more cake than frosting, but i make a special exception for swiss meringue buttercream (;

  14. Congratulations on landing the internship, Heather. Looks like you have had some great adventures…Speaking of adventures, oh my goodness, your cupcakes with homemade chocolate shell and pb buttercream are deeeee-vine! Yes, please!

    1. thanks! food adventures are cool, but cupcake adventures are the best (;

  15. I could definitely get on board with these hi hat cupcakes, Heather! I mean I would just shove my face straight into one of those. I have no shame! Also, congrats on finishing your junior year (you’re done now!) and getting that internship. Hopefully the internship will prove beneficial…and hopefully it involves eating cupcakes. Because really any good internship needs cupcakes, right? 🙂

    1. i haven’t learned much yet (tomorrow is only the start of day 5!), but i have a good feeling about it (: and it has involved cupcakes already! and shrimp and grits, paella, ceviche, etc etc… work travel is fun, but i think my body is begging me to go back to tofu and veggies asap.

  16. Oh my! That filling inside! What?! I could just eat a bowlful of that! Wowzers Heather! Congrats on finishing your junior year and good luck with the internship! Exciting times ahead, that’s for sure! You definitely deserve a cupcake (or three) 😉

    1. a bowlful of buttercream sounds pretty great (; and thanks!

  17. Who could resist delicious chocolate cupcakes! Yummy!

    1. definitely not me. case in point: last thursday, when i was full from dinner but still managed to eat a chocolate cupcake for dessert.

  18. I pretty much will devour any desserts that combine peanut butter and chocolate! These cupcakes look perfect! Congrats on landing the internship!

    1. thanks, marie! (:

  19. Wow, that is probably the most beautiful cupcake I’ve every seen.

    1. that’s a bold statement! thanks, jeff (:

  20. I am so impressed that you are creating amazing relationships like these while you’re in college!! You deserve a degree just for that 😉 These look fantastic!! And hooray for almost being through the school year!!

    1. wouldn’t be opposed to a degree for that (; and lol autocorrect makes for the funniest things: a friend venmo’d me for banh mi, but it autocorrected to bang mi. whoops.

  21. mmmmm that looks like one fine cupcake. The peanut butter buttercream hidden under all that chocolate looks SO heavenly. This is everything I love in a dessert! Congrats on growing up! (I think) haha I think I’m going backwards and trying to undo my growing up – if that’s even possible..You’ll have fun at your internship and meet cool new peeps! But seriously hermitting around the house all weekend – no way! I won’t give that up ever! but you know life happens -_- haha 🙂

    1. i was out for half of last week so i still haven’t met a bunch of the interns, but they seem nice so far! i was running around so much last week that i’ll probably end up hermitting a lot this week, so i’ll meet everyone else after i hermit a sufficient amount (;

  22. And by relationships I meant recipes. Woops. How do you edit these things!? Haha. Cheers!

  23. My son will go crazy over these! I am so going to give those cupcakes a try.

    1. i hope he likes them! (:

  24. Your cakes are gorgeous and as a cupcake enthusiast I really like the ones you’ve made with this lovely peanut butter buttercream 🙂

    1. ahhh thanks!! it means a lot to hear that, especially from a cupcake enthusiast (;

  25. Why is your blog called delicious not gorgeous? THESE ARE BOTH. OMG OMG OMG OMG I’d keep on typing OMG all night but I think you get the idea!

    1. awh, thanks! 😘 it’s because i’d rather have things be delicious instead of gorgeous (though i’m not opposed to food that’s both!). and thanks for all of the OMGs hehe (;

  26. Oh my goodness! These cupcakes look sexy – I want to eat these! Will have to give it a try 🙂

    1. sexy?! wouldn’t have thought to describe these cupcakes as such, but they’re decadent, and there’s chocolate (that’s an aphrodisiac, right?), and the magic shell is pretty sleek, so i guess it makes sense (: thanks!

  27. These look amazing and the name is soooooo cute! That magic shell coating really takes them to a whole new level of awesome!

    1. thanks, meg! magic shell makes everything a bit cooler (;

  28. These cupcakes look amazing Heather. And with peanut butter….ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE COMBINATION. Definitely on my ‘to bake list’ this week… no make that TODAY. I cannot wait to try this recipe. LOVE IT!!!😃

    1. did you make it? (; though i wouldn’t blame you if you haven’t; it’s been a scorcher!

  29. Oh my goodness these look so cute and decadent! The peanut butter buttercream sounds divine!! 🙂

    1. i usually only want a tiny bit of buttercream with my cake, but even i couldn’t get enough of this one (:

  30. Oh wow, I need these in my life! I am a sucker for anything chocolate and peanut butter, but throw buttercream into the mix and LOVE!

    1. you give off the vibe of someone who appreciates their buttercream (i like that in a person!!). there’s a bakery that has icing shots (just servings of icing and no cake), and i bet you would like that (;

      1. I’m all about the buttercream! It’s a good thing that icing shot bakery is nowhere near me (I hope!!) because I would gain fifteen pounds if it were nearby 😀

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