Peanut Butter Cup Recipe – a Treasured Gift from Childhood

peanut butter cup recipe

When I was a kid, there was this one cake that always had me doing a happy dance – the peanut butter cup. I mean, come on, who can resist the magic of peanut butter and chocolate coming together in cake form? It was like a slice of heaven on a plate.

This kind of cake practically melts in your mouth. And then, they’d smother it with this creamy, peanut buttery frosting that was so rich, you could practically taste the nostalgia.

Every birthday, I’d cross my fingers, hoping that my mom or grandma would whip up this masterpiece. And when they did, it was like winning the dessert lottery. I’d take a bite, and it was an explosion of flavors in my mouth. The chocolate and peanut butter would do this little tango that sent my taste buds into a frenzy.

4 peanut butter cups on a plate

What made it even better was the surprise in the center. You’d cut into that cake, and there it was – a hidden stash of chopped-up peanut butter cups. It was like finding buried treasure in a sea of deliciousness.

But it wasn’t just about the taste; it was about the memories too. I can still see myself, a wide-eyed kid with a chocolate-smeared face, surrounded by family and friends, celebrating another year of growing up.

These childhood favorites stick with me, long after I’ve grown up. And even though my palate has expanded over the years, that cake will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s a reminder of simpler times, the joy of a kid with her favorite cake. Here is how to make peanut butter cups:

Peanut Butter Cup

A perfect harmony of sweetness and nuttiness
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 180 kcal


  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 oz semisweet or dark chocolate chips e.g. Lily's chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil


  • In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the creamy peanut butter and unsalted butter. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
  • Stir in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt until the mixture forms a dough-like consistency.
  • Line a muffin tin with 12 paper cupcake liners. Take a small portion of the peanut butter mixture and flatten it into a disc, then place it in the bottom of each cupcake liner. Ensure it covers the entire bottom evenly.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and vegetable oil. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
  • Spoon the melted chocolate over the peanut butter filling in each cup, ensuring the peanut butter is completely covered. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out the chocolate on top.
  • Place the muffin tin in the refrigerator and let the peanut butter cups chill for at least 1-2 hours, or until the chocolate is firm.
  • Once the peanut butter cups have hardened, remove them from the muffin tin and peel off the paper cupcake liners. Your homemade peanut butter cups are now ready to be enjoyed!


  • You can customize these desserts by adding chopped nuts, crushed cookies, or a drizzle of caramel to the peanut butter filling before adding the chocolate coating.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Keyword chocolate, desserts, gluten free, homemade

peanut butter Cup variations

Peanut butter cups were first introduced to the world by H.B. Reese in the 1920s. Reese, a former dairy farmer turned candy maker, began producing these sweet treats in his basement. Initially, they were marketed as penny candies, but their popularity grew rapidly. By 1963, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups had become so beloved that they became the top-selling candy brand in the United States, a position they still hold to this day.

Recipe for peanut butter cups

Over the years, these cakes have undergone various transformations to cater to diverse tastes and preferences. Some popular variations include:

Mini peanut butter cups: These bite-sized versions offer the same great taste in a more convenient package. They are often used in baking, as toppings for ice cream or for peanut butter cup cocktail.

White chocolate version: A twist on the classic, these cups replace the dark chocolate with creamy white chocolate. The contrast between the white chocolate and peanut butter is a delightful alternative for those who prefer a milder cocoa flavor.

Reese's Pieces peanut butter cups: These cups are filled with Reese's Pieces candy, adding a crunchy element to the classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate.

Keto/sugar-free recipe: For those who don't like sugar, these cups are a perfect choice. 

Protein peanut butter cups: You can create a healthy version of these cakes by adding protein powder to the peanut butter. You can also add oatmeal to the recipe.

Giant Reese's peanut butter cups: These oversized peanut butter cups are a true indulgence, often weighing in at several ounces. They are perfect for sharing or satisfying a massive sweet tooth.

Vegan and allergen-free variations: As dietary preferences and restrictions evolve, manufacturers have developed vegan and allergen-free peanut butter cups to accommodate a wider range of consumers.

Whether you prefer the original Reese’s version or one of the innovative twists, peanut butter cups are sure to satisfy your craving for the perfect blend of chocolate and peanut butter goodness.

Johanna Cleveland
About the author

Hi, I'm Kate, the creator of Happy Baking Days. I'm a food lover, recipe creator, and kitchen explorer. I have amateur baking knowledge gained from years spent in the kitchen with my grandma and mum, where I graduated slowly from dusting work surfaces with flour and licking the spatula to the finer arts of pastry and meringue. Now in my own kitchen, I put all those years of training into practice, experimenting with recipes and ingredients from around the world. Join me as I share my culinary journey and favorite recipes that make cooking a delightful experience.

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