Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes



Yesterday, I realized something kind of sad.

I realized that Jessie and I aren’t the coolest couple ever. We were *very sadly* ousted from that title the second I showed up to DSW with my mom and saw what I deemed the obvious coolest couple ever.

First of all, have you been to DSW? It’s called a ‘warehouse’ for a reason–there are so many shoes there that my head kind of exploded. Not because I enjoy shoes but because I actually loathe shopping for them. Sorry to disappoint you.

Now if it were a store completely dedicated to handbags, studded jewelry and/or Betsey Johnson anything, I’d be in love and you couldn’t drag me out of there if it were burning to the ground.

Anywho, I was already wearing workout gear IN PUBLIC because my mom neglected to inform me we’d be doing any public shopping. Feeling hideously self-conscious in my Toms/workout shorts/plain top with zero fashion sense whatsoever and looking like a forgettable frump on my day off (otherwise known as a fashion CRIME) I waded through the aisles of shoes, all looking the same after awhile and wondering why the hell I decided to wear this outfit since I clearly looked like a poor blind girl who lived under a hideous rock her whole life. Toms with workout shoes? I understand if you don’t want to be friends anymore.

And then I saw them: the coolest couple ever. First of all, I decided to check out clearance shoes in my size (9, if y’all were curious) and I spotted a man and immediately thought “he must be lost” because a man in a shoe store that probably has over 300 pairs of flats alone is obviously a man who is lost.

And then as I watched him closely, I figured maybe he had a women’s shoe fetish and can only get away with a weird fetish by shopping clearance. Hey, to each their own. I don’t blame him for wanting to indulge his fetish on the cheap; it can get kinda pricey sometimes.

But then I realized he was shopping for his wife. Or girlfriend. Or whatever the skinny woman wearing lucite heels and atrocious lipstick was at the end of the aisle, teetering nervously in a tube top mini dress.

And (not surprisingly) all the shoes possible-shoe-fetish-man was carrying were…of a certain type. The type that, say, exotic dancers enjoy wearing. The type that, say, a modest 9-to-5 working woman wouldn’t wear. The type that make my feel shriek in pain when I see women wearing them because they’re basically Steve Madden brand stiletto torture chambers. Those girls probably spend a lot on shoes but even more on podiatrist visits.

I watched tube top lady try on pair after pair of garishly sky-high platforms, modeling down the empty aisles for her shoe-fetish man who squealed with delight.

It was then that I realized Jessie and I weren’t cool. I mean, I had asked Jessie when my birthday was one day last week and he didn’t even remember the date. I can’t even imagine him picking out shoes for me, much less beg me to try on platforms in a store while he so (albeit confidently) obviously was telling everyone “I have a shoe fetish!” (and my girlfriend’s a stripper!)

So that’s the end of that story. It was a sad one, to say the least. One that involved moping around the store in my ugly outfit (I have a problem with wearing workout gear in public, okay? I don’t have a closet full of beautiful clothes to wear yoga shorts to the mall, mmkay?), not getting shoes and also being unwittingly insulted by a man with a foot fetish. *sigh* at least I had cupcakes.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes. Can you believe I didn’t have a recipe like this on my blog already? I obviously have whack priorities which makes me an awful blogger and friend to you since y’all love chocolate + peanut butter so dang much. So I made you some that are unapologetically salty yet sweet and have a surprise Reese’s cup in the middle. They also have these cutie mini “cupcakes” on top–made with Reese’s cups and icing–which make for an extra-cute (and decadent!) presentation.

Pretty please make them and be uncool with me?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes *mini cupcake toppers inspired by Kristan’s version–check it out HERE 

1 box chocolate cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box
1 small box sugar free/fat free instant chocolate pudding mix
About 36 Reese’s “Classic Bag” Peanut Butter Cups
Peanut Butter Frosting (recipe & ingredients follow)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with about 18 paper liners. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, prepare the cake mix according to package directions. Stir the chocolate pudding mix into the cake batter to combine. Portion the batter evenly among muffin tins, filling about 3/4 of the wall full. Bake for 5 minutes.
3. While baking, unwrap 18 of the Reese’s cups completely. Remove par-baked cupcakes from oven and gently stick a PB cup into the center of the gooey cupcake. Return the cupcakes to the oven and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

Peanut Butter Frosting

2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
About 5 cups powdered sugar

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, peanut butter & vanilla on medium speed for 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy. Use a teaspoon or so of milk to thin it out if frosting gets too thick.
2. Unwrap remaining PB cups, but leave on the small brown wrappers.
3. Reserve 1/2 cup frosting. Pipe the rest of the frosting onto cooled cupcakes (I used Atecco tip 807 or the large round open tip). With the remaining 1/2 cup, fit a second pastry bag with a Wilton tip #16 (small open star tip) and pipe them onto the reserved PB cups. These are your mini cupcake toppers.
4. Adorn each frosted cupcake with a frosted “mini cupcake.” Store leftovers in the fridge, airtight, for one day. Best served the same day.

So this frosting… it’s pretty freakin’ awesome. So easy, but so delicious.

Oh… and in other news, I joined Instagram! Follow me @thedomesticrebel. I am a voyeur.

Have a great day!!

xo, Hayley



  1. these look awesome! PB & Chocolate is the only thing that just may trump PB & J 🙂

  2. I love chocolate and peanut butter so these cupcakes are right up my alley! YUM. So, how do you use instagram? About shoe-fetsh guy? It fhe girl really was a stripper, then he was buying her those shoes THINKING he was going to be “her boyfriend” – trust me, he wasn’t. You’ll learn these things as you get older….and finally – really? Toms with workout clothes??? 🙂

  3. Chocolate, peanut butter and cupcakes. I see nothing wrong with this scenario! Lovely presentation and photos, great job! =]

  4. OMG HAYLEY. These are adorable. Those little cupcake toppers!! I’m in love. I have never seen a more adorable cupcake. And the fact that they are pb + chocolate has me going nuts. And that thick peanut butter frosting looks delicious. I could eat it with a spoon! Your photos are stunning, too! Miss Hayley, I love EVERYTHING about these!!

  5. I love that store. And may I say, they do have a lot of absurd hooker shoes there. It’s fun to try them on and dismount without hurting oneself. You know me and Reese’s…these cupcakes rock!

  6. Okay, so that peanut butter frosting?!!?! Deeeee-lish! Pretty sure I could eat it with a spoon!

  7. Oh man. Sorry for that unfortunate experience. Your mom could’ve warned you about the going out in public thing. Oh well, I still love you 🙂 i love shoes but only like shoe shopping when I don’t need any. Too much pressure otherwise.
    These cupcakes are too stinkin cute. I love the tiny faux cupcake toppers. No doubt they taste amazing too!

  8. These are seriously the most beautiful cupcakes I’ve ever seen. I MUST try the frosting. Lovely pictures 🙂

  9. ooommmmmgggggg – I’m sure you still looked cute in your workout clothes too! (I hate to admit that I myself am a ‘sweats in public’ offender – guilty)

    • Hahahaha that’s okay! A lot of people prefer to shop in workout gear and that’s cool! I just feel like I spend waaaaayy too much $$ on clothes to just wear plain shoes and workout shorts in public haha.

  10. These look amazing!!! Can’t wait to try them! Is there a reason to use sugar/fat free pudding?

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Hi Amber! No reason, I just really love how the dry pudding mix amps up the flavor and provides a little extra moisture. You can omit it if you’d like, or use the regular kind, too!

  11. How cute is this!? Love, love, love!

  12. Do you think these could be made several days before an event and froze minus the frosting?


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