Shiver Me Timbers; Vanilla Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Cupcakes

Shiver me timbers… Here is a cupcake recipe that will make your Halloween a happy one.   And if it doesn’t, I’ll walk the plank.

This recipe combines all of my favorite flavors (vanilla, peanut butter, and chocolate) into a sinfully moist and rich cupcake.  Factor in the homemade vanilla buttercream icing, and your timbers will be shivering too! 

Vanilla Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Cupcakes by The Joy of Caking

1/2 c. olive oil

3/4 c. granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/2 c. sour milk

1/3 c. creamy peanut butter

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. dark chocolate chips

Place 12 cupcake liners in cupcake tins.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, add oil, sugar, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and eggs; beat thoroughly with electric mixer.   Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, milk, and flour; mix completely for about 2 – 3 minutes.  Remove 1 – 1 1/2 cups of batter from the large bowl and place in a  small bowl; set aside.

Melt chocolate chips in microwave for about 1 minute;  mix melted chocolate to the small bowl of batter.

Using a small ladle, fill cupcake papers equally with vanilla peanut butter batter.  Using a dining sized tablespoon spoon chocolate peanut butter batter on top of vanilla peanut butter batter.  Using a toothpick, swirl the chocolate peanut butter batter into the vanilla peanut butter batter.

Bake for 14- 15 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean when inserted into center of cupcake.  Cool slightly before moving cupcakes to cooling rack. 

Vanilla Buttercream Icing

3 tbsp. butter, softened

1 tsp. clear vanilla extract

1/2 bag (1 lb.) of confectioners sugar

2-3 tbsp. milk

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Add milk one tablespoon at a time to ensure proper consistency.

Once cupcakes are cool, frost and decorate.


As luck would have it, SweetWorks Candy recently sent me a box of goodies to put to good use.  I couldn’t resist using some of them to decorate these cupcakes in a pretty Halloween fashion.  I  just love the bright and flashy color of their Pearls, Sixlets, and Gumballs.  Don’t they make the cupcakes look so adorable? 

A big thank you to SweetWorks for providing me with the candies used in this post.  Please note – I was not compensated for writing this post and the opinions herein are my own. 




Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Icing & Caramel Drizzle

I still haven’t made up my mind what sinful dessert I’m going to make for Valentine’s Day. How could I?   Just punch “Valentine’s Day desserts” in Bing’s search engine and you will understand my dilemma.  How can you make a choice like that when nearly 117,000 images of delectable and beautifully decorated desserts fill the page?

So no, these delicious cupcakes are not  made with chocolate, strawberries, cherries, or meringue.  They are not red, pink, or a combination of those pretty colors.  They are not adorned with x’s and o’s, hearts, cupids, or their arrows.  But one thing they are? Scrumptious!

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1/2 c. vegetable oil

2 eggs, room temperature

1 c. brown sugar

1/3 c. white sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. vanilla

15 oz. can pumpkin

3/4 c. milk

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour


2 c. vanilla buttercream icing, prepared

1/4 c. caramel sauce

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Makes 24 cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake tins  with  cupcake papers.

In a large mixing bowl, add vegetable oil, sugars, eggs, and salt.  Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until everything is completely blended.  Add cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and vanilla; mix again. Lastly, add pumpkin, milk, and flour; mix thoroughly.

Fill cupcake papers about 2/3 full.  Bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean when inserted into center of cupcakes.

Completely cool cupcakes before frosting.  Frost with vanilla butter cream icing.  Let frosting firm up slightly before drizzling caramel sauce on top.

*Note –  it is normal for these cupcakes will settle slightly once removed from the oven.  This recipe produces a very moist and dense cupcake.

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Are you going to make your own Valentine’s Day dessert?  Or are you going to let your favorite bakery or restaurant do all the work for you?