Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cupcakes

By Harry Eastwood Harry Eastwood From the book Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cupcakes

This is the cupcake that translates that photograph of your sister or son, who, aged two and a half, is hiding in a corner of the birthday party with chocolate smeared all over their face. It's the sharp shock when they look up from their chocolate universe, with a mixture of surprise and 'Go away'...

For how many? Makes 12


  • 100g unsalted peanuts
  • 3 medium free-range eggs
  • 200g light Muscovado sugar
  • 200g peeled and finely grated pumpkin (or butternut squash)
  • 100g white rice flour
  • 40g best-quality cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • For the icing:
  • 60g smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp golden icing sugar, sieved
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 tbsp boiling water
  • For the top:
  • A small handful of roughly chopped peanuts, or some grated dark chocolate


YOU WILL NEED: a 12-hole muffin tray, 12 cupcake cases, a food processor

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Line the muffin tray with the paper cases.

2. Blitz the peanuts in the food processor until totally ground; as well as being pulverized to a powder, make sure that they are evenly ground. Set aside.

3. Whisk the eggs and sugar for 5 minutes until pale coffee-coloured and fluffy. Next, whisk in the grated pumpkin, followed by the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and ground peanuts. Whisk until all the ingredients are well combined.

4. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases so that it comes four fifths of the way up the sides, then place in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes.

5. Remove the cakes from the oven and cool for 10 minutes in the tray, then transfer to the fridge and leave to cool completely.

6. To make the icing, mix the peanut butter, icing sugar, cocoa powder and salt with the back of a spoon to form a paste. Next, slowly and gently incorporate the boiling water with a balloon whisk, one spoonful at a time. You will end up with a smooth and delicious paste. Ice the cupcakes when completely cold, and decorate with a little grated chocolate or some roughly chopped extra peanuts.


If you can’t be bothered to blitz the peanuts in a food processor (or if you don’t have one), simply replace them with ground almonds.

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