Couch Peanut Cupcakes: Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Ice Cream

Is there a single better phrase in the world than "chocolate peanut butter ice cream cupcakes"? This weekend had me (and my lucky taste-testers) in a dreamlike swirl of experimental frostings, mixed toppings, and flavorful cakes. After several days of testing and weeks (yeah, seriously, weeks) of planning, I finally produced a batch of mouth-watering cupcakes. How? Why? And can you have some? All questions to be answered...

I am a faithful reader of Stef's Cupcake Project ever since I stumbled upon it many months ago while looking for a reliable recipe for naan. That, plus her very good advice when crafting my shotglass cupcakes, had me hooked, and so when I saw a post on her blog about an ice cream cupcake contest (co-sponsored with Scoopalicious), I was immediately intrigued. I love baking, but more than that I love a challenge and trying out new techniques and novel ideas. I went right to the drawing board and started dreaming up cupcakes.

Technically, the cupcakes I finally settled on were my third attempt, after two other potential cupcake creations fell by the wayside. They will get a Foodie Dreams, Kitchen Nightmare post in due time.

Just as I was wondering what else to try, I started talking with one of my coworkers, Rebecca, about my weekend plans. I mentioned the cupcakes and my various attempts and ideas, and she said that she often made ice cream cakes. One of her favorites was a peanut butter chocolate fudge cake with layers of ice cream. That was all she had to say before I was off in cupcake dreamland, already envisioning a dream cupcake. I el-oh-vee-ee peanut butter and chocolate, and I was dumbfounded that I hadn't thought of pairing them, cupcake form, sooner. I started researching different frostings and cakes before I settled on the final form: a peanut butter cupcake inside a crushed-Oreo cookie crust, covered in peanut butter frosting and topped with a scoop of ice cream and Reese's pieces. It was a triumph of peanut-chocolatey-creamy madness, and a completely amazing blend of flavors and textures.

I started with the cake, which was pretty easy. Using a box of vanilla cake as my base, I mixed in a scoop of peanut butter (about a cup, although I was only using 1/3 of the boxed batter). It was amazingly smooth and baked up perfectly and pleasantly round.

Once they had cooled, I melted some chocolate using a double-boiler and dipped the sides and bottom of the cupcakes in the chocolate. I had already crushed some Oreos (removing the filling first), and rolled the cupcakes in the Oreos, giving them a cookie crust (note: no paper liners for these cupcakes). I mixed up some peanut butter frosting--basically peanut butter, butter, and sugar--and scooped out a place for the ice cream. I frosted the whole thing, "caulking" the hole for the ice cream a la my shotglass cupcakes, and stuck them in the freezer for about 10 minutes. While they were freezing, I scooped ice cream into small balls and rolled them in the crushed Oreos. Once the cupcakes were cold enough, I topped them with the ice cream and quickly frosted them (it's best to take them out of the freezer and frost them one at a time), finally decorating them with some Reese's pieces.

After all the work and all the waiting, finally, my testers and I could enjoy the cupcakes of my labor. How did they taste? Oh-so-amazing. I was very, very pleased with the final result. All the flavors balanced and enhanced each other very nicely, while the combination of textures--the crunchy Oreo crust, the smooth peanut butter cake, the cold ice cream, and the sweet frosting--gave it a wonderful feel. I was very happy especially with the peanut butter parts--the cake and the frosting. I would completely make both of them again, although possibly not together. The cake was nutty without being over-powering, while the frosting tasted like the smoothest, sweetest peanut butter on the planet. Plus, I got a new toy, a pastry bag with different applicators, and had loads of fun trying it out. Secretly (or not so), I dream of being a professional cake-maker, and I can imagine myself piping and swirling for many happy hours.

All in all, I declare the peanut butter chocolate ice cream cupcakes a success! (as though, if you mixed all those things together in any way, shape, or form, they wouldn't be a success)


1 box vanilla cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
3 eggs
3 cups extra creamy peanut butter
1 dozen Oreo cookies
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup softened butter
4 cups confectioner's sugar
3 tablespoons milk
vanilla, chocolate, or peanut butter ice cream
Reese's pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix cake mix (note: before opening the bag, roll it between your hands to break up any clumps) with oil, water, and eggs
Add 3 cups peanut butter and mix until smooth and even
Fill a muffin pan 2/3 with batter (do not use paper liners)
Bake for 17-20 minutes or until the cupcake is round and smooth
Let cool and remove from pan
Remove vanilla filling from Oreos with a knife and place cookies inside a heavy-duty freezer bag
Crush using a rolling pin until fine
Using a double boiler (or a metal bowl on top of a pot of boiling water), melt chocolate chips
Dip sides of the cupcakes in the chocolate, then in the Oreo cookies
Scoop out a hole in the top of the cupcake, where the ice cream will sit
Prepare the frosting: mix butter, peanut butter, sugar and milk until smooth; it should be even-colored and hold its shape
Cover the entire top of the cupcake with frosting and freeze for about 10 minutes
Scoop out ice cream (about a walnut-sized amount) and roll in the Oreos
Top the cupcake with the ice cream and quickly frost, using a pastry bag instead of a knife
Decorate, as desired, with Reese's pieces


  1. You've got a sure fire crowd pleaser there! People always go crazy over chocolate and peanut butter. Great idea! I'm so glad you entered!

  2. Thanks! Always fun to have the excuse to make some cupcakes :)

  3. I'm glad my ice cream cake ideas inspired you! (not a hard choice between thinking about economic news or cupcakes)

  4. Ooooh, these look so so good! I love peanut butter and chocolate...YUM!

  5. oh my goodness. amazing. peanut butter, chocolate, oreos, reeses pieces...what COULD be finer?