The ultimate in muffin decadence: Peanut butter filled chocolate muffins. These simple, double-chocolate muffins are studded with semisweet chocolate chips and filled with a surprise peanut butter cheesecake filling. Can you think of a better way to start the day?
I originally published this recipe last year, photos have been updated.
Is it a muffin, or is it a cupcake?
I wrestled with this question for far too long, particularly while photographing these rich, chocolate beauties with their peanut butter surprises peeking out from soft edges and from beneath still-molten chocolate chips.
They’re sweet, they’re chocolaty, and I definitely would not be disappointed to be offered one of these to satiate my sweet tooth after a meal. Signs started to lean toward cupcake, and even my family members referred to them as such.
But ultimately, I decided that what really makes a cupcake a cupcake (at least in my head) is a sweet, sugary crowning of frosting. Meticulously swirled or carelessly slabbed on top with an ill-wielded butter knife or icing spatula, it’s frosting that makes a cupcake a cupcake, and these have none.
So, muffins they are. I’ll admit, though, it’s kind of a cheat, because while there’s no frosting on top of these peanut butter filled chocolate muffins, there’s something of a frosting inside.
Maybe you can already tell by the bright spots and tiger stripes swirled on their surfaces (I’m afraid these muffins aren’t very good at keeping secrets), but that soft chocolaty crumb gives way to a creamy peanut butter cheesecake filling.
Let’s try to keep that between us, though, because if you call these peanut butter filled chocolate muffins, it’s far more acceptable to devour one or two for breakfast.
There are two parts to this recipe — the peanut butter filling and the chocolate batter. Both are equally easy, but you’ll prepare the 5-ingredient filling first, and try to hold back from eating all of it before the muffin batter is ready.
When portioning my muffin batter, I like to use an ice cream scoop just enough to cover the muffin cup about ⅓ of the way full, and then use a 1 ½ Tbsp-sized cookie scoop (this one is mine, affiliate) to drop in the filling, top it all off with another scoop from my ice cream scoop, and then use a spoon to smooth the batter over the filling.
You can use a toothpick to swirl the peanut butter and chocolate together, if you like that look.
These peanut butter filled chocolate muffins remind me a bit of Reese’s cups for obvious reasons, but with a much softer, fluffier chocolate “shell”, and a slightly more breakfast-appropriate feel.
While the cheesecake filling keeps these muffin tops for rising quite as proudly as some of my other muffin recipes, most of them ended up much rounder than I expected, and any deflation is a small price to pay for the peanut butter surprise inside.
And I hope you’re not tired of chocolate because I just realized that every recipe I have prepared for this week is… chocolate.
Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Muffins
Peanut Butter Filling
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- ½ cup peanut butter (145g)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100g)
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- ½ tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350F and line 18 muffin cups with cupcake liners (or lightly grease and flour).
- Prepare Peanut Butter Filling first by microwaving cream cheese and peanut butter at 10 second intervals until it is easily stirred and combine.
- Stir in granulated sugar, egg, and vanilla. Set aside.
- In large bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, and milk. Stir in eggs and vanilla until well-combined.
- Gently fold in sour cream until just-combined.
- In separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Fold flour mixture gently into wet mixture, folding until just barely combined. Stir in 1 ½ cup chocolate chips.
- Scoop chocolate muffin batter into prepared muffin tin, filling only ½ full.
- Scoop heaping spoonfuls (I used a heaping 1 ½" cookie dough scoop) peanut butter mixture on top of the chocolate batter, then cover with a layer of chocolate batter so that muffin cup is filled ⅔ TO ¾ of the way full.
- Repeat until all batter has been dispersed.
- Sprinkle tops of muffins with remaining chocolate chips.
- Bake on 350F for 22-25 minutes (toothpick inserted in center should come out mostly clean, with a few crumbs.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
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Originally published 8/21/15 — photos & text updated 1/30/17