Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cupcakes (w/Paleo option)

5 minute read

Melt-in-your-mouth decadent dark chocolate cupcakes topped with a creamy, luxurious peanut butter buttercream that adds a heavenly touch to every bite. These oh-so delicious cupcakes are packed with protein, making them the perfect indulgence that’s as satisfying as it is nutritious. My favorite protein powder for this recipe is the Chocolate Protein Powder from Earth Chimp…we’re talking about a wholesome lineup of ingredients that’ll leave you feeling nourished and energized with every scoop. The best part about these yummy protein cupcakes is that with just a few simple substitutions, you can transform them into a vegan or even Paleo-friendly dessert.

Chocolate protein cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream

Why Protein is an Essential Nutrient

Protein is essential in any diet as it is made up of amino acids, which the body uses for various functions, muscle repair, immune, hormone and digestion support, and so much more!
The nine essential amino acids and their roles are [1]:
  1. Histidine: necessary for the production of histamine and also plays a role in nervous system health
  2. Valine: necessary in energy production as well as muscle growth and repair
  3. Phenylalanine: building block for neurotransmitters like dopamine and epinephrine (adrenaline), and in the production of other amino acids.
  4. Leucine: necessary in stimulating wound healing, muscle repair, and blood sugar regulation.
  5. Isoleucine: necessary in immune function and energy regulation.
  6. Tryptophan: necessary building block for serotonin.
  7. Methionine: necessary in detoxification, metabolism, and in your body’s ability to absorb selenium (supports thyroid health) and zinc (necessary in production of HCl in your stomach).
  8. Threonine: necessary in skin and connective tissue health.
  9. Lysinenecessary in hormone production and your body’s ability to absorb calcium (bone, heart, muscle and nerve health.)

Benefits of Protein:

  1. Supports muscle growth and repair
  2. Helps to lower blood pressure [2]
  3. Increases satiety, which can support a healthy weight or weight loss [3, 4]
  4. Support healthy bones [5]
  5. Supports healthy blood sugar [6]
  6. Supports peptide hormone formation [7]
  7. Supports digestion [8]
  8. Supports sleep [9]
  9. Healthy skin, hair, and nails
  10. Reduces age related muscle loss (sarcopenia) [10]

Gluten Free Chocolate Protein Cupcakes

Do the ingredients need to be Organic?

No, not everything you buy or eat needs to be organic, however, choosing organic in some circumstances may be beneficial. If you’re curious about organic produce, check out EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists, these are updated each year and help you to choose what is best for you. Here are a few benefits from souring organic foods:

  1. Organic foods are more nutrient dense [11].
  2. Reduces exposure to harmful pesticides such as glyphosate and reduces your risk of cancer [12].
  3. Reduces exposure to added chemicals and toxins such as ultra refined ingredients, artificial flavors, artificial colors, preservatives, and more.
  4. Supports pollinator diversity and our bee health and population [13].
  5. Supports a cleaner watershed and water supply (check out what is in your Tap Water Here).
  6. Supports the health and lives of farmers, their families, and the environment.

Equipment Needed

Cupcake Pan
Cupcake Liners
Large Bowl
Medium Bowl
Whisk
Measuring Cups
Measuring Spoons
Spatula
Cooling Rack
Hand Mixer or Standing Mixer
Piping Bag (optional)

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cupcakes Paleo

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cupcakes Ingredients

Makes 12-18 Cupcakes

Chocolate Protein Cupcakes

2 Pasture Raised Eggs
½ cup Coconut Sugar
1 cup Strong Coffee, cooled
¾ cup Plant Milk
¼ cup Grass-Fed Ghee, melted
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
2 tsp ACV
¾ cup Almond Flour
1 cup Chocolate Protein Powder*
⅓ cup Tapioca or Arrowroot Starch
½ cup Cocoa Powder
½ tsp Fine Salt
1.5 tsp Baking Soda
Flaked Sea Salt (opt)

*For Paleo, try this Paleo Bone Broth Chocolate Protein Powder

Peanut Butter Buttercream

½ cup Grass-Fed Ghee, room temp
½ cup Creamy Peanut Butter**, room temp
1.5 cups Organic Powdered Sugar***
1-2 Tbsp Cold Water

**For Paleo, replace with your favorite nut butter (almond, cashew, sunflower, tahini), and the PB I used in this recipe is salted, so if you use an unsalted PB, add a pinch of fine salt to the buttercream.
*** For Paleo, try this Paleo Powdered Sugar, and if using regular powdered sugar, I do prefer this brand since it uses tapioca starch instead of corn starch.
****For Vegan: Swap the eggs for flax eggs and use your choice of fat in place of the ghee (coconut oil, palm shortening)

How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
  2. Make the coffee and set aside to cool
  3. Line the muffin tin with the cupcake liners
  4. In a medium bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and mix with a fork or whisk.
  5. In a large bowl combine the eggs and coconut sugar, whisk well until fluffy (about 30 seconds).
  6. Add the plant milk, coffee (add slowly if still hot so it doesn’t scramble the eggs), vanilla, ACV, and ghee, mix well.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well with the whisk.
  8. Add batter to the lined cupcake tin filling about 2/3-3/4 full. Gently pat the cupcake tin on the counter to remove any air bubbles and to even out the batter.
  9. Bake for 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.
  11. While the cupcakes are cooling, add the butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar to a medium bowl or to the bowl of a standing mixer. Start slow and begin to mix the buttercream increasing speed until combined. Beat on high for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy stopping to scrape as needed.
  12. Transfer the peanut butter buttercream to a piping bag or gallon bag, snip off the corner or use an icing tip and pipe about 1 Tbsp of buttercream onto each cooled chocolate protein cupcake.
  13. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt if desired.
Chocolate protein cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cupcakes

Amy Lippert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 12
Calories 276 kcal

Ingredients
  

Peanut Butter Buttercream

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
  • Make the coffee and set aside to cool
  • Line the muffin tin with the cupcake liners
  • In a medium bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and mix with a fork or whisk.
  • In a large bowl combine the eggs and coconut sugar, whisk well until fluffy (about 30 seconds).
  • Add the plant milk, coffee (add slowly if still hot so it doesn't scramble the eggs), vanilla, ACV, and ghee, mix well.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well with the whisk.
  • Add batter to the lined cupcake tin filling about 2/3-3/4 full. Gently pat the cupcake tin on the counter to remove any air bubbles and to even out the batter.
  • Bake for 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.
  • While the cupcakes are cooling, add the butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar to a medium bowl or to the bowl of a standing mixer. Start slow and begin to mix the buttercream increasing speed until combined. Beat on high for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy stopping to scrape as needed.
  • Transfer the peanut butter buttercream to a piping bag or gallon bag, snip off the corner or use an icing tip and pipe about 1 Tbsp of buttercream onto each cooled chocolate protein cupcake.
  • Sprinkle with flaked sea salt if desired.

Notes

*For Paleo, try this Paleo Bone Broth Chocolate Protein Powder
**For Paleo, replace with your favorite nut butter (almond, cashew, sunflower, tahini), and the PB I used in this recipe is salted, so if you use an unsalted PB, add a pinch of fine salt to the buttercream. 
*** For Paleo, try this Paleo Powdered Sugar, and if using regular powdered sugar, I do prefer this brand since it uses tapioca starch instead of corn starch. 
****For Vegan: Swap the eggs for flax eggs and use your choice of fat in place of the ghee (coconut oil, palm shortening)

Nutrition

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Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cupcakes
Amount per Serving
Calories
276
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
17
g
26
%
Saturated Fat
 
7
g
44
%
Trans Fat
 
0.003
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
5
g
Cholesterol
 
48
mg
16
%
Sodium
 
397
mg
17
%
Potassium
 
120
mg
3
%
Carbohydrates
 
25
g
8
%
Fiber
 
3
g
13
%
Sugar
 
15
g
17
%
Protein
 
12
g
24
%
Vitamin A
 
40
IU
1
%
Calcium
 
63
mg
6
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Chocolate Cupcake, Gluten Free Cupcake
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cupcakes, Almond Milk & Cookies

FAQs

Q: What is the best way to store chocolate peanut butter protein cupcakes?
A: After they have cooled, I store my cupcakes in a container with an air-tight lid on the counter up to 2-days. If I want to store them for longer, I will individually wrap them and keep them in the freezer. They thaw within an hour at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.

Q: Why did my cupcakes sink in the middle?
A: It sounds like you didn’t bake them long enough. Be sure to check the doneness with a toothpick and allow the cupcake to fully cool before icing or eating.

Q: What do I do if my buttercream is really thick and dry?
A: Add 1 Tbsp of cold water and mix, keep doing this until the desired consistency is reached.

Q: Can I use milk for the buttercream?
A: Yes, I just prefer to use water since milk needs to be refrigerated.

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I am a holistic nutritionist with an auto-immune disorder, a love of cooking, and a passion for holistic health.

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