Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes {Gluten-free}

Note: The cupcakes were photographed with the unwrapped mini Reese’s on top of the frosting. However, these are not gluten free. Either leave the cupcakes with just the peanut butter frosting, top with Reese’s miniatures (small ones that you have to unwrap) or crush Reese’s on top and sprinkle on.

WARNING: Extremely addictive. If more than three cupcakes are consumed, users are advised to immediately proceed to the treadmill. User discretion advised when running on the treadmill.


Peanut Butter!!!

Black Beans?!?!?

Not to worry, the chocolate and peanut butter totally rule these cupcakes. Just like the {Secret Ingredient} Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, you cannot taste any hint of black beans. It is pure chocolately and peanut butter goodness.

The best part…the peanut butter chocolate surprise!

Well, I made these moist and absolutely delicious cupcakes for the best boss that a girl’s husband could have. πŸ™‚ Happy Birthday again Nancy!!! I hope you enjoyed them!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes {Gluten-free}

Black Bean Cupcakes

from {Secret Ingredient} Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake


  • 1 (15.5 oz) can of reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, or coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar
  • 5 tablespoons special dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups miniatures, unwrapped


  1. Preheat oven to 350Β°.
  2. Line a 12 cup muffin pan and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Blend the beans, eggs, vanilla, butter/coconut oil and sugar in the food processor (or blender) on high until completely blended.
  4. Add in theΒ cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda and beat until blended.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place a Reese’s cup on the top.
  6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the cupcakes are cooked completely.
  7. Allow them to cool completely before icing.

Peanut Butter Frosting

from Something Shiny


  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup whipping cream (heavy cream)
  • 12Β Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups miniatures, unwrapped and whole or crushed


  1. Beat the peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar until combined.
  2. Add in the whipping cream and beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Put in a ziplock bag, cut a hole, and decorate the cupcakes OR use a piping bag with your favorite decorating tip and decorate the cupcakes OR use a knife and spread to decorate the cupcakes.
  4. Decorate with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup or crushed Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.


    1. I’ve used a black bean chocolate cake recipe for the kids birthdays since we went gluten free and I was ASTOUNDED how it tasted delicious and no hint of bean taste at all. I’d def give it another go πŸ˜‰

  1. Hmmm…. What a nice thing to say about Logan’s boss!!!!! The cupcakes tasted as amazing as they looked, and the packages Logan brought them in were adorable too. Many, many thanks to dear Caroline! P.S. Margaret’s prom attire and photos get an A++ too!

    1. make them anyway, leaving out the peanut butter cups – i just did, and they are absolutely amazing. i added chocolate chips, but i really think they would be fine without adding anything. i don’t have any frosting at all on mine, and they are soooo delicious!

  2. Omg! These look so good and they are gluten free so I can bake them for my mom who has celiac! Would it be possible to replace the black beans with white canelli beans and omit the cocoa powder to make a vanilla cake? Please let me know πŸ™‚

    1. A very interesting idea. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve certainly thought about it! Once I do a little experimenting, I’ll let you know JoAnna! πŸ™‚

  3. Did not love the cakes so much, but I am not used to eating gluten free. I did not think the cakes were terrible, but my mother begs to differ (She spat them out immedeatly. I like them but I would not make them again) . I liked the idea of the blackbeans. I think all it needs is a little more sugar:) [approx. 1 cup- 1 1/2 cups] However, I LOVED, absolutely loved the icing. It is wonderful and will forever be in my cookbook. It has a light peanut-buttery but not over the top sweet or peanuty flavor (you can deffinetly tell its peanut butter though!) Deffinetly going to be making this icing again. Next time with some nice dark chocolate cake πŸ™‚ This icing will probably be great on brownies too. I think it is my favorite icing ever. Its creamy and dreamy and everything I have been looking for in an icing. Just remember to beat the icing for 3 or more minutes on high speed. This will get it at its fluffiest! πŸ™‚

  4. These just came out of my oven for my husbands family get together in about an hour. Here’s to hoping I did a good job on them. They smell delish!

    1. Oooo! I hope they are fabulous! πŸ™‚ I know mine were super moist. Yum! Have fun at your get-together, Krys!

  5. Just made these for my daughter’s graduation party tomorrow. She has fibromyalgia and she has found that eating gluten free helps her fibromyalgia. I won’t let her know the “secret” ingredient until she tastes them. I just had one and it is fantastic!! I think I may need to make another batch! Where can I find the cake recipe that was mentioned in one of the other comments? Thanks for sharing!

      1. OMG! Everyone ate these cupcakes at the party and just raved about them! Today my daughter’s boyfriend is having a graduation party and they asked me to make them for his party! There is so little gluten free food that my daughter likes. This has been such a “sweet” blessing! I can’t wait to try the cake!

  6. I found this recipe while searching the internet for a recipe to make for my boyfriend’s birthday. I was a bit apprehensive as to how these would turn out, but I have to say they were absolutely amazing! I followed some suggestions and made sure to really puree the black beans, and I added an extra 1/4 cup of cane sugar. He loved them and they were a huge hit at the birthday party and nobody would have guessed the secret ingredient was black beans! Thank you!

  7. I LOVE these cupcakes. I have never made a bean dessert before and I was a little worried, as I didn’t think that I had pureed the bean well enough, not to mention, bean doesn’t exactly scream chocolate deliciousness. But it was amazing. I am so shocked. As a chocolate cake lover, I was skeptical that this would come out well, but I am pleasantly surprised. Thanks!

  8. I’ve recently tried this recipe and its really great. I tried it once as listed and then again tonight with about half a cup more of sugar to the batter. Really with the frosting and the suprise in the middle it’s not necessary to add extra sugar. I would recommend trying this if you cannot have gluten. I’ve had positive feedback everytime I’ve made them.

  9. I was so skeptical to try a black bean cupcake recipe but I’m so glad I did! These are delish! Will be making them again soon πŸ™‚

  10. I really want to try these, but can’t do the frosting (due to being dairy free and no refined sugar). Wondering if they are still good by themselves?


    1. I’m sure they’d still be delicious by themselves. You might could add some chocolate chips in the batter or even dollop some peanut butter on top and sprinkle with chocolate chips! πŸ˜€

  11. Meant to post this a while back, but got side tracked. Made these for a girl on the first day we met. It was kind of a blind date, set up by our parents, but I knew her well enough that I wanted to do something a bit more personal than flowers. I knew she loved cupcakes, the only problem was, she has an allergy to gluten, and I had no idea what gluten actually was. Long story short, I made these bad boys, my first attempt at baking ever BTW, and they turned out AMAZING. I had to physically stop my family from eating them all so I had a few left over for our first date. I used all natural ground peanuts (actual peanut butter) instead of jarred PB and the frosting turned out wonderfully, although it took 4 or 5 cupcakes to get my frosting skills up to par, luckily those were the test subject for my poor unsuspecting family. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, these were literally the best cupcakes I have ever had and they were a huge hit with my girl, they obviously worked as she is now my fiancee. And FYI after searching long and hard for a decrative box or some kind…turns out there is actually such a thing as a cupcake box. Thanks again, making another round for our engagement party this summer. BLACK BEANS, who would have thought? You should have seen the look on my mother’s face while she watched me dump the beans into the blender.

    1. That is possibly the most exciting thing I’ve ever heard! First of all, congratulations on your engagement! What an exciting time. I can’t believe you chose my cupcakes to give a go and they’ve been a part of your story ever since! That makes me so happy. πŸ˜€ But, seriously…aren’t they good?! My family was the same way about the black beans in the blender. Even when you smell the batter before they go in the oven is gross. Then the magic happens and they are these wonderfully moist cupcakes! Woot!

      I wish you and your fiance all the best and I’m SO glad you shared your story with me! Congratulations again and happy baking! πŸ™‚

  12. Hi….I wanted to know if the reese’s were regular sized (in the cupcake not on top of the frosting)? I was worried they might be too big? I want to make these for our family gathering next week…..thanks so much!

    1. Yes, they are the regular sized reese’s inside the cupcakes. The mini ones are on top. πŸ˜€ Happy Baking!

      1. It looks like from the pictures that you used the reese’s miniatures (that come in a big bag, which you unwrap) for inside the cupcake, not a full sized reese’s cup? Is that correct? And for the ones on top did you use the reese’s unwrapped mini’s? According to the Reese’s website, the unwrapped minis specifically are not gluten free. How strange!

        1. Hi Laura,

          Thank you SO much for catching that. Who knew that they’d have some sizes that weren’t gluten free?!? I’m so thankful to know that now. Thank you, thank you! But, to answer your question, I did use the reese’s miniatures inside the cupcakes…the ones you have to manually unwrap (gluten free). I did put the unwrapped mini’s on the top (not gluten free), but I would suggest (now that I know this fact) placing another reese’s miniature on top or crush them up and sprinkle them on top…or shoot, you can just leave it at peanut butter frosting! I’ll be sure to make a note of this in the recipe. Thanks again for brining this to my attention!

  13. Just made these cupcakes and am excited to try them out! They smell and look delicious! I made them a day in advance for my boyfriends birthday, do you suggest I refrigerate them in the meantime?

    1. Oh yay! πŸ˜€ Putting them in the fridge tends to dry cupcakes out, so I would leave them covered at room temperature. However, if you don’t feel comfortable leaving them out if they’re iced, then go ahead and refrigerate, but I think they’ll be fine. πŸ˜€ You’ll have to let me know how you like them when you taste them!

  14. Please I do not have 15.5 oz cans of black beans and not all places carry low sodium. Can you tell me the weight of the beans after you rinse And drain them for the recipe.

    1. There’s hardly anything, weight-wise, that comes off when rinsing the canned beans, so for the sake of this recipe, I’d use 15.3 ounces of soaked black beans for the cake. πŸ˜€ Happy Baking!

    1. I’ve never tried it, but I think they would freeze beautifully. Then, just make the frosting when we’re ready to eat. Happy Baking!

  15. Guess what? Husband likes the cupcakes. I gave him one to try without the frosting and he said they were good and rich. I then told him that they had a secret ingredient. His comment was, “that’s weird.” But, he liked them and I am so excited because they are really good and for those that may have an intolerance to wheat or wheat products will also love this recipe. Cheers!

    1. Yay! That’s the same thing I did with my husband and now it’s a full-fledged black bean cake fan. He even requests it for his birthday every year! So glad to hear you both liked them!

      1. Oh that is not all. I decided to bring the cupcakes to school and try it out on my fellow teachers. I told them that the cupcakes had a secret ingredient. I led them to believe it was the peanut butter cup inside the cupcake. I let them first devour the cupcake, then, I let the boom down. They could not believe it. Our beloved occupational therapist kept looking at the cupcake to see it she could find any trace of black bean. I loved to watch the reaction on each of their faces once I told them that the secret ingredient was a legume! Love, love, love these cupcakes. And, I showed them your blog site on our classroom smartboard.

  16. Thank you for posting this recipe! I made them once as a trial-run and also did not purΓ©e the black beans enough but will be sure to do that next time. Questions about the sugar: do you recommend white or brown cane sugar? Have you tried more sugar (1 cup instead vs 3/4 cups) as one blogger recommended?

    1. Hi Ami! I’ve used both white and brown cane sugar and they both turned out great. I just prefer using the brown cane sugar because it’s not bleached like the standard white sugar. As for the amount of sugar, I’ve never tried it with more sugar, but I don’t see why it would hurt! I enjoy making the cake a little less sweet and filling it and topping it with the sweet frostings. Delicious! Great questions and happy baking!

  17. These were so yummy and moist! I was shocked! I’m a hobby baker and recently started a “diet” with no gluten, grain, sugar etc.
    I substituted xylitol for the sugar and u couldn’t even tell! I also did not make these with the PB cups πŸ˜‰ amazing though!! I would like to play with these a little to try to get them to dome or at least sit flat on top. Mine sunk more than I would have liked. I bake a lot, so I’ll try these again soon!!

    1. I’m happy to hear that! Those are some of my favorite cupcakes, ever! I’ve made them into full on cakes, too. Yum!!! Thank you for letting us know your adaptations! πŸ™‚

  18. How do you store these? Can I freeze them prior to icing. I’m considering making a large batch ahead of time for a party. Thank you!

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