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Sweet & Salty:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes

Sweet & Salty:<br>Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes by

This week is the “Week of the Dragoon” for the 2nd Cavalry Regiment here in Vilseck, Germany and tomorrow is Family Day.  (Basically, my husbands unit is having a giant birthday party for itself before they go on pre-deployment leave.)  I decided to donate cupcakes to the event to be sold at the 2/2 CR Cougar Foundation table.  The Cougar Foundation is the non profit organization that supports the 2nd Squadron in 2 CR… an organization that I’m a member of.

I decided to make a cupcake that I knew everyone would love… chocolate peanut butter.  But hmm… I’ve made that cupcake or cake a bazillion times.  Uhmp…. I need to kick it up a notch and add some flair! So, I’ve put a pretzel crust on the bottom of the cupcake and topped it with a chocolate dipped pretzel and a drizzle of chocolate ganache.  Om nom nom nom The perfect combination of sweet and salty – chocolatey and peanut buttery.  YUM!


Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes by

Yield: 3 dozen cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes

Rich chocolate cupcakes on a pretzel crust topped with peanut butter buttercream, chocolate ganache and a chocolate covered pretzel! Delish!


Pretzel Crust

  • 3 cups salted pretzel sticks
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brewed coffee
  • 1 Tbsp espresso powder
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Peanut Butter Buttercream

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/3 cups creamy peanut butter (I use JIF)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp salt

Chocolate Ganache

  • 150g 50% cocao Lindt chocolate (any semi-sweet baking chocolate would work)
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Chocolate Covered Pretzel (for garnish)

  • 1 bag large thin pretzels
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted


Pretzel Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. Using a food processor, pulse the pretzels until they are in small chunks.
  3. Add the melted butter and brown sugar and process on high until combined and the pretzels are in small crumbs.
  4. Press 1 tablespoon of pretzel crust into the bottom of each cupcake liner.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes.

Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the coffee, espresso powder, cocoa powder, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, buttermilk and the eggs. SLOWLY add a few tablespoons of the chocolate mixture to the sour cream mixture. Whisk to combine. In a slow stream, whisk in the remaining chocolate mixture until combined completely.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in wet. Using a whisk, stir until no more lumps remain.
  5. Scoop batter over the pretzel crust until 3/4 full.
  6. Bake 17-19 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool in pans before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Peanut Butter Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the peanut butter and butter for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl several times.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and mix on medium until combined.
  3. Add the salt and heavy cream, mix until smooth.
  4. Beat on high for 1-2 minutes or until fluffy and the color has lightened.

Chocolate Ganache

  1. Chop chocolate into very small pieces and place into a glass bowl.
  2. On medium high heat, bring heavy cream to a simmer.
  3. Immediately pour cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. Stir gently until all the chocolate has melted.
  5. Add the butter and vanilla and stir until combined.

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

  1. Dip half of the pretzel into the melted chocolate. Set on wax paper to harden.


  1. Using a large round star tip, pipe swirls of buttercream onto each cupcake.
  2. Drizzle 1 Tbsp chocolate ganache over the buttercream.
  3. Gently press a chocolate covered pretzel into the buttercream.
  4. Add a small dollop of buttercream at the base of the pretzel to help hold it in place.
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