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Sweet & Salty:
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

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes

Yield: 3 dozen 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.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Grace Islas

Monday 15th of December 2014

Your sweet and salty peanut butter cupcakes sounds fabulous. I have a facebook, Casa de Cakes- Glendale, Arizona. Thank you, Grace


Saturday 22nd of June 2013

Hi, I was wondering if I could cheat and just use a cake mix? I know I would not get the same outcome but I am short on time and ingredients (buttermilk, expresso powder and sour cream do not exist here where I am in Africa at the moment). Thanks! Jody

PS I was an Army Brat, my father was stationed in Heidelberg ('87-90), and Stuttgart ('90-94), my mom taught at RB. Our Germany posts were our favorite - hope you are enjoying your time there. I have mad respect for Army wives!!!!

Betsy Eves

Sunday 23rd of June 2013

Absolutely - use a box! No problem! I'm certain it will still taste delicious! :) As for the ingredients... you can make your own buttermilk (1 tsp vanilla in a 1 cup measuring cup plus milk - let stand for 5 minutes and then you have buttermilk)... you can omit the espresso powder, it's not an essential ingredient... and you can substitute the sour cream for greek yogurt or any plain yogurt and even if you can't get yogurt, you could just use more buttermilk. Good luck and let me know how they turn out!

And we LOVE Germany! So lucky to be able to live here!! Mad respect for you too!! Army Brat life isn't easy!


Sunday 26th of May 2013

They look very yummy!!! Will have to try these on my next cupcake baking adventure. By the way all of your recipes I have baked have been super. Thanks.........

Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen

Friday 24th of May 2013

Pretzels and chocolate just go together!

Betsy Eves

Friday 24th of May 2013

I know, right!?! :)

Judy Debolt

Friday 24th of May 2013

Please add me to your email list so that I can receive new your blog!

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