Trick or treating was like, a mega big deal for me.  My friends and I took it pretty seriously.  We used pillow cases to carry our candy because none of the cutesy little buckets were large enough for our haul.  We weighed our loot at the end of the evening – I believe once I had nearly 10 pounds!  When we all got home, my brothers and I would set out our candy and begin the very serious business of candy trading.  I would divide my candy into categories – mini candy bars,the few good fruity candies (Starburst, Nerds, etc.), the gummy types (Dots, Mike and Ikes, and other yucks), and always that sorry miscellaneous pile that includes the mysterious black-and-orange wrapped awful chewy things.  Once in categories, I then divided things up further into even stacks of each individual type of candy. When I was younger I weirdly did not like Reese cups, and those were as good as money in the candy trade.  One of my favorite things to trade for?  Butterfingers, baby.

When my fabulous friend and coworker Shanon mentioned Butterfinger as a potential cupcake flavor for her birthday, I was all over it.  I browsed a few ideas around the interwebs but nothing struck me as “the one”.  I knew that I definitely wanted the candy bar to be the shining star here, with the cake and frosting complimenting but not overpowering it.  I toyed with the idea of chopping up the bars and adding them to the cake batter, but then they would lose crispiness which is one of the best things about Butterfingers.  Eventually I opted for a banana cupcake base since banana and peanut butter are such a classic pair.  (I think they would also be good with a basic vanilla cupcake base.)  These particular cupcakes bake up with flat tops, so I cut fun-size Butterfinger bars in half and placed one half on top of each cupcake.  Then I covered them with my favorite peanut butter frosting (ohmygoshiloveit) and finished off with more crumbled candy bars.  The result was perfect.  I absolutely loved the surprise of the candy bar hiding under the frosting, and the overall balance of the flavors was just right with Butterfingers as the star.  I hope someone asks for them again soon!

Note: Some of the measurements in the cupcake recipe may seem a bit odd, but I made a 2/3 batch of my favorite banana cupcakes which made for some funny math.  But, it also made the exact number of cupcakes I wanted (24).  If this bothers you, make the full recipe as in the link above with additional frosting and extra candy bars.


For the cupcakes:
1½ cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar
4 eggs
Scant 1 cup mashed ripe banana
2/3 cup buttermilk
12 fun size Butterfinger bars, cut in half

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
½ cup creamy peanut butter
3¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

For garnish:
4 fun size Butterfinger bars, coarsely chopped


  • 01

    To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt; whisk together and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Reduce the mixer speed to medium low and add in eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Mix in the mashed banana until well combined.  With the mixer on low speed alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing only until just incorporated.

  • 02

    Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about 2/3 to ¾ full.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-22 minutes.  Allow to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • 03

    To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter and peanut butter until smooth.  Slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth and well blended.  Mix in the whipped topping until smooth and fluffy.

  • 04

    To assemble the cupcakes, place a candy bar half on top of each cooled cupcake.  Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and pipe onto the cupcakes, covering the candy bar completely.  (I used a large, unlabeled star tip to frost these cupcakes.) Sprinkle with chopped candy bars for garnish.


  • Yay! Happy birthday to me! Thank you again Annie for the cupcakes and every other birthday treat you so graciously gifted me…..I am working on my thank-you. :) You are one of the best friends a girl could have…seriously. Your support and friendship mean the world to me. Also, you are a wonderful baker/chef/blogger/mother/crafty woman! These cupcakes were AMAZING!

  • Genius! Banana, pb and butterfinger! And we love the hidden treat under all that gorgeous frosting..!

  • randomanderson

    I enjoyed the story. I, too, am a Butterfinger freakazoid. These look unbelievable.

  • i used to always trade candy with my sister! it worked out because we usually liked the opposite things- i always wanted the hershey bars, peanut butter cups and snickers:-) These look like a must-try!

  • Autumn B

    I had to laugh at your description of your halloween because my brother and I did the EXACT same thing, from the pillowcase to the seperating and trading-and we even have the same tastes in candy (with the exception of the reeses). The cupcakes of course sound wonderful too, I love all your recipes!

  • Oh yum! Those look awesome! I was recently thinking about how I could incorporate butterfingers into a cupcake, so I’ll definitely be trying these. Simply delightful… :)

  • Stacy Baker

    Oohh! Another awesome looking cupcake! My 10-year-old daughter is participating in her third annual Girl Scout Bake-Off in November. The first year she took third place for her peanut butter cake; last year she took first place for her triple berry pie. This year’s theme is CUPCAKES and we’re looking for a knock-your-socks off cupcake recipe. Having won a ribbon each year so far, she will be sorely disappointed if she doesn’t take home another one this year. Annie – out of all of your awesome cupcakes, which do you think is most blue-ribbon worthy? We’re eyeballing your Oreo Cupcakes, the ones with the Oreo in the bottom, but they all look delicious! Please help us decide! THANKS!

  • these cupcakes look super yummy! i love the butterfinger crushed on top!

  • YUM!!! These look SO good! My mom’s favorite it butterfinger, definitely have to make these for her sometime!

  • Annie

    You’ll have to make that decision yourself! I certainly don’t want to be the one responsible for her being “sorely disappointed”. Hopefully you will find lots of inspiration here.

  • Oh my goodness these look awesome. What a great way to us leftover Halloween candy! YUM!

  • I agree… the banana cupcake is genius.

  • You have done it again! You have made me crave cupcakes first thing in the morning. These really do look great. :)

  • I think I’ll have to say that the Butterfinger is my favorite candy bar, going waaaay back!

    Your Halloween memories sound so similar to mine…we used pillowcases too, and I completely remember those reject little pieces of candy:)

  • Maggi

    Hmmm. What do you think would happen if I ix-nayed the banana? Or maybe subbed it with applesauce? Strange food allergy, I know…..

  • Annie

    I would just use a different cupcake base rather than banana. Vanilla would be good.

  • HELLO! These look so tasty!! Oh my goodness!

  • Betsy

    How do you transport your cupcakes so they arrive so perfectly? I want to bring cupcakes to work, but I’m nervous after taking them on the nyc subway they will be ruined?

  • Annie

    Well, I drive to work for one thing. A subway ride would certainly make it more difficult. I used to use disposable bakery boxes but in an effort to be more eco-friendly, now I usually use either my cupcake caddy or just put them on a baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

  • Yum, yum, YUUUUMMMMM!!!!

  • I wish people could make me cupcakes for my bday! These look super cute. If i made them I would probably use vanilla though.

  • Kelli

    All kids must be the same because I had the same exact trick or treating experience as you. GO pillow cases!!

  • These look gorgeous! Peanut butter frosting is the best ever! I’ve never tried it with a banana cupcake, but now I can’t wait to!

  • Butterfingers were a top favorite when I was trick-or-treating too, but I think everyone coveted the Reese’s over everything else. Regardless, I still swoon over a Butterfinger today and know I would absolutely love these cupcakes. Your co-workers are super lucky to have you as both a smart medical mind AND a resident baker, Annie! Keep up the awesome posts.

  • Butterfinger is my favorite candy bar~ although I am not a banana fan~ Just don’t like the flavor much now-a-days… I agree something vanilla-y sounds wonderful to me! This sounds like a really nice little cupcake!

  • paige

    You should try the Smores Cupcakes for the girl scout contest. They are sooo different and so delish! A true winner!

  • Liz N

    As a Nestle employee, I am now obligated to make these cupcakes soon. They look absolutely scrumptious! I will have to share this post with some of my Confections group. They’ll enjoying finding out awesome uses for their product!

  • These are beautiful AND look yummy. My daughter is a fan of Butterfingers..need to print this for future reference for sure…Thanks for sharing.

  • Caitlin

    Your Halloweens sounds EXACTLY like my Halloweens–I’m glad I am not the only one who sorted her candy!

  • Ok, Annie, you’ve had good weeks and you’ve had wonderful weeks, but this week takes the cake. I want to make ALL five recipes! Butterfingers are my absolute favorites. And, I loved the orange chicken at the place on the NW corner of Penn and Washington – long gone but really wonderful stuff. Now, I can make my own :-) Thanks, Kate

  • Claire

    Well, these are instantly made healthy since they contain banana and peanut butter, after all. :-)

  • Wow, you really were serious! I’ve never been that organized about anything in my life :) I’d love to have on of these dropped into my trick or treat pail. I’d eat it even if it got squished :P

  • You were the most organized trick or treater I’ve ever heard of….but we DID use pillowcases!

    Fabulous cupcake recipe!

  • Just made these for my daughters volleyball team. Shoulda made more as I ended up getting out the door with only one cupcake per girl. My husband is not a sweets fan, but he loved them! Thank you so much for all of your inspiration and recipes. You are my go to girl for amazing cupcakes! I have two kids in high school and one in junior high so you can imagine how many times a week I am baking for some event or just the teens that drop by. You have yet to fail me my dear blogging friend. Blessings and thanks so much!

  • Wow, this looks amazing! I love your pictures.

  • Stephanie

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I made them last night for my husband (and maybe for myself as well) and they were fantastic. I wanted to use up a box mix I had on hand (for shame!) so I didn’t make the banana cupcakes, but I definitely will next time. And that icing….I could have just eaten the who bowl full straight with a glass of milk!

  • I’m pretty positive my hubby would die for these.

  • Elaine

    Here in Oklahoma we have Braum’s Dairy stores. They have something they call a Mix and my favorite is Chocolate Butterfinger. It’s soft-serve chocolate yogurt with chopped up Butterfinger all mixed in and then a bunch on the top. Your post today reminds me of that treat and since my birthday is on Halloween, I think I’ll ask for these instead of my usual-Mississippi Mud Cake. (But instead of banana, I’ll have to have a chocolate cupcake!!)

  • I shall have to try this. My guy really likes PB and bananas. It’s a win win!

  • my brother, my sister and I candy-traded too! I didn’t even really like candy as a kid, but the trading was so important.
    Adding this to my bookmarks.

  • I might have to buy extra butterfinger candy for Halloween to ensure I have leftovers ;) These look amazing!!! I LOVE the banana in them too!

  • SugarMama

    Yeah!!! I love finding ways to use the Halloween candy. I will be confiscating all of my children’s Butterfingers before they get a hold of them. ;o)

    On a side note, made your burrito bowls… HUGE hit in our home! Thank you!

  • Love the story of your trick-or-treat cute! Can’t wait to try these out! :-)

  • My boys would LOVE these!!!

  • Brandy

    I love that you have a category just for cupcakes :)

  • Kerry

    Have you tried making this frosting using Nutella in place of peanut butter? Or any other Nutella frosting/ baked goods?

  • Annie

    No, I haven’t.

  • Shirley

    I am making these cupcakes tomorrow. They look wonderful and my husband loves butterfingers. Where do you get your colorful liners? The colors are so bright. The ones I have are pastel colors and after I bake the cupcakes you can hardly tell what color they are. I have tried several of your recipes and love all of them.

  • Annie

    I buy mine online mostly from Bake It Pretty, Confectionery House and Layer Cake Shop. Sur La Table is also starting to carry a nice variety of good quality liners in stores.

  • Tara

    I don’t need a reason to make a huge batch of cupcakes. That’s a problem. Made these yesterday with my 3 year old assistant and wowza! This frosting is delicious, not too sweet, and I like that it doesn’t require alot of butter. I decided on a chocolate cupcake and used Martha’s one bowl chocolate cupcake recipe-moist, rich, wonderful. I really like the crunchy texture of the butterfinger candy. It was a good compliment to all the soft fluffiness. So don’t omit that:)

  • Ruthi


  • Angel

    For Halloween I did a candy-themed cupcakes. I had reese’s and mint chocolate chip. This was the perfect addition to make a delectable little trio. Thanks again Annie.

  • Irene L.

    What would happen if I baked the butterfinger in the cupcake?

  • Annie

    The only way to know is to try it and see. The reason I didn’t do that is because they would not retain their crunchy texture.

  • Irene L.

    Hi Annie,
    I did it, I mixed the butterfinger in the cake and in the frosting. This was the BEST cupcake I have every tasted. You are such a talented cupcake maker! You are my go to girl!

  • Brennen Humphrey

    This looks absolutely delicious! I recently stumbled across your blog, and I have loved seeing all your cupcake recipes! I can’t wait to try one. I actually live in Indianapolis also. If you ever thought about teaching a baking class, I’d love to attend!

  • Melody

    I am dying to give these a shot (after making your oreo cookie cupcakes and LOVING them!), but I have a serious aversion to bananas (I know, weird). You mention that vanilla cupcake base might be good. Do you have a suggestion for a good vanilla cupcake recipe? I looked through some of your cupcakes, but couldn’t find any plain vanilla ones. Should I do the vanilla bean?

  • Annie

    I have three vanilla cupcake recipes posted, but the vanilla bean are definitely my favorite. I would use those.

  • Lindsey

    Butterfinger is my husband’s favorite candy bar…I made these for his birthday and he loved them!! I swapped banana cake for plain ole yellow because he doesn’t like bananas and they were still great!

  • Sarah

    I was thinking about making this as a cake. Have you tried that? I didn’t know how the measurements would work out, etc. Any advice is appreciated!

  • Annie

    Hi Sarah,
    Please see the FAQ page. It covers this topic. Thanks!

  • These were so great! I was really amazed at how well the frosting mimicked the flavors of a Butterfinger. Brilliant! I posted them on my blog with links back to you! Thanks again for a great recipe!

  • Tina

    So I made these cupcakes and i was a little disappointed. The frosting was fabulous and the cake was fabulous but together it didn’t work well for me. They were two totally different tastes and it seemed like they conflicted with each other. Don’t get me wrong i will definitely make these cupcakes again but i will put a different frosting on top and the butterfinger frosting will probably taste better on top of a chocolate cupcake. Thank you Annie for sharing your wonderful recipes!

  • cheryl

    I was wondering…with the whipped cream in the frosting, how should you store these. Would they be fine on the counter overnight?

  • Annie

    Please see the FAQ page.

  • lexi

    Hey I’ve been having a problem with the frosting not being stiff enough, is there a way to make it just a bit stiffer without adding more sugar? I don’t want to make it too sweet and have it take away from the peanut butter taste.

  • annieseats

    I definitely agree that you don’t want to add in more sugar because it will offset the flavor balance. Is the frosting actually runny or just not as stiff as you expected? This is definitely a lighter, fluffier frosting than a traditional buttercream, but if it’s actually runny, I would recommend having the butter and cream cheese still somewhat cold when you start.