Okay, confession time: When I was a kid, I didn’t like peanut butter and jelly.  Weird, right?  I think it had something to do with the thick, sticky texture of peanut butter.  I did not like the way it stuck to the roof of my mouth, not one little bit.  My dietary staple was either a cheese sandwich (what Andrew now refers to as a “regular sandwich”) or a grilled cheese.  Now, I’ll still take a grilled cheese over PB&J any day, but I have finally come around on the combination of peanut butter and jelly.  I think it was sometime during college or maybe med school that I began making them out of necessity more than anything – the quickest, easiest thing I could grab to take with me that didn’t need refrigeration.  In any case, I am now a total convert and have seen the error of my ways.

I made PB&J cupcakes last year for a coworker’s birthday and while they were good, they were a bit too dense and peanut buttery for me.  (I have previously discussed my strong feelings on the balance between the peanut butter and jelly components.)  This time around, I used a lighter, fluffier frosting and made minor changes to the cake to create a lighter crumb.  I was much happier with these results.  Give them a try, and be sure to enjoy with a big glass of milk!


For the cupcakes:
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
12 tbsp. (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3 large eggs
½ cup sour cream (reduced fat is fine)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup buttermilk

For the filling and topping:
Grape and/or strawberry jam

For the frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Pinch of coarse salt
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. heavy cream


  • 01

    To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.  Blend in the peanut butter.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Blend in the sour cream.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in half of the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk and then the remaining dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until combined.

  • 02

    Divide the batter between the prepared liners filling each about 2/3 full.  Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Let cool in the pans a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before proceeding.

  • 03

    To fill the cupcakes, use the cone method to hollow out the cupcakes.  (I preferred using a small paring knife for these cupcakes.)  Cut the tip portion off of each cone and discard, reserving a disc from each to cover the filling.  Fill each cupcake with a small spoonful of grape or strawberry jam.  Replace the cake discs over the filling.

  • 04

    To make the frosting, combine the butter and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar and salt. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the vanilla and cream just until incorporated. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip until light and very fluffy, about 4 minutes. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip (I used Ateco #809). Pipe a swirl of frosting on top of each cupcake.  Use the tip of a small offset spatula or a small spoon to scoop an indentation out of the center of the frosting.  Fill the indentation with a small spoonful of jam.


  • These sound so good! Love the frosting dome. :)

  • Sugarswings

    Looks great! My kids have peanut and tree nut allergies so I never bake peanut butter stuff, since me and hubby would be forced to eat it all! I was the same way as a kid with pb&j!

  • I am loving these! You made them look so darn cute too. I’m sure you have some happy co-workers!

  • These look amazing! I’m a huge PB&J fan, so will definitely have to give these cuties a try!:)

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    These cupcakes seriously rock my world!

  • Adorable and AMAZING! :)

  • MeM

    You are my hero.

  • Emilie @ Emilie’s Enjoyables

    PB & J is one of my favorite combos and I’m VERY excited to see your recipe for them in cupcake form :)

  • Adorable, as usual. I really like the little bit of jelly poking through the top.
    I was also the weird kid who didn’t like PB&J, and much preferred grilled cheese, or sometimes just jelly sandwiches. I’ve finally come around to liking PB&J. Have you ever tried a grilled PB&J? That’s what finally converted me. They’re pretty amazing.

  • Janaya

    Annie – my feelings about pb&j sandwiches and yours could not be more alike… It was not until dental school that my thoughts about them changed! Cannot wait to try these.

  • Adrienne

    Not too weird: I hated peanut butter until I was forced to try a Reese’s peanut butter cup in my second or third year in college. That was the first time I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as well! I just wasn’t raised on it since my mother isn’t a peanut fan. You are not alone.

    As for the cupcakes, they look gorgeous and sound like an interesting combo. I think I’ll be putting them near the top of my list of recipes to try :)

  • These look fantastic!!

  • Anonymous

    No, but I have seen them and love the idea! I also saw an episode of Iron Chef where they made a pb&j stuffed french toast that looked pretty amazing. That’s on my list to try too!

  • Anonymous

    My favorite childhood sandwich in cupcake form?! Yes, please.

  • Gorgeous! I’m still known to bring a pb+j sandwich to work every now and again. I love the cupcake form! And I love your sweet gingham liners :)

  • Kelsey

    I didn’t like PB&J as a kid, either. I came around to it during college. Even though I didn’t like it as a kid and my mom never made it for me, it seemed like comfort food when I was nearly 2,000 miles from home. If someone had given me PB&J cupcakes as a kid, it might have been a different story.

  • Rebekah

    Davy would absolutely LOVE these! We have been making “triple decker” PPJ sandwiches for his lunch.

  • Heather@Kids in the Sink

    I like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and I have seen the two flavors in cupcake form, but I have never tried. Something about taking peanut butter and jelly out from its bread home kind of freaks me out. But I think my kids could really get behind something like this and who knows, maybe I’ll be converted to liking pb&j in other ways. These cupcakes definitely look good enough!!

  • Yum, those look delicious! I know my 3 year old would love those, she is so into “jam” (she calls all fruit spreads jam.) I love peanut butter, so those would make me happy too.

  • I love these. They again got pinned to my cupcakes board on Pinterest of course. I made PBJ cupcakes once, but the jelly was hidden under the peanut butter frosting. These are much cuter. In fact, they look a lot like some PBJ thumbprint cookies I just made, seen here: http://fashionisevolution.blogspot.com/2012/01/peanut-butter-and-jelly-cookies-recipe.html

  • Anonymous

    Haha, that’s awesome! He’ll have to make me one sometime.

  • Sheila Thoburn

    I just made peanut butter and jelly cupcakes earlier this week! I feel so cool, like I”m on the same brain wave length as you. I like your lighter frosting; the ones I made certainly had frosting that seemed like straight peanut butter.

  • Beautiful pictures….I have never even tried a peanut butter & jelly sandwich..just seems like a weird combination…cheese sandwiches were my staple growing up!

  • I KNEW they looked familiar! I have made the Martha Stewart version before – I really like your icing idea! These are always a hit when I make them!

  • Sarah

    Gorgeous pictures! I love how you put the red liners with the strawberry jam and the purple liners with the grape jam. If you get an itch for a peanut butter and jelly dessert again definitely try Martha Stewart’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars.

  • SO CUTE and creative, Annie! I am a huge fan of pb&J and consequently, these cupcakes!

  • The Hungry Housewife

    My kids don’t like peanut butter and jelly either! They look like the perfect cupcakes!

  • tiffiny felix

    I love these. I’m going to Pin It for later :)

  • My kids would go crazy over these! They love anything PB&J! Thanks!

  • These are so cute

  • These look great! I love the little hole for jelly, it looks like a thumbpint cookie!

  • These look absolutely delicious!

  • Laceymelt

    My little mans birthday isn’t until June, but I just pinned it on my Pinterest page for his party! He would literally eat a pb&j every day if I let him! Thank you so much for sharing….he is going to flip!

  • Lately I can’t get enough of finding new ways of enjoying the PB&J combo – and now I know a recipe for making it in cupcake form?? I think I may have just heard angels from heaven start to sing.

    Seriously, I don’t comment all the time, but from afar I always love the flavors and combinations you come up with!

  • These look beautiful – I love the jelly filling! I like a good pb&j sandwich every now and then, but pb&j desserts are new to me. I made muffins once, so I am going to have to branch out and try these!

  • Ellen

    I love Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes! I actually made them for a friend’s wedding. I find using a recipe for a Hot Milk Sponge Cake makes the perfect cake! Love your blog!

  • Kristincharles

    gosh. i don’t know if i can venture out of the box to try these. however, i am thinking that my little pb& j fans would find them enchanting.

    thanks for the recipe!

  • these look so good. I want one now.

  • Nkavitha

    Made these today. The cupcakes were cracked at the top. But I was able to disguise it with the lovely fluffy frosting. But do you know what went wrong?

  • Anonymous

    Please see the FAQ page re: what went wrong. Mine didn’t have cracked tops so I’m not sure why that would have happened.

  • Inspiration! I never liked a pb and j as a kid either but then again I didn’t like grilled cheese either, go figure. This cupcake looks delightful and I’m so glad our taste buds develop as we grow up.

  • You are a genius! I love PB&J and Cupcakes..this is perfection!

  • I think it’s funny that Andrew calls cheese sandwiches “regular” sandwiches. In our house, grape jelly is called “regular” jelly!

  • My husband is addicted to peanut butter and jelly, so I HAVE to make these for him! LOL Thanks to the recipe!

  • Just made these to take into work later this evening. I could have sat and ate the frosting with a spoon! It was so delicious. Loved the light, delicate peanut butter taste of the cake. There will be some very happy nurses this evening at the VA hospital psych unit in Louisville!

  • I made these for a bake sale today. I’m not sure what the finished product tastes like yet but the cake was delicious (I ate the bits from the cones) and they looked great. This is always the first place I check when I need a fun cupcake recipe.

  • Kristen

    This icing is genius!! SO delicious Annie!!!

  • Carrie

    I made these this weekend and gave them out as early valentines gifts, everyone agreed that these cupcakes were fabulous! Thanks for a great recipe

  • Shanna Watson

    Too funny…i didn’t like PB&J as a kids (still don’t) and my family calls a grilled cheese “cheese sandwiches”. I have been met with some odd looks when I say cheese sandwich and can’t figure that out for the life of me.

  • Laura

    I’m planning to bake these for the upcoming school bake sale… do you think the jelly/jam in the frosting will hold up well at room temperature for the full day?

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page regarding food storage questions. Thanks!

  • Wendy

    These cupcakes are amazing! I have found Martha’s recipes in the book to be hit or miss, but I trusted you and they were perfect! Just wanted to let you know that you didn’t mention when to add the vanilla to the cupcake. I added it at the end.

    Try the cupcakes with a chocolate frosting sometime – yum!

  • aliyah

    go to make these cupcake for the 4th of july

  • Aliyah

    i love these cupcakes!!!!!!!! :)

  • Torra

    I am a huge fan of PB&J and can eat peanut butter out of the jar. I make my own jelly each year but not this year due to personal reasons. My husband and I went to NYC and I had my very first PB&J cupcake at his trendy cupcake store. Let me just say, I was morphed out of this world with the first bite and from that day on, I had to find the perfect recipe. I think I have. I have my two great nieces with me for the summer break and we are going to try this recipe out tonight! I can’t wait. Thank you Annie and thank you fellow foodies for your great comments, you helped me select this recipe.

  • Bridget

    I made these cupcakes along with your Banana Split Cupcakes this weekend for my son’s birthday party. They were both pretty easy to make and oh so yummy!!! We made homemade fig/strawberry preserves a few months back so i used that instead of store bought jelly. They were both a bit hit and everyone LOVED them. I love your site and your step by step pictures and directions. Thank you!!!

  • Do you have to sift the flour for the cupcake recipes? If so, is it before or after measuring?

  • annieseats

    I don’t normally sift unless a recipe specifically indicates to do so. Enjoy!

  • Melanie

    I forgot to go shopping and made them today – the only shop open did not have peanut butter… so I didn’t have enough. I decided to use what I had for the frosting. Then I found a hand full of peanuts leftover and roasted them in my pan. With 1-2 Tablespoons of butter and a bit of honey in my mixer… it did not get creamy but with patience it was… mushy. I used it in the batter and they are sooooo yummy! tried one with raspberry, apricot/orange, strawberry and redcurrant. Raspberry and redcurrant works best for me… *yummy*

    Greetings and happy easter from germany by the way!

  • Angela R

    I wanted to make this recipe but just half of it, would you be able to recommend how many eggs I should use since the original recipe calls for 3?

  • annieseats

    I usually just put an egg in a small bowl, beat it lightly, and then add in what looks like about half of it. Hope that helps!