Peanut butter cupcakes and bourbon honey frosting make for a GREAT combo. The nuttiness from the peanut butter with the vanilla sweetness from the bourbon honey just go so well together. The peanut butter cupcakes themselves are light, soft, and airy yet rich and dense. You can smell peanut butter from the oven as they bake into golden brown cupcakes. The bourbon honey frosting is sweet with a hint of salty from the sea salt, and the drizzle of bourbon honey on top is the perfect touch. Pink sea salt and golden honey were a pretty contrast to the white frosting. We love using bourbon honey from Basic Bee in Baton Rouge in many recipes but this one takes the cake (pun intended).
Ingredients needed for the peanut butter cupcakes & bourbon honey frosting
- Yellow cake mix - this helps save time without sacrificing taste! We love to use Duncan Hines but any yellow cake mix will do.
- Eggs + egg yolks - the extra egg yolks provide fat to keep the cake moist and soft. It's important to use these at room temperature to allow for even mixing!
- Whole milk - similar to the egg yolks, whole milk contains fat that will give moisture to the cake. Most cake mixes call for water as the liquid but we love to use whole milk!
- Melted butter - be sure to allow this to cool before mixing with the other ingredients. This will add flavor and moisture!
- Peanut butter - obviously you need peanut butter in peanut butter cupcakes! Peanut butter will add flavor as well as fat to keep the cupcakes from drying out.
- Bourbon honey - we first found this when we moved to Baton Rouge and it is AMAZING! The bourbon compliments the honey so well and makes this recipe unique.
- Sea salt - regular salt will do but flakey sea salt adds a dimension of flavor and texture that really enhance the frosting and cupcakes. We used pink sea salt to add a small pop of color!
As dietitians, we are pro-natural peanut butter people. But your favorite brand of peanut butter will work great! We used smooth peanut butter in these cupcakes.
Yes, it's a possibility! Overmixing may result in a tough cupcake. We recommend sticking to our time guidelines to prevent this from happening!
The fat (peanut butter + butter + whole milk + extra egg yolks) are what keep these peanut butter cupcakes moist and delicious.
Technically no, but we highly recommend it! Powdered sugar tends to clump together and some clumps may stick together while mixing. Sifting the powdered sugar will result in a smooth frosting.
It depends on the tools you have. A piping bag is the easiest way and makes for such a pretty cupcake but a good old butter knife can do the trick! It's up to you and whatever equipment you have on hand.
Alternative frosting flavor ideas
The bourbon honey frosting compliments the peanut butter cupcakes perfectly but if bourbon honey isn't your thing, there are other options!
- Simple honey frosting (just use regular honey in place of bourbon honey)
- Plain buttercream frosting (omit the honey altogether!)
- Chocolate buttercream frosting (use 3-4 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder & omit honey)
- Molasses cream cheese frosting (check out our recipe here)
- Maple buttercream frosting (use maple syrup in lieu of honey)
Whatever combination you use, we would love to hear about and see it! Please rate and review our recipe below. Feel free to post on social media and tag us @theperfectpear8! We love connecting on social and seeing your creativity 🙂Print
Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Bourbon Honey Frosting
Peanut butter cupcakes and bourbon honey frosting make for a GREAT combo. The nuttiness from the peanut butter with the vanilla sweetness from the bourbon honey just go so well together. The peanut butter cupcakes themselves are light, soft, and airy yet rich and dense.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 20 cupcakes 1x
- Category: Desserts
- Cuisine: American
For the cake
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 3 eggs + 2 egg yolks, room temp
- 1 cup whole milk
- ⅓ cup melted butter, cooled
- ¾ cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the frosting
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 lb powdered sugar, sifted
- 3 Tbsp bourbon honey
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2-3 Tbsp heavy cream
For the cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with cupcake liners and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Mix all ingredients on low speed until combined.
- Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Using an ice cream scoop or ¼ cup measuring cup, scoop batter into cupcake tin. There should be enough batter for ~20 cupcakes.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool for at least 1 hour before frosting.
For the frosting
- In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat butter, vanilla, honey, and salt until evenly combined and whipped.
- Add ⅓-1/2 of powdered sugar and mix. Go slow! This will prevent a big mess.
- Add remaining sugar and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Mix in 2 Tbsp of heavy cream. If you prefer thinner frosting, add another Tbsp of cream.
Assembling the cupcakes
- Once cupcakes have cooled, time to frost them! Using a piping bag, spatula, or butter knife, evenly frost each cupcake.
- Drizzle the cupcakes with bourbon honey and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Store cupcakes at room temperature in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.
- Cupcakes will freeze well for 2 months.
- Serving Size: 1 cupcake
- Calories: 409
- Sugar: 41
- Sodium: 460
- Fat: 22
- Saturated Fat: 11
- Unsaturated Fat: 5
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 52
- Fiber: 1
- Protein: 4
- Cholesterol: 81
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