This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
These peanut butter banana cupcakes are studded with crunchy peanuts and topped with a rich buttercream frosting. They're simple to make, perfect for peanut butter lovers, and they're ready in just under an hour!
If you love cupcakes as much as we do, try our irresistible bourbon coconut cupcakes!
There are some occasions when only a cupcake will do. This drool-worthy cupcake recipe features one of life's greatest flavor combinations: peanut butter and banana. It's so simple, and there's nothing quite like it.
These peanut butter banana cupcakes are not like muffins or banana bread at all. They're light, fluffy, and cake-like with a rich buttercream frosting that makes them a real treat.
Have fun decorating them any way you like, or as we do with a banana chip, some chopped peanuts, and a drizzle of smooth peanut butter.
You don't need to wait until it's someone's birthday to bake up a batch of these delicious peanut butter banana cupcakes. They're sweet, simple, and quite possibly the best pick-me-up around.
Top tips for moist cupcakes
Here are our top tips for making moist and fluffy cupcakes every time:
- Make sure your bananas are ripe – when baking with bananas, you want them to be ripe. The more brown spots they have, the sweeter and moister they are.
- Don’t over-mix the batter – the more you beat the batter, the more gluten develops which can result in rubbery cupcakes.
- Check to make sure they're done – while the cupcakes are still in the oven, insert a skewer into the center. If the skewer comes out clean, they’re ready. Make sure not to overcook them as they will firm up when cooled.
- Allow them to cool completely – remove the cupcakes from the pan fairly soon after they come out of the oven. Sitting too long in the pan will result in a soggy bottom. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a cooling rack before icing.
Peanut butter banana cupcake ingredient notes
We only use real ingredients in this peanut butter banana cupcake recipe. Here's everything you need to make the banana cupcakes:
- Eggs – we actually separate the egg whites from the egg yolks in this recipe. Beating the egg whites helps give the cupcakes height, lightness, and a delicate texture.
- Ripe bananas – make sure your bananas are nice and ripe with lots of brown spots. They're sweeter and have more moisture which is important for baking.
- Butter – salted butter adds rich flavor and keeps these cupcakes moist.
- Granulated sugar – regular granulated sugar is what we use for cupcakes as it dissolves well into the batter.
- Smooth peanut butter – smooth natural peanut butter is what we use. Just give it a good stir if the oil has separated.
- Whole milk – whole milk has a higher fat content which adds both moisture and richness, but you can use any milk or milk alternative.
- Sour cream – sour cream also adds moisture and richness without thinning the batter.
- Vanilla extract – vanilla has a unique ability to enhance other flavors while also adding a delicate sweetness.
- All-purpose flour – we use all-purpose flour because it's versatile and we always have some on hand.
- Baking powder, baking soda + salt
- Chopped roasted peanuts – for a little added peanut crunch!
Here's what you need for the rich buttercream frosting:
- Salted butter – salted butter makes up the bulk of buttercream icing. If you're using unsalted butter, add ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Powdered sugar – the fine texture of powdered sugar dissolves easily into the frosting.
- Vanilla extract
- Whole milk – a few splashes of milk helps to thin the frosting so you can pipe it.
- Banana chips, chopped peanuts, and peanut butter – for decorating.
How to make peanut butter banana cupcakes
These banana peanut butter cupcakes are perfect for parties, birthdays, and special occasions of all kinds. Here's how we make them in a few easy steps:
- Start by adding the egg whites to a bowl and beating them with electric mixers until soft peaks form.
- In a large bowl, mash the bananas and then add the egg yolks, melted butter, sugar, peanut butter, milk, sour cream, and vanilla. Use the electric mixers to cream everything until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix until it all starts to come together. Then, fold in the egg whites until just combined.
- Spoon the batter into your lined muffin tin and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place them on a rack to cool completely before frosting.
Here's how to make the easy buttercream frosting:
- Cream the butter using electric beaters until it becomes light and fluffy. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, and vanilla followed by a splash of milk.
- Spread or pipe the frosting over your cooled cupcakes, and decorate the tops with crushed peanuts, a banana chip, and a drizzle of peanut butter.
Can I use gluten-free flour?
We haven't tested this recipe using gluten-free flour, but a 1:1 blend that contains xanthan gum should give you good results.
Can I use different nut butter?
We haven't tried this recipe using other nut butter, but we imagine another natural nut butter like almond or cashew will work.
How long do these cupcakes keep at room temperature?
You can store your cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the fridge for an additional 1-2 days.
Can I make the frosting ahead of time?
Definitely! The frosting can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge, covered, for a week. You can also store it in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you're ready to use it, allow it to come to room temperature, and add a splash of milk to soften it.
Can I freeze them?
Yes, you can. Store them in an airtight container in your freezer for up to 2 months.
Where did the inspiration for these peanut butter banana cupcakes come from?
Many years ago we came across a recipe for peanut butter birthday cupcakes with banana frosting by Erica from Coffee & Quinoa and instantly fell in love with the idea of peanut butter and bananas coming together in the form of cupcakes.
- 2 large eggs (separated)
- 2 medium ripe bananas (mashed)
- ½ cup melted butter (cooled to room temperature)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup smooth peanut butter
- ½ cup whole milk
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup chopped peanuts
Frosting and Decorating
- 1 cup salted butter (at room temperature)
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- 1-2 tablespoons whole milk (or cream)
- Banana chips, chopped peanuts, and peanut butter (to decorate)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 cupcake pans with 18 cupcake liners. Add the egg whites to a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk using electric beaters until soft peaks form.2 large eggs
- Use a fork to mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl. Then, add the egg yolks, melted butter, sugar, peanut butter, milk, sour cream, and vanilla and use electric beaters to cream everything together.2 medium ripe bananas, ½ cup melted butter, ½ cup granulated sugar, ½ cup smooth peanut butter, 3 tablespoons sour cream, ½ cup whole milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk to combine.2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat on medium until the batter starts to come together. Fold in the egg whites until just combined -don’t over-mix the batter. Lightly fold in the peanuts using a spatula.⅓ cup chopped peanuts
- Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling ⅔ full. Bake for about 11 – 13 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Don’t over-bake these as they will firm up as they cool. Let them cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
Frosting and decorating
- Cream the butter on medium speed using electric beaters until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until it comes together. Add the milk, a little at a time, until you reach the consistency that you like.1 cup salted butter, 4 cups powdered sugar, 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla, 1-2 tablespoons whole milk
- Once the cupcakes are completely cool, spread or pipe the frosting on top. (See notes.) Decorate the tops of the cupcakes with some crushed peanuts, a banana chip, and a little drizzled peanut butter.Banana chips, chopped peanuts, and peanut butter
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.