Anyone who loves the combination of peanut butter and chocolate will love these Butterfinger cupcakes! A rich chocolate cupcake that’s filled with a silky chocolate ganache and topped with creamy peanut butter frosting and Butterfinger crumbles – it’s just as good if not better than the one you could find in Disney parks!
One of the iconic favorite Disney World snacks for a long time were the Butterfinger crunch cupcakes at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida.
They’ve come and gone over the years and unfortunately are gone right now. They were easily one of the best Hollywood Studios foods, and I missed them so much I decided I needed to recreate them at home!
If you’ve never had the Disney Butterfinger cupcakes, you’re going to love these. They’re seriously so delicious. Just look at these!
Rich chocolate cupcakes get filled with a chocolate ganache (kind of like my hot chocolate cupcakes) then topped with a mound of creamy peanut butter frosting (for the peanut butter lover). And that’s not all – then it gets dipped into chopped up Butterfinger candy bars.
I really couldn’t decide if the top of the cupcakes or the actual cupcake itself is better. But together, these chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes are simply the best cupcakes. There’s a reason they were such a popular Disney treat!
And don’t tell Disney, but I actually like my copycat recipe more than I liked the ones in the theme parks, and that’s saying a lot because the ones in the park were good!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Great for sharing – cupcakes are the perfect sharable dessert because they are individually portioned and easy to make a lot of.
- Easy to find ingredients - everything you need is readily available at the grocery store or you probably already have on hand. And while these aren’t made with a cake mix (homemade cupcakes are so much better), they’re still very easy to make!
- Great peanut butter flavor – since these are chocolate cupcakes just topped with peanut butter frosting, they have a really good peanut butter flavor without being too much! Sometimes the peanut butter is just too much.
- All-purpose flour - you can use half cake flour and half all-purpose if you are wanting an even lighter cupcake. Otherwise, all-purpose flour works to make this decadent treat.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder – you can use Dutch process cocoa powder for a richer earthier flavor.
- Vegetable oil - both vegetable and canola oil will work for this. You can also use coconut oil if you like the flavor of it but it does change the flavor of the rich chocolate cake slightly.
- Buttermilk - it’s best to use fresh buttermilk but you can make your own if in a pinch by combining milk and lemon juice or white vinegar.
- Heavy cream – whole milk works if you don’t have any heavy cream.
- Creamy peanut butter – you can use any brand for this, including natural peanut butter, just as long as it is creamy. Otherwise, your peanut butter buttercream frosting will have crunchy chunks in it.
- Butter - both salted and unsalted will work depending on your taste preferences.
- Butterfingers - easily change these with peanut butter cups, sprinkles, or your favorite candy bars. I used Butterfingers because it’s one of the things that made the Disney cupcakes so unique! You’ll want to crush them the candy bars into crushed Butterfinger bits in a food processor or by hand with a rolling pin (harder option).
- Chocolate - any type of chocolate will work, you can also use chocolate chips if you like.
If you want to add optional ears to your cupcakes like I did, you’ll need two chocolate melting wafers (or you could also use mini Oreos) per cupcake. I just added them at the very end to make these for a Disney themed party!
How to make Butterfinger Cupcakes
Now that I’ve convinced you that these are the best peanut butter chocolate cupcakes, it’s time to get started on making them.
Below you will find full instructions and pictures to help you make these rich chocolate cupcakes and creamy frosting.
At the bottom of the post, you’ll find a printable recipe card so you can easily come back to this great recipe. Happy baking!
1 – Make The Chocolate Cupcake Batter
The first thing you want to do is preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then line cupcake pans (aka muffin tins) with cupcake liners. Set aside for later.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Gently whisk the dry ingredients together they are combined, then set aside for later.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment ( or a hand mixer), add in the sugar and eggs and beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth and a pale color, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
Once the sugar and eggs are combined, add the vegetable oil, buttermilk, and vanilla to the mixer bowl and set it to medium speed. Mix all the wet ingredients together until they’re well mixed and the batter is smooth.
Turn the mixer on to low speed and slowly add the flour mixture to the buttermilk mixture. I only add about 1/2 cup at a time until it is just mixed all together. You don’t want to over mix at this point or you’ll end up with dry cupcakes.
2 – Bake The Cupcakes
Next, add about 1/4 cup of batter into each cupcake liner. Then put the muffin pan into the preheated oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Once the cupcakes are done baking, place them onto a wire rack. Let them completely cool before filling them with frosting or adding the ganache.
If you try to add frosting to not cooled cupcakes, it’ll just melt right off.
3 – Make The Ganache & Fill the Cupcakes
While the cupcakes cool, make the chocolate ganache.
Start by chopping up the chocolate into small pieces and placing them in a medium bowl.
Add the cream into a small saucepan over medium to low heat and heat it up until it begins to simmer. If you turn the heat on too high it will burn the cream so be sure to keep the temperature on low to medium heat.
Once the cream has simmered, quickly pour it over the finely chopped chocolate. Let the chocolate sit untouched and covered for about five minutes to let it melt.
Once the chocolate has fully melted, mix the cream and chocolate together until it becomes a smooth and shiny texture. Let the ganache cool again for about 15 minutes.
Before filling the cupcakes, core the middle of each cupcake using a cupcake corer. Core out just the center of each cupcake, going down about 1/2 way into the cupcake. The cored-out pieces can be thrown away or eaten.
Spoon the ganache into each cupcake. The smaller the spoon the better to try to keep it from going onto the cupcake. You can use a pipping bag for this if it’s easier for you.
4 – Make The Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting
While the ganache cools (or after you’ve filled the cupcakes), make the frosting.
Add the unsalted butter and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and mix until creamy. Then slowly add the powdered sugar to the frosting, keeping the mixer on low and adding about one cup at a time until all four cups have been added and the frosting is smooth.
Next, add the milk a little at a time until the frosting is a consistency you like. Mix until the buttercream frosting is light and fluffy.
6 – Frost the Butterfinger Cupcakes
After the frosting is done, use a large cookie scoop or standard ice cream scoop and scoop the frosting on top of the cupcakes making sure to cover the center.
You can also transfer the frosting to a piping bag and pipe it onto the cupcakes if you’d prefer, but the Disney cupcakes had a big scoop of frosting on top so if you’re going for a copycat recipe, I’d scoop it to frost cupcakes.
7 – Finish the Cupcakes and Serve
Now that the cupcakes are filled and frosted, use a food processor to crush the Butterfinger candy bars into candy bar pieces.
Sprinkle the crushed butterfingers over the frosting to give it a finished look. You can also try dipping the top of each cupcake into the Butterfinger pieces but be careful so the Butterfinger frosting doesn’t just fall off.
These cupcakes are a great way to use up leftover Halloween candy! I don’t know many kids who really want to get Butterfingers in their trick or treat bags, but they’ll gladly eat these cupcakes! If you’re not using the Mickey ears, you could also add a mini Butterfinger candy bar to the top of each cupcake!
If you’re adding Mickey ears, add those after you add the frosting! If you’re not adding them, your cupcakes are done and ready to serve!
Enjoy immediately or store and serve later! I like enjoying mine with a nice big glass of cold milk! It’s the perfect combination with the smooth chocolate ganache center and the peanut butter frosting!
Expert Tips And Storage Info
Use room temperature ingredients if possible to allow them to blend completely, which will give you the best tasting cupcakes!
Try out dark cocoa powder or dark chocolate for a richer flavor in the ganache center. This may be a little too dark for kids though so if you’re making these for birthday parties or when kids will be eating them, stick with the regular cocoa powder.
Store the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container for up to three days at room temperature.
Freeze unfrosted and unfilled cupcakes for up to three months, then unthaw before you fill and frost them. Let them cool completely before you place them in a freezer safe bag or container to freeze.
Make these peanut butter free by switching out the peanut butter frosting with your favorite chocolate buttercream frosting instead and just omitting the Butterfinger topping.
If your peanut butter frosting is too runny, it’s possible you used a natural type of peanut butter where the oil separates from the peanut butter. Next time make sure to use a regular peanut butter, not a natural variety.
For now, add 1/4 cup of extra powdered sugar and omit the milk. If it’s still too runny, add a bit more powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency you’re looking for.
The secret to a super moist cupcake is the use of buttermilk in this recipe. The buttermilk adds wetness to the batter that you don’t get in typical chocolate cupcakes.
If you put cupcakes in the fridge they will dry out unless properly wrapped, so make sure you wrap them completely in plastic wrap or in an airtight container.
Unfortunately Butterfinger crunch cupcakes are currently not available to be purchased in any of the Disney parks. They do come and go regularly though so keep your eye out next time you’re there, they may be back again!
If you can’t find Butterfingers or don’t like Butterfingers, you can always just omit the topping all together and stick with chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting!
More Disney Copycat Recipes
If you like Disney food, you have to try these other delicious Disney copycat recipes!
- Num num cookies – a copycat recipe of one of the best Disneyland food items. They’re so good!
- Apple pie caramel apples – one of our very favorite Disneyland Halloween treats that you can now make at home!
- Grey stuff recipe – a copycat of the iconic food from Beauty and the Beast, served at Disney World in Be Our Guest restaurant!
- Mickey Mouse cake pops – a fun treat you can find at Disney Springs and now make at home!
Butterfinger Cupcakes (Disney Copycat Recipe)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup buttermilk at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate finely chopped
- 4 oz heavy cream
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2-4 Tbsp milk
- 1 cup Butterfinger candy bars crushed
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. whisk together.1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer add in the sugar and eggs and beat on medium high speed until smooth1 cup sugar, 2 large eggs
- Add the vegetable oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Mix all the ingredients together until well combined.1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1 tsp vanilla
- Turn the mixer on to low speed and slowly add in the dry ingredients.
- add about 1/4 cup of batter into each cupcake liner. Then put the cupcake pan into the preheated oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Once the cupcakes are done baking, place them onto a cooling rack. Cool before frosting them.
- While the cupcakes cool, make the ganache.
- Start by chopping up the chocolate into small pieces and place them in a medium bowl.4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
- Add the cream into a small saucepan over medium to low heat and heat it up until it begins to simmer. Once the cream has simmered, quickly pour it over the finely chopped chocolate. Let the chocolate sit for about 5 minutes to let it melt.4 oz heavy cream
- Mix the cream and chocolate together until it becomes a smooth and shiny texture. Let the ganache cool again for about 15 minutes.
- Core the middle of each cupcake using a cupcake corer. Core out the middle of the top of each one.
- Spoon the ganache into each cupcake.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer add in the butter and peanut butter and mix until creamy. Then slowly add the powdered sugar in with the mixer on low speed.1 cup unsalted butter, 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter, 4 cups powdered sugar
- Add the milk a little at a time until the frosting is a consistency you like.2-4 Tbsp milk
- After the frosting is done use a large cookie scoop and scoop the frosting on top of the cupcakes.
- Sprinkle the crushed butterfingers over the frosting.1 cup Butterfinger candy bars
- The cupcakes can be served immediately or stored in a container to be served later or up to 2 days.