Knock Off Butterfinger Cupcakes

Hi friends! Happy to see all the interest for the Cuisinart giveaway… I especially love finding some first time hellos and other sweet comments from readers tossed in there. I would respond to them, but then I’d mess up my counting system with the giveaway and might accidentally win my own damn Cuisinart. And, that would be silly because I’d just have to give it away again. Except I would have already picked a color (turquoise!) and one of you would have to settle with that. So I’ll stay out of it this time–but just know I’m having a blast reading the comments; I can’t wait to see who gets it.

So these cupcakes are a a product of childhood memories and current adult cravings. In fact, the childhood memories are kinda on the not so pleasant side, and the adult version is much more positive. Lately I’ve been having an intense craving for Butterfinger candy, and I have to admit that I have no idea why. As I child, I loathed Butterfingers <–coming from the girl who would eat pretty much any candy, anywhere, any time of day–and sometimes I’d even eat straight up sugar as a snack. Hey I was a kid… and my mother was busy not noticing. It’s cool. But every time I tried to eat a Butterfinger–even the itty bitty fun sized ones–something prevented me from finishing it. I remember getting incredibly upset with my father when I was about 8 years old for “mistakenly” bringing me home a king sized Butterfinger as a treat. “You could have gotten me anything but a Butterfinger,” I pleaded. “I hate Butterfingers!”. I was such a spoiled brat.

…but I really did hate them.

And I never seemed to acquire a taste for them as I grew older. I guess it was the flavor and the accompanying tummy ache. I just couldn’t hang with them, despite the fact that they were Bart Simpson approved. I think it must have been the super sweetness–and hard to pinpoint aftertaste–of the chocolate next to the pure sugar insides.

But paired with a bitter chocolate the filling is quite lovely. Decadent even. I had been thinking about making them again for weeks.

The chocolate I used is 60 % cocoa, cutting down quite a tad on the sugary mixture that makes up the filling. If you like a less sweet candy shell, use a higher cocoa content dark chocolate. The candy middle is homemade (not with candy corn! O_o), I just used the classic Butterfinger recipe that can be found all over the place– including here, here and here— that I’ve made several times over the years. It’s a keeper. Actually, I only cooked it to 290 °F using a tip from Real Sustenance, which made for a softer candy that I truly prefer over my original ways. If you like a firmer bite to your candy, cook til 305 – 310 °F.

The dark chocolate cake is light and airy and yet very intense. I recommend using extra dark cocoa powder to achieve a more flavorful cake. This recipe also makes a nice 9 x9 inch sheet cake, if you’d rather go that route. But I love it in cupcake form because of how high the batter rises above the paper. See how puffy and pretty it is up there?

I find it easiest to make the Butterfinger candy before the cupcakes so the candy has time to harden and the chocolate has time to firm up, so I’ll start with those directions.

knock-off Butterfinger candy:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup water, room temperature
  • 1 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups non-dairy chocolate

In 2 quart saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, and water. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring often with a clean wooden spoon and washing down sides with a silicone brush. Once boiling, reduce stirring to occasionally until candy reads 290 °F on a candy thermometer, or soft crack stage. Remove immediately and quickly stir in peanut butter and vanilla extract and spread onto parchment lined or silicone baking mat about 1/2 inch thick. Score lightly and break into bars.

I left a good amount of the candy as-is for sprinkling onto the cupcakes and covered the rest with melted chocolate and let the candy set until the chocolate became firm. I suggest you do as well. :)

Next up, make your cake.


  • 1 1/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 3/4 cup extra dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup sweet white rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup melted non-dairy margarine
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup extra strong coffee, cold
  • 1 cup full fat canned coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Preheat your oven to 350 °F and line 15 cupcake tins with paper liners. You can also grease and lightly sorghum flour your pan.

In medium sized bowl, combine sorghum flour, cocoa powder, potato starch, buckwheat flour, sweet white rice flour, xanthan gum baking soda, baking powder and sea salt. Whisk well to make sure everything is completely combined.

In large mixing bowl combine sugar, melted margarine and peanut butter. Add in 1/3 of the flour mix and stir until well combined. Mix in the coffee and coconut milk and the remaining flour mixture a little at a time until all has been incorporated. Stir in vinegar.

Drop about 1/2 cup of batter into each cupcake liner. Bake in preheated oven for 27 minutes, or until knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.


  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup smooth natural peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons slightly colder than room temp non-dairy margarine
  • 1/2 cup almond milk

Using an electric mixer, combine confectioners’ sugar with peanut butter until crumbly. Mix in margarine and then add almond milk a little at a time until a thick frosting has formed. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and chill briefly in fridge to set.

Top with crumbled knock-off Butterfinger candy, chocolate and a piece of knock-off Butterfinger for garnish.

I made the non-chocolate covered candies into sprinkles by gently breaking them into small pieces.


The candy I covered with chocolate became a special treat for my family, and I reserved some for topping the cupcakes.


Naked cupcakes.




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43 Responses to Knock Off Butterfinger Cupcakes

  1. Leslie Myers says:

    Hi Allyson-What kind of coconut milk are you using–canned full fat or milk from a carton?


  2. Diana says:

    I can’t wait to try this cupcake! It looks delicious and is my favorite flavors. Received your cookbook and took it with me to visit my daughter at college. She can’t wait to come home to start trying all the recipes! They all look fantastic! Thanks again!

  3. Emily says:

    Awesome looking recipe! However, I had a question- is it really necessary to use all three types of flour? I’m a poor college student and don’t normally do vegan baking, so as much cutting corners as I can get away with is awesome, as long as the final product is too! Thanks!

    • allyson says:

      Hey Emily,

      Great question–this is actually gluten-free… and vegan. All (or 95%) of my recipes are gluten-free because I have celiac disease, and gluten gives me the sads. I’d assume this would work pretty well if you subbed out all the gf flours and xanthan gum listed (except for the cocoa powder… keep that the same!) and used just all purpose regular flour in place of all the combined other flours. :)

      Completely understand being a poor college student! That was me not too long ago. :)


  4. Rachael says:

    Hi, love your recipes! So great. I was wondering if the coffee is a must in this recipe?

  5. […] Knock Off Butterfinger Cupcakes […]

  6. Cara says:

    Do I ask for your hand in marriage now or do we date for a few months? I am in love with this recipe.

    • allyson says:

      dating is soooo overrated… let’s elope! :) I’m pretty sure my kitchen would welcome your insanely good looking creations with open arms, Cara. (Or we could just move into your place/kitchen, I sure could go for some Cali weather right about now!) :D

  7. erinwyso says:

    Genius. I miss butterfingers so hard. Thanks for sharing this fab recipe/method and always beautiful photos!

  8. Meg Mary says:

    The cupcakes call for coconut milk. Is that full fat from a can or the milk you get in a carton/jug?

    • allyson says:

      Hi Meg Mary,

      I always use the full fat stuff in the can (not separated), but any non-dairy milk, including the coconut milk in the carton would work well too. The more creamy and fattier though, the better for this cake’s texture (which is extra fluffy, yet very moist. ) :)

      Great question for clarifying; thanks!


  9. You are amazing!!! To come up with a butterfinger recipe and then make a cupcake using them. WOW!

  10. […] Vegan Butterfinger Cupcakes – As if Butterfingers and cupcakes aren’t delicious enough on their own, this recipe takes both to the next level by combining them! These look so good I had to stop myself from licking my screen (because that would be indecent of me). (Photo: Manifest Vegan) […]

  11. Megan says:

    This looks wonderful! I found you on tastespotting. Please feel free to come by sometime. I love making new friends xx

  12. Junia says:

    allyson, i loved butterfingers growing up!! i am totally bookmarking this recipe! have a splendid weekend!

  13. Allyson, I have always loved to bake and just recently became vegan (and trying to go GF too) but began to lose hope that I could bake delicious treats w/o the staples I was used to. You have restored my hope and have inspired me to get back in the kitchen and learn a new way to bake. I have a checklist of the items on your blog I want to make. There are so many on my list I would have to quit my full time job to bake (that would be awesome). Thank you deeply!

  14. Jo says:

    This looks absolutely delicious. Would love for you to share your gorgeous pictures with us at foodepix.com.

  15. […] Allyson Kramer and recipe available on her blog Manifest Vegan Posted by The Cupcake Connoisseur in Candybar Cupcakes and tagged with butterfinger, […]

  16. WOW these look heavenly!!! I never thought of making butterfinger candy before! Now, it’s all I’m thinking about sitting here at work…must be a sign of how I will spend my evening! thanks for the recipe!

  17. Wow! This looks fantastic! I haven’t had a Butterfinger since I’ve been vegan, and I actually liked them. Basically I would like most anything as long as it had chocolate in it. I can’t wait to try these!

  18. jill says:


    I recently made this butter finger candy, too – that recipe *is* everywhere! =) What do you think about substituting (vegan) butter for some of the peanut butter? I had a conversation with co-workers, who say the commercial ones don’t taste so much of peanut butter, but are more just buttery. If you didn’t like them as a kid, you probably wouldn’t be interested in trying this yourself but I was just wondering if you had any thoughts about what the candy might do with, say, 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup peanut butter?

    Thanks for the post – the cupcakes look amazing. I’d’ve probably never thought of doing anything with this candy other than gobbling it right up! =)

    • allyson says:

      the extra buttery sounds great. i bet it would depend on when you add the butter… like whether it’s right after the sugar dissolves or when the peanut butter goes in at the end. since the fat in the butter added at the end is what causes the shards to form in this candy, i bet it would be similar but more toffee-like in flavor–and of course, less peanut buttery in texture. :)

  19. Elye says:

    Yum! This looks delicious! I miss butterfingers (peanut butter addict!). I’ll have to make these!

  20. SharonP says:

    I am interested in trying this recipe for a friend. She eats mostly organic and no GMO products so I’m concerned about the corn syrup…any

    • allyson says:

      Hi Sharon,

      There is definitely organic non-gmo corn syrup available if you’d like to go there, it’s made by the same folks i buy my agave from. You could try using agave, rice syrup or maple in place of it, although i’ve never tried so i can’t say how the results may differ. Looks like Real Sustenance (in one of the original recipes) had replaced it successfully. <3

  21. Keri says:

    Holy wow. This looks like the the perfect medicine for the winter storm warning that’s arriving this weekend that we’re having. I can’t think of a more delicious looking treat to bake!

  22. Mihl says:

    I have never had a butterfinger (although they might be available in Germany) but want to hug you and jump up and down right now. That candy reminds me of some special kind of brittle that is very, very popular in my family. It’s susally made with hazelnuts and looks exactly like your candy. I have to make this! Thank you!

    • allyson says:

      oh, man. this candy with hazelnut is ON! i can see why that stuff is popular with your family, it sounds amazing! <3

  23. sara says:

    This looks SO good! Yum – delicious! :)

  24. Kris says:

    OMG these look AMAZING. I am dairy free, and my BFF is gluten free, and now I think I have to make these cupcakes for us. :) Is the cake fairly sweet as well? I might try cutting the sugar to 1 cup, just because of the frosting and candy..

    • allyson says:

      not terribly sweet, actually much less sweet than many cakes i make. decreasing the sugar may change the consistency of the cake a bit, but shouldn’t hurt it too much. let me know how it turns out if you try it! <3

  25. Katrina says:

    These look freaking fantastic!

  26. Amanda says:

    I wasn’t a fan of butterfinger candy bars as a kid either. I didn’t hate them, but they would never have been a top choice. I was more of a snickers or junior mints kinda girl. These cupcakes, however, have me craving a butterfinger. They look incredible! Beautiful photography as well.

  27. bitt says:

    wow you are amazing. in awe

  28. Hey Allyson!
    Did ya know I have been a follower of yours for ages? What a fun surprise it was to learn that you had tried and liked the butterfinger recipe! Totally made my night.
    Congrats on the book :) Can’t wait to see it in person! xo -Brittany-

    • allyson says:

      Yay! That makes my night that you’ve been following along all this time. :) Awesome. Your tip on the candy makes so much sense… thank you.

      ps: nice to finally “meet” you! <3

  29. Laurel says:

    Does your family come along with the instructions or are there emergency instructions included for when I go into a sugar coma? Really, it’s not at all fair not having victims handy to help save me from myself. Allyson, please, just open the bakery already and mail me the prototypes. :-) Absolutely astounding. Even for you.