Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

One of the first things I noticed since moving to Florida is that there are a ton of cupcake stores and bakeries around here. I love cake and cupcakes so this is very tempting since you basically drive past one no matter where you go. One thing I really love is that most places have mini cupcakes so you can try different flavors and not feel so guilty. Those little bites are perfect to put my sweet tooth at bay after dinner. 
This weekend we went to a BBQ at a friends house for a kebab party.Everyone brought something to put on the kebabs, which was a cute idea for a potluck. We were bringing dessert and I wanted to test this recipe out before bringing them. There is nothing worse than having a recipe fail and you don't have time to make something else. Also, by baking the cupcakes the night before it not only gave me a chance to make sure they turned out ok, but also allowed time for them to cool completely before icing. While a bit more time consuming than baking a cake, it is definitely easier to serve to a large group. My back up and just for fun we made some fruit kebabs to go along with the theme.

I found this recipe on Glorious Treats and it combines my love for chocolate cake with yummy peanut butter and cream cheese icing. I prefer cream cheese to butter cream icings since they don't tend to be as sweet. The cupcakes were moist and chocolatey and the icing was smooth and creamy with a main flavor of peanut butter. I might decrease the amount you put in next time but it was a hit with everyone else.

Chocolate Cupcakes
(makes 24-27 standard sized cupcakes)


2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (best quality available)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup whole milk (I used 2%)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (best quality available)
1 cup boiling water

1.  Line muffin tin with paper liners. Heat oven to 350*F.
2.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3.  Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for one minute.
4.  Stir in boiling water (the batter will be thin, don't worry, this is right).
5.  Fill liners 2/3 full with batter. (I usually put the batter into a large measuring cup with a pour spout, and then pour the batter into the liners.)
6.  Bake cupcakes for approximately 22-24 minutes.
7.  Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

Peanut Butter Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup smooth peanut butter (chose a peanut butter with no added sugar)
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons heavy cream (or whole milk)

1. Beat the butter until smooth. 

2. Add the cream cheese, and continue to beat until smooth and fully combined with the butter. 3. Add the peanut butter and beat until well combined. 
4. Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue to mix until the frosting is smooth. 
5. Add in the cream, and beat another 30 seconds.
6. Frost cupcakes.

Frosting Recipe by Glorious Treats
Cupcakes Recipe Adapted from Hershey's

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