Friday, August 13, 2010

The Peanut Butter Cupcakes

It is my friend Anne (of guest-post fame)'s birthday tonight and therefore, I decided to make cupcakes.  I knew peanut butter was going to be making an appearance, and I was pretty sure about chocolate, but it took a while to figure out what the plan was.  Finally, I decided that this would be a good chance to play with the filling tip I bought the other day, so I decided to make peanut butter cup cakes and fill half with chocolate frosting and the other half with fluff, ice them with peanut butter buttercream and decorate with cuteness.  

After a bit of searching (and rejecting Paula Deen), I found a recipe for peanut butter cake that sounded peanut buttery enough on the "I Heart Cuppy Cakes" blog.  For the record, I do not approve of the name of this blog.  Recipe is in the link and posted below.

Peanut butter, vanilla, egg, butter, brown sugar, flour and baking powder, what could be bad?
I used the same frosting recipe as for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Awesomeness cake (also posted below)
The cupcakes looked and smelled like big peanut butter cookies.  Well, I guess they looked big, but smelled like normal peanut butter cookies.
I needed a variety of ingredients for the filling and topping.  I affectionately refer to this picture as Sugar High.
Half got filled with marshmallow fluff. The other half with chocolate frosting (which, yes, I bought, I was not going to make a 1/2 Cup of chocolate frosting). I should mention at this point that I had never filled cupcakes before.  And, honestly, I don't think I'll be doing it again anytime soon.  The tip is a 2" long metal tip that you're supposed to shove into the cupcake and squeeze.  I read the directions that came with it and it basically said, "shove the tip in the cupcake and fill with desired amount of filling, then release."  So, you know, that was helpful.  Because of the awesome instructions and my naivete, this did not go quite according to plan.  I pushed and I shoved and my pastry bag exploded three times.  It was gooey, and I thought the only thing to do with the exploded fluff was to eat it.  It was very yummy and I will be doing about 1,000 sit-ups later...  The chocolate ones filled slightly better, though I still really have no idea if there's actually anything inside them.  

  Somewhere on the internets I had seen someone decorate cupcakes with mini peanut butter cups disguised as mini-cupcakes, and I thought that was the CUTEST IDEA EVER.  So I stole it.  I apologize to whomever I am stealing from, but I have no recollection of where I saw it.  I used a small start tip to swirl frosting onto the peanut butter cups and made the look super cute. 

I thought since I was using peanut butter cups for the cupcakes filled with chocolate, that I should also have something to depict the cupcakes filled with fluff.  I found mini Charleston Chews at the store, so used them.  I think they're super cute too.

Attempting to pretend I know how to take a picture, I placed the cupcakes on white paper for a solid background(?).  I am including these next two images just in case anyone ever wondered what a mug shot of a cupcake would look like.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes (I got 14)

For cupcakes
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, room temp
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tin cupcs with paper cupcake liners
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and set aside
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar until smoothly blended and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Mix in egg. Add vanilla and beat for 1 minute or until batter smooth.
On low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing until the flour is incorporated and the batter looks smooth.
Fill each liner with a generous 1/4 cup of batter, to about 1/3 inch below the top of the liner. Bake just until the tops feel firm and are lightly browned and a toothpic inserted in the center comes out clean, about 22 minutes. There will be cracks on the top. Cool cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pan on wire rack.

Peanut Butter Buttercream
(Cooks Illustrated, March 2005)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (don't use old-fashioned or natural brand)
3/4 cups confectioners' sugar

Pinch table salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon heavy cream


In standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter and peanut butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add confectioners' sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.


  1. I love your commentary. I can't wait to maybe make them. xoxo jff

  2. That is a classically copious amount of frosting. I greatly approve and not just because we got to eat some ourselves.