Saturday, June 22, 2013

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream

It's my husband's birthday and I want to make him something special.  He's a sucker for a peanut butter cup.  Or a peanut butter sandwich.  Or a peanut butter based ice cream concoction.  The man is passionate about peanut butter, okay?

A birthday takeoff on a peanut butter cup...

Chocolate cupcake? 
Peanut butter buttercream? 
Excellent idea. 
Peanut butter cup centers? 
Well, now I feel like some sort of genius.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream

Printable Recipe

You'll need...
Chocolate Cupcakes
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
3/4 cup hot, strong-brewed coffee
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 miniature peanut butter cups, unwrapped

Peanut Butter Buttercream
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Get prepared...
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
Unwrap peanut butter cups, set aside.

For the cupcakes -
Combine cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate, and hot coffee in a large heat safe bowl and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.  Place the mixture in the refrigerator to cool completely, about 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, sugar, salt and set aside.

Once chocolate mixture has cooled completely, whisk in oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla.  When this mixture is well combined, and smooth, stir in dry ingredients until fully incorporated. 

Divide batter evenly between 12 muffin pan cups, filling each about three-quarters full.  Place a peanut butter cup in the center of each cupcake.

Bake until cupcakes are set, 17-19 minutes.  Allow cupcakes to cool 10-15 minutes in pan, then move to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting -
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk butter and peanut butter until fluffy.  Add salt and vanilla extract, beat to combine.  With mixer on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar and cream.  Once incorporated, increase speed to high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy.  Then frost!  The faster you're frosting, the faster you're eating one of these cupcakes.  And you should be feeling a sense of urgency.

Makes 12 cupcakes.
Cupcake recipe adapted from Bakergirl, originally adapted from Cook's Illustrated, May/June 2010.

Yes, they really are that moist!
Moist, decadent chocolate cake, topped with a fluffy peanut butter cloud.
I think these are the best cupcakes I have ever made.  Definitely the best I've ever made from scratch.  You know how sometimes homemade from scratch cake is just... weird?  Not the case here.
I think this just became my go to chocolate cake recipe. 
Think of the possibilities!
Caramel cups instead of peanut butter?
Scoop of Nutella anyone?  That's happening.
Some kind of cherry filling/frosting combo and make yourself a chocolate covered cherry?
Or skip the filling all together. 
Top these bad boys with a classic cream cheese frosting.
Or marshmallow frosting, sprinkled with graham cracker pieces.
For the chocolate lovers in your life, use these in place of biscuits for strawberry shortcake. What?!
Salted caramel buttercream. Omg.
I seriously can't stop thinking of different ways to top/fill/devour these things.  Let's eat cake!

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