Chocolate Cupcakes/Cake and Peanut Butter Icing

Chocolate and Peanut Butter have always been a favorite of mine.  The chocolate cupcakes, AND cake below are very moist and the peanut butter icing so smooth and creamy.  How can you go wrong when you put chocolate and peanut butter together!  I will also be posting a photo of the cupcakes as well as the cake. 

This recipe works for both, cupcakes or cake! 

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Ingredients:

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12 Tablespoons (1 and 1/2 sticks)  Un-salted butter (room temperature)

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup light brown sugar (packed)

2 extra-large eggs (room temperature)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk, shaken (room temperature)

1/2 cup sour cream (room temperature)

2 Tablespoons brewed coffee

1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup good cocoa powder

1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 -2 small bags or 1 large bag Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (small cups, not the large ones) (optional)

1 small bag salted peanuts (optional}

Peanut Butter Icing (see recipe below)

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Directions for Cupcakes and Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line cupcake pans with paper cupcake liners. 

***If making this recipe as a cake, lightly grease and flour 2 (8 or 9 inch) cake pans.

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In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter,

granulated sugar until creamy, add brown sugar and cream on high-speed

until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.  Lower the speed to medium

and add eggs, 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream and coffee.

In another bowl, sift the all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt.

On low-speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in

thirds to the creamed butter and sugar mixture beginning with the buttermilk

mixture and ending with the flour mixture.  Mix only until blended (do not

over mix).  Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it’s completely

blended.  

**If icing is too thick, all more whipping cream, if too thin, add more confectioner’s sugar.

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Divide the batter among the cupcake pans (1 rounded standard ice cream

scoop is the right amount).  Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25

minutes,  until a toothpick inserted n the middle of a cupcake comes out

clean.

*** If making a cake, bake at the same temperature, but bake approximately 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes, remove from pans and allow to cool  completely before icing.

**For a cake, cool for 15 minutes in pan the invert and cool on a wire rack.

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Peanut Butter Icing

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1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 cup creamy peanut butter

5 Tablespoons Un-salted butter (room temperature)

3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

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Directions:

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Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of

an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on medium-low

speed until light and creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as

you work.  Add the cream and beat on high-speed until the mixture is light and

smooth.

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DECORATING IDEA FOR TOP OF CUPCAKES:    After piping the icing on top, I also cut  Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in 1/2 and placed on top the icing on each cupcake.  I then sprinkled peanuts on top and drizzled some melted chocolate (chocolate chips) across the top.

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DECORATING IDEA FOR  CAKE:    Ice first layer, then cut up about 10 small Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and sprinkle on top the icing before putting second layer on.  After putting the second layer on, ice cake as you would normally do.  Cut up additional Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in 1/2 and place around the edges at the top of cake and at the bottom of cake.  Sprinkle peanuts (optional) along the top edge and the bottom edge.  Drizzle melted semi-sweet chocolate (optional) all along the top edge of cake.  On the photo above, I placed the peanut butter cups the opposite direction.  When you put them on the cake, have them turned the opposite direction I have them on this cake.  It really makes no difference which direction, I just think they look better faced the opposite direction of how I have them in the picture posted above.

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~Recipe modified, Original recipe “Chocolate Cupcakes and Peanut Butter Icing”  posted on Food Network by Barefoot Contessa. 

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