This past weekend, the youth group at my church held a 24 hour Rock-a-Thon to raise money for Stop Hunger Now. Both of my boys were participating so, I put on my “Good Mom” hat and decided to bake some cupcakes for the kids to snack on while they rocked. I searched through my Pinterest board and found a fun recipe that was loaded with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups & Pieces. And what teenager doesn’t love candy?
Personally, they were way too chocolate/peanut buttery for me – but, that’s just me. If you love rich chocolate/peanut butter desserts, this could be the cupcake for you. I did have a few issues with the recipe as is though. First off, I didn’t pay attention to the fact that it called for just a regular box mixed cake, without any doctoring. I hate box mixes, and this one didn’t change my mind; it turned out dry. If I was going to make these again, I would use a different chocolate cake recipe, my current favorite can be found here. The recipe also instructs to put the peanut butter cup at the bottom of the cupcake liner. I would put a little batter down first and put the peanut butter cup in the middle. With it on the bottom, it cooked and kind of browned which gave it a weird texture and taste.
With all of that said though, the frosting is DELICIOUS! It is much better than my previous peanut butter frosting recipe (even my husband agreed). The cupcakes were fun and were a hit with the kids (of course, they would probably eat anything though). If you decide to make them, I would definitely recommend tweaking them a little. I’m sure they would be perfect then!
For the Cake:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2½ cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- Mix cake batter according to instructions.
- Place a small amount of batter at the bottom of each cupcake liner, then place a peanut butter cup in the liner.
- Spoon cupcake batter into cupcake liners, filling ¾ of the way.
- Bake per batter instructions or until firm to the touch on top. Let cool.
- For Frosting, combine butter and peanut butter in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in vanilla extract. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar and heavy cream. Beat on high for a good 30 seconds.
- Spread frosting onto cupcakes with an offset spatula or a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Sprinkle with Reese’s Pieces.
Well, my snow day has turned into a snow week. The snow here in southeastern Virginia has shut down everything and has given me, at this point, too many days off – everyone is my house has a serious case of cabin fever! With that being said, I decided to try another cupcake recipe to battle against the boredom and to give everyone a bit of a sugar high. Today I baked a variation of the basic cupcake recipe and made orange cupcakes. I then decided to top them with a buttercream frosting variation and make chocolate buttercream. Mmmmmm! Orange & chocolate, one of my favorite flavor combinations! I also got to use the cute cupcake Ferris Wheel that I bought from my son’s PTA fundraiser. It was a completely silly purchase and probably takes up way too much room when in storage, but I couldn’t resist!
As I assumed, the cupcakes were delicious! At first I was a little worried because they didn’t rise quite as well as the chocolate cupcakes from the other day, but that didn’t seem to affect the taste or texture (I assume that the orange zest had something to do with it). Nothing too fancy for decorations today either. I did find some leftover orange and white polka dot cupcake papers that fit perfectly though and also finished the frosting off with some orange sugar. Overall, I am very pleased. I’m not sure that I will ever walk away having to say that I was not pleased, but you never know. Enjoy!
…don’t mind the pictures. They were taken in my dark (and not the cleanest) kitchen. 🙂
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- generous 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- finely grated rind of 1 small orange
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- scant 1 cup self-rising flour
- 1 tbsp milk
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Put 12 paper liners in a shallow muffin pan.
- Put the butter, sugar, and orange zest into a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer, beat together until the batter is pale, light, and fluffy.
- Gradually beat in the eggs. Add about 1 tablespoonful at a time and beat thoroughly after each addition.
- Beat in the vanilla extract. Using a large metal strainer or a sifter, sift the flour into the bowl.
- Using a metal spoon, gently fold the flour into the batter until thoroughly incorporated.
- Add the milk and fold gently into the batter.
- The cupcake batter should have a smooth consistency and drop easily from the spoon if tapped on the side of the bowl.
- Carefully spoon the batter into the paper liners, being careful not to overfill them.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are risen, golden, and just firm to the touch.
- Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- scant 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- Place the butter and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat the butter until very soft and pale.
- Add a small amount of hot water to the cocoa powder to create a paste and beat into butter and vanilla until incorporated.
- Gradually sift in the confectioners’ sugar, beating well after each addition. The more you beat at this stage, the lighter and fluffier the frosting will be. Beat in the milk to produce a softer consistency for piping.