Double Reese’s Peanut Butter Cupcakes

CupcakesThis 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!

 

Ingredients

For the Cake:
  • Chocolate Cake Recipe (or box + ingredients)
  • 18-24 regular size peanut butter cups
  • 1 box Reese’s Pieces
For the Frosting:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Mix cake batter according to instructions.
  3. Place a small amount of batter  at the bottom of each cupcake liner, then place a peanut butter cup in the liner.
  4. Spoon cupcake batter into cupcake liners, filling ¾ of the way.
  5. Bake per batter instructions or until firm to the touch on top. Let cool.
  6. 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.
  7. Spread frosting onto cupcakes with an offset spatula or a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Sprinkle with Reese’s Pieces.
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Chocolate Valentine Heart Cupcakes

Valentine’s Day! I am such an optimist when it comes to Valentine’s Day. I love… love! Romantic love, friendly love, family love: it is all so beautiful and I love the day that we get to celebrate it. I know that others can often be bitter and jaded when it comes to Valentine’s Day but I think that is ridiculous! Find someone (even if it isn’t romantic) or something to love, and celebrate! Celebrate with tacky hearts and flowers and every other clique that you can possibly think of because that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about!

Of course Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a sweet chocolate treat, so that is what I made this week! Chocolate Valentine Heart Cupcakes are what I decided to give a try. I did deviate slightly from the decorating that the recipe called for but, I figure that I’m allowed creative license; I used little candy hearts that I bought (how can you resist the Valentine isle?) instead of making my own. This recipe made a very small batch which is kind of nice for a Valentine  dessert for two (wink, wink). At first I was a little worried that these wouldn’t be much different from the last chocolate cupcakes that I made but I was definitely wrong! This recipe was much better than the last one; the cupcakes were moist and rose nicely while baking. They were so good that it’s probably a good thing that the recipe only made 6. The frosting lived up to the Valentine’s Day standard as well: it was rich, fudge-y, and very sweet. Personally, it wasn’t my favorite but it was nice for a special treat. When you make it, be careful with how much powdered sugar you use; I made mine a little too thick to pipe smoothly. Everything worked out though and they tasted delicious. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:
  • 6 tbsp butter, softened
  • scant 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • generous 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking power
For the Frosting:
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • scant 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1oz/25g semisweet chocolate, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Put 6 paper liners into a muffin pan.
  2. Place the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs. Sift in the flour, cocoa, and baking powder and, using a metal spoon, fold into the batter.
  3. Spoon the batter into the paper liners. Bake in the preheated over for 20-25 minutes, or until risen and firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
  4. To make the frosting, put the butter in the large bowl and beat until fluffy. Sift in the confectioners’ sugar and beat together until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and beat together until well mixed. Spread some of the frosting on top of each cupcake and decorate.

Snow Day Cupcakes

At first I wasn’t exactly sure what recipe to try for my first cupcake blog but then, here in southeastern Virginia, we had a major (for us) snowfall and a subsequent snow day! This provided me the perfect idea and a generous amount of time for baking. I got the idea from Pinterest, but when I followed the link I couldn’t find any recipe, just the decorating idea. That was okay though because I have this little cupcake recipe book that had basic cupcake and buttercream frosting recipes that I decided try.

So this week’s cupcake is a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting. I made the little snowflake toppers by melting and piping the shapes with Wilton’s Candy Melts. I did this by hand but it would have been much easier and the snowflakes would’ve turned out better if I had a snowflake mold. To color the frosting, I used Wilton’s Icing Colors in teal. The most adventurous part of this week’s recipe is that fact that the cupcakes were completely from scratch, not from a box at all. I was a little nervous but they actually had a nice texture & flavor. It was a very basic recipe so it wasn’t an extremely moist cake, but the frosting’s creaminess made up for that.

Overall, they were good little cupcakes. I will definitely keep this recipe around and try out some of the other variations!

Basic Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • generous 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • generous 3/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 tbsp milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Put 12 paper liners in a shallow muffin pan.
  2. Put the butter and sugar into a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer, beat together until the batter is pale, light, and fluffy.
  3. Gradually beat in the eggs. Add about 1 tablespoonful at a time and beat thoroughly after each addition.
  4. Beat in the vanilla extract. Using a large metal strainer or a sifter, sift the flour into the bowl.
  5. Using a metal spoon, gently fold the flour into the batter until thoroughly incorporated.
  6. Add the milk and fold gently into the batter.
  7. The cupcake batter should have a smooth consistency and drop easily from the spoon if tapped on the side of the bowl.
  8. Carefully spoon the batter into the paper liners, being careful not to overfill them.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are risen, golden, and just firm to the touch.
  10. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

  • scant 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

Directions:

  1. Place the butter and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat the butter until very soft and pale.
  2. 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.