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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Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

Orange Creamsicle CupcakesEarly this August, we were lucky enough to be back home in Michigan visiting family. During the visit we got to see our oldest niece on her 18th birthday. This was especially awesome because I don’t think we’ve been able to celebrate a birthday with her in over 10 years. Of course I offered to make cupcakes.

My husband and I searched though my online cupcake recipe stash and decided on a Pinterest find. The recipe for Orange Creamsicle cupcakes sounded like a perfect summer match for this cookout birthday party. They were an absolute hit and my niece informed that cupcakes are her absolute favorites, which I didn’t know beforehand.

Normally I don’t like making cake mix recipes, but I wasn’t at home and I needed to find a recipe that was fairly easy. The cake turned out absolutely delicious though. I did have one problem with the middles of the cupcakes falling with the first batch, but the second batch was fine so that was probably my error. I also fixed the frosting a little. The original recipe didn’t call for any vanilla but I felt like it needed some, so I added it.

Have fun baking! It was definitely a fun summer recipe!

 

Ingredients:

    For the Cupcakes:
    • 1 3 oz pkg orange gelatin, minus 2 tsp
    • 1 2 layer size white cake mix
    • 1 small box vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
    • 1 1/4 c orange juice
    • 4 large eggs or 3 extra large eggs
    • 1/3 c vegetable oil
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    For the Frosting:
    • 1/2 c softened butter
    • 6 tbs milk
    • 4 c powdered sugar
    • 2 tsp orange gelatin
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla (approx.)

    Instructions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350* and line a cupcake pan with liners.
    2. Make sure to set aside the 2 tsp of orange gelatin for the frosting.
    3. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, pudding mix, remaining gelatin, orange juice, eggs, oil and vanilla.
    4. Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full. I used a medium scoop and did two scoops per muffin cup.
    5. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a middle cupcake comes out clean.
    6. Cool cupcakes completely on a wire rack before frosting.
    7. While the cupcakes are cooling, combine the all the frosting ingredients.
    8. Beat the frosting with an electric mixer until fluffy and smooth.
    9. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

    American Flag Cupcakes

    Flag CupcakesCupcakes #2 for our 4th of July cookout came from this beautiful Pinterest inspiration. I absolutely loved the rose swirls cupcakes layout as a flag. This one truly was only a design inspiration so I decided to use my favorite  chocolate cupcake recipe with the Very Vanilla frosting that I was already making for the other cupcakes.

    These were relatively straight forward, especially since they were not new recipes. The chocolate went together wonderfully with the vanilla bean frosting and they looked absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, the day was very hot & humid and so my frosting did melt a little while transporting them. Overall, they were a hit though. Happy 4th of July!

    Ingredients:

    For the Cake:
    • 1 cup (125 grams) all purpose flour
    • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
    • 1/2 cup (113 grams) sour cream
    • 3/4 cups (175 ml) room temperature water
    • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 large egg, at room temperature
    For the Frosting:
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
    • 4-5 cups powdered (confectioners’) sugar
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • seeds scraped from 1/2 split vanilla bean
    • salt, to taste
    • red & blue food coloring

    Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
    2. Line 2 muffin pans with 15-18 paper liners.
    3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
    4. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk until blended.
    5. Add the water in 1/4 cup at a time and whisk until combined.
    6. Whisk in vinegar and vanilla to blend.
    7. Add the egg and whisk until combined.
    8. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure all of the ingredients are well combined.
    9. Divide the batter equally among the cupcake liners.
    10. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out almost clean (it’s ok if a few crumbs stick to it, but should not look shiny).
    11. Cool completely on wire racks.
    12. To make the frosting, beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean seeds with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if mixture is too thick. Add salt if frosting is too sweet (1/4 teaspoon). Divide the frosting and color with the food coloring. Frost cooled cupcakes.

    4th of July Cupcakes

    4th of July CupcakesThis 4th of July, my family was invited to a cookout by one of my husband’s work friends. This worked out quite nicely because we had no real plans for the holiday. It also afforded me the opportunity to bake some beautiful and delicious 4th of July cupcakes to bring to the cookout. I had seen so many cute decorating ideas online and decided that this Pinterest find would be one of the cupcakes I would make. I loved the idea of having a fun red, white, & blue sprinkle surprise as you bit into the cupcake.

    Since there was no real recipe with the idea, I decided to use one of my favorites, the Very Vanilla Cupcake & frosting. I knew that the cake would be substantial enough to hold together even with the sprinkles in the middle. To get the sprinkles in the cupcakes, after they cool, scoop out a little bit of cake from the top (I used a small melon baller) and fill the hole with sprinkles. After that, top with the frosting to hold everything in.

    With these cupcakes, I also tried a new frosting decorating technique that I see frequently but found on Pinterest (of course). I wanted to swirl the red, white, & blue frosting colors together. To do this, I first put the individual frostings in small disposable piping bags. I then put each bag in my large piping bag fitted with a tip. Now, in a perfect world they all would’ve squeezed out nice & evenly creating a beautiful, multicolored swirl. Unfortunately, this took a bit more finesse than that. I had to adjust the bags quite a bit to get them placed properly. I’m pretty sure that my arm up to my elbow was covered in frosting multiple times. Overall, it worked out okay though. I will just need to practice this technique a little more.

    Ingredients:

    Vanilla Cupcakes:
    • 1 and 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    • 2 egg whites
    • 1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (or plain; or regular yogurt; or even sour cream)
    • 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk (or cow’s milk; or soy milk; or plain almond milk)
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • seeds scraped from 1/2 split vanilla bean
    • red, white, & blue sprinkes
    Vanilla Bean Frosting:
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
    • 4-5 cups powdered (confectioners’) sugar
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • seeds scraped from 1/2 split vanilla bean
    • salt, to taste
    • red & blue food coloring

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
    2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Stir in sugar – mixture will be gritty. Stir in egg whites, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Split 1 vanilla bean down the middle lengthwise. Scrape seeds from half of the vanilla bean into batter. Reserve other half.
    3. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick.
    4. Divide batter among 12 cupcake liners (or 24 mini) and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Bake for 8-9 minutes if making mini cupcakes. Allow to cool.
    5. To make the frosting, beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean seeds with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if mixture is too thick. Add salt if frosting is too sweet (1/4 teaspoon).
    6. Divide frosting and add food coloring.
    7. Cool cupcakes, then scoop out a small amount from the top and fill with sprinkles.
    8. Frost cupcakes (I used Wilton 1M piping tip). There may be leftover frosting depending how much you use on each cupcake.
    9. Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days and in the refrigerator up to 7.

     

    Mt. Dew Cupcakes

    Mt. Dew CupcakesLate spring & summer are when the majority of my family have their birthdays, and there really isn’t anything better than cupcakes for a birthday celebration. For my oldest son’s 14th birthday this year I decided to make him Mt. Dew cupcakes because of his obsession with this super sweet drink! When I first saw this on Pinterest I didn’t want to pin it because it honestly sounded a little gross to me, but I figured that my son would love them and went ahead and pinned it anyway.

    In reality, the recipe was quite good and made a cupcake with a very strong lemon-lime flavor. My son actually said he didn’t like them that much because they didn’t taste enough like Mt. Dew (read: they weren’t sickeningly sweet enough). They were a hit with everyone else though and I was able to give many away as gifts because the recipe made about 2 dozen.

    Ingredients

    For the Cake:
    • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 4 large eggs
    • 3/4 cup Mountain Dew
    • 1/4 cup of lemon and lime juice (juice from 1 lemon and 1 lime)
    • zest from 1 lemon and 2 limes (separate into 2 piles, one for buttercream)
    • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    For the Frosting:
    • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
    • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
    • 2 tablespoons Mountain Dew
    • Juices from half of 1 lemon and half of 1 lime.
    • Lemon and lime zest (rest of zest from cupcake recipe. Or zest from half of 1 lemon and 1 whole lime)
    • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
    • neon green food coloring (yellow and blue if you don’t have green)

    Instructions

    For the Cake:

    1. Beat butter on medium for 30 seconds.
    2. Add sugar and lemon, lime zest. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy.
    3. Add eggs one at a time, Scrape sides of bowl in between additions
    4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add to mixer bowl. Turn on low for 5 seconds.
    5. Add the Mountain Dew, lemon/lime juice. Mix to combine.
    5. Scoop into cupcake papers about two-thirds full.
    6. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.                          

    For the Frosting:

    1. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment
    2. Beat butter at medium-high speed until creamy
    3. Add half of the sugar, turn mixer on low for 5 seconds.
    4. Add the Mountain Dew, zest, and lemon extract . Beat until combined.
    5. Add food coloring to the desired color.
    6. Gradually add remaining sugar until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like

    Funfetti Cupcakes

    Unfortunately, this is another recipe sans pictures. This is actually a rather important cupcake experience too, because it is my first paid job. I’m actually not really looking to make cupcakes for pay, but someone from my church asked if I would be willing to make a few cupcakes for a baby shower. Of course I said yes, because I can’t pass up a chance to make more cupcakes! I asked her what kind she wanted and she told me that the mom-to-be loves Funfetti cake and to frost them in bright red, yellow, & blue because the theme was super heroes. Now, it would’ve been easy enough to just buy the cake mix, but I needed to find something better so I looked on the trusty Pinterest and found this fun recipe.

    Overall, I think the cupcakes turned out really well (I wouldn’t have sent them to the baby shower if I didn’t think they did). The only complaint I have is that the cake had more of a muffin taste and texture, I’m pretty sure that its because of the large amount of milk in the batter. I also would’ve used more sprinkles if I were to do it again. Personally, I want to try another recipe the next time I make Funfetti cupcakes, I think it calls for a cake that has a sweeter taste. Feel free to give this a try though and see what you think.

    Ingredients

    For the Cake:
    • 1 3/4 C. Flour
    • 2 tsp Baking Powder
    • 2/3 C. + 1 T. Whole milk
    • 1 tsp Vanilla
    • 4 egg whites, room temperature
    • 6 tbsp Butter, softened
    • 2/3 C. Granulated sugar
    • 1/3 C. Sour cream
    • 2 T. Colorful Cake Sprinkles
    For the Frosting:
    • 1/2 C. Shortening
    • 1 C. Butter, softened
    • 1 t. Vanilla Extract
    • 3-4 C. Powdered Sugar

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place 16 paper liners in wells of a muffin tin.
    2. Whisk flour and baking powder together in a small bowl.
    3. Combine milk and vanilla in another small bowl.
    4. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites on high speed of electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
    5. In another bowl, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy.
    6. Beat in sour cream until smooth.
    7. On medium speed, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with milk mixture in two additions, mixing until smooth.
    8. Whisk in one-third of the egg whites to lighten the batter. Fold in remaining egg whites using a rubber spatula.
    9. Add in the sprinkles and fold in until just distributed.
    10. Using a large scoop, divide batter evenly among liners.
    11. Bake 17-20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean.
    12. Remove pan from oven to a wire rack to cool.
    13. When cupcakes have cooled, pipe vanilla buttercream on top of each one.
    14. Sprinkle each frosted cupcake with cake sprinkles.
    15. For the Frosting:
    16. Place the shortening and softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a paddle attachment, beat together until smooth and well blended. Mix in the vanilla. Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing on low speed until all the sugar is incorporated(use only 3 cups if you want it too be a little less sweet). Scrape down the bowl once. Turn the speed up to medium/high and beat the frosting until smooth and light. Store in an airtight container, if not using immediately.

    Watermelon Cupcakes

    Aidan's Cupcakes Watermellon Cupcake

    For each of my children’s birthdays, I have then tell me what kind of cake they want me to make for them. This year I highly encouraged cupcakes. I had my youngest look through my Pinterest boards to find something that he might like. This year he chose this recipe, or to be more accurate, this kind of cupcake. He thought the idea of having a cupcake that looked like a watermelon would be great fun.

    In reality, all the cupcake is is a chocolate chip cupcake, colored to look like a watermelon (at least in our case). The site suggested using a cake mix, but I decided to use the Very Vanilla recipe that I so loved from before. The addition of the mini chocolate chips only added to the cupcakes delicious flavor. Have fun with this one, I know we did 🙂

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
    2. Make Very Vanilla cake mix as directed. Add food coloring to make a pink watermelon color. I used red food coloring with a small amount of yellow.
    3. Fold in chocolate chips and pour batter into prepared cupcake tins about 1/2 to 2/3 full.
    4. Bake per cake instructions. Allow to cool completely using the Vanilla Bean Buttercream. Add green food coloring to the frosting.