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

    Shirley Temple Cupcakes

    Graduation CupcakesMy husband is who convinced me to try this fun Pinterest find, but he didn’t need much convincing. I have fond memories of my grandma ordering me a Shirley Temple with dinner when she would order a glass of wine when I was little. It was so fun and I felt so fancy. When I looked up the recipe though, I was a little worried because it was gluten free. Now, I have a handful of friends who do the gluten free thing from time to time but, I really have no interest. One of them had asked me if I had ever made gluten free cupcakes before though and these friends of mine were going to be a the graduation party the cupcakes were being made for though, so I decided to give it a try. It actually didn’t turn out too bad.

    I had to go on a hunt for gluten free flour, but with the diet being so popular it really wasn’t hard to find. Most of the other ingredients were normal though (except for the red food coloring – which I couldn’t find, so I used normal). The cupcakes tasted great too. The texture was a little different, not as smooth, but they were fine. They were very popular at the party too; my husband complained that he didn’t even get to try one. I think its because of the maraschino cherries, everything is better with a cherry on top!

    Ingredients

    Cupcakes:
    • 1½ cups plus 1 tablespoon all purpose gluten free flour blend – use divided
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
    • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
    • ½ cup 7-Up, at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
    • Several drops of gluten-free red food coloring gel
    Frosting:
    • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 large pinch of Kosher or fine sea salt
    • 2½ cups confectioners’ sugar
    • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
    • 12 maraschino cherries, patted dry with paper toweling

    Directions

    Cupcakes:
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper cupcake liners.
    2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together 1½ cups of the gluten-free flour blend, baking powder and salt.
    3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium high speed for two minutes or until light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the bowl after each addition.  Turn the mixer to low and add half of the flour mixture, then the 7-Up and finally the rest of the flour mixture.  Add the vanilla extract and mix.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl well to ensure all the ingredients are fully incorporated.  Do not be concerned if the batter looks a little curdled.
    4. Take a ½ cup of the batter and put in a small bowl.  Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour, the maraschino cherry juice and enough red food coloring to turn the batter red. Stir well.  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans (about 1 big teaspoon per cup).  Gently spoon the remaining batter on top of the red batter trying not to mix the two colors but to keep in layers.
    5. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes are slightly springy and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. (The cupcakes will puff up a bit while cooking because of the 7-Up.)
    6. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepared the frosting.
    Frosting:
    1. In a mixing bowl of an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and salt on high speed until creamy.  Sift in the confectioners’ sugar and mix on low until fully combined.  Add the vanilla, lemon juice and maraschino cherry juice.  Mix to combine.
    2. Pipe on or frost the cupcakes with the frosting and top each cupcake with a maraschino cherry.

    Champagne Cupcakes

    Champagne CupcakesI was able to use this recipe a couple of times this spring. Another Pinterest find, it just screamed SPECIAL OCCASION to me. I was able to make them for both my mother’s & my father-in-law’s birthdays. This picture is from my father-in-law’s birthday, I left the frosting a creamy, off-white color for my mom.

    These are probably some of my favorite cupcakes right now, I fully enjoyed the flavor of them. If you make them, buy a champagne that you enjoy though. I’m not really a drinker, so I’m not the best at picking out wine or champagne to cook with. For the first batch I made, I picked up Middle Sister’s Glamour Girl. I liked the taste of the cupcakes (and the champagne) much better than when I used some Sparkling Rosé that my husband picked out. Both batches were very good though.

    Have fun making your next cupcakes just a little bit fancier!

     

    Ingredients

    For the Cake:
    • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 eggs
    • 1¾ cups all purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup sour cream
    • ½ cup champagne
    For the Frosting:
    • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
    • 3-5 tablespoons champagne

    Directions

    Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 12 capacity muffin tin or line the holes with paper cases. Beat the butter and sugar together on a high speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, gently combine the sour cream and champagne together. Slowly add the flour mix, alternating with the champagne mix, ending with the flour mix. Mix until just combined ensuring you do not over mix. Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool. To make the frosting, cream the butter until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla and two cups of the powdered sugar and mix until fluffy. Add about half of the champagne, and depending on your desired flavor and consistency, either add more powdered sugar or champagne to the frosting. Pipe the frosting onto the fully cooled cupcakes and decorate as desired.