This week is National Cupcake Week, yay! Any old excuse to stuff cake into your face is welcome, right?
Of course I knew I had to partake but I wasn’t sure what flavour cupcakes to make. There have been a few on this blog before, such as these red velvet ones and these chocolate with sea salt buttercream ones, to name but two. I asked my sister and the first words out of her mouth were “peanut butter cup!”
So . . . here we are. Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes.
I found these little mini peanut butter cups in the supermarket. Perfect for popping on top of buttercream. Also a little too perfect for popping into your mouth in a ‘one for the cake, one for me’ kinda fashion. They are just so cute and dinky. And lethal . . .
Making peanut butter cup cupcakes also gave me a reason to whip out the tried and tested and all-time favourite chocolate cupcakes (originally made with the sea salt buttercream, as mentioned previously). I am always happy to make these cakes as the sponge is just so delicious – rich and dark and decadent. I toyed with the idea of stuffing a mini peanut butter cup into the batter just before baking but in the end I decided not too. However, that is an option should you feel the need to up the peanut butter level ever so slightly. I’m not sure how they would melt though.
The peanut butter frosting has just the right amount of peanut butter in it. Any more and it would have been too claggy in that typical way that peanut butter can be sometimes. Any less and it would have been more like buttercream than peanut buttercream.
I decided to pipe on the frosting, even though I am not the best at piping, rather than blobbing and smearing with a small palette knife. Any little misdemeanours can be hidden with a jaunty angled peanut butter cup and some sprinkles.
Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes
For the cakes:
- 85g dark chocolate
- 31g cocoa powder
- 163g hot coffee
- 125g light muscovado sugar
- 84g vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 64g rice flour
- 32g ground almonds
- 1/2 tsp sea-salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
For the peanut buttercream:
- 62g salted butter, softened
- 62g runny smooth peanut butter (I prefer the natural kind with no added stuff)
- 250g powdered sugar
- 2.5 tbsp milk
- mini peanut butter cups, to decorate
- Reese’s Pieces or M&Ms (the yellow, orange and brown ones), to decorate
- Place the chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Pour over the coffee and mix until the chocolate has completely melted. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius / 160 fan / 350 Fahrenheit. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases.
- Once the chocolate mixture has cooled add the sugar, oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
- Sift in the flour, ground almonds, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk until everything is just incorporated.
- Divide the mixture between the paper cases, filling each one until approx. 80% full.
- Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the edge comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the buttercream, place the butter and peanut butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (you can do this by hand instead if you wish). Give it a quick beat on a medium speed until the two are well mixed.
- Add the powdered sugar gradually, beating well in-between each addition. You can add the sugar all at once, but I find that adding it a bit at a time prevents the asphyxiating cloud of sugar that so often happens. It will become quite lumpy and bitty.
- Add the milk gradually, beating in-between each addition until you have a buttercream consistency – it should be soft and easy to pipe but not so soft that it won’t hold its shape.
- Once the cakes are completely cold, top each one with the buttercream. Add a peanut butter cup. Place the Reese’s Pieces or M&Ms in a small bag and bash with a rolling-pin to create sprinkles. Scatter over the cakes.
- Store any left-over cakes in an air-tight container away from direct sunlight.
© The Pink Rose Bakery 2014