Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

by Heather on June 29, 2010

Peanut butter is one of my absolute favorite foods, and I will take any chance I can to make a baked good with it included. I’m a cupcake fanatic, I think they are the cutest things and are the perfect take-along treat, after cookies of course :) Sometimes, it can be a challenge to make a cupcake that isn’t dry, especially on the bottom! I can’t tell you how many times I remember eating cupcakes (mostly from cake mixes) that were dried out and just blah. It became almost like eating a muffin- eat the muffin top and no more. And then there are the wonderful store bought cupcakes with the pound of lard frosting on each one, and if they’re colored, that distinct color-dyed taste ( you know what I’m talking about). I’m glad the cupcake craze is still going strong to help raise the bar for mediocre mini cakes. A quick tip: if you’re in the bay area, other than SF, stop by a Teacake Bake Shop– they make an awesome cupcake, no matter what flavor you get (and the cookies are delish as well!).

Anyway, back to these lovelies. I found a screamin’ deal on amazon for the cookbook Cupcakes!, by Elinor Klivans. That lady makes some awesome little books. It must’ve been some kind of random special because I paid $1.86 for a brand new copy! I didn’t have the right ingredients for the milk chocolate glaze that she includes as the topping, so I found a perfect recipe on allrecipes instead. I had some evaporated milk that needed to be used, so I did the handy-dandy ingredient search and found a perfect fit.

The cupcakes were some of the moistest, perfectly peanut buttered treats I’ve tried. If you have any doubts about a peanut butter flavored cupcake, these will erase those thoughts.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes, adapted from Cupcakes!

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup chunky or smooth peanut butter (I used Safeway brand)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup milk (I used fat-free)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin tin cups with paper cupcake liners. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium, beat the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar until smoothly blended and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Mix in the egg. Add the vanilla and beat for 1 minute, or until the batter is smooth. On low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing just until the flour is incorporated and the batter looks smooth.

Fill each paper liner with a generous 1/4 cup of batter, to about 1/3 inch below the top of the liner. Bake just until the tops feel firm and are lightly browned, about 20 minutes. There will be a few cracks on top. Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Carefully remove cupcakes from pan to finish cooling.

Creamy Chocolate Frosting

2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
6 tablespoons softened butter
5 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

In a medium bowl, sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa, and set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with evaporated milk. Blend in vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk or sugar.

And, I can’t help it, I have to put up another photo of our babe :)