I hosted a small dinner party recently with only one request from my guests: that I provide a dessert that involved both chocolate and peanut butter. I couldn’t say no to such a classic flavor combination, and so these darling Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes were born!
To kick things off, I brought back my most favorite chocolate cake recipe from Rosie at Sweetapolita. I have not been shy about sharing my love for the baking blog Sweetapolita, so I figure it’s okay to gush once more. It has become my go-to baking resource, and I am never disappointed by the recipes. People are starting to think I’m a good baker, but really, it’s just Rosie’s influence that is making any kind of difference. : )
Next, I adapted the best buttercream frosting recipe (also from Sweetapolita) to become a fluffy, peanut-butter delight. This stuff turned out to be dangerous…it was very, very difficult not to eat all of the leftovers. To finish it off, I topped the beauties with chopped up ReeseSticks candy.
- 1-1/2 cups (190 g) all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 cups (300 g) white sugar
- 1/2 cup (60 g) dark cocoa powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons (7 g) baking soda
- 1-1/2 teaspoons (7 g) baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons (7 g) cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon (8 g) salt
- 2/3 cup (160 ml) buttermilk
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) brewed coffee or espresso, hot
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (95 ml) vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350° F and line a muffin/cupcake pan – standard or mini both work well.
- In the bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients.
- In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine the wet ingredients. Tip: if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, I have often substituted 2/3 cup milk plus 2 tsp. lemon juice or apple cider vinegar; it works beautifully.
- Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splashguard that comes with mixer), Divide batter among (2/3 full or just less) liners. Batter will be liquidy, and cupcakes will rise.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes for standard cupcakes, 10-14 minutes for mini cupcakes, or until toothpick or skewer comes out with a few crumbs. Err on the early side for your first test-check to avoid over-baking. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting adapted from Sweetapolita’s Whipped Vanilla Frosting
- 2.5 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 300 g, or about 2-1/2 cups plus 2 T powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 150 g, or about 1-1/4 cups powedered sugar, sifted
- two pinches salt
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed. Butter will become very pale and creamy.
- Add first amount of powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and mix on low-speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.
- Add peanut butter and continue to mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.
- Incorporate remaining powdered sugar in increments until frosting is again fluffy. You may not need all of this sugar; it will depend a bit on the consistency of your peanut butter.
- Add salt to taste. I find that a bit more salt really brings out the peanut flavor in a delicious way!