Anyone who knows me even a little, knows how crazy I am about chocolate and peanut butter. So it’s no surprise that these cupcakes would be in my top 5 all time favorite cupcakes in the entire world. These rich, velvety, chocolate cupcakes, filled with a creamy peanut butter buttercream and frosted with that same creamy peanut butter buttercream, really are exceptional! In fact, they are so exceptional that heaven to me would be swimming in a pool filled with these cupcakes.
Makes 24 cupcakes
For the Chocolate Cake:
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
- 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups cake flour, sifted and leveled off
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the Peanut Butter Filling/Frosting:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 5 tablespoons heavy cream
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with liners.
Step 2: In a medium bowl, whisk the cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and cool for about an hour at room temperature.
Step 3: Combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Mix well and set aside.
Step 4: In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the sugars and butter until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until combined.
Step 5: Add the eggs, one at a time. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds after the addition of each egg. Add the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Step 6: Starting on medium-low speed, with the mixer off between additions, add the flour and buttermilk in two parts, alternating with the flour mixture and buttermilk. Beat on medium speed for 45 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure.The batter will be slightly fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Step 7: Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filing each three-quarters full.
Step 8: Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden and a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 17 to 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.
Step 9: For the filling/frosting: Cream Butter using a paddle attachment.
Step 10: Add the vanilla and peanut butter and beat until well mixed, light and fluffy about 4 to 5 minutes. Add confectioners' sugar a cup at a time, alternating with heavy cream. Whip on medium-high speed for 4-5 minutes until frosting is light and fluffy.
Step 11: To assemble the cupcakes: When cupcakes are cool, cut an upside down cone shape out of the top of your cupcake. Add your peanut butter filling to a pastry bag and squeeze filling in the cupcake using a plain round pastry tip.
Step 12: Frost cupcakes with creamy peanut butter frosting and sprinkle with chopped peanut butter cups, if desired.