Monday, September 30, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Sorry for the crappy phone quality picture but these cupcakes did not deserve their own personal photo shoot with Mr. Canon.

Okay, sorry cupcakes. It was not your fault. I take the blame. I used expired baking powder. The result? Flat. No volume. No fluffy, rounded top cupcakes. What's annoying is that I knew the baking powder was expired, thought I tested it properly, still used it, and made the ugliest cupcakes to serve my cousin visiting all the way from Canada. She was nice enough to cut off all the flat tops. They were so flat that when we peeked inside the oven, it looked like cookies on a sheet pan instead of rounded cupcake tops.

I'm guessing that's why the peanut butter buck-eye center went flat and hollow, though I don't see why it had to. It was unusually soft for buck-eye candy. I would probably go with this recipe next time, without melting the butter or peanut butter. The frosting was the only saving grace for these cupcakes. Although delicious, I could hardly taste the cream cheese, so I'll post the recipe below with less peanut butter.

Enjoy this GIF of me piping frosting.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Cake recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. Filling recipe from Annie's Eats. Frosting recipe: me.
Yield: 26 cupcakes

Peanut Butter Filling
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined.  Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls (at least 24) and fridge until ready to use. If they are too soft, add some extra powdered sugar or graham cracker crumbs.

Chocolate Cake
1 ¼ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 ½ cups sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup warm water
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, making sure the baking rack is in the middle of the oven. Prepare your muffin pans with cupcake liners.

Blend together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl with electric mixer on low speed. Add the eggs, yolk, warm water, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Mix on low to medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Pour into cupcake liner until 2/3 full. Place a ball of the peanut butter filling in each cupcake. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the chocolate cake comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Frosting
16 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup creamy peanut butter
4 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract

To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter and peanut butter until smooth.  Slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth and well blended. 

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