This month’s theme ingredient for Cupcake Hero is peanut butter. Peanut butter is one of my favorite foods and a definite staple in our kitchen cabinets. I had a couple of ideas for a peanut butter-themed cupcake and this post will show you my first one, the chocolate peanut butter cup cupcake. I realize that the chocolate and peanut butter combination will probably be quite popular in the competition, but they just taste so great together that I figure that one can’t have enough chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes! I’m not sure if I’ll get around to my second idea, as we’re preparing to move overseas at the end of the month so we’ll be quite busy.
It might come as no surprise that the inspiration for my chocolate peanut butter cup cupcake came from Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, one of my favorite foods in the candy aisle.
My peanut butter cupcake is covering himself in a chocolate peanut butter shell that also holds a pool of creamy peanut butter in the bottom. The cupcake is double-coated with chocolate ganache and a little peanut sits on top.
This is one rich cupcake and I highly recommend that if you ever attempt to eat one of these to have nearby an ice cold glass of milk! They are so good and pack a great peanut butter punch. They also taste great straight from the refrigerator!
- For the peanut butter cupcakes:
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter, room temp
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup milk
- For the chocolate ganache:
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
- For the shells:
- ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, divided
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tin cups with paper cupcake liners.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar until smoothly blended and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Mix in egg. Add vanilla and beat for 1 minute or until batter 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 until the flour is incorporated and the batter looks smooth.
- Fill each liner with a generous ¼ cup of batter, to about ⅓ inch below the top of the liner. Bake just until the tops feel firm and are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 22 minutes. There will be cracks on the top. Cool cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pan on wire rack.
- When cool, double-dip cupcakes into chocolate ganache (recipe follows) and top each with a peanut. When the ganache is set, place the cupcake into a chocolate peanut butter shell (recipe follows) to finish. Store cupcakes in refrigerator.
- For the ganache: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and stir until combined.
- Dip cooled cupcakes into ganache and thoroughly coat the tops. Allow to set for at least 10 minutes, then dip the cupcakes again. Place a peanut on top of each cupcake.
- For the shells: Line a cupcake pan with 6 or 7 paper cupcake liners.
- Melt chocolate chips in double boiler. Stir in the 2 tablespoons peanut butter until smooth and thoroughly combined. Drop 1-2 tablespoons of melted chocolate into one paper cupcake liner at a time and use a small spoon to entirely coat the paper liner with a good layer of chocolate. When finished with all the chocolate, put the tray into the refrigerator until the chocolate is solid, at least 30 minutes (you can put it in the freezer if you like).
- While the chocolate cups are in the refrigerator, prepare the peanut butter filling by thoroughly combining ½ cup peanut butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
- When the chocolate is solid, fill each cup with 1-2 teaspoons of peanut butter filling. You will definitely have leftovers of the filling. Smooth the filling down into the cup with the back of a small spoon. Place cupcake inside.