Last year, we watched the Barefoot Contessa make chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing and thought it was a brilliant combination. We actually made them for dessert in our first post (scroll down) on the site. They were a big hit, so we made them again this past Sunday.
Although we loved Ina's union of chocolate and peanut butter, we thought her cupcake recipe had too many ingredients. I'm sure the cake part tastes great, but we would have bought sour cream and buttermilk, used half, and eventually thrown the rest away.
Instead, we turned to one of our favorite chocolate cupcake recipes by Gale Gand (BTW, her fudgy frosting is killer). We love the simplicity of the cupcake batter... no eggs, no butter, no mixer required.
For the peanut butter frosting, we reduced the sugar and butter, because we don't like overly sweet icings and there's plenty of creaminess from the peanut butter. The final change was the substitution of coconut cream for the heavy cream, since we had already opened a can of coconut milk for a morel sauce that evening.
The cupcakes were scrumptious with a moist and tender cake. The frosting had a great peanut flavor and wasn't too sweet. We had the SNDsters top their own cupcakes with cacao nibs and M&M minis. And once again, they were enjoyed by all.
As we discussed the modifications and ingredients with the SNDsters, we realized that the cupcakes were almost vegan. I believe the only thing you need to do is substitute margarine for the butter. Since the peanut butter is so creamy, I don't think anyone would miss anything. If you do make these as vegan cupcakes, let me know how they turn out.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting Recipe
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups hot water
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee crystals
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Regular or silver cupcake paper liners
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a large measuring cup combine the water, oil, vinegar, instant coffee, and vanilla. Whisk it into the dry ingredients until just combined. Don't worry if there are a few lumps.
- Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners and fill each 2/3 full of batter. Bake until wooden skewer comes out clean from the center, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.
- Ice each cupcake with peanut butter frosting and sprinkle with favorite toppings.
Makes 24 cupcakes
[Recipe via Gale Gand]
Peanut Butter Frosting Recipe
- 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter, natural or organic
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened coconut cream
- Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work.
- Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.
[Adapted from Ina Garten]
[tags]chocolate, cupcakes, peanut butter, frosting, easy, coconut cream[/tags]