Saturday, February 23, 2013

Peanut Butter and Chocolate...Cupcake Style

Recently my partner in blog Brandi posted an amazing looking peanut butter & chocolate cake. I recently dipped my toes into the world of peanut butter and chocolate as well only I did it cupcake style! Recently my husband had a birthday and cupcakes were required. He is a diabetic and rarely eats things like cupcakes so his birthday cupcakes are a big deal. Took him weeks to decide what kind he wanted. In the end he decided on German Chocolate Cupcakes....until I mentioned something about peanut butter cupcakes with chocolate frosting. He got very excited and decided that is what he wanted!

These scream birthday to me!

It did not take me long to settle on a recipe for peanut butter cupcakes. Once again I turned to my girl Martha Stewart. I made her recipe for peanut butter cupcakes with one sneaky addition. I added Reese's peanut butter chips to the batter. They don't melt but they get soft and delicious and add an extra burst of peanut butter to your cupcakes. Now who the heck does not want an extra burst of peanut butter in their cupcakes? If you find someone who says "yeah, that's not for me" walk away because let's be honest you don't need those kinds of people in your life!

My arsenal!

Now you see that bag of jelly beans in the corner? Those are delicious. I first found them in the bulk bin at the grocery store and then later found them in those small bags. They are chocolate covered strawberry jelly beans but they are not the same texture as jelly beans they are softer and really quite delicious. They added that certain something I needed to the cupcakes. Now Martha Stewart has you adding peanut butter frosting to her cupcakes. But it's peanut butter and peanut butter needs chocolate. So I whipped together a chocolate cream cheese frosting and slathered the cupcakes with it. I will post the recipe below!

I was running late and my husband doesn't care if frosting is piped or not

The frosting was pretty tasty but it wasn't my favorite. I prefer frosting made with melted chocolate makes it richer but this frosting was made with cocoa powder which is still good but not my personal preference. Everyone else loved them and that's all that matters! I of course topped them with a nice festive appropriate birthday party sprinkle! I again made them for Valentine's Day and used Valentine's Day sprinkles because that's just how I roll.

My arty picture, every blog needs one

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 sticks unsalted butter - softened
1 8oz block cream cheese - softened
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 bag powdered sugar
Cocoa powder
Brown icing coloring (only if wanted)

Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add vanilla. Add as much cocoa powder as you want. You can be as light or as heavy handed as you choose in regards to chocolate. Then again add as much powdered sugar as you want. Depending on the level of sweetness and thickness you want/need. Then if you are unhappy with the color add some brown icing color to make it a richer brown. I am aware this is not much of a recipe but for me frosting is an experiment. I just start throwing things into the mixing bowl and hope for the best.

Those are Martha Stewart cupcakes in my Martha Stewart cupcake carrier

I'm going to include the Martha Stewart recipe as well. I linked it above but as of right now our links are not showing up a different color so you may miss it!


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup natural, creamy peanut butter (I use Jif natural because it was on sale)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Make cupcakes as directed in Basic Cupcake How-To, adding peanut butter before adding eggs. Use sour cream and vanilla as wet ingredients. Once cupcakes are cool, frost tops with peanut butter frosting. Place a dollop of jam in center of frosting. Decorated cupcakes will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 days.
It was delicious and look my teeth marks!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chocolate Truffle Buttercream

A month ago my niece Zah turned 14 and delicious birthday cupcakes were definitely in order. Zah has been a chocolate fiend since she was a baby and I knew something super chocolatey and delicious was in order. I decided to make two batches of cupcakes both chocolate (just used a basic chocolate cake recipe) one with a white chocolate cream cheese buttercream and the other batch topped with what I call chocolate truffle buttercream.

A few years ago before I realized that I could make my own frosting recipe I found the William Sonoma Chocolate Buttercream Frosting on their website. I fell in love with it. Rich, delicious, easy to make, easy to pipe. For this occasion I was looking for something a bit richer so I decided to sub out the milk and replace it with....heavy whipping cream. The change was out of this world delicious! It was like eating the filling of a delicious, wonderful truffle. If you are looking for a boring regular non rich chocolate buttercream go ahead and make it with the milk instead of the heavy cream, I promise not to judge you.

It's unsweetened but I still want to dive in

At first I didn't use quite enough cream and the frosting was really thick and I had piping issues. I usually use the Wilton 1M tip but I could not get it to work. So I brought out a different tip and the results were what I call...the dog poop swirl cupcake. I quickly snapped a picture and sent it to my partner in blog Brandi because I knew only she could appreciate the dog poop swirl. Once I thinned it out a bit more with some more cream it would have been easy to use the traditional 1M but I didn't want to fill another bag so I just went ahead and embraced the dog poop swirl.

It's delicious but it looks like...well yeah

I decided to just go with some sprinkles for decorations as I could get my niece to give me any information on what she wanted beyond chocolate. On the cream cheese buttercream cupcakes I originally placed a chocolate covered gummi bear but...yeah there is a theme here it looked like poop. So I took them off and ate them. I figured there was enough poop happening and no reason to pump it up. This was supposed to be an appetizing blog post but now I fear I mentioned poop too many times. oops. To distract you I will once again plug one of my favorite sprinkle sites Sweet! Baking Supply. I will also show off my super arty pictures that I took of my sprinkles.

Ooooh Arty!

The white chocolate cream cheese buttercream cupcakes were equally as delicious. Just a basic recipe I just kind of throw in whatever I have around the house. I like to do half salted butter and half unsalted butter I really think it gives it more depth. But it's a personal choice I know people who would never even fathom putting salted butter in their frosting and that's okay. Frosting is personal people, make it your own.

Hey, look! No poop! 

As for the chocolate truffle buttercream I mentioned before here is the link to the original recipe from Williams Sonoma. Below is my modified version. Both versions are great...but I am biased towards my own personal version!


  • 8 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 6 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 6 Tbs. heavy cream, plus more, if needed
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt



Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Put the chocolate in the top pan of a double boiler set over but not touching simmering water in the bottom pan. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, the 6 Tbs. heavy cream, the vanilla and salt and beat on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, then reduce the speed to low. Add the chocolate and beat until combined, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute more.

If the frosting is dry, add more heavy cream, 1 tsp. at a time, until it is creamy but still holds peaks. Makes about 4 1/2 cups.

Now please enjoy a few more pictures of cupcakes, yay cupcakes!

Professional Sprinkle Placer is my day job

Look I have a fancy cupcake plate! For blog pictures!

Shaking things up with stars!

Friday, February 15, 2013

We go together like Peanut Butter and Chocolate

On Monday, I got an instant message from someone I used to work with. I'm still with the same place, just in a different position. Anyway, the man's idea was genius. A few years ago, I brought a cake to work that his wife got to try and she loved it. He thought it would be great to give her this cake for Valentine's Day. I'm not a huge fan of flowers for Valentine's Day. The prices are jacked WAY up just because it's February 14th and the flowers just die in a few days. Cake doesn't exactly last long either, but you can't eat roses, yo.

But THAT ^^^ you can eat. And love. And gain a few pounds eating. I don't have a food scale at home, but I think that thing weighed at least 10 pounds. I think I just gained one looking at this picture again.
If you want to try some - and I highly recommend that you do - You can find the base recipe here. I left out the peanut brittle and the ganache. On a side note, I've also had that cake with the ganache and it's equally amazing. I did change up the frosting recipe a bit and LOVED it. The only thing that stopped me from eating it with a spoon is knowing that I needed every bit for this cake. Full disclosure though, I did save some left over and I have had a spoonful of it.
I used two 8oz blocks of cream cheese, 1/2 Cup unsalted butter, 6 Cups powdered sugar and I did stick with the 2/3 Cup of peanut butter. Try it. You'll thank me.

This cake is really really soft and hard to decorate (even cooled) so I freeze it prior to decorating and have good luck with it that way. The decorating is actually the hardest part. But it's not because of the soft cake, it's because of this:

Hey Reese's, I've got an idea. How about you sell a bag of those things unwrapped? They can make life so much easier with a simple change. I could have asked for help, but they are my husband's favorite, so I doubt many of them would have made it onto the cake :)

I do need to say that I got the decorating idea from one of my favorite food blogs, Annie's Eats. Oddly, that recipe and picture have since been moved or removed and I can't find it anymore. Not sure what's up with that, but if you search for it, you can find pictures on other sites.

And because I can't post without sharing some stupid thing I did, check this out:

I was on the second step in the cake batter section. Just mixing away and had a thought. This chocolate cake sure doesn't look very chocolatey. Hmm... I could be all stereotypical and blame my blondeness. Or my pregnancy giving me baby brain. It is what it is :)

And just so I end on a positive note, here's a close up. Enjoy!

~ Brandi