All I have to say is hello chocolate and peanut butter.
I mean, these two ingredients together are just the perfect match made in dessert heaven. How could you possibly go wrong? Out of all of the cupcake flavors I make and that I cater, this cupcake flavor is always in the top three, usually the number one. And there’s a reason for it. Everyone loves a good chocolate cupcake with creamy peanut butter frosting and topped with a wedge of a reeses peanut butter cup.
This recipe was my very first creation in the world of cupcakes. Years ago when cupcakes were all the rage. I had tried a few cupcakes at different bakeries and I realized I was left wanting more. I was wanting something more than the basic chocolate cupcake. I wanted a good, rich chocolate cupcake that had a bit of density to it and one with a tight crumb. So I decided to start researching different recipes.
With all of my dessert recipes, I go through a serious process until I come up with the one that I feel is the best. I read through dozens of recipes from my cookbooks and compare the recipes. I try to figure out which ingredients work best together and why. Then I bake, and bake again. But as far as chocolate cupcake recipes, I actually have two different ones. Of course this one that I am sharing here with you today, the one that all the chocolate lovers out there would just die for. And I have another one that has a different texture, more of a light and fluffy cake which I’ll share sometime down the road. But this one is just “that” chocolate cupcake recipe. The one that is a definitely a must in your recipe box.The cupcake batter alone is worthy of a few licks from the bowl. It’s a great thick batter, and the smell alone will send you into chocolate bliss. Time to get started on the recipe.
As with every recipe, have your ingredients out measured out and ready to go. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of buttermilk and 1/2 cup of good sour cream (not light or reduced fat). In another medium bowl whisk together 1 ¾ cups of all purpose flour, 1 cup of your favorite cocoa powder ( the cocoa powder you choose will highly affect the chocolate flavor, so choose a good one), 1 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp fine kosher salt. Preheat your oven to 350º and line two 12 cup cupcake pans with paper liners. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed, cream 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter with 2/3 cup granulated sugar, and 2/3 cup packed, light brown sugar until light and fluffy. Lower the speed and add 2 large eggs, one at time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add 2 tsp of vanilla extract and mix well. On low speed add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk mixture in thirds, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. The key to a good cake or cupcake batter is folding the batter with a rubber spatula by hand after you’ve mixed it with a mixer to ensure no streaks of flour mixture or butter mixture is left behind.
Using a large rounded ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the liners about 2/3 full. This will ensure all of your cupcakes are all the same size. Bake for 22-24 minutes until the cupcakes are domed and it bounces back after lightly pressing on a cupcake. The recipe makes about 18-20 cupcakes.
The best part about this recipe is how beautiful the cupcakes look after baking. The lovely variations in the cake look like you’re a baking rockstar, and you are. I let the cupcakes sit in the tin for about 1 minute. Then take them out and let them cool completely on a wire rack. I mean, just look how amazing and decadent they are.
And one more, just for drooling purposes.
While the cupcakes are cooling, it’s time to make the peanut butter frosting. Ok, but this is where some serious bowl licking might..er, will happen. You’ll need 2 cups of creamy peanut butter (Skippy is my favorite). 10 T of unsalted butter at room temperature, 3 cups of confectioners/powdered sugar, sifted. 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract, ½ tsp fine kosher salt, 2/3 cup of heavy cream.
Place the peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment and mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl as needed. Slowly add the cream with the mixer on medium-low speed and then increase the speed to medium-high until the mixture is light and smooth.
Place frosting in a 16 ” piping bag fitted with a large open star tip ( I use Ateco brand tips). Pipe a swirl starting counter clockwise and spiraling up. Top with a 1/4 of a reeses peanut butter cup wedge. And enjoy the chocolate cupcake/peanut butter frosted bliss. So good! Hope you enjoy!