Confession: I have never had a particularly fine eye for aesthetic detail.
This dates all the way back to my kindergarten days when I was the only kid who couldn’t colour within the lines. My teacher tried sitting me beside the neatest girl in class. Unfortunately, none of it rubbed off on me.
I’d like to think that I have since improved my crayon skills. But I still don’t have much time for fussy or finicky details, especially in the kitchen. That’s why I have a love-hate relationship with cupcakes. I love the idea of moist, mini cakes. But I hate the process of frosting them.
I always overload the piping bag. This leads to icing overflow, which ends up on my hands, shirt, counter top and floor. By the time I actually get to icing the cupcake, I’m too tired/annoyed to make perfect sugary spirals that end in a cute little peak.
I know what you must be thinking. If I hate icing so much, why would I choose to bake a cupcake that called for not one, but two types of frostings?
Simple. The recipe came from Bakerella, who would never steer me wrong. And more importantly, the two icings happened to be chocolate and peanut butter – a sugary marriage made in heaven.
Bakerella did not disappoint. These were by far the best cupcakes I have ever made. The cake was chocolately and moist. Using oil rather than butter makes all the difference. And best of all, I didn’t even need to fire up my mixer for the batter! In my oven the cupcakes needed an extra 5 minutes of baking time – for a total of 20 minutes.
As I expected, the double icing in one piping bag was a bit of a mess. But I did it! The icings were both delicious, but the peanut butter was the star. Next time I’m only going to make the PB flavor.
Bakerella’s original recipe included mini peanut butter cookies as cupcake toppers. But with a little baby waiting in the wings, I called it a day with the cupcakes themselves!
Also, you may be wondering why the photography in this post looks so much more professional than usual. This week I was lucky enough to have my sister, who is a professional photographer, join me in the kitchen! So thanks Diana!
Give this recipe a whirl, enjoy!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
(Recipe from Bakerella)
For the Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup hot water
For the Icings:
1 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 Tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Fill cupcake tray with cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together with a wire whisk. Add eggs, oil, vanilla and milk and mix until combined. Add hot water and mix. It will be very liquid.
Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Pour into liner with a large spouted measuring cup for ease.
Bake for 15 minutes or until done. Cool and make the cookies.
For chocolate frosting, beat 1/2 cup butter until creamy. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix. Slowly add 2 cups confectioner’s sugar and cocoa and mix until combined. Add 1 Tablespoon milk and mix until creamy and smooth.
For peanut butter frosting, beat 1/2 cup butter and 2/3 cup peanut butter until creamy. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix. Slowly add 2 cups confectioners sugar and mix until combined. Add 1 Tablespoon milk and mix until creamy and smooth.
Fill a decorator bag fitted with a 1M tip with chocolate frosting on one half and peanut butter frosting on the other. Squeeze bag to force frosting into the tip and swirl frosting on cupcakes.