Sunday, April 6, 2008

Cupcakes, Take 2

Ok, so I've said before I am not an avid baker. I love to eat baked goods, but I always mess them up when I try to make them. Especially desserts. Right after Taylor and I got married I tried to make chocolate cupcakes to take to dinner with some friends. They have kids and I thought this would be a fun dessert to bring. Let me start off with the fact that I began this venture after I got home from work one night. Not a good idea. I need to be fresh and of sound mind when I decide to bake. I even tried to make it easier on myself by using a boxed cake mix. So, the cupcakes themselves turned out fine. It was the icing that gave me trouble. First off, I didn't have a real recipe. I just called my mom and asked how she makes her icing. It is my favorite. She told me and I thought I followed her directions. Obviously not. My icing was way too thin and just ran all over the cupcakes. By the end of the night I swore off baking since I couldn't even make stupid cupcakes.

Many months later I have decided to try again. My husband requested chocolate cupcakes Saturday, so I went on a hunt for a recipe I could make from scratch (yep I was trying a little harder this time) and an icing recipe I hopefully could follow. I came across a chocolate peanut butter cupcake recipe that was very similar to an easy chocolate cupcake recipe I found, so I merged the two.

The batter was really thick, but my results were much better this time. The cupcakes were moist and had just the right hint of peanut butter. Taylor was pleased. I also played with my pastry bag and tips I've had forever but never used. I don't think I did too bad for the first time.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Adapted from

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, peanut butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.
  3. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Frost with your favorite frosting when cool.

Buttercream Icing
Source: Wilton

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract - I just used regular vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approx. 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

YIELD: Makes about 3 cups.


deLa said...

i need a pastry bag, the "cut the corner off a ziploc" trick just doesnt yield as pretty results as the pastry bag with different tips.


Nicole said...

These look great! If you ever find yourself with icing that is too thin, just go ahead and keep putting in the confectioners sugar until you reach the right consistency. This is how my grandmother taught me anyway.

p.s. I like your blog title!

alex said...

love the design of the creme in the cupcakes... nice job..

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