I have been obsessed with peanut butter cupcakes since I tasted the one at Sweet Revenge® in the West Village a couple of weeks ago. One of the things I loved about that cupcake was that the cake flavor was actually peanut butter. Also, I liked that there was still a little bit of chocolate, in the form of a chunk of chocolate fudge, baked in the center of the cupcake. To top it off, the peanut butter buttercream was just right, not too sweet at all.
Since I can’t just fly out to NYC anytime I have a craving for the Sweet Revenge® cupcakes, I have to try to replicate it in my own kitchen. This is my first attempt at baking my idea of the perfect peanut butter cupcakes. This recipe is adapted from a couple of different sources. I found the peanut butter cupcake recipe from Sweet and Savory Tooth. I find that many peanut butter cupcakes are made with a chocolate cupcake and topped with a peanut butter frosting. For my perfect peanut butter cupcake, I would like the predominant flavor to be peanut butter, starting with the actual cupcake itself. I like the idea of having a little bit of chocolate with each bite, so I opted to spread a layer of chocolate ganache on the cupcake instead of filling just the center with it. Finally, the icing has to be peanut buttery, but not too sweet. Joanne, from Fifteen Spatulas, recently published a post sharing her peanut butter buttercream, and it is perfect! No need to reinvent the wheel. (Thanks, Joanne!) Her chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream are just gorgeous! Make sure you check it out here.
These cupcakes were very good! The cake was moist and the ratio of chocolate to peanut butter was perfect. I know I will make several more attempts to tweak the recipe, but for now, I’ve achieved my goal – peanut butter nirvana!
Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache and Peanut Butter Buttercream
Yields 12 cupcakes
For the cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup chunky or smooth peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup milk (I used 2% milk)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin tin cups with paper cupcake liners.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
Using a stand mixer, beat the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar, on medium speed, until smooth and ligh in color, about 1 minute. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl, as needed. Mix in the egg. Add the vanilla and beat for 1 minute, or until the batter is smooth. On low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing just until the flour is incorporated and the batter looks smooth.
Fill each paper liner with batter, about 1/3 inch below the top of the liner. Bake just until the tops feel firm and are lightly browned, about 20 minutes. There will be a few cracks on top. Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Carefully remove cupcakes from pan to finish cooling.
For the Ganache
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 ounces heavy cream
Place the chocolate and coffee granules in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat, until it comes to a boil. Pour the hot cream into the bowl with the chocolate and stir until completely mixed and glossy.
For the Peanut Butter Buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)
1 cup powdered sugar, or more, to taste
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup peanut butter, at room temperature
Beat everything in a bowl until smooth and blended. Add in more powdered sugar, if needed, according to your preference.
Spread a layer of chocolate ganache on top of the cupcake and then frost with the peanut butter buttercream.
Sprinkle with chopped nuts and chocolate sprinkles.
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