Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Cupcakes

I wish I could say that I’m a huge chocolate peanut butter combo fan, but I’m actually more of a vanilla and rainbow sprinkles kind of girl. That being said, when you haven’t eaten something for a long time, I think your mind/palate start to crave what it considers exotic.

A girl can only eat so much yogurt.

bfastAnd if I’m going to make something only once every few years, it better be worth it…and these cupcakes don’t disappoint. Stuffed inside the moist chocolate cake are bits of gooey semisweet chocolate chunks, and the peanut butter buttercream is light and creamy-not at all that cloying stickiness peanut butter icing sometimes has.

Even better? The cupcakes can be made in just one bowl and it doesn’t even need beaters. The buttercream you ask? Well, okay, it’s a tad more involved, but still much easier than classic buttercreams. It’s worth the smidge of effort.

And in the words of my dad who helped me eat one immediately: “I love the aftertaste of this cupcake…almost like a fine wine.” Ah yes, if anyone can turn cupcakes into a refined ordeal, it’s my family 😉

chocpeanut4[Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit; makes approx. 12 cupcakes]

Equipment:

  • An electric mixer
  • A metal bowl that fits over a pot of water or a double boiler
  • Whisk

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 oz. finely chopped semisweet chocolate

For the buttercream: [note: this is NOT a pipe-able frosting. Think of this more like a meringue than a stiff buttercream]

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Egg whites of 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 6 Tbl. chilled, unsalted butter cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts

chocpeanut5For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with liners. Whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add oil, vanilla, and 1 1/4 cups water and whisk until smooth. Fold in chopped chocolate. Evenly fill liners and bake 20-25 min.

Nice cracked top

chocpeanutFor the buttercream: Combine sugar and egg whites in a medium metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot to the touch, 3-4 min. Remove from heat.

Using an electric mixer, beat on high speed until cooler and thick, 5 min. Beat in vanilla, then peanut butter. With mixer running, add butter pieces a little at a time, beating THOROUGHLY to blend between additions. Season with salt.

Frost cupcakes and sprinkle with chopped chocolate and peanuts. Keep a few days in an airtight container at room temp., then refrigerate up to a few more days.

chocpeanut6Mmmm. You can see the gooey bits.

chocpeanut3

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