When a very special coworker was celebrating a very special birthday/Valentine’s Day/wedding couple of days, I offered to make cupcakes.
Nothing new yet.
I asked what flavors she liked.
Again, standard form.
She said peanut butter and chocolate.
There it is.
I’ve never made peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes before because I don’t particularly love peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes. I love peanut butter, and I can’t get enough chocolate, I just can’t always handle them together in baked-goods form. It’s a long story, one in which I know Wooden Nickels and AGOMYR have my back.
But, a birthday/Valentine’s Day/wedding is a birthday/Valentine’s Day/wedding and none of those three events were about me. I took a risk and made a recipe from a recent pin, involving *gasp* doctored cake mix, and crossed my fingers as I entered our staff lunchroom.
And then everyone went bonkers for them.
Bonkers as in, I had coworkers chasing me down the hall to grab one. Bonkers as in, I am still fielding recipe requests from people who ate these a week ago. People who don’t like to bake. Bonkers as in I’m still dreaming about them, and I’m not supposed to even really like them (this has happened before). I think it’s the peanut butter cup in the center. It’s irresistible.
Doctoring the cake mix masks a lot of the sweetness you usually find in a box, and the homemade frosting is to die for. I put the extra in a little container, and stole spoonfuls of it all week long.
I feel super guilty that these did not last long enough for me to snap a picture in a semi-well-lit area, so please accept these two, completely unrelated, but somewhat related because at least they’re cupcakes, photos.
To make 2 dozen Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes, you will need:
For the cake:
- 1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
- 1 box (3.9 oz.) instant chocolate pudding mix
- 1 C Greek Yogurt (I’d stick with some or full fat)
- 1 C vegetable oil
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 T instant espresso, dissolved in 1/2 C hot water
- 24, unwrapped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (the mini ones)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with paper liners. Combine all ingredients except peanut butter cups in large bowl and mix until no lumps remain. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full and place a peanut butter cup in each. Bake 22 minutes, until tops are puffy. A tester won’t come out clean in these because of the candy center.
For the frosting:
- 4 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 C natural peanut butter (the less sugar the better)
- 4 C confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. salt
Combine butter and peanut butter in bowl of a mixer fitted with paddle attachment until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in sugar, 1 cup at a time, on low speed, until fully incorporated. Beat in vanilla and salt, and mix till smooth.
Frost cupcakes when they are completely cooled. Garnish with a bite-sized peanut butter cup, if you like.