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Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Peanut Frosting

by on December 12, 2010 · 14 comments

Today’s cupcake was mainly an excuse to make some frosting. I was flipping through one of my new cake books, A World of Cakes, and saw a peanut frosting that sounded too good to skip. It had more butter than usual, less peanut butter, and a dash of honey. Having made my share of heavy, overly sweet, peanut butter frostings, this one seemed different.

For the cake base, I used an old peanut butter cake recipe from Good Housekeeping which I adapted to cupcakes. They were tasty, but they’re definitely the dense and moist variety rather than the lightly and airy domed top kind.

As for the frosting, I loved it. The texture was very light and reminiscent of a true buttercream minus the egg yolks and extra work. The peanut flavor is very light, though. So if you want more peanut butter flavor just taste test near the end and mix in a few more tablespoons.

Peanut Butter Cupcake with Peanut Frosting

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Peanut Frosting

Peanut Butter Cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour (fluff, scoop and sweep) – 4.5 oz
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
6 tablespoons peanut butter, creamy
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon of vanilla
3 oz (1/2 cup minus 2 T.) of milk

Peanut Frosting
10 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
3 generous tablespoons of peanut butter
¼ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon honey
2 ¼ cups sifted powdered sugar (I sifted before measuring)
2 tablespoons milk

Garnish: Miniature Peanut Butter Cups (I used some of the new Reese’s minis which may or may not have hit the shelves near you)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

Mix together flour, baking powder and salt (If using).

In bowl of a stand mixer or in a mixing bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter and both sugars until creamy. Add egg and beat until fluffy, then beat in vanilla. By hand or using lowest speed of mixer, add the flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. The batter is pretty thick.

Divide batter evenly among 12 cupcake cups and bake for 20 minutes. At 20-22 minutes – be careful not to overbake. At 20 minutes mine looked slightly underdone in the middle but at 22 minutes they were quite brown. They should appear moist in the center and will set more as they cool. Tops will be flat. Cool completely.

Prepare icing. In bowl of stand mixer, combine butter, peanut butter, salt and honey. Add some of the sugar and begin beating until mixed. Continue adding powdered sugar, beating and scraping sides of bowl. Beat in the milk. Taste. If you want more peanut butter, go ahead and add 3 more tablespoons Icing should be very light like a buttercream.

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Published on December 12, 2010

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

CindyD December 12, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Reese’s minis I can find. Cinnamon chips I can’t. Which stores carry them -going to Houston next weekend and want to look for them there.

Angela December 12, 2010 at 1:26 pm


I live in Austin and I have seen them at HEB. There are several HEB locations in Houston, so you might want to look there.

Cheryl December 12, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Love it! Anything peanut butter is wonderful! I love the color of the frosting, and that you added the mini reese’s treat:)

dani December 12, 2010 at 2:11 pm

looks like a great frosting recipe :)

Caroline December 12, 2010 at 5:05 pm

How decadent. This frosting sounds amazing. The problem I typically have with a peanut butter frosting is that it’s way too heavy – it doesn’t seem like this one has that problem!

Amanda December 12, 2010 at 6:49 pm

I adore peanut butter anything. Bet these were wonderful ;)

lynne December 12, 2010 at 7:16 pm

yum this frosting sounds heavenly! I’ve been looking for a peanut butter frosting recipe. Thanks :)

Ivanna December 12, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Do you think this frosting would work in a chocolate whoopie pie? Do you have a good PB filling for whoopie pies?

Anna December 12, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Cindy, the joke at Hershey was that cinnamon chips can be hard to find everywhere — including Hershey! Your best bet might be to order them off Amazon.

Judy December 12, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Anna, what kind of frosting tip did you use to get that lovely swirled effect. Love it!

Erin December 13, 2010 at 11:21 am

Oo these look fabulous! Chocolate frosting may be awesome as well. I am definitely a lover of a peanut butter and chocolate combination.

Anna December 13, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Judy, I used tip 843 from Ateco. I just ordered some new tips and noticed that these ones from Ateco seem a lot stronger. A lot of my older ones are warped and bent.

Kathy December 13, 2010 at 2:46 pm

wait, wait — we should adapt our cake recipes if I want to make cupcakes? Why?

Anna December 13, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Kathy, all I did was adjust the cook time.

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