In fact, I’m slightly obsessed with these cupcakes. Not only are they delicious, but I think they look pretty, too! I finally bit the bullet and decided to try to use a piping bag! Not a professional job, by any means, but I think they don’t look too shabby.
Using a piping bag was actually one of the “resolutions” I discussed at the beginning of 2014 in my post about Butternut Squash and Kale Salad. Since I baked these at the end of December, it still counts as having fulfilled that resolution 😉
Once I frosted them, it was getting to be a little late in the day and the light was starting to fade in my kitchen. I actually ended up photographing these on my back deck on new year’s eve. I set up on the table beside our charcoal grill and got to shooting. Not sure if anyone saw me out there…
Both the cake and frosting recipes come from Joy the Baker’s newest cookbook, Homemade Decadence.
For the cake –
- Follow the instructions for making Joy the Baker’s Basic Three-Layer Chocolate Cake that I used in my Double the Chocolate Cake. Stop short of pouring the batter into a cake pan.
For the Salted Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting –
- 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter (all-natural works best)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbs vanilla extract
- 6-7 cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 tbs heavy cream or milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with liners. Set aside.
Prepare the chocolate cake batter according to the recipe listed in my Double the Chocolate Cake post. Fill the liners 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a knife/toothpick, when inserted into the center of the cupcake, comes out clean.
Allow the cupcakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove and place them on a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until it is softened (about 1 minute).
Add the peanut butter, salt, and vanilla extract and beat well.
Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar and beat on low until well combined.
Add another 2 cups of sugar along with 3 tbs of heavy cream/milk. Beat until combined.
Add the remaining 2-3 cups of sugar (depending on your desired consistency) and remaining cream/milk and beat until the frosting reaches the desired thickness.
Beat on medium speed until the frosting is smooth and fluffy (about 4 minutes).
Once the cupcakes are completely cool, frost them! I also garnished a few with mini pretzels, and shaved some milk chocolate over top of all of them. Not necessary, but pretty.