I needed to make a sweet treat for some ladies I was going to visit so I searched through my pantry, and this is what I came up with. A jazzed up cupcake with flavors like a Reeses Peanut Butter cup. I baked the cupcakes from the boxed mix since I was in a hurry, but the homemade frosting is what really makes them special. I say, if you're going to use a box mix for the cake, take the time to make the good frosting. It really only takes a few minutes and it tastes great.
I have two great peanut butter forsting recipes for you. The first one is what I used here. I ended up playing around with a basic swiss meringue buttercream and turned it peanut butter. I had to go against the original recipe and add some powdered sugar to get it to the stiffness that I needed to pipe it onto the cupcakes. It has a sweet smooth texture and is perfect for the chocolate cakes.
The second peanut butter frosting is a little quicker and super delicious. Like a lot of my recipes, it is from Ina Garten. If you are short on time, pull this one out and you will be a star. It looks fancy shmancy but is so simple.
Individual Chocolate Peanut Butter Cakes
Make cupcakes according to box mix and remove the liners. Cut each cupcake in half horizontally. Pipe or spread a layer of peanut butter frosting on bottom layer of cupcake and top with the top piece. Pipe or spread the top with the frosting and top with a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. Refrigerate to set the frosting.
Frosting : Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream
(adapted from a Dorie Greenspan recipe)
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
2 sticks of butter, room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1. In a glass bowl set over a pan of simmering water, whisk the egg whites and the sugar constantly for about 3 minutes or until you can no longer feel the sugar when a small amount is rubbed between your fingers.
2. Pour into mixer bowl with the whisk attatchment. With the mixer on medium-high, slowly add the butter and peanut butter about a Tablespoon at a time waiting until each is incorporated before adding more. Beat on medium-high speed for about 8-10 minutes until well whipped.
3. Add the extracts and mix well. Add powdered sugar until the frosting is to desired consistency (the frosting will set up when refrigerated).
Ina Garten's Peanut Butter Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 Tbs. butter, at room temperature
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
Place the sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of mixer fitted with the paddle attatchment. Mix on medium-low until creamy, scraping down as necesary. Add the cream and beat on high until mixture is light and smooth.