Saturday, February 20, 2010

Easy Peasy Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Most kids love peanut butter. Peanut Butter used to last in my pantry for several years, but now that I have two little crumb-crunchers, we go through jars lickety-split. Here's a quick and easy cake mix recipe adapted from Ann Byrn's The CakeMix Doctor that will have your peanut butter lovers begging for more!

Easy Peanut Butter Cupcakes

1 package of yellow cake mix

1 1/3 cups water

1/2 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth, use your favorite!)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Mini peanut butter cups, halved, for garnish

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease your cupcake cups and insert in muffin pan.

  2. Mix cake mix, water, peanut butter, oil, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl for 2 minutes; batter should be well blended.

  3. Spoon batter into cups about two thirds of the way full. Tip: cookie scoops work great for spooning batter into cups!

  4. Place the pans in the oven and bake 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and place on wire racks to cool.

After they are cooled, you can do almost anything you like with them. If your peanut-butter lover also loves jelly, take a small medicine bottle approximately 1 1/4 inches in diameter and press into the center of each cooled cupcake to make an indentation approximately 3/4 inch deep. Spoon your favorite jam or jelly directly in the hole. You will then frost over the whole cupcake, hiding the indentation, and voila! Peanut butter and jelly cupcakes!

Frostings are subjective; you can use any flavor you love, but what I most love is a delicious, easy peanut butter buttercream. It's like peanut butter overload! Here's the recipe:

Peanut Butter Buttercream

1/4 cup butter at room temperature

1/4 cup peanut butter

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 tsp. vanilla

2-4 Tbs. milk

In a large bowl, beat butter and peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugar, vanilla and milk and beat until all the sugar is dissolved and the frosting is creamy. If the frosting seems too stiff, add a little more milk, 1 Tbs. at a time.

Frost your cooled cupcake with the frosting and top with a half of a mini peanut butter cup. This cupcake practically begs for a glass of milk to go with it!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Pirate's Life for Me

What Captain Jack wants, Captain Jack gets (at least on his birthday.) This year was all about the pirates. Jack wanted caramel cupcakes, but I wasn't too sure what the other kids would think. So, I made caramel and then I made the very kid-friendly cotton candy cuppycake with cotton candy frosting. Yes, there is real cotton candy involved and it is tremendously sweet. But, surprisingly kids and adults alike enjoyed them. Aaarrgh!

Caramel Cuppycakes
Cotton Candy Pirates

Oreo Overload

Out of all the cupcakes I make, my personal favorite is the Oreo Overload. As a baker, there's only so much of your own cupcakes you can manage to eat after awhile. But, I never get tired of the good old-fashioned Oreo cupcake. I use a double-stuf Oreo for the base of the cupcake, crumble Oreos into the batter and top it with vanilla buttercream that also has crushed Oreo's in it as well. I call it the Oreo Overload because obviously it's completely stuffed with Oreo's!
This cupcake is fabulous with any kind of cake. For extra indulgence, chocolate is the way to go. I find that these are even better after a couple of days, as the flavors meld together wonderfully. Calorie-counters beware!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mixed Assortment

This mixed assortmetnt includes Key Lime, Almond, Strawberry, and Cookie Dough.