Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

Let me put it out there…I don’t like peanut butter.  There I said it.  I also don’t like chocolate peanut butter combo.  But I seem to be making that combo a lot lately as the people I surround myself with seem to love the combo.

Today is my hubby’s birthday and he is a lover of the PB chocolate combo and specifically requested these cupcakes.  The frosting alone is to die for.  I couldn’t stop myself from tasting it after frosting the cupcakes.  SO GOOD!  Here is the link: http://www.thelittlekitchen.net/2011/05/20/peanut-butter-cup-cupcakes-food-blogger-bake-sale/  This is the original blog I got the recipe from…my husband has said that if I put this frosting on a turd, he may eat it.  GROSS!

This is also a great recipe for kids to help out with.  I had my 4 1/2-year-old son measure out the oil, sour cream and peanut butter.  I don’t generally like to open boxes but in this case, so worth it.

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes (100% from The Little Kitchen)

1 (18.25 oz) package devil’s food cake mix
1 (3.9 oz) package instant chocolate pudding mix (I used store brand)
1 cup sour cream (full fat)
1 cup vegetable oil (canola)
4 eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp instant espresso granules, dissolve it in 1/2 cup warm water
30 Reese’s Miniatures peanut butter cups, frozen

Peanut Butter Buttercream Icing
1 1/2 sticks salted butter                                                                                                              1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (store brand is good for this, blends better; must be the trans fats)
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 lb powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp low-fat milk
Reese’s peanut butter cups minis (in a bag & they come unwrapped)


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place cupcake liners in
your cupcake pan.  I used a 12 cup and a 6 cup and I still had a ton of batter left over that I froze.  Hmmm…let’s see. 

In your stand mixer bowl using the paddle attachment, mix together all of the ingredients except the peanut butter cups for minute or two until well mixed.

Place 3 Tbsp (I sued a 3 Tbsp cookie scoop) of cake batter in each cupcake liner. Take one frozen peanut butter cup and place in the center of each cupcake on top of the batter, press down a little bit.  (Try not to eat all of them at this stage!)

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes (it was 22 minutes in my electric oven) or until several cupcakes pricked with a toothpick come out clean. Do not prick the cupcake where the peanut butter cup is inserted. There will be a slight indentation or hole where the cupcake is sunken in from the peanut butter cup, you’ll fill that with icing. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 to 10
minutes.  (I am very impatient and I removed them to a cooling rack right away)

Remove cupcakes from the pans and place them on a cooling rack & let
them cool all the way. While the cupcakes are baking you can make the
buttercream icing.

Peanut Butter Buttercream

In your stand mixer bowl using the paddle attachment, mix thoroughly
the softened butter and peanut butter on low to medium speed. Turn off
your mixer and in two batches, add the powdered sugar and mixing until
well blended. Be careful, the powered sugar can go everywhere!

Add vanilla and 2 to 3 tablespoons of milk a little bit at a time
while blending on low-speed. Blend until well combined. You’ll start
to see the icing pull from the sides of the bowl.

Add a little bit more milk to get to the right thinness (to your
preference). Keep blending, higher the speed, until nice and fluffy,
about 5 to 7 minutes.

Scoop the frosting into a zip loc baggie and cut off the tip.  Pipe frosting onto the cupcakes. 

Hope you like these as much as my husband does … let me know what you think.


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Thoughts on Ina’s Cake & Frosting

Okay, I made the cake.  I wish I liked chocolate cake and I wish I liked PB frosting because judging by the speed the cake left the pan, I would say it was pretty good.  The sounds of contentment from my co-workers upon tasting the cake was a clear giveaway as well. 

The common descriptions I heard for this cake were “moist” and for the frosting?  “Rich” and “delicious.”  So it’s a keeper.  The real test is when my husband tries the piece I squirreled away tonight.  More to come!

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I have volunteered to make a birthday cake for a long time friend, who also happens to be my co worker. He loves peanut butter and chocolate so I have decided to make Ina Garten’s Beatty’s Chocolate Cake and her peanut butter frosting. If it goes well, this is the cake I will be making for my husband’s birthday who LOVES peanut butter. He once told me I could put peanut butter frosting on anything and he would eat it. Here are the recipes I will be using:

Beatty’s Choclate Cake

100% from Ina Garten

  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch roundcake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubberspatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.


Peanut Butter Icing

100% from Ina Garten

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.


The cake will be unveiled on Monday. Stay tuned!

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