Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting – Oh yeah!

Hello, hello!

Woohoo Monday

How was everyone’s weekend? Did you do anything fun?

We didn’t do anything super fun – watched pre-season football, watched some of the World Championship Track and Field events in Moscow, went grocery shopping and tried to pretend that it didn’t rain ALL. WEEKEND. LONG.

Umbrella cats

Hopefully, we’ll dry out a little this week.

Anywho, enough about rain – do you EVEN know what today is?! Besides Monday, of course. It’s Cupcake Day!


How will you celebrate? 🙂

Will you stop by a cupcake shop today and grab yourself a treat? Will you remember to pick up enough for your family? Don’t worry – I won’t tell if you don’t. 😉

Or, you could make these amazeballs cupcakes.


They really don’t take that much work. And, you probably already have most of the ingredients. And, they’re worth it.

Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting.

Did you read that? Chocolate cupcakes with PEANUT. BUTTER. FROSTING.

I’ve died and gone to heaven.


Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
makes 12 ginormous cupcakes or about 15-18 regular-sized ones
*Recipe adapted from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup nonfat buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
1/2 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt, at room temperature
2 tablespoons brewed coffee (no cream or sugar, please!)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup good cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Peanut Butter Icing, recipe follows
Chopped salted peanuts, to decorate, optional

1, Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with liners or spray with nonstick spray.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, yogurt, and coffee. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it’s completely blended.

3 Divide the batter among the cupcake pans. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. *NOTE: ginormo cupcakes will take approximately 30 minutes to cook. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frost each cupcake with Peanut Butter Icing and sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired.

Peanut Butter Frosting

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup chunky natural peanut butter (use creamy if you prefer)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

1. 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.

2. You can use a spreader and frost the cupcakes or place the frosting in a pastry bag – if you use chunky peanut butter, make sure you have a wide tip otherwise the peanuts will get stuck – and pipe decoratively onto cupcakes.



1. Cupcakes – YAY or nay?

2. If YAY, what’s your favorite flavor?

– jennifer

Fudgey Chocolate Layer Cake

Today is my grandmother’s 93rd birthday.  Seriously. She’s 93. And, she’s one of the most beautiful women in the world. And, she loves chocolate.  Well, who doesn’t?! Oh wait, my uncle, her son doesn’t. Yeah, he’s an odd duck. But, he has great taste in wine and can cook up a storm so we let it go about the chocolate.  Anyway, he’s not here and I’m in charge of the food and if grandma wants chocolate cake, thens grandma gets chocolate cake. 🙂 Grandma also wants Brussels sprouts, which are NOT my favorite, but hey, she’s cute, it’s her birthday, and I love her so I’m making them as part of dinner. Of course, since it’s her birthday, I’ll be willing to let her have my share….cuz I’m generous like that. 🙂 But, I digress….

I found the perfect cake to make her in an old issue (2005) of Food and Wine magazine. Fudgey Chocolate Layer Cake – a delicious cake with lots of buttermilk and coffee mixed into the batter creating a moist, rich, decadent, and fudgey dessert. Perfect for the chocolate lover in all of us! (I had you at “fudgey,” didn’t I? 🙂


Fudgey Chocolate Layer Cake
Makes one 8-inch three-layer cake

1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup hot coffee
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon water

1. MAKE THE CAKE: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottoms of three eight-inch round cake pans with rounds of parchment paper. Spray the pans and parchment paper with vegetable cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar with the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the eggs and vanilla. In another small bowl, melt the butter in the hot coffee. Using an electric mixer, beat half of the Bbuttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients at low speed. Beat in half of the coffee mixture, then scrape down the bowl. Beat in the remaining buttermilk and coffee mixtures.

3. Poor the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 25 to thirty minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the cakes are springy to the touch. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a rack to cool completely. peel off the parchment paper.

4. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE FILLING AND FROSTING: put the chocolate in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil. Immediately pour over the chocolate and let stand in a warm place for 5 minutes.. Gently whisk the ganache until smooth. whisk in the butter until incorporated. Refrigerate, stirring frequently, until the ganache is thick enough to spread, about 30 minutes.

5. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the sugar with the water and heat for 30 seconds. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Set a cake layer on a cake plate and brush lightly with the sugar syrup. Spread about 3/4-cup of the frosting on to the cake in an even 1/4-inch layer. Repeat with the remaining cake layers, sugar syrup and frosting. Spread the remaining frosting around the sides of the cake. Let the cake stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour before slicing.

MAKE AHEAD: The cake will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before slicing.


Red-Velvet Cake Balls with White Chocolate

Having a fun halloween party this year? Well, you’re in luck! Have I got a recipe for you! We’re having a potluck at work tomorrow and our theme is Halloween. We do the potlucks quarterly and each potluck has a different theme. There’s a team assigned to each quarter and they decide the theme, purchase the decorations, and decorate the meeting room. The rest of us get to bring in the food. It works out really well! So, anyway, seeing as it’s October, it made sense for the October team to choose Halloween as their theme. The best part? I coordinate the potluck side of it all so that means I get first dibs on whatever I want to bring! Ha! And, as soon as I saw this recipe in Food and Wine magazine, I knew I absolutely, positively had to make them. Homemade red velvet cake crumbled into balls, dipped in white chocolate, and decorated to look like an eyeball? Oh yes.

So, the article in the magazine was about a Halloween party that Neil Patrick Harris and his spouse were throwing and it gave other recipe ideas as well. I was discussing these with a friend and I shared the recipe/Food and Wine article with her and her exact words were “Holy cow. When I become a movie star, the first person I’m going to try and make friends with is Neil Patrick Harris. I want IN on that Halloween party.” No kidding. Seriously, who doesn’t want to be friends with him anyway and why don’t parties like that happen around in my neighborhood?! Anyway, the whole thing looks like it will be a total blast and yes, please, I don’t mind one little bit if I copy your “party tricks” for our measly little work potluck and make them my own. Oh, and prepare to get messy. Hey, if you’re not making a mess, you’re not doing it right! 🙂

Red-Velvet Cake Balls with White Chocolate
Active: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: Makes 40 cake balls

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring

Binding and Coating
4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softenend
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons milk
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
9 ounces white chocolate
Assorted liquid food coloring or M&M’s, for decorating

1. MAKE THE CAKE: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. In a bowl, whisk the 1 1/4 cups of flour with the granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg with the 4 tablespoons of melted butter and the oil, vinegar, buttermilk, sour cream, vanilla and red food coloring. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until moistened.

2. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake in the center of the oven for aobut 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a rack and let cool completely.

3. MAKING THE BINDING AND COATING: Line a baking sheet with wax paper. In a bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter with the confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Finely crumble the cooled cake into the bowl and stir until combined.

4. Using your hands, briefly knead the mixture. Using a 1-tablespoon ice cream scoop, scoop 40 mounds onto the prepared baking sheet. Using your hands, press and roll the mounds into tight balls. Refrigerate until firm.

5. In a large microwave-safe bowl, heat the white chocolate at high power in 30-second intervals until nearly melted; stir until smooth. Line another baking sheet with wax paper. Dip the cake balls into the melted white chocolate, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Let cool until the coating has set. Using a clean-fine-tipped paintbrush, decorate the balls with food coloring to look like eyeballs, or press an M&M onto each cake ball before the coating has set. Serve.

MAKE AHEAD: The finished cake balls can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.