Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Trust me when I tell you, this is the best cake I've ever eaten.

Ever.

Kimberlee gets all of the credit for this delectable.  She served the 3-layer cake version at Craft Weekend.  I died over every bite.  You will too.

I turned the recipe into cupcakes,because they are a little less complicated to make, which means, I'll make them more often than a three-layer cake.

For the cupcakes:

2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, Dutch process is best
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake papers.

I use an electric mixer (a Kitchen Aid to combine all of the ingredients -- first dry, then adding the wet, but you can also do this by hand.)

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl.Whisk to combine them well.
Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend.
Gradually beat in the water.
Blend in the vinegar and vanilla.
Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended, about 1 minute.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix a few seconds more.

Using a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop  
place 1 scoop of batter in each prepared cupcake tin.

Bake for 18 to 25  until a cake
 tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.Remove from oven and let cool before frosting.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes about 2 1/2 cups

5 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often.
Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

Place the frosting in a piping bag fitted with a decorators tip.  Pipe frosting on each cupcake.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 cup half-and-half

In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup.
Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
 Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth.
Let cool enough that it is still runny.
Drizzle over the top of each frosted cupcake.

This recipe makes about 30 cupcakes.