Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Swirl Cupcakes

peanut_chocolate_swirl3I’d never tried the swirl. It seems the perfect recipe to end up on Pinterest Fail. However, sometimes you’ve got to mix it up!

I stuffed a bag with chocolate icing on one side and peanut butter on the other. It worked out ok but wasn’t perfect. My main issue wasn’t in separating the flavors but that the chocolate and peanut butter icings were different consistencies. You can see in the photos how they didn’t behave the same, the peanut butter was not as smooth (probably not a frosting best suited to piping).


I later saw someone doing this with three bags (two bags of icing in a third bag with tip), and I will try that method next time! I’ll also make sure my frostings are more similar.

I was fulfilling a birthday cupcake flavor request of peanut butter and chocolate. The swirled icing wasn’t the only chocolate in my peanut butter, the cupcakes themselves were peanut butter with chocolate chips.

chocolate chip peanut butter cupcakes

I added chips to peanut butter cupcakes for an extra punch of chocolate.

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Castle Cake – Chocolate Chip Bundt

castle chocolate chip bundt

What else was I going to bake for the Game of Thrones season premier?

It also happened to be my husband’s birthday, and he requested chocolate chip. I used this recipe from Southern Living, though I did not do the pecan crumble. I didn’t want to mess up my turrets!

The cake came out perfectly—I was so excited it didn’t stick or break—and even tasted great.

Game of Thrones Cake

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Cara Cara Orange Cake

Cara Cara oranges, available late winter to early spring, look like regular oranges on the outside, but they are red inside, much like a ruby red grapefruit. In fact, if you buy one by mistake, believing it a regular orange, you might think you’ve gotten a small grapefruit when you cut into it. They are sweet and a little tangy, though, not sour/tart like a grapefruit.

I based my cake on Martha Stewart’s Orange-Yogurt Cake recipe, making a small heart-shaped cake and a few cupcakes. This was a simple, light cake, finished with powdered sugar and served with orange slices and zest strips.

Orange Cake

I do not have a lemon zester that allows for peeling thin strips of zest, so I removed some zest with a knife and cut it into thin slices, which worked fine.

Cutting orange segments always reminds me of my grandmother, who taught me the method ( has a nice tutorial).

Cara Cara Orange Cake

This cake would probably work well with any kind of citrus. I’m sure it would be a lovely summertime dessert with regular oranges or lemons. I served it after a heavier winter meal when a rich, frosted cake would have been overkill.

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Butterscotch Apple Cupcakes

butterscotch apple cupcakesI’m known for cupcakes and rarely is anyone surprised when I bring cupcakes to an event. However, sometimes I can be a little crafty.

A friend organized a last minute birthday dinner, and I whipped up a quick half batch that fit in a smaller container than my normal carrier. I was able to conceal the cupcakes for an afternoon of birthday pampering and most of the meal. Ha! I was pleased that the birthday girl was surprised.

katie bday surprise cupcake

For these cupcakes, I used an apple cupcake recipe from Chow, adding some butterscotch extract and using coriander instead of the other spices. I topped them with butterscotch buttercream frosting.

I’d bought the butterscotch extract at Olive Nation on a whim and had been waiting for an excuse to use it. It paired well with the moist and not-too-sweet apple cake.

inside apple cupcake

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes + Pumpkin Cupcakes

Peanut Butter with Chocolate cupcakes

For my office holiday party, I baked peanut butter cupcakes by request. They tasted peanut-y, but I thought they were a little dry. (Others disagreed on the dryness, I suppose I’m a harsh judge.)

The chocolate frosting, which included a little instant coffee to punch up the flavor, was a definite hit. The recipe may appear on the blog at a later date, I need to try it more than once, first! I used the extra frosting on some vanilla minis I baked for those who don’t like peanut butter.

Unfrosted Cupcakes

I made a last-minute decision to bake pumpkin cupcakes, too. They turned out to be the most popular at the party! I do like the pumpkin, myself, though I only tasted a peanut butter and a vanilla this round.

pumpkin & vanilla cupcakes

Happy holidays, everyone!

Nutcracker with Cupcakes

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