peanut butter chocolate cupcakes

My husband is a fan of peanut butter cups, so I baked him a cupcake version for his birthday. It was one of those “big” ones, and we had a great party to celebrate.

peanut butter chocolate cupcakes

Peanuts, Inside & Out

I started with my regular chocolate cupcake batter, then dropped a peanut butter ball into each. I made the balls by combining crunchy peanut butter with a little flour until I could roll it into spheres. Baked in, they made a peanuty center that was similar to the inside of a peanut butter cup.

I used smooth peanut butter for the frosting. (Recipe below.)

Party Décor

My husband is into music (playing and listening), and cassettes were the thing for most of our younger years. Thus the “Mix Tape” theme was formulated. I had an oversized cassette tape printed for the wall and made smaller tapes to hang around it. There was one with the top song (according to Billboard) of each year since he was born. I also printed two 2″ x 3″ mini-tapes for each year to create cupcake toppers.

tapes

tape

The Venue

There are many great bars, restaurants, and other event spaces to have a party in Brooklyn. The place that fit just right was Two Moon Art House & Café in Gowanus/Park Slope. It has a wine and coffee bar and in-house catering for refreshments, sound system for music and speeches, and a projector to play sweet messages from faraway friends (or embarrassing slideshows…your call!). Two Moon also has a garden patio, a nice place for guests to relax. The owners and staff are lovely and easy to work with. Thanks, Two Moon!

peanut butter chocolate cupcake

Recipe: Peanut Butter Frosting

Makes frosting for about 3 dozen cupcakes (depends on icing method)

2 cups creamy peanut butter
2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2-2/3 cup cream

Beat together the butter and peanut butter, then slowly add powdered sugar and salt, followed by the vanilla extract. Mix in 1/2 cup cream and beat on high for a few minutes. If needed, add more cream or powdered sugar to reach desired consistency.

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The Latest

  • Hey, hey, it’s my birthday! It’s been a year of less cupcakes, but a sweet one nonetheless.

#itsmybirthday #cupcakecards #happyhappybirthday #morebakingin2020 #cupcakes
  • I made these teeny hand pies from leftover Christmas pie crust dough. See picture 2 for the reality of trying to do anything like this with a toddler! 🥧 #toddlerbaker #mamabakes #handpies

Discussion

I arrived at the party with an all-in-one dessert and cocktail conversation topic!

Did you know that German chocolate cake is not German at all? It’s actually American. The first recipe for German Chocolate Cake appeared in a Dallas, Texas, newspaper in the 1950s. It used Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate, which was developed by a guy named Sam German in the mid-nineteenth century.

The party was a housewarming/birthday event, and the honoree requested something with coconut. I’d never done German Chocolate Cupcakes before, so I gave it a shot.

The coconut pecan frosting was my biggest challenge. I tried a recipe that used eggs and ended up with custard. I did it again without the eggs and got more what I was expecting.

I used a small ice cream scoop for the topping, which was moist enough starting out.

german chocolate cupcakes

I added a chocolate ganache drizzle to finish them off. It was my first use of my new squeeze bottles. It’s certainly much easier than other methods I’ve tried.

By the time I reached the party, the topping was more the consistency of candy. It hardened and could be popped off and eaten separately. Call it a bonus!

Manhattans and Cupcakes
The cupcakes paired well with Manhattans (photos by Shumit Basu)

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Questions? Leave a comment or send an email.

Ready to bake? Go to recipes!

The Latest

  • Hey, hey, it’s my birthday! It’s been a year of less cupcakes, but a sweet one nonetheless.

#itsmybirthday #cupcakecards #happyhappybirthday #morebakingin2020 #cupcakes
  • I made these teeny hand pies from leftover Christmas pie crust dough. See picture 2 for the reality of trying to do anything like this with a toddler! 🥧 #toddlerbaker #mamabakes #handpies

Discussion

sea turtle cupcake

My friend Katie loves sea turtles*, so that’s the theme I ran with for her birthday cupcakes. I’d seen cupcakes with gumdrops made to look like turtles on top, but the first thing I thought of was turtle candy, the chocolate caramel and pecan treats that look like turtles.

Of course, the candy would need a cupcake base. I decided on chocolate cupcakes with a caramel center. I made the lighter chocolate cupcakes I like, leaving room for the caramel to shine.

caramel centers

I confess, I “cheated” and didn’t make homemade caramels. It’s just way too easy to drop an unwrapped caramel candy in the middle of each puddle of batter. When they are baked, you can barely see a sign that they’re in there, but there’s a caramel-y surprise waiting.

While my chocolate cupcakes baked, I made the turtle candy. I roasted some pecans, arranging them on foil in groups of four for my turtles’ legs. I then dropped a spoonful of melted caramel in the center of each pecan cluster. Next, I swirled on a spoonful of melted chocolate chips.

turtle candy

To complete my turtles, I made heads with half pecans and finished with some green sprinkles. Vanilla frosting colored blue gave my sea turtles a place to swim.

swimming turtle cupcakes

*Sea turtles are endangered. Learn more about the real turtles and how you can help protect them at www.conserveturtles.org.

Get Updates from Amélie!

Questions? Leave a comment or send an email.

Ready to bake? Go to recipes!

The Latest

  • Hey, hey, it’s my birthday! It’s been a year of less cupcakes, but a sweet one nonetheless.

#itsmybirthday #cupcakecards #happyhappybirthday #morebakingin2020 #cupcakes
  • I made these teeny hand pies from leftover Christmas pie crust dough. See picture 2 for the reality of trying to do anything like this with a toddler! 🥧 #toddlerbaker #mamabakes #handpies

Discussion

I love coffee and coffee-flavored desserts. I am very likely to choose coffee ice cream, for example, if it is on offer. I made coffee icing that went over well once in my pre-blog days—as I remember, it topped chocolate cupcakes—but I’d never made cupcakes with coffee in the cake itself.

coffee cupcakes
I used coffee to flavor these cupcakes I brought to a double birthday dinner.

Since I had Stumptown‘s Costa Rica Montes de Oro coffee on hand, that is what went into these cupcakes. Luckily, it is a perfect match for baking. Stumptown describes this coffee as having flavors of spiced apple cider, mandarin orange and molasses. Mmmm…

icing coffee cupcakes
I used both brewed coffee and freshly ground beans in the cake and brewed coffee in the icing.

Birthday guest Brett had this to say of dessert:

Aromatic notes of fun and sweetness that melt on the tongue as well as the psyche… The coffee beans offset the sugar in the frosting with just the right amount of savory bitterness and creamy deliciousness.

coffee cupcake
A whole bean was my finishing touch.

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Questions? Leave a comment or send an email.

Ready to bake? Go to recipes!

The Latest

  • Hey, hey, it’s my birthday! It’s been a year of less cupcakes, but a sweet one nonetheless.

#itsmybirthday #cupcakecards #happyhappybirthday #morebakingin2020 #cupcakes
  • I made these teeny hand pies from leftover Christmas pie crust dough. See picture 2 for the reality of trying to do anything like this with a toddler! 🥧 #toddlerbaker #mamabakes #handpies

Discussion

To create a fun and unique cupcake for my fiancé’s birthday party, I mimicked another popular dessert. I started with banana cupcakes and cut out a core to fill with puréed fresh pineapple, then topped the cakes with banana slices for good measure.

pineapple_filled_cupcake
banana_cupcakes
For the topping, I made a whipped cream icing. The secret to “whipped cream” that will stand up to hours at room temperature? Cream cheese. Get the recipe I used at All Recipes.com.

I added strawberry and chocolate sauces and finished, of course, with a cherry on top!

strawberry_sauced_cupcakes
cheery_on_top

Get Updates from Amélie!

Questions? Leave a comment or send an email.

Ready to bake? Go to recipes!

The Latest

  • Hey, hey, it’s my birthday! It’s been a year of less cupcakes, but a sweet one nonetheless.

#itsmybirthday #cupcakecards #happyhappybirthday #morebakingin2020 #cupcakes
  • I made these teeny hand pies from leftover Christmas pie crust dough. See picture 2 for the reality of trying to do anything like this with a toddler! 🥧 #toddlerbaker #mamabakes #handpies

Discussion