Monday 14 November 2011

Going nuts over chocolate peanut butter cupcakes with caramel peanut glaze

FACT: Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of one's mouth.

Peanuts are so underrated.

Almonds are sexy thanks to macarons and friands.  Pistachios are oh so exotic when doused with rosewater and honey in baklava.  But the poor wee peanut doesn't have such a glamourous rep.  They're always the ones left uneaten in the roasted nut mix and unlike delicious pecan pie and chic frangipane tarts you don't hear anyone sing the praises of a peanutty pastry creation.

It seems the humble peanut is relegated to being the boring forgettable nut-cousin.  That is, until it's turned into gloriously creamy, deliciously salty sweet, Peanut Butter.

{peanut butter cream cheese frosting is a beautiful thing}
I'm a nutter when it comes to peanut butter.  On toast, in peanut butter choc chip cookies,  or just by the spoonful, peanut butter can do no wrong.

But for some reason, I've never tried incorporating it into a cupcake or cake recipe.  Until now.

Hello Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting and Caramel Peanut Glaze.  Where have you been all my life??

I have to admit when I first read about peanut butter cream cheese frosting on smitten kitchen I wasn't entirely sold on the idea.  Cream cheese? With peanut butter?  What an odd couple.

I was still skeptical even while making the frosting.  Skeptical that is, until I tasted it.

This frosting Blew. My. Mind.

It's richly peanutty, incredibly creamy, but not too sweet or too stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouthy.  Coupled with the moist chocolately cupcake and smothered with the oozing peanut caramel glaze: this cupcake is a peanut butter lover's dream.  I swear it could convert non-peanut butter nutters.  Heck, this cupcake may quite possibly be a cure for arachibutyrophobia.

I made these for the ever-so-lovely Jane's birthday which we celebrated with a good old kiwi barbie out at Piha in the weekend (god it's good be be home!).  They tasted all the better seasoned with laughter and salty sea air.  Delish.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramel Peanut Glaze aka Snickers Cupcakes

adapted from a smitten kitchen recipe

Makes around 18-24 cupcakes

Chocolate cupcakes

2 cups flour
1 3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp vegetable shortening
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water (3/4 cup water for the cakes)
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream

1. Line two 12 cup muffin tins and preheat oven to 180oC. (for a layer cake line two 25 cm spring form pans with a circle of baking paper at the bottom.)

2. Place flour, caster sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  Rub the shortening into the floury sugar mix with your fingers until it resembles bread crumbs. Try to get rid of any biggish lumps.

3. Make a well in the centre and add eggs, oil, water, vanilla and sour cream.

4. Beat on high for 1 minute to incorporate.

5. Scoop into the baking cups, fill to around 2/3 - 3/4 full.

6. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes turning once. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick comes out clean (for a layer cake - bake for 30-40 minutes, until skewer comes out clean.)

Peanut butter cream cheese frosting
250g cream cheese (***make sure you use full fat cream cheese and not spreadable or low fat. I recommend using Philadelphia brand, have had some bad batches with other brands!***).
120g unsalted butter, softened
600g icing sugar sifted
2/3 - 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
***EDIT: Makes loads of frosting, so if you are only doing the rosettes rather than the 1M swirl you might be able to get away with halving the recipe. Thanks heaps Kelly for pointing this out!!***
1. Beat the butter until light and fluffy.  Add cream cheese and beat to just mixed in. 

2. Add the icing sugar a cup at a time, beating in between each addition.

3. Add 2/3 cup peanut butter and beat to mix.  Taste and add more to get to how peanutty you like it - I liked mine rather intensely peanutty and used around 3/4 to 1 cup of peanut butter.  If you keep the frosting in the fridge for a bit, let it come up to room temperature to soften up a bit before using (around 1 hour).  I found my icing was quite stiff and popped my frosting bag!  So maybe I needed to warm it up a bit in my hands or perhaps add a little milk to loosen it up?

Caramel Peanut Glaze
1 cup brown sugar
50 g salted butter
1/2 cup cream
1 cup salted peanuts

1. Melt brown sugar and butter in a small saucepan stirring constantly over medium heat.

2.  When melted together, add cream and stir to mix.  Let the mixture bubble for about 1 minute (stirring).  Take off the heat and stir through salted peanuts. Let the sauce cool.

3.  Spoon the caramel peanut glaze on top of the frosted cupcakes.  If the caramel sets and is no longer oozy, microwave for 10 seconds to soften.

Assembling the cupcakes
1.  Once the cupcakes are completely cool, spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with the nozzle of your choice. I used a Wilton 1M tip and piped in a rose shape (instructions on how to do this here) but I reckon the old 1M swirl would be awesome too...the more frosting the better right?! 

2. Spoon some caramel peanut glaze over the frosting, bits oozing down the side only add to its appeal.

3.  Cupcakes will keep for around 3-4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.  Allow to come to room temp before serving.  Best served with friends.


  1. nessie these look so good I feel naughty looking at them !!! can you tell me again what that icing nozzle is i've so gotta get me one of those !!

  2. That frosting looks incredible!! And I've got a soft spot for anything salty-sweet so of course I love all things peanut butter in baking :)

  3. I love the first photo, it is scrumptious. And the introductory paragraphs are hilarious, definitely made me want to keep reading. And bake these asap of course!

  4. These look so good. I love your piping work! Loving the peanut butter cream cheese frosting :)

  5. oh wow, these look SO good! & beautiful job with the frosting, they look perfect!

    Katie x

  6. That first photo is killer, the frosting and glaze look so sexy. I never knew peanuts had it in 'em. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. This is a definite must make. Yum!

  7. Love your fact at the top! Totally putting that on pinterest! Now I need you to come share these bad boys with me. They sound killer.

  8. I wish I could reach through my screen and grab one!!! These look divine!

  9. These look absolutely beautiful! BTW love the name of your blog :D

  10. Oh, Nessie. I made these last night. They are AMAZING. (I have to laugh a little at so many commenters that say 'these look great' but haven't tried to make them. Go bake, people!)

    I used the Cook's Illustrated recipe for dark chocolate cupcakes, because I prefer not to use vegetable shortening, and the CI recipe also only used 2 eggs and 1/2 cup of sour cream. These came out *perfectly*. I have a CI web login I'm happy to share with you if you like - kelly42 at gmail will reach me directly.

    Also, that frosting recipe made way too much (perhaps twice as much as I needed). The rest is now in my fridge and I have been evilly swiping a fingerful now and then. Think you could do me a solid and hook me up with an angioplasty when I have an MI from this yummy full-fat frosting extravaganza? It is just so delicious.

    Thanks for the splendid recipe! :)

  11. paula @ podand3peas: They were definitely pretty bad ass eating them too!! :) I used a Wilton 1M open star nozzle. Use it ALL the time and was only like $6! It's my precious.

    millemirepoix: Thanks lovey! They frosting honestly tasted incredible too...could not stop "tasting" it!

    choey: Awww thanks heaps Christina!!! You made my day! :)

    timeforalittlesomething: Thanks Jem! The frosting was harder to pipe than normal cream cheese frosting and kept popping my icing bags so am so glad they turned out looking ok!

    Katie: Awww thanks Katie! Gooey caramel peanut sauce doesn't really have a bad side to photograph huh? I mean who can resist oozey caramel??

    Linno: Hehe thanks Linno! I was def trying to sex up the poor wee peanut. Ultimate nut makeover.

    kita: It's one of those stranger-than-fiction kinda facts huh? I LOVE pinterest!!! Thanks heaps for pinning me!! xox

    KarmaCucina: Thanks heaps!!! I made sure I gave most of them away coz the temptation to eat them ALL was very very strong!

    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella: Awwww thanks heaps Lorraine for your lovely comment and stopping by my wee blog!!!

    Kelly: THANKS Kelly!! I totally forgot to add that it makes heaps thanks so much for reminding me! Have edited the recipe now! So so stoked you liked the cupcakes!! Will def hit you up for the CI cake coming your way soon! xox

  12. Sexy peanuts for sure - these look so delectable! Straight to the top of my must make list - I'm making them this weekend. Curious - your cupcakes look pale, like vanilla, in the photos - are these not really chocolatey?

  13. delacasa: Opps I put so much frosting on the cupcakes you can't actually see the dark chocolatey cupcakes underneath it! You could totally use a vanilla cupcake base with the frosting but I reckon chocolate brings out the peanuttiness the best. Good luck with the cupcakes!!! x

  14. Oh Ness!!!! just came across these puppies while looking for inspiration for my cousin's bday treat, as all my recipe books are on the other side of the world :( these have turned my frown upside down!! And also - i see you Chocolate peanut butter cupcakes and raise you: xx



Copyright © 2010-2013 by Nessie Chan/Nessie Sharpe. All rights reserved.

Related Posts with Thumbnails