September 8, 2011

The Best Cupcakes You'll Ever Make

I'll add a subtitle which is "As Long As You Love Peanut Butter".  This cupcake recipe is not for the diet conscious or the faint of heart (what Ina recipe is?), although you could almost make a case for these little bite sized indulgences simply due to their miniature stature. The problem?  You can't stop at just one.
I can't remember when I first made Ina Garten's Beatty's Chocolate Cake recipe.  But I can tell you that it's now the only chocolate cake recipe I turn to (sorry Anne!).  It's delightfully light (in texture, not calories) because of the buttermilk and with the little bit of coffee added in, the chocolate flavor really shines through.  It's for this reason that I ignored the cupcake recipe that Ina paired with this amazing peanut butter icing and instead stuck to my guns and altered my favorite chocolate cake to fit my needs.
One thing I do remember is the day I first made this combination of mini cupcakes.  It was Sam's birthday and our second to last month in our little non-kitchen apartment.  I made all 4 batches in our tiny toaster oven (thank goodness my mini-cupcake pan was just the right size!) and when I brought them to our local bar where we were celebrating his birthday with friends, I knew it had been worth it - when I looked up, every last one of them was gone.
This batch I made in North Carolina in our grown-up kitchen for Ms. K, but the results were the same - little bites of goodness.  We happily munched on them all weekend long.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes
Individual recipes from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa At Home (2006)
Makes 3 dozen mini cupcakes

Beatty’s Chocolate Cake
(recipe is halved and adapted for mini cupcakes)
1 Scant cup of all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup vegetable oil (I used melted butter)
1 extra-large egg, at room temperature
½ tsp. vanilla
½ cup freshly brewed coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line the mini cupcake pans with cups. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the better into the prepared cups and bake for 17 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Kathleen’s Peanut Butter Icing
You may have leftover icing from this, but I promise you won't mind!

1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp sea salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioner’s sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer 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.


  1. Calories don't count when you're on vacation, right? Okay, they do, but these are worth it. Really.

  2. These really are great cupcakes! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe with us!

  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed these, Dolls!

  4. Just tried this last night and the kids loved it. Actually, they want me to make some again today. Is putting some M&M's on top a good idea?

  5. Hey, Tabby! I love the idea of adding M & M's! If it were me, I might opt for Reese's Pieces instead which would really amp up the peanut butter flavor, and be the perfect decoration for a Halloween bake sale :)

  6. Recently, back to the drawing board .cuisinart toaster oven If you don't have countertop convection oven then you have no other choice. I began a similar task a while ago. That was a well chosen plan.


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