I even had to chance to experiment with my icing kit which I am pretty wretched at using. (I did not include my first disastrous attempts, but I probably should have just for the yuks.) But really, all you need is a butter knife and you can just slather that icing right on the top. No need for frills. On that note, don't be intimidated by the lengthy recipe below. There are a few steps, but it really isn't very difficult or time consuming (if it was, I wouldn't bother with it myself.)
Peanut Butter-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes
adapted from Annie's Eats and Ina Garten
Makes 24 cupcakes.
For the filling:
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the cake:
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp. milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
For the peanut butter icing:
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two muffin tins with 12 cupcake liners.
To make the filling: Combine the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla extract in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls (at least 24) and set aside on a baking sheet.
To make the cake batter: Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; whisk together and set aside. In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the sour cream, milk and vanilla extract. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (I used a hand mixer), combine the butter and sugar, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just until incorporated.
Spoon a tablespoon or two of batter into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Place a ball of the peanut butter filling in each cupcake well and top with the remaining batter so that all the cups are filled. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. When the cupcakes are completely cool, top with peanut butter icing.
To make the peanut butter icing:
Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (again, I used a hand mixer). 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.