I think sometimes, we get so caught up in baking with fresh seasonal flavors, that flavors like chocolate and peanut butter, however loved they may be, get cast aside. On the other hand, as I get older, the less I feel like it has to be chocolate for it to be dessert. Which I guess is why I haven’t made a chocolate based dessert for months.
All of that to say I had chocolate on the brain this week. I was really craving something rich. And boy did this recipe deliver. I’m currently looking at three quarters of my cupcake still sitting on my plate because it is so rich.
This cupcake has a chocolate base and peanut butter frosting. The garnish is peanut butter brittle, which, to be honest, if I made this again I would completely skip. The brittle uses butterscotch and I conveniently had some in my pantry, so of course I couldn’t skip it this go ’round. Otherwise, the dense chocolate and rich peanut butter made the perfect combo, and I will make this cupcake again and again! This recipe is based off a Food Network recipe.
Pro tip: you will definitely need a glass of milk.
3 sticks of butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup water
3 cups packed brown sugar (I used a combo of dark and light)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons cream or milk
1. Combine butter, cocoa powder, and water into a large microwaveable bowl. Place plastic wrap over the bowl and microwave for 2-3 minutes, until butter is melted. Once butter melts, whisk in the brown sugar.
2. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Pour in cocoa mixture and mix until combine.
3. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla until just combined. Do not overmix.
4. Pour batter into lined pans and bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes. This will make either 24 regular sized cupcakes or 12 jumbo cupcakes. Let cupcakes cool entirely before frosting them.
5. Make the brittle by heating sugar in saucepan over medium high heat. Swirl as it melts and turns an amber color. Once it begins bubbling, remove the saucepan from heat and mix in the butterscotch and peanut butter. Once thoroughly mixed, spread the mixture onto a baking sheet with parchment paper and use a spatula to smooth it out. Let cool, then break the brittle into small pieces using a glass or a utensil.
6. Make the frosting by combining all ingredients in a mixer and mixing for 5 minutes. If frosting is too thin, add powdered sugar. If frosting is too thick, add cream or milk.
7. Frost your cupcake and sprinkle the brittle on top.
Tips for frosting cupcakes: If you do not have piping bags, spoon your frosting into a Ziploc bag and cut the corner off. Make sure the bag is closed before piping your frosting. I like to pipe mine in a simple circle and then place a garnish in the center.
Happy baking and remember don’t forget your milk!