Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
I have a secret that I’m about to blab. It’s about me. And it’s a doozie. It’s going to rock your world…
I don’t really like cake…
Can you believe it? It’s the truth. Hard to fathom, with all those cakes that I decorate. Now, don’t get me wrong. I will eat cake. But it pretty much ranks at the very, very bottom of the dessert hierarchy for me. Given options, I would choose pretty much anything over cake. Now, if you’re talking cheesecakes, flourless chocolate cakes, coffee cakes, crumb cakes, and things of that nature, well then that’s a whole different ballgame. But regular cake? Like birthday cake-cake? Meh. It’s just never really been my cup of tea. But what I do love is frosting. And phenomenal frosting can absolutely make my day. Peanut butter or cream cheese frosting? It may as well just be Christmas. As a result, I love cupcakes because I can pile them sky-high with dreamy frosting and enjoy each and every bite. These dark chocolate cupcakes are a dream come true for anyone who is a cake or frosting lover – they are truly the best of both worlds.
These cupcakes are insanely rich and moist, and are made using the same type of method used for making brownies – melted chocolate is added to a whisked mixture of eggs and sugar, and then flour is stirred in. The resulting batter almost resembled a mousse; both thick and light. It creates incredibly moist cupcakes that also have a light and fluffy texture.
And the frosting. Oh the frosting. Bestill my heart. I have been using this recipe for a couple of years now (how has it never made it on here before?!), mostly as a filling for chocolate cakes. But on top of cupcakes? Where I purposefully try to create a 2:1 frosting to cupcake ratio? A-MAZING. I cannot make this without usually ending up with a stomach ache from nibbling out of the bowl one too many times. It’s irresistible. Sometimes I’m tempted to make it to just have. Smeared on toast? Used as a dipping vessel for bananas or apples? So many possibilities. The “secret ingredient” in this frosting, just as in the Easy Vanilla Bean Buttercream, is the heavy cream. It creates a smooth and fluffy frosting that is easy to slather or pipe on.
Note: To make the swirls of icing, I use a 1M icing tip. I just love the look that it gives the cupcakes; it reminds of a soft serve ice cream cone. Which is another one of my favorite things :)
More chocolate & peanut butter deliciousness:
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup (1.5 ounces) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
¾ cup (3.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon table salt
½ cup (4 ounces) sour cream
For the Peanut Butter Frosting:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
⅓ cup heavy cream
1. To make the Cupcakes: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F. (If you are using a non-stick muffin pan, heat the oven to 325 degrees F.) Line standard-size muffin pan with baking cup liners.
2. Combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and combined. (Alternately, you can microwave the mixture at 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted.) Set aside to cool until just warm to the touch.
3. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder in small bowl to combine.
4. Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla, and salt until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined, then sift remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is homogeneous and thick.
5. Divide the batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.
6. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes.
7. To make the Peanut Butter Frosting: Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted 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.