You had to figure that it was only a matter of time before I showed up here with a peanut butter and jelly cupcake, right? I honestly can’t believe it’s taken me so long. If only my little 5-year-old self had been introduced to these… oh boy. I don’t think she would have ever eaten another thing. It would have been a nightmare for my mom, for sure. It’s a good thing I was a responsible adult (who still, at times, sustains herself with only peanut butter and jelly) before I discovered these beauties. I’ve had them bookmarked forever in my cupcakes book, but they sat on the back burner of my mind for some time before a reader asked a couple of months ago if I had a recipe for peanut butter and jelly cupcakes. As a card-carrying member of the peanut butter addict club, I was slightly ashamed that they weren’t already nestled in a cozy little spot on the site. I’m happy to say that they now their spot. Too bad I don’t still have my old peanut butter and jelly sleeping bag I used as a kid – what an appropriate way for peanut butter and jelly cupcakes to cozy up!
The cupcake base tastes almost exactly like a peanut butter cookie – lovely, moist, and dense with pieces of chopped peanuts studded throughout. If you closed your eyes and ate it, you might think you were eating a peanut butter sandwich. With a bit of cake-like texture, of course. Throw on peanut butter frosting and a healthy dose of strawberry jam (you can use your favorite flavor – jelly or jam) and you have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. In a cupcake. Which is every kind of awesome.
The frosting for these cupcakes is very, very similar to the peanut butter/cream cheese mousse filling that is used in the Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte (one of my all-time favorite desserts and my Chief Culinary Consultant’s favorite birthday dessert). You mix together cream cheese, peanut butter, and powdered sugar, and then separately whip cream to medium-stiff peaks and fold it into the peanut butter mixture. The result is a rich, smooth, mousse-like frosting that spreads on like a dream. Carve out a little nest in the top and drop in your favorite jam or jelly.
Share some, and hoard some. Then proceed to eat at least one a day until they are gone. Oh how I wish there were still some left!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and mix in peanut butter. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture; beat until just combined. Mix in the sour cream and peanuts.
Divide the batter evenly among the lined cups. Bake, rotating the tins halfway through, until golden and a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 22 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature in airtight containers.
Make the Frosting: With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the salt and peanut butter, and beat to combine. Beat in vanilla.
In another bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk cream until medium-stiff peaks form. Fold the cream into the peanut butter mixture. use immediate, or refrigerate, covered tightly, up to 2 days. Before using, bring to room temperature and stir with a flexible spatula until smooth.
To finish, use an offset spatula to spread frosting over each cupcake, leaving a small well in the middle. Dollop about 1 teaspoon jelly into each well. Frosted cupcakes can be refrigerated up to 1 day in airtight containers; bring to room temperature before serving.