Chocolate cupcakes with Salted peanut caramel.

I came upon a recipe for some peanut butter cookies topped with a salted peanut caramel and I could not get it out of my head. But as usual, I had to find a way to put this in a cupcake, since I had to bring some to a housewarming party. Not too difficult of a task but the caramel did prove a bit fussy, although when the instructions say to pay attention at a certain stage, one should not be off helping their two year old pick a movie to watch. I also read to pull the caramel off the heat a bit lighter than the amber color it suggested and that worked very well. The sauce calls for peanuts which I did use for the cupcake filling but I didn’t want peanuts in my frosting so I put aside a cup of the caramel before adding the peanuts.

I made my simple doctored up box chocolate cupcakes because I had very little time but any chocolate recipe would work here. I filled the cupcakes with the caramel using the cone method. I then topped them with a caramel cream cheese frosting and a tiny drizzle of caramel for effect. These are good, very good. Next time I would double the batch of caramel, and I have reflected that in the directions. Keep in mind, you need to use a big enough pot to make the caramel (even Dutch oven size), especially if you are going to double as I suggest. When you add the warm cream it will froth up and if you do not have a large enough pot it could be a scary disaster, so error on the side of bigger.

Chocolate cupcakes with salted peanut caramel.
24 chocolate cupcakes

Salted peanut caramel
Adapted from: Dave Lebovitz

(Recipe is doubled)

1 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
2 TBSP light corn syrup
¼ TSP coarse salt (I used sea salt)
2 cups heavy cream
1 TBSP vanilla extract
¾ cup finely chopped roasted salted peanuts (if you want peanuts in your frosting double that amount)

First put your cream in a microwave safe dish or saucepan and warm it up, then set aside. Put the water, sugar, corn syrup and salt in a large sauce pan on med-high heat. Stir the mixture until all the sugar dissolves, at that point stop stirring and allow to boil. (At this point don’t abandon your sugar, keep a close eye on it, although it does take around 7-10 minutes). Swirl the pan every so often to ensure it heats evenly, especially once you start to see some color. Now once you start to see color, it happens fast so be ready with your warm cream. Once the color turns a LIGHT brown (I found it was easiest to see the true color with the pan tilted slightly), pull it off the heat and slowly add the cream while whisking the caramel. It will froth and foam up but it will receded quickly, keep stirring until it settles down, then add the vanilla. Set the mixture aside to cool.

Once the caramel has cooled enough to pour safely, measure out a cup (this will be for the frosting) and set aside, I suggest putting this in the fridge for a while because you want it to be cold when you add it to your frosting). Then add the peanuts to the remaining caramel in the pan. Let it sit until it has thickened (30 min) or put it in the fridge to speed it up. Once it has thickened and cooled put a tablespoon or more into each cupcake. And try not to eat it all while you are doing it! If this process make you nervous or you just want more pictures and information, check out the links provided below. If you want to drizzle some caramel over the cupcakes set aside another 2 tbsp or so, put it in a plastic zip lock and snip off the courner to drizzle over the finished cupcake. If you want the peanuts on top simply use a spoon to drizzle and be sure to set aside the caramel with the peanuts already mixed in.

Salted Caramel frosting:
Adapted from: Chockylit

2 sticks of butter at room temperature
8 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature
5-6 cups of powdered sugar
1 cup salted caramel

Beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until creamy. Sift in 3 cups of the powder sugar and beat till combined. Add the cup of salted caramel sauce and beat till combined. Sift in the rest of the powder sugar 1 cup at a time until it is the consistency you like. I used 6 cups total and then cooled it in the fridge for 10 minutes before piping it on the cupcakes. This makes enough frosting to generously frost 24 cupcakes.

Peanut Butter Madness Cupcakes

That has to be about the only way you could describe this cupcake. As usual a group of us were talking about cupcake flavors in the locker room at the gym and peanut butter and chocolate was the overwhelming favorite. With a little help from Trader Joe’s, this masterpiece was created. I must say, this bad boy is a party pleaser; people were talking about this cupcake for weeks.

I used Barefoot Contessa’s peanut butter icing to top it because well, there is no other like it; it’s simply the best peanut butter frosting ever. I did use a doctored up cake mix (yes I know but let me explain) because it holds up very well and makes tall consistent cakes. This cupcake is less about the cake and a lot more about the extras. The bottom is a Nutterbutter crust then a hidden gem (large peanut butter cup) inside, topped with a mound of peanut butter icing and sprinkles with mini peanut butter cups. I drizzled a few with melted semi sweet chocolate but really didn’t end up liking how they looked. I prefer the cleaner look of just the mini cups.

Yield: 24 cupcakes

For the Nutterbutter crust:
1½ cups Nutterbutter crumbs
¼ cup sugar
5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Blitz the cookies with the sugar in a cuisenart, add in melted butter. Add a tablespoon to the bottom of each cupcake cup, press down with the bottom of a glass. I found pressing down then rolling the glass around a bit works well

For the cupcakes: (adapted from: Hello Cupcake)
I box chocolate cake mix (preferably one without the pudding in the mix)
Amount of oil it calls for on the box
1 cup o f buttermilk
4 eggs

24 mini peanut butter cups (goes inside after being baked)
(Box of trader Joes mini peanut butter cups or use reeces and just cut them up (for the topping)

Add all the cake ingredients to the bowl of your stand mixer with paddle attachment mix on low for a minute. Once combined turn mixed up to medium and beat for 2 minutes. It should be fluffy, fill cupcake holders 2/3-3/4 full. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until the centers spring back when touched.
For the frosting: (Adapted from Barefoot Contessa)
I doubled this.

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
Add 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 needed. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth. You can either pipe it on or spread, it works well for both. Or just eat it out of the bowl. 
Cupcake Assembly:
Preheat your over, make the cookie crust, and press bout a tablespoon into each cupcake liner. Mix your cake and fill cupcake liners ¾ full with batter. Place in over, check them at about 18 minutes. Pull out cupcakes when you push on the middle and it springs back. Let them cool a while in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack. Once they have completely cooled, cut out a cone shaped hole in the top, you will have to trim the cone part for they won’t fit back on without. Place one large peanut butter cup (if you are not getting Trader Joe’s peanut butter cups, the Reeces minis will work fine) then put the trimmed tops back on. Make your frosting and top the cupcakes however you would like. Garnish with mini (trader Joe’s) peanut butter cups. If using reeces, just cut them up. If you want…drizzle some melted semi sweet chocolate over the top.

With the chocolate drizzle.


You can see the hidden suprise, and why you must trim the cone to put it back on.

Mickey Mouse Cupcakes

Today’s post is just a bit of show and tell. I made these cupcakes for a friend’s son’s second birthday. He just loves Mickey Mouse, so I tried my best to make them cute. I think they turned out ok, had I found a good chocolate mold in time I would have used that instead. These I made free hand, or rather with a cutout made of cardboard. I traced them onto parchment, flipped the parchment over and poured the chocolate, for the red parts I used red candy melts.

The cupcakes are a simple yellow cake with a homemade strawberry filling, the frosting is vanilla swiss meringue buttercream.

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes


This is one of my husband’s favorite drinks, if you have ever seen it done its quite entertaining. You take a pint glass fill it half full of Guinness (note: Draft not Stout), take a shot glass add a shot of whiskey (preferably Jamison’s) and top it with Baileys. You then take the shot glass and drop it into the pint glass and gulp it down all at once. First one done has the bragging rights.  Now I have no interest in drinking this drink but the cupcakes, they were good. Not only was the cake, which had Guinness baked in it, but the frosting, holy cow. I could have pulled up a chair and made it a meal. I researched this recipe all over the place and many people use different amounts of Bailey’s for the frosting but this recipe definitely got it right, it did not disappoint.


 I had so much ganache left over after filling the cupcakes I went ahead and added some on top, it made for a pretty presentation. I made these for a world cup party hence the soccer balls.

 Since I didn’t change the recipe in any way and this one give such fabulous directions I will just post the link.

Oreo Ball Cupcakes



June 27, 2010

I must say these were a lot of fun. In an attempt to keep from overwhelming myself I broke the process for these cupcakes down into three prep days. The first day I made the homemade Oreo cookies, it was worth it. They are very good. Even my husband who is not too fond of Oreo cookies (he says because of their chalkiness) loved these. I liked the cream filling the best, it didn’t leave that distinctive film on the roof of your mouth that annoys me so much from store bought Oreos.
The second day I made the Oreo balls, I had made them last year for a party after a friend on my website I frequent was talking about them. They are simple to make but a little bit time consuming, which is the reason I wanted to have them done ahead of time.
The third and final day I made the frosting and cupcakes . The Oreo cream cheese frosting, it was so good I had to toss all mixing equipment in the sink fast to keep from licking everything. I will admit, frosting in general is my favorite part of cupcakes and cakes. I can literally make a meal of it right out of the mixing bowl. At this point I was feeling pretty confident about my time frame and organizational skills, that was until I realized I did not have a box of chocolate cake mix. In an effort to save time I was going to use the recipe in Hello Cupcake, which takes an ordinary box cake and adds buttermilk and an extra egg to enhance the flavor and the structural integrity. It’s a full proof recipe and make very nice, tall, firm but tastey cake. Panic set in, what to do, a run to the store was out of the question, my husband was at softball and my daughter was tucked in bed sleeping away. So…at 9pm at night the only reasonable thing to do is make them from scratch, so that is what I did. I considered changing the cake to a white cake but it just didn’t sound as good. So I again used Hello Cupcake’s recipe and started from scratch. I also make a Oreo cookie crust at the bottom of each cupcake.
Well, I was a little disappointed how small they ended up, they didn’t puff us like I am used to seeing and that worried me about how I was going to get the Oreo balls to fit in them. And as I sat and watched the Season Finale of Grays (yes I know pathetically late for an avid fan like myself) I chopped off their tops using the cone method and squished the Oreo balls into them. Popped the tops back on and set off to frost them. This went smoothly, had one incident of the tip clogging but overall it went fast.
These were a huge hit at work, we even reserved time for an official “cupcake meeting” I am just glad they ended up being worthy. The chocolate cake was not my favorite but the thing I didn’t like which was the lack of sweetness actually worked well with how sweet the Oreo ball was . So in the end it was a very successful cupcake and a ton of fun.

Oreo crust at the bottom of each holder. Man i wish I had measured this but I will guesstimate, its hard to mess it up. I would say 1 cup of crushed Oreos and 3 tbsp of unsalted butter melted. Mix together and add about a tbsp to the bottom of each holder then use the bottom of a glass to press it flat.
Oreos: from the Cupcake Project blog, search Oreo cookies.
Oreo balls:
• 1 (16 ounce) package OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, divided
• 1 (8 ounce) package PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
• 2 (8 ounce) packages BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted
1. Crush 9 of the cookies to fine crumbs in food processor; reserve for later use. (Cookies can also be finely crushed in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.) Crush remaining 36 cookies to fine crumbs; place in medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls, about 1-inch in diameter.
2. Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover chocolate can be stored at room temperature for another use.) Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.
3. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store leftover truffles, covered, in refrigerator.
Recipe from All recipes.
Cupcakes: I will spare you from the recipe I used and just say use a box of chocolate add 3 eggs, 1 cup of buttermilk and the amount of oil called for on the box. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. They never fail.
recipe is from Hello Cupcake
• 8 oz package of cream cheese, room temperature
• 1/4 C butter, room temperature
• 3-4 C powdered sugar (use more or less depending on how stiff you want the frosting to be)
• 1/2 t vanilla extract
• 3/4 C crushed Oreos (use your food processor so they will go through your frosting tip)
1. Whip cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
2. Mix in powdered sugar one cup at a time.
3. Add vanilla extract.
4. Gently stir in crushed Oreos.
recipe is from the cupcake project

And they’re off…

June 9, 2010

Well, here goes nothing, first official blog. I will throw out a disclaimer, I am by no means a professional writer nor even a good one. I am a very amateur photographer, so my cupcakes wont have that wonderful “I need to reach into the screen and grab you because they look so good” photos as seen in many other blogs.
Alright now that all that’s out of the way…I made some very interesting cupcakes last weekend for a baby shower. First and foremost, it was a Noah’s Ark themed shower (which I didn’t know until the Tuesday prior) after the initial OMG, I went to Michael’s and purchased some already made fondant. I then petitioned my mom for help and Thursday night we set about making 55 jungle animals to top the cupcakes with. I must say, Utube is a wonderful thing, you can really learn a lot! A friend found a template for some animals on a very cute site called “Chica and Jo”, they saved my bacon. Seeing as my mother and I have never worked with fondant, it was quite entertaining, thank you Utube. We finished up about 5 hours later, yes 5. Some animals came out cuter than others but overall I was happy with them. Especially since fondant is not your friend if you don’t treat it right (like leave it uncovered).
On to more exciting things…the cupcakes flavors were as follows:
Chocolate cake with white chocolate cream cheese filling topped with vanilla butter cream frosting.
Chocolate cake: Box cake devils food, add in 4 eggs, amount of oil listed, 1 cup of buttermilk. If the recipe calls for water you do not use it. Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes.
Chocolate cream cheese filling I got on the food network from Emril.
Vanilla butter cream from the cupcake project:

Yellow cupcakes with raspberry filling topped with chocolate cream cheese frosting.
Cake was a box cake, with 4 eggs, 1 cup of buttermilk and the amount of oil the box calls for. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
I filled them with about a tablespoon of raspberry jam.
Chocolate cream cheese frosting from the Cupcake project:

Lemon cupcakes with lemon curd filling topped with shortbread cookie crumble.

They are simply the best cupcakes, this is my 4th time making them and they are always a hit.

I was very careful to not over bake them, I have a tendency to do that because I am always paranoid about having a raw middle. They were a big hit at the shower, everyone thought the animals turned out so cute. I am very excited everyone liked them because being the one who made them all I could see was their faults. The flavors were a huge hit too. I will post the recipes later this week in case someone actually reads this, haha.

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