We’re eating Brownie Cupcakes with Dreamy Peanut Butter Frosting today because… it’s…. Tuesday Treat day! Oh and the other reason we’re eating them today? Because I’m still waiting for news and updates on my best friends medical condition/surgery and when I’m feeling stressed and worried I eat sugar. Lots and lots of sugar… and pasta… and bread. Nope, it’s not good for my figure, but it keeps me sane.
Don’t they look dreamy and delicious? They are! I found a wonderful recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction website for Brownie Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting.
They were totally awesome in flavor, texture and size, but… but, but, but… there weren’t enough of them! One batch only made about 8 or 9 cupcakes – waah! Her peanut butter frosting recipe was intriguing, since I think I make a pretty danged good PB frosting my own self, but I just had to try hers. YUM! But… but, but, but… Tim gets a bit peckish if his frosting is too rich and fatty, so I had to make a couple of small adjustments to it in order to keep my darling hubby happy n stuff. Sally, thank you for the recipe, it rocks!
With just a couple of minor changes to Sally’s original recipe, just to suit Tim’s taste buds and to produce a larger number of cupcakes, here’s how I make them:
These are pics from the day that I made Sally’s original recipe, so the amount is basically half of what I’m making this afternoon. If you only want 8 or 9 cupcakes, head on over to Sally’s Baking Addiction to grab her recipe… you’ll be glad you did. While you’re there, be sure to check out her other recipes, she’s an awesome baker!
This is such a simple recipe! Just melt the butter in the microwave, then add the brown sugar. I don’t bother with melting the sugar, I just whisk well till it’s all smooth and shiny.
Whisk, whisk, whisk and you get something that looks like this:
Time to add the eggs and vanilla. Whisk again till they’re all incorporated and the mixture is shiny again.
When it’s finally smooth and shiny you can add the flour and other dry ingredients. And here’s my little trick to adding flour, plus salt and leavening to most cakes, cookies and quick breads- ready? I do NOT mix them together in a separate bowl before adding them to the wet ingredients! Nopers, that doesn’t line up with my kitchen rules, which I’ve amended even further over the years to include: Don’t use extra bowls, pans or utensils unless absolutely necessary.
So here’s how you add dry ingredients to wet ones without premixing the dry ones first. Just add all the flour right on top of the wet ingredients, then layer on the salt, leavening and any other dry ingredients (spices, etc). Once they are all sprinkled in a neat layer on top of the flour, use your whisk to gently stir them around a bit, making sure that you only mix the dry ingredients and don’t dig down far enough to hit the wet ingredients at the bottom. Just a few quick stirs with the whisk is enough. Once that’s done, just grab a wooden spoon and proceed with stirring the dry ingredients into the wet ones per the directions on your recipe.
Now the cocoa powder goes on top evenly.
You can’t see the salt and baking powder that I added on top of the flour. Next time I’ll add it on top of the cocoa and take a pic so you can visualize it. Ok, time to whisk the dry stuff together, then mix it into the wet stuff.
Yep, looks just like brownies, right? I like to use an ice cream scoop to portion out cupcakes and muffins… it just makes it so much easier to get the right amount into each cup without having as much drip and spill onto the edges of the pans.
Fill them about 2/3 full, then pop them into a 375F oven for about 10 – 12 minutes. The first time I made them I didn’t bake them long enough and they were gooey in the middles – ugh. You’ll know when they are done by looking at the tops of the cupcakes. They’ll start to rise and get puffy and the tops will crack a bit. As soon as that happens, snatch them out of the oven and remove them from the muffin tins to cool.
These are some of my favorite kitchen helpers. They're Dang Good and I love 'em!
Plop them onto a baker’s rack to finish cooling while you make the dreamy peanut butter frosting.
Time to make the frosting!
Use soft butter! I like to take it out of the fridge to soften while I’m making and baking the cupcakes, that way it’s ready when I’m ready.
Mix together the peanut butter and butter, then use a hand held mixer to beat them till they’re nice and creamy.
And here’s where I deviated a bit from Sally’s recipe for peanut butter frosting. I used a bit less butter and added an extra cup of confectioner’s sugar. It’s still a very spreadable frosting, but not quite as rich, and that makes Tim a happy boy.
Add the vanilla and salt at the same time that you add the powdered sugar, then mix on low speed till it’s all combined. Once it’s combined, turn up the mixer to medium for a minute, just to get it smooth.
Then add the heavy cream. I added mine all at once, then beat it on high speed for about 3 minutes.
After 3 minutes it was creamy and soft and looked absolutely, luxuriously delicious.
By the time I was done making the frosting and cleaning up my counters, the cupcakes were plenty cool enough to handle some frosting. I grabbed my official Cake Decorating tin, which holds all my Wilton decorating tips, my piping bags and other goodies, and discovered, much to my chagrin, that I had NO piping bags AND that my large piping tip was missing! Actually, the entire contents of my tin were gone. I looked high and low and they are no where to be found. I was sad…very sad.
But, the time to be sad had to wait till after I’d frosted these adorable little brownie cupcakes, so I sucked it up, put the frosting into a large plastic freezer bag and cut off a small piece of one corner. Not the prettiest piping ever, but it got the job done! Oh and they taste exactly the same whether you use an official piping bag and fancy piping tip, or a freezer bag and a pair of scissors…. just sayin’. <insert cheeky grin here>
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups dark brown sugar
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⅓ cups flour
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- This recipe makes about 18 cupcakes if you fill the tins ⅔ full with batter, so place 18 paper cups into muffin tins to start. You might make more, or less, depending on how full you fill the tins.
- Melt butter in the microwave in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix in the brown sugar till it's smooth and shiny, then add the vanilla and eggs. Use a whisk or hand held mixer to beat in the eggs and vanilla till the sugar/butter mixture is smooth and shiny.
- Place the flour on top of the wet mixture, then layer the salt, baking powder and cocoa powder on top of the flour. Gently stir the flour layer into the wet mixture till smooth and well combined. Do not beat!
- Fill the muffin tins about ⅔ full. Bake for about 10-12 minutes. They are done when the tops begin to puff up and crack.
- Remove from pans and place on a baker's rack to let them cool.
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- Use a hand held mixer to beat the peanut butter and butter together creamy.
- Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Mix by hand just till all ingredients are combined, then mix on medium speed until smooth.
- Add the heavy cream all at once, then beat on high speed for 3 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy.