Yesterday, while perusing the showcase at Buttercup, one of the bakeries in my neighborhood, I noticed a tray of peanut butter and jelly cupcakes. My first thought was Yuck!. But then I decided that in the name of PBJ research I had to try one. Guess what? The PBJ cupcake was awesome. The cupcake had little pockets of grape jelly, the cupcake itself was moist and toothsome, and the chunky peanut butter frosting was smooth and rich without being cloyingly sweet.
I asked one of the young women behind the counter if I could look at the two Buttercup Bakery cookbooks behind the counter. Sure enough, the recipe for PBJ cupcakes were in Buttercup Bakes at Home.
- makes 12 to 14 cupcakes -
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup grape jelly
Chunky Peanut Butter Frosting (recipe follows)
Coarsely chopped peanuts or crushed peanut butter cups, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in two parts, alternating with the milk. Add the vanilla.
4. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups until each is about two-thirds full. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Let cupcakes cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
5. When cupcakes are thoroughly cool, fill a squeeze bottle with jelly, and then invert the tip of the bottle into the center of a cooled cupcake. Carefully squeeze about 1 tablespoon jelly into center of cupcake. Repeat with remaining cupcakes. Frost with Chunky Peanut Butter Frosting, and garnish with roasted salted peanuts or crushed peanut butter cups.
Chunky Peanut Butter Frosting
- makes 2 1/2 cups (enough to frost 14 cupcakes) -
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 tablespoon milk (a few drops more if needed)
1. In a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
2. On low speed, slowly add 1 cup sugar, then a few drops milk. Increase mixer speed to medium-high, and mix thoroughly. Add remaining sugar and a few more drops milk if necessary.
3. Increase mixer speed to high, and mix until frosting is fluffy and reaches a good spreading consistency. Use immediately.