Happy Halloween! I love this day, it’s so spooky-scary in the funnest way and even though I rarely dress up I love to pop in a movie, cuddle up, maybe pass out some candy to adorable trick-or-treaters, and indulge in some treats myself…of course. These cupcakes fit the bill for the treats sans tricks, but they could really be for any occasion.
Can I tell you, I’ve been working on this cupcake recipe for days…like seriously, SO MANY batches of chocolate cupcakes have emerged from my oven and these are the best ones. They are springy and tender and oh-so-chocolatey. Plus, this recipe makes exactly 12 cupcakes…which is the perfect number for me, some for the house and some to give away. The frosting on these cupcakes just sweetens the deal and makes for one of my favorite candy inspired combos–chocolate and peanut butter! It’s creamy, sweet, lush, and gently spiced with nutmeg. Nutmeg may sound weird with peanut butter, but it’s really, really great here. There’s barely enough to notice but it gives these cupcakes depth and really add a little somethin’ extra.
So, let’s celebrate this spookiest of days with treats (and not tricks)! Huzzah!
Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes 12 cupcakes
I use a cocoa powder that is dutched (ie, processed so the acid is stripped) this type of cocoa powder results in a deep, almost black cake. My favorite brand of cocoa powder is Valrhona.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake papers.
In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large measuring cup mix together the canola oil, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla until the eggs are fully incorporated. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and fold until just combined. Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups, about 3/4 up each liner. Bake in the center of the oven about 25 minutes or until the tops spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
Peanut Butter Frosting
Adapted from Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes
Adding the peanut butter last is key here, if you add it with the cream cheese and butter no amount of mixing will bring it together into a smooth consistency.
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1-2 tablespoons cream
pinch of salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 lb. confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of the cream until combined completely. Add in the peanut butter and beat just until combined, beat in the remaining cream if needed to reach desired consistency. Spread or pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.
This is what treat-thirty looked like yesterday. SO GOOD.