Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

A few weeks ago, our office admin had her birthday, and I was feeling in the mood to bake! So, knowing she had a weakness for peanut butter cups I decided the best way to celebrate was to bring her a ginormous peanut butter cup in cupcake form! I adapted my chocolate cupcake recipe from Hershey’s and then dropped Reese’s peanut butter cups into them. I got the peanut putter recipe from something I came across on pinterest and when the two were married together, it was a harmonious celebration of deliciousness in my mouth! Also, I was shocked to find that the recipe for the cupcakes called for a cup of boiling hot water to be stirred into the batter right before pouring it out into the cups. I thought this was so weird, but it made the cupcakes light and airy, and fluffy! I have to admit I think thats the secret to perfect cupcakes so I will be trying it from now on! I guess it gives some extra moisture to evaporate out during the cooking process. which helps to keep the cupcakes from getting dry, crumbly, or dense. But, enough chatting, lets get to baking!


Chocolate Cupcakes 
2 cups Sugar
1 ¾ cups All Purpose Flour
¾ cup Cocoa Powder
1 ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
1 ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
2 Eggs
1 cup Milk
½ cup Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup Boiling Water

Peanut Butter Buttercream
2 cups (4 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature
4 cups Confectioners Sugar
1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
Pinch Salt
2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
Start by preheating the oven the 350 degrees F.  Line 2 cupcake pans with baking liners.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.


In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, milk, olive oil, and vanilla.  With the mixer running on low, gradually add the dry ingredients until fully incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the boiling water; mix until the batter is smooth.  The batter is supposed to be thin. IMG_3287

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, once they are all poured, drop one Reese’s peanut butter cup into each cupcake.  Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into a couple cupcakes comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.  Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for a couple minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the buttercream.  Cream the butter in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the confectioners sugar and mix (gradually increasing in speed) until the sugar is fully incorporated, about 5 minutes.  You may need to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times.Add the peanut butter, salt, and vanilla and whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Once the buttercream is creamy and airy, it’s done.
To frost the cupcakes, place the buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a large, open-star tip.  Pipe in a circular motion, starting at end up and working up.  Top the cupcakes with chocolate shavings, if desired.IMG_3300