Bakery, Cakes & Cupcakes, Desserts

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Icing

4 Comments 19 April 2013

I’m afraid this recipe experiment has caused a new craze within me. I now have a dubious urge to frost cupcakes with those little decorative tip thingies that come in various shapes and sizes, with a pastry bag full of yummy, sugary, buttery frosting. I want them to be pretty and swirly and just a delight to look at before they’re sacrificed to some appreciative person’s tummy. No, this recipe didn’t specifically instruct us to do these things, but I’m blaming it nonetheless.

So thanks, Ina Garten. Look what you made me do now.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting-1

When there are no initial ingredient shots in our posts, you know then and there that there are a lot of ingredients in the recipe. We just couldn’t fit them all onto our small photo table. It’s like…a LOT. But it’s a lot of FUN, this recipe. Cake from scratch! Frosting from scratch! Bells ringing! Cats singing!

OK, no cats singing here, got carried away. Above is the initial happenings with the cake batter. Let’s proceed.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting-2

Eventually, your cake batter will end up like this. It’s chocolatey. It’s fluffy. It’s so very eat-able at this stage. Soooo easy to dip in a spoon and sample. Must…sample. *snap* Whoops.

This is a double batch, by the way. When Sis Blogging Partner got to my house that morning I asked her if she was ready. And she was like, Ready for what? And I was all like, Ready to DOUBLE the recipe. You remember what happens when we double recipes, right? Sis: blank look. And I said something like, Kitchen chaos!

It’s true, we usually get weird goofy things happening when we double recipes, but this time things went really well. And yes, you can, just barely, fit a double recipe of this cake batter in a 4.5-quart Kitchen Aid stand mixer bowl. What. A. Relief. At times it was a very doubtful.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting-3

Have one of these handy tools? The things are genius for filing your cupcake liners. We put in just enough to slightly overfill the liners.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting-4

And behold! Fantabulous little cupcakes are born!


And now – cupcakes, we must frost you! I looked up a few ways to frost cupcakes prior to this, but there are just so many ways to frost the things. If you are sans decorative frosting tips and pastry bags as we were, you could always cut off a corner of a heavy duty gallon food storage bag and use that. IT’s not the most perfect setup, but it works well enough for first timers like us.

We just started like so, above.


Come inward slightly as you keep rounding upward. Your supposed to release the pressure on the frosting bag before lifting up and away from the frosting. Congrats, you just piped some frosting onto a cupcake. You want to do more too now, dontcha? Right? Like me? We must frost!

Ahem. Alrighty then.

Just a word to the frosting wise, though, there’s really not enough frosting in the recipe to pipe for every cupcake. We just did a few to try it out. And get sufficiently hooked on piping frosting. If you want to pipe frosting on all of them you might need to triple the frosting. No joke. We doubled ours. There wouldn’t have been enough to pipe all the cupcakes.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

These cupcakes are still phenomenal several days after we made them. The cake wasn’t dry and the chocolate flavor wasn’t overpowering. It’s the perfect amount, actually, for the silky consistency of the peanut butter frosting. Prepare for these little beauts by having milk handy. You’ll need it!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Icing

from Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten via Food Network

Prep Time: 20 minutes    Cook Time: 20-25 minutes    Level: Easy    Makes: 14-15 cupcakes

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup good cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Kathleen’s Peanut Butter Icing, recipe follows
  • Chopped salted peanuts, to decorate, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it’s completely blended.

Divide the batter among the cupcake pans (1 rounded standard ice cream scoop per cup is the right amount). Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frost each cupcake with Peanut Butter Icing and sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired.

Kathleen’s Peanut Butter Icing:

  • 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

Place 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 you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.


Our cupcakes baked up perfectly at 22 minutes per batch in the oven, but always remember to keep a close eye on yours since oven temps can vary a lot in how they cook.

The frosting is on the looser side, but we still managed to pipe it, so it’s manageable. If you’re just going to spread it on, we used about three to four tablespoons or so of frosting per cupcake for that method. We started out with about two to three but went back and added more when we saw we’d have enough frosting to do so.

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- who has written 347 posts on Full Fork Ahead.

Wife, mom, indulgent reader and Day Job Do-er, who occasionally likes to think she can cook. Sometimes she's right, sometimes she's wrong.

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4 Comments so far

  1. hi! I love peanut butter. for me chocolate and peanut butter is always a good combination.

  2. lama says:

    hey, what is the size of the icecream scooper& where can i get the lovely cupcke liner thatyou used. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • KMont says:

      It’s been so long since I bought it that I can’t remember the size of the scooper, but I believe it’s about two inches wide. They come in all kinds of handy sizes that it can be a bit overwhelming deciding which ones to get. That seems to be a good, standard size for many things, though.

      As for the cupcake liners, they’re a brand called Meri (also called Meri Meri sometimes depending where you see them). They make the biggest variety of pretty and adorable liner designs that I’ve found so far. They can be a little expensive online. I found ours at a local TJ Maxx store for $2.99 per 48-liner packs. The thing about them, though, is they are not greaseproof paper. The design will not be bright and like you see it before baking in them. So you’ll need to consider that if you’re wanting them to be pretty after baking. We dropped ours into unbaked liners for pictures. You could also possibly get cheaper foil or plain paper liners to bake in, then use the Meri liners to drop them in afterwards.

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