The peanut butter frosting on the other hand has heavy cream, which makes it incredibly creamy and THE PERFECT partner for any chocolate dessert, especially cupcakes. You can even slather this on fruit or toast…I mean, who said desserts aren’t good for breakfast too?!
~ 3/4 cup hot water
~ 3 cups all-purpose flour
~ 1 teaspoon baking soda
~ 1 teaspoon baking powder
~ 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
~ 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
~ 2 1/4 cups sugar
~ 4 large eggs, room temperature
~ 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
~ 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
For Peanut-Butter Filling and Frosting:
~ 1 cup creamy peanut butter
~ 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
~ 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.
- Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three- quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.
- To make the cream filling and frosting, cream the butter and marshmallow creme (fluff) using an electric mixer or hand mixer in a medium bowl until smooth. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the milk. Beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy about 3 – 4 minutes. Add a little more milk if consistency is too thick or a little more sugar if consistency is too soft and not holding up.
- Once you’ve achieved the desired consistency, transfer a portion of the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4 star tip. Make sure you leave enough for the frosting.
- Holding a cupcake in your hand, plunge the tip into the top of the cake, pushing it about 3/4 inch deep. Gently squeeze the pastry bag to fill the cupcake, withdrawing it slowly as you squeeze; you will feel the cupcake expand slightly as you fill it. Scrape any filling from the top of the cupcake and repeat until all of the cupcakes are filled.
- Once you’ve finished filling the cupcakes, add the food color of your choice to the remaining frosting until you attain the hue you’re looking for. Place the frosting in a pastry bag with the decorating tip of your choice and decorate away!
For Peanut butter filled Cupcakes:
- For the peanut butter filling, beat the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla 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.
- Spoon a portion of the peanut butter filling into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch star tip and repeat the same steps as you did with the cream-filled cupcakes to fill the centers. Scrape any filling from the top of the cupcake and repeat until all of the cupcakes are filled.
- Once you’ve filled all the cupcakes, take the remaining filling/frosting and refill the pastry bag. Use the decorating tip of your choice and decorate away!
- Note: If you don’t have a pastry bag with a fitted tip, you can fill these cupcakes by carving a hole in the center (from the top) with a sharp paring knife. Put the filling in a resealable plastic bag and snip off one of the corners. Pipe the filling directly into the hole.
Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.