Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Icing and a Nutella Drizzle

Chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven. For a special birthday request I was asked to make chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes and was happy to oblige. I used one of my favorite chocolate cupcake recipes from Ina Garten and a modified version of her peanut butter icing. Just for a flavor and visual contrast on the icing I added a drizzle of Nutella, but that is totally optional. I like loads of peanut butter frosting, but if you want a thinner layer I recommend halving the frosting recipe.

For the cake
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 tsp instant espresso
1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt

For the icing
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tbs amaretto (optional)
Dash of milk if needed

For the drizzle
1/2 cup of Nutella
1/4 cup peanut butter
2-3 tbs canola oil

For the cake
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line cupcake tins with paper liners.
2. Whisk the buttermilk, sour cream, and instant espresso in a small bowl.
3. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
4. Cream the butter and sugars on high until extremely light and fluffy. On low speed add the eggs and vanilla. Scrape bowl.
5. Add the buttermilk and flour mixture in three parts, starting and ending with the buttermilk mixture. Do not over mix!
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out just barely clean. These will become dry in a heartbeat if you don’t watch them. Let cool completely then frost.

For the frosting
1. Combine all ingredients in a mixer and beat until completely smooth. If frosting is too dense, add milk until it reaches the desired consistency. Spread onto cupcakes with a knife.

For the drizzle
1. Combine Nutella and peanut butter. Only add enough oil until the mixture becomes smooth enough to pipe through a bag.

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