Monday, February 6, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

I consumed quite a few cupcakes over the weekend, and these Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes are the reason why.  On Saturday, Rachel and I went to a "cupcakes and cocktails"-themed party, to which we brought version one of these cupcakes.  They were good enough, but we decided we should alter the frosting recipe next time.  "Next time" turned out to be the next day--we brought version two of these cupcakes to a Super Bowl party on Sunday.  (Don't worry, we also brought guacamole!)  

Cupcake topped with crushed peanuts.
Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 1 cup soymilk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp soy milk
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 12-cup muffin pan with muffin cups. 

Next, prepare the cupcake batter.  Whisk together the soymilk and vinegar in a large bowl for 30 seconds and set aside for a few minutes to allow the milk to curdle.  Then add the sugar, oil, and vanilla to the bowl and whisk until foamy (about 1-2 minutes).  In a separate bowl, combine the remaining cake ingredients and mix well.  Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture in two batches, stirring well between batches.  Mix until no large lumps remain.  Pour the batter into the cups, filling the cups evenly about 3/4 of the way up (I use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to measure out the batter into each cup).  Bake the cupcakes for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Allow the cupcakes to cool  completely before frosting. 

To prepare the frosting, add all of the ingredients to a medium bowl and beat using an electric mixer for 3 or 4 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add more soymilk, if needed, to achieve the desired consistency.
Pipe or spread the frosting onto the cool cupcakes, garnish with crushed peanuts (optional) and enjoy!  Yields 12 cupcakes. 



These cupcakes do justice to the wonder that is the chocolate-peanut butter flavor combination.  The cake and frosting go really well together, creating a moist yet light cupcake.   
If you bake, you probably have most of these ingredients; if not, they're easy to find.  While I usually use natural peanut butter, I've found that it can be a bit too grainy for good frosting; so, I recommend a truly smooth and creamy peanut butter for this recipe.
Ease of Preparation:   
This is a pretty standard cupcake recipe.  One caveat: measure carefully when adding the soymilk to the frosting.  Too much soymilk will result in a liquidy frosting.       
Non-vegan friendliness:   
Everyone at the party enjoyed these cupcakes, even though I was the only vegan in attendance.  I made sure to tell everyone that the cupcakes were vegan only after they had tasted them :)     

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