Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting

My mom gave me the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book in 1999, just a few months before Mike and I got married.  It’s the most useful cookbook I own, complete with fun tips about ingredient substitutions, how to enhance cake batter, and the benefits of baking with butter versus margarine.

This peanut butter cupcake recipe came from the “All Time Favorites” section of the BHG New Cook Book and was originally published in 1953.  It pairs very well with my favorite fudge frosting, which has been featured previously on this blog, but these could easily be frosted with peanut butter or dusted with powdered sugar.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat peanut butter, shortening, and vanilla on medium speed until combined.

Add brown sugar and beat until fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl several times.

Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined.

Add flour mixture and milk alternatively, beating until combined.  The batter will be thick and fluffy.

Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling halfway full.

Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting.

 

 

 

 

Fudge Frosting

Every time I visit Annapolis, Maryland, I have to stop at Uncle Bob’s Fudge Kitchen.  Uncle Bob’s is a classic tourist shop, crammed to the rafters with magnets, key chains, mugs, Naval Academy t-shirts, Chesapeake Bay cookbooks, and “don’t bother me, I’m crabby” paraphernalia.  In the front are large windows, where trays of fudge, candy, and caramel apples the size of softballs issue their siren’s call to all who pass.

Uncle Bob’s peanut butter fudge is my true favorite, but their chocolate fudge is excellent as well – not too sweet, with a creamy texture.  This frosting reminds me a bit of that fudge; I first used it on a devil’s food cake about eleven years ago.  Mike took the cake to his office, and his colleagues proclaimed it worthy of the blue ribbon at the county fair.  To this day, that statement is among the highest praise I’ve ever received.

The recipe below yields enough to frost two 8-inch layers or one 9×13 sheet cake.

Ingredients

  • 4 ¾ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation

Combine powdered sugar and cocoa powder.

Add butter, boiling water, and vanilla.

Beat on low speed until ingredients are just combined, then increase speed to medium and beat for 1 minute.

Almond Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting

I love opposite flavors in baking; if I have a chocolate cupcake, I want vanilla frosting, and if I have a vanilla, yellow, or almond cupcake, I want chocolate frosting.  This cupcake has a very rich almond flavor, but if you prefer something milder, omit the bitter almond oil and just use ½ teaspoon of almond and vanilla extracts each.  The fudge frosting has been adapted in measurement to frost 24 cupcakes; look for the full recipe in another post!

Almond Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon bitter almond oil
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 1/3 cups sour milk (see how to make this below!)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line two muffin tins with paper liners.

Make sour milk; place1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice in a glass measuring cup and add enough milk to equal 1 1/3 cups of liquid total.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.

Beat shortening in a mixing bowl for 30 seconds.

Add sugar and flavorings, beating until combined.

Add flour and sour milk, alternatively, until just combined.

Fill liners halfway and bake for 21-23 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting

Fudge Frosting

Ingredients

  • 2 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1/6 cup boiling water (just under 2 oz. in a glass measuring cup)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation

Combine powdered sugar and cocoa powder.

Add butter, boiling water, and vanilla.

Beat on low speed until ingredients are just combined, then increase speed to medium and beat for 1 minute.