Did you know that cupcakes can be so good that they need protection? They can. These are. Let me tell you how they came to be.
After stumbling across Movita Beaucoup’s delightful blog, courtesy of More Stomach, I added her feed to my reader. Not long after that she had the nerve to post a recipe for one bowl yellow cake with lemon buttercream frosting. Now I do love me a one bowl recipe as evidenced by my sworn allegiance to Abby Dodge’s Emergency Chocolate Cupcakes, so I had to investigate the Beaucoup. Luckily, Easter presented an opportunity to give them a go and they instantly won me over.
The cake is pillowy soft with an enjoyable tang from the buttermilk. It makes a perfect canvas for whatever flavors you want to showcase. For Easter I threw the zest of one lemon into the cake batter and then made a strawberry lemonade frosting. They were a homerun.
Fast forward a few months and I was trying to find the perfect treat to make for my cousins who were visiting from Detroit. I threw out a few options in a conversation that went something like this:
Me: I can’t make a damn decision about what to bake for Cousins Birthday on Friday. Here’s the options….how about you pick: Apple Upside Down Cake; Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars; Caramel Apple Muffins; One Bowl Yellow Cake with Lemon Buttercream Frosting.
Jen: Looking at recipes…I’m leaning towards the yellow cake or the pb&j bars!
Me: What do you think about the yellow cake with a jelly filling and peanut butter buttercream frosting?
Jen: Ummm. Amazing. Omg. Pb frosting. You’re a genius!
Me: As Daddy Pig tells Peppa, I am a bit of an expert ; )
So it was that I set about turning the easiest yellow cake into an homage to the classic pb&j sandwich. I kept strictly to the cake recipe….no tweaks, no additions, no deviations. Once the cupcakes had cooled, I used my favorite unitasker to make a hole in the middle for the jelly to hide…and those little cupcake cores may or may not have become a perfect little snack as I filled and frosted. Next came the jelly and a generous dollop of peanut butter frosting. All that was left to do was keep them safe until after dinner and shove them in our faces.
Hence, the ninja.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes
BAH Note: I had to make a second batch of cupcakes because I overfilled the tin on my first batch which caused me to overbake the cupcakes and completely mangle the goods trying to get them out of the pan. Learn from my mistake and don’t fill your pan any more than half full. I ended up using about two tablespoons of batter per cupcake in the second batch and it was spot on.
I lost track of exactly how many cupcakes I got but this recipe will make approximately 12, or a single 8 inch round cake. If you have a little batter leftover after filling your pan, drop cupcake paper into glass jars or custard cups and make a few extras for snacking…nobody has to know.
For the cupcakes:
- 1 1/4 cup cake flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons room temperature butter
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
Line a cupcake tin and heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the workbowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle beater and mix on low for about one minute.
Add the butter and mix on low for about two minutes until the mixture resembles sand and no large bits of butter remain.
Add the buttermilk and vanilla and mix for about two minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl occasionally. Add the egg and mix until combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and give the batter a final mix to ensure no pockets of flour remain.
Fill each cup with approximately 2 tablespoons batter and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes then remove the cupcakes from the pan to cool completely.
Remove a small core from each cupcake and fill the hole with your choice of jam, jelly, or preserve before topping with frosting.
For the frosting:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 5 tablespoons room temperature butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
Place the powdered 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 sides of the bowl as needed. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.