The Breukelen Life

The Breukelen Life

Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn

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Peanut Butter Cupcakes w/ Milk Chocolate Frosting

July 9, 2011 , ,

In the heat, turning on the oven is a process. I have to have the AC on high. Then I need the fan in the hallway leading up the kitchen. This too needs to be on high to get the cold air from the living room into the kitchen. The sun is on full blast on the kitchen window so the blinds need to be shut. The music needs to be on high so I can hear over the AC and the fan. Bedroom and bathroom doors have to be shut to conserve the cool air. The battery to the fire alarm must be out.

Then, I am ready to bake.

This morning, I woke up early. Unlike normal, I didn’t do much debating about my day. Life has been busy and there’s not too much time for dilly-dallying around. So I got right to work on some cupcakes for M’s party tonight.

Yesterday, I was toying with the idea of some sort of berry concoction which is probably how I ended up with a quart of gooseberries in my fridge. But then I started thinking about bringing a gooseberry dessert to a party and it filled me with tension. I felt like the word gooseberry would just launch a million questions and I for one am not the person to answer them. I still have no idea what the F a gooseberry is. I’ll work on that for Monday.

I digress… Instead, I went with peanut butter cupcakes with milk chocolate frosting. Yum!

The recipe is from the Essential New York Times cookbook, originally published in the Times in 2007. I halved the recipe and followed to a T except I used crunchy peanut butter instead of creamy. (AND, except I accidentally put baking soda in the sifter instead of baking powder. I got most of it out.) Anyways, it’s a perfect recipe. The cupcakes are moist, sweet, and most importantly, peanut buttery. The frosting, as noted in the book, is “so silky and good you’ll want to use it to frost other cakes.”

This is the original recipe, which makes 2-dozen cupcakes. I halved and made mini cupcakes. I got 4-dozen exactly. I only made a third of the icing and it was enough to ice all but 5 and I put a healthy dose on each treat.

For the cupcakes

3 cups of cake flour (If you don’t have cake flour, use all-purpose and sift 3-4 times. It will aerate the flour and make for a lighter cake.)
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ tsp salt
12 tbsp unsalted butter softened (1 ½ sticks)
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk (I used nonfat. All is fine)

For the frosting
3 cups confectioners sugar
pinch of salt
2/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
3 sticks ( ¾ lb) unsalted butter softened
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp whole milk


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper cups.
2. Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In a mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter and sugars on low speed to combine and then beat on high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
4. Mix in peanut butter, then beat in the eggs one at a time. On low speed, add the flour mixture and milk to the batter in 2 parts.


1. Sift confectioners’ sugar, salt, and cocoa powder.
2. In a mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter until smooth. On low speed, slowly add the cocoa mixture.
3. Add the vanilla, and then add the milk a little at a time, beating until the frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.
4. Frost the cooled cupcakes.
5. Decorate with chocolate flakes or sprinkles or in my case (peanut halves).


What do you think?

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These sound great! Peanut butter and chocolate is a perfect combo in my book.


July 10, 2011

I’m reading 2 great books at the moment and this was the best thing I read all weekend! I want these cupcakes! Your writing makes me hungry. Good choice leaving the gooseberries home. Don’t they gas gooseberries in Park Slope?


July 10, 2011

Thanks! And thank you for reading! They were delicious 🙂


July 11, 2011

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