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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Peanut butter and jelly cupcakes

I had wanted to make a peanut butter and jelly cupcake for a while.  How I was going to execute it was the hard part.  Peanut butter cupcake with strawberry icing?  Strawberry cupcake with peanut butter icing?  Peanut butter cupcake filled with jelly and topped with peanut butter icing?  But then I came up with my Fluffernutter Cupcake (even I was pretty impressed with the end result!)....and as I was filling them with fluff I thought to myself "what if I used jam?  I bet those would make a pretty tasty peanut butter and jelly cupcake!"  And thus the execution of the peanut butter and jelly cupcake was perfected, and I had created another keeper!

Now I know that there's a debate out there about what kind of jelly should be used in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Let me tell you now - I love strawberry jelly and will not touch grape jelly at all.  Yes, if you are a grape jelly-lover, we can still be friends.  Just don't ever make me a PB&J sandwich.  I'm kidding....sorta.  But feel free to substitute whatever flavor jelly you prefer into your cupcakes (and, if it's other than strawberry, let me know how they turned out!).

The only thing that would make these cupcakes cuter would be a drizzle of strawberry jelly on top (I thought if that after the fact...).  I guess that's reason enough to make them again soon :)

Peanut Butter and Jelly (PB&J) Cupcakes
Cupcake idea by yours truly, each component listed with it's source

Yellow Cake Cupcakes
From SmittenKitchen (and featured on the blog herehere, and here -- to name a few)


4 cups plus 2 Tbsp cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, well-shaken

Jelly (flavor of your choice), for filling cupcakes [* if you are using grape or another flavor that does not have pieces of real fruit in it, skip the straining step below]


Preheat oven to 350F.
Line a cupcake tin with liners.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy.
Beat in vanilla.
Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. 
At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled).
Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.

Fill the baking cups about 2/3 of the way full.
Bang the pan against the counter a few time to let out air bubbles.
Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 15 minutes.

Cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and allow to cool completely.

* Prepare the jelly
While cupcakes are cooling, warm up your jam in a saucepan for a few minutes over low heat to loosen it.  
Strain into a bowl.
Allow it to cool before filling cupcakes.

Peanut Butter Buttercream
From Robicelli's, found here


3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream


Cream together butter, peanut butter, and salt with a mixer set to high until light and fluffy.

Add powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating well between each addition.
Add heavy cream.

Once combined, taste for flavor.  I have never not added more peanut butter - I start with heaping Tablespoons until I find the desired peanut butteriness that I want.

Continue to beat on high for an additional minute to incorporate air.


Once completely cooled, cut a small crater in the center of each cupcake with a small paring knife or very carefully with a melon baller (these cupcakes are very fragile).
Pipe some jelly (about 1-1.5 teaspoons) into the newly cut hole in the center.  
Allow the jelly to settle for a few seconds - you may need to refill it a little as it settles a little.

Using the piping tip of your choice (I used star for some and round for others), pipe icing onto filled cupcakes. 

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