Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

strawberry pb cupcakes

Strudel I know I’ve discussed this on the blog before – fruity desserts aren’t my thing; mostly, I think of it as a missed opportunity to be eating chocolate, caramel, or peanut butter. I did experience some personal growth in the past few years when I developed a deep love of pies, but you still don’t find me ordering any fruit-related desserts when we’re out at a restaurant.

 

And then a few weeks ago, Brandon came home with a few cupcakes from one of those fancy-pants cupcake shops. One was all fruit flavored, so I rejected it outright – but he also picked out one just like what I’ve made here for the blog – peanut butter cake with a strawberry frosting. It was a gorgeous cupcake, for sure, but the cake itself – while tasty enough – didn’t taste much like peanut butter. And the frosting just wasn’t great – it had that artificial tang.

 

So! Enter a baking challenge. Plus, it does involve peanut butter so it’s not entirely off base for me. The cake recipe comes from Sara Moulton, who’s a reliably good baker and the cakes came out exactly how I wanted them to – rich in peanut butter but not dry. The frosting was the surprise hit – sweet and richly filled with strawberry flavor. A perfect cupcake for springtime!

 

 

These cupcakes came together really quickly, even with the time the strawberry puree needs to reduce on the stove. They were baked and frosted (and kitchen cleaned) in about an hour and a half, which I was pretty impressed by.

 

A few notes:

  • To puree the strawberries, I just used my immersion blender – it worked perfectly.
  • I took about 30 minutes to reduce the strawberry puree, and when I make it again, I’ll probably reduce it a bit more. The flavor was great, but the frosting was a little bit soft.
  • The frosting recipe makes enough to generously frost a dozen cupcakes.

 

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

recipe from Food Network

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

Beat together peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until blended, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, then mix until just combined.

Divide batter among lined muffin cups (about two-thirds full) and bake in middle of oven until pale golden and a tester inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Turn cupcakes out onto a rack and cool completely.

 

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

altered slightly, from All Recipes

1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
1 cup butter
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place strawberries in a blender; puree until smooth.

Transfer strawberry puree to a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring often, until puree is reduced by at least half, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Beat butter with an electric mixer in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add in 1 cup confectioners’ sugar into butter, and beat until just blended.

Mix in 2 tablespoons strawberry puree and the vanilla extract into butter mixture until just blended.
Repeat with 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, followed by 2 tablespoons strawberry puree two(wish) more times. Beat last 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar into mixture until just blended.

 

 

 

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