Monday, June 22, 2009

Chocolate Fluffernutter Cupcakes

Hellooooo blog-followers! I have been super busy lately. But...I return with a bang! Let me tell you, I believe Chocolate Fluffernutter Cupcakes could be my most awesome-est cupcakes yet!

It all started with a potluck dinner last week hosted by amazing friends and cupcake tasters, Cindy and Chris. Marcia, Cindy's sister, organized this event for several friends in the NY area. When the invite was sent out, it appeared that my name was already conveniently marked under the Dessert category. Thus, I started to brainstorm about brownies, cupcakes, some sort of candy bar thing, etc. When the next reminder was sent out, I then saw that my name was marked next to "Cupcakes". Well, that took care of the "What kind of dessert do I bring?" question. I quickly accepted my fate and tried to determine the theme of the cupcakes. Nutella is always a winner in my book, so I asked Marcia if she was also a fan. The response: "Not really. I'm not really into 'nutty' things other than peanut butter. How about something PB or marshmallows?"

OK. The window of creativity is getting narrower and narrower. But I persevere...I began searching for peanut butter and marshmallow cupcake recipes. Eventually, I made it to the BakeSpace website. There, I hit the jackpot. I found both Peanut Butter Frosting and Marshmallow Frosting recipes. Talk about a one-stop shop! Since I know that Marcia also likes chocolate, the total package finally came together: Chocolate Fluffernutter Cupcakes.

While thinking about a chocolate cupcake recipe, I remembered that my sister makes a pretty good chocolate cake using the recipe on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa box. I decided that this recipe would be perfect. After the last cupcake disaster, I kind of wanted to play it safe on this one. I actually followed this recipe to the letter! I know. Shocking!

(Makes ~30 cupcakes)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
1) Heat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups.

2) Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.

3) Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.

4) Beat on medium speed of mixer for 2 minutes.

5) Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).

6) Pour batter into cupcake liners. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter.

7) Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost with Peanut Butter Frosting and Marshmallow Frosting (recipes below).

Peanut Butter Frosting
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
1) In large bowl of a mixer, cream the powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

2) Add whipping cream. (Note: This is listed as optional in the BakeSpace recipe, but I found that I really needed it to make the frosting spreadable.)

Marshmallow Frosting
  • 1/2 lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 jar Marshmallow Fluff (about 2 cups)
1) In large bowl of a mixer, cream the butter until soft.

2) Add powdered sugar and vanilla and whip until smooth.

3) Add marshmallow fluff and continue to mix until the frosting is fluffy, about 1 minute.

Chocolate Fluffernutter Cupcake Assembly:

1) On top of a cooled chocolate cupcake, pipe a thin layer of Peanut Butter Frosting.

2) Pipe Marshmallow Frosting on top of the Peanut Butter Frosting.

3) Top with crumbled roca. (This step is optional. I used Mocha Rocha and Cashew Roca from Starbucks because I had some lying around.)

My roommate Kimmy and I tried the final cupcakes first. Kimmy was a fan, which I thought was especially impressive because she doesn't really like the peanut butter/marshmallow combination. I enjoy the fluffernutter flavors, so the cupcake worked exceedingly well for me. The chocolate cake was pretty light and sweet and it had a very nice, even consistency. The saltiness of the Peanut Butter Frosting was nicely paired with the sweet of the Marshmallow Frosting. (Did I mention my obsession with just about any salty/sweet combination?) I ended up piping about twice as much Marshmallow Frosting on the cupcakes as Peanut Butter Frosting. However, since marshmallow is mostly air, the final flavors were balanced really well. I also enjoyed the roca, which provided a sporadic, yet satisfying, crunch throughout the cupcake-eating process.

I took some of the Chocolate Fluffernutter cupcakes to the pot luck dinner and everyone seemed to really enjoy it! They were even compared to Magnolia and Buttercup cupcakes! (Yes, I was really happy to hear this! My ego needed a boost...please refer to previous cupcake blog post to determine why.)

After this success, I figured I could take a chance and bring these cupcakes to my client site. Since I hadn't injured anybody at the potluck with my baking, and these cupcakes seemed to be kind of stellar, I figured I could take the chance. The cupcakes fared really well at the client site too! Maybe this can be factored into my annual review somehow. I will mark this as a massive win for these cuppies.

Take THAT, Iron Cupcake: Summer Berries. Who needs summer berries to have a great cupcake? Now that my project is no longer in high gear, I think it's time to begin the brainstorming sessions for next week's cupcakes. Hopefully they will have at least half the success that these cupcakes had!