Friday, December 12, 2014

Fluffernutter Cupcakes

Dave's birthday is this weekend, but since our little guy is on his way any day now, I threw him a party a couple of weeks ago just to be sure we'd get a chance to celebrate. And to make sure I got an opportunity to make his birthday cupcakes. I think choosing his cupcakes from my insanely huge board on Pinterest is one of his favorite things about his birthday. He didn't have to scroll far to find these fluffernutter cupcakes--a peanut butter cupcake with a surprise inside, topped with a marshmallow buttercream (yup, marshmallow and butter!). What's the surprise? A full sized Reese's cup nestled into the bottom of each cupcake. These taste amazing and if you've ever sat with a jar of peanut butter, a jar of fluff and a spoon, these are your cupcakes. I'm told that when Dave was a toddler, he couldn't wait for someone to make him a fluffernutter sandwich, so he just sat on the floor with the jars and a spoon and helped himself. Although apparently he was kind enough to share with the dog as well. But going back to these cupcakes--they are tender on the inside, perfectly flavored with peanut butter and the frosting is spot on. A lot of fun and full of flavor, I'm guessing Dave will be asking for these again.

Once Dave chose his flavor (which I'm sure was based on the fact that I would have to by Reese's cups, so there would probably be leftovers in addition to actually being in the cupcake), I popped over to Inside Bru Crew Life to get Jocelyn's recipe. Much to my delight, the whole delicious dessert starts with a prepackaged mix. Given that I'm all about short cuts in my last month of pregnancy, this worked out pretty well. I made two adjustments, both to the method of these cupcakes. First, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees F, but once I got the cupcakes in the oven, I dropped the temperature back to 325 degrees F. A trick I picked up a few years ago, the cupcakes may take a touch longer to bake through, but I get beautiful domes and cupcakes that are completely done and don't sink or have a sticky texture. Since I typically fail at regular cakes, I attribute my cupcake success to this little trick. And as for the frosting, well, I always beat the heck out of my frosting, but because the marshmallow is sticky I added the powdered sugar in stages, then beat it and scraped the bowl down to ensure everything was mixed through. The result was a beautiful, fluffy fluff-flavored buttercream that topped some pretty awesome cupcakes. Splurge a little--make these cupcakes for something special or for no reason at all. But I wouldn't recommend sharing with the dog.

Fluffernutter Cupcakes

Ingredients for the cupcakes

3/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
16.5 ounce box white cake mix
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
24 full sized Reese's cups

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large bowl with a hand held mixer, add water, vegetable oil and eggs and stir to combine.

Add cake mix and beat for about a minute on low speed, then increase to medium for another minute.

Add peanut butter and Greek yogurt and increase to medium-high speed and beat for another 2-3 minutes.

Line 24 cupcake wells with liners and place an unwrapped Reese's cup in the bottom of each liner.

Divide batter among cupcake wells, filling about 3/4 of the way. Note: I use an ice cream scoop to portion out the batter.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F and place cupcakes in the oven. Bake for 22-28 minutes or until tops are set and domed and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool in pans for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. While cupcakes cool, prepare frosting

Ingredients for frosting

1 cup butter, room temperature
7 ounces marshmallow cream
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
chocolate sprinkles and/or Reese's Pieces for decorating

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter until creamy, scraping sides of bowl. Add marshmallow cream and beat on high until combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed.

Gradually add half the powdered sugar, stirring on low until added and mostly incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat, increasing to high speed for about 2-3 minutes. Reduce speed to gradually stir in remaining powdered sugar until mostly incorporated. Scraped down sides of bowl again, then add vanilla and salt, increase speed to high and beat for 3-5 minutes until fluffy.

Transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with desired tip and pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles and/or Reese's Pieces. Note: If using sprinkles, pipe then decorate right away so the sprinkles stick before the frosting sets.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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