Cupcake Craze Part 4: Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream

Since I was of legal working age, I have found myself holding a series of jobs in restaurants to pay my bills while I pursued other dreams of degrees and art-related jobs. While it is certainly not the most thrilling job one might hold, it offers certain oddities that keep life ever dramatic and interesting. There is absolutely nothing but a job in food service that will can provide a social environment that is at once sickly incestuous and dysfunctional while also filled with friendship, teamwork, and general camaraderie.

This final installment of the cupcake craze features a cupcake made for the ever dysfunctional rendezvous known as ‘a coworker’s birthday party.’ In the restaurant world, this means a message is sent out via employee messaging & everyone goes to the bar that is the closest to work. Some people get fancy and bring a change of clothes while others trudge over in their precariously stained shirts from the dinner rush. It is in this venue that work crushes are pursued, friendships sustained, and enemy lines erected. It’s quite frankly a zoo and best experienced in extreme moderation.

So anyways, our lady of the evening confessed she loved chocolate & peanut butter and thus:

IMG_1107Sorry again about the bad picture quality. I shall be giving myself more time to use my dSLR from now on.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream
yields 18 cakes

For the cake base, I steal Ina Garten’s recipe because it is moist & delicious. In fact,  it’s always a little amazing that it forms a cake due to all the liquid in the batter. I was more than a little worried the first time I made it.

Her recipe reads:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a large liquid measuring cup, combine oil, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk. Incorporate slowly into the dry ingredients. Once combined, slowly stir in the coffee. Pour batter into cupcake papers to just over 3/4 full. Bake in oven for 13-16 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Peanut Butter Buttercream
2 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. butter
1/3 c. crunchy organic peanut butter
1-2 T. milk

Combine in a mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until combined. Gradually add milk until the frosting reaches desired consistency.

IMG_1109

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