PB&J Cupcakes That Can’t Help But Make You Smile

A cute little cupcake full of peanut-y goodness.

I’d gladly submit to homework, home-room, cramming for tests, and sweating over finals again if it meant getting to eat my fill of peanut butter and jelly like a kid back in school.

Especially if it meant PB&J in this scrumptious form.

Yes, creamy peanut butter, roasted peanuts, and a smear of sweet, fruity jam all together in one deliriously good cupcake.

“Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes with Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting” is from the new “Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes” book (Clarkson Potter) that’s packed with classic and modern takes on these palm-size, individual treats that nobody can resist.

The recipe recommends using natural peanut butter, but I used the huge, econo-size jar of  creamy Jiff from Costco that I already had at home, and the little cakes came out more than fine.

The batter, full of butter, sugar, sour cream, and peanut butter, bakes up with the hidden surprise of chopped, salty peanuts inside.

The recipe says to bake the cupcakes for 22 minutes, but with my gas-oven, they over-baked and turned dense like muffins. My second batch, which I pulled out three minutes earlier, turned out perfect — light and tender in texture. When it comes to cupcakes, do check on their doneness at least a few minutes before the time called for in the recipe. If you’re baking two pans at once, do rotate them halfway through the baking time, and don’t position your bottom rack too low or else your cupcake bottoms may brown more than you like.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, spread on a thick frosting made with more peanut butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and cream cheese. Then, place a tiny dollop of your favorite jam on top.

There you have it: PB&J in a delightful new way to make you feel like a kid all over again.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

(makes 22)

The creamy peanut butter frosting may be crowned with any jelly or jam. Strawberry is suggested, but grape or raspberry would also be delicious. For best flavor, use natural-style peanut butter in the cupcake batter.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/3 cups sugar

2/3 cup creamy peanut butter, preferably natural-style

3 large eggs, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature

3/4 cup coarsely chopped salted, roasted peanuts

Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting (recipe below)

1/2 cup strawberry jam or jelly

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Mix in peanut butter. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture; beat until just combined. Mix in sour cream and peanuts.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 19-22 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature in airtight containers.

To finish, use an offset spatula to spread frosting over each cupcake, leaving a small well in the middle. Dollop about 1 teaspoon jelly into each well. Frosted cupcakes can be refrigerated up to 1 day in airtight containers; bring to room temperature before serving.

Mmm, mmm good.

Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting

(makes about 3 cups)

6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup heavy cream

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until pale and fluffy. Add salt and peanut butter, and beat to combine. Beat in vanilla.

In another bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk cream until medium-stiff peaks form. Fold cream into peanut-butter mixture. Use immediately, or refrigerate, covered tightly, up to 2 days. Before using, bring to room temperature and stir with a flexible spatula until smooth.

From “Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes”

More Peanut Butter Goodness:
Peanut Butter Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chunks

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