Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream, topped with a pretzel.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes- Chocolate cupcakes and peanut butter frosting, topped with a pretzel.  Easy, 45 minute recipe that's just as easy as a box mix! | Pixiedustkitchen

My grandparents gave me the Cooks Illustrated Baking Book for Christmas, and this is the first recipe I made from it- and it’s a winner. (Of course it is, it’s America’s Test Kitchen!) However, being me and a food blogger, I couldn’t just let the recipe be as is- I had to change it up a bit! The original recipe calls for the butter and sugars to be creamed together. Well, I’m a bit lazy and didn’t want to drag out the stand mixer, and I knew I would need to make the frosting as well, so no stand mixer it was. I melted the butter on the stove and stirred in the chocolate and sugar.

I then mixed together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and salt), mixed in the wet ingredients (sugar, butter, and cocoa alternated with a mixture of milk and vanilla), added eggs, and bam! 2 bowls and a measuring cup, 7 minutes, and we have a cupcake batter, which is baked for 20 minutes. It’s just as easy as a cake mix!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes- Chocolate cupcakes and peanut butter frosting, topped with a pretzel.  Easy, 45 minute recipe that's just as easy as a box mix! | Pixiedustkitchen

The buttercream is the same frosting used for my death by peanut butter cookies, and is just as easy to make! I wanted to make some chocolate covered pretzels for the cupcakes, but again… got lazy and didn’t want to walk to the store to get melting chocolate, so I just stuck on plain pretzels.  They’re just as good!

Taste breakdown: The cupcakes are soft, fluffy, and moist- no dense or dry cupcakes here!  The frosting is sweet, but not too sweet. The trick is to use salted butter, add a dash of salt, and to use just enough confectioners sugar to add body, but not too much to make the frosting too sweet.

The recipe is originally for a two layer chocolate cake, and will make around 17 cupcakes.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes- Chocolate cupcakes and peanut butter frosting, topped with a pretzel.  Easy, 45 minute recipe that's just as easy as a box mix! | Pixiedustkitchen

Make these for your NYE party, or blaze ahead into the new year enjoying cupcakes and sweets! (All in moderation, of course.)

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 17
 
Ingredients
  • CUPCAKES
  • 12 tablespoons (1 and ½ sticks) butter
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 and ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons coffee (brewed; I used leftover from my morning coffee. can be omitted if desired.)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 and ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • FROSTING:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 2 and ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • dash salt
  • TOPPING:
  • 17 pretzels
Instructions
  1. TO MAKE CUPCAKES: Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the sugar and cocoa powder until combined. Add coffee and remove from heat. (This is the butter mixture.)
  3. Measure milk into a liquid measuring cup and add vanilla extract. Set aside. (This is the milk mixture.)
  4. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add eggs one at a time into butter mixture.
  6. Add milk mixture and butter mixture to dry ingredients, alternating until all ingredients are combined. (Add ⅓ of butter mixture, ⅓ of milk mixture, ect. until all are combined.)
  7. Fill cupcake liners with batter until about ⅔ full. I used a ¼ measuring cup for each tin.
  8. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out with no batter. Let cool before topping with frosting.
  9. TO MAKE FROSTING:
  10. Beat butter in stand mixture with whisk attachment until smooth. Add peanut butter and mix until combined. Add powdered sugar a little at a time until all is combined. Mix in salt.
  11. Spread on cooled cupcakes and top with a pretzel.

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8 Comments on Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes

    • faith
      December 31, 2013 at 10:49 am (8 months ago)

      Thanks Beth!

      Reply
    • faith
      December 31, 2013 at 10:48 am (8 months ago)

      Thanks so much Kristi! Happy New Year to you too!

      Reply
    • faith
      January 6, 2014 at 11:27 pm (8 months ago)

      Thanks Shikha! Let me know how they are if you make them.

      Reply

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