When Nicole, the bride, told me they had made most of the wedding desserts themselves, I stopped dead in my tracks. She met my eye and nodded grimly. “Yup.” They’d also made all the decorations and the dance floor, all insanely impressive, but still- I’d never heard of a bride making her own wedding cake before (and on the morning of the wedding no less). When she mentioned writing about them for SKS, I promptly handed her the pen.
These Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes are so good. I got teary three times that day- the first was during the ceremony, the second was during the bride and groom’s first dance and the third was while eating this cupcake. Annie refers to the peanut butter filling as more of a buckeye treat but instead of being coated in chocolate, it’s coated in chocolate cupcake. Someone should give Annie a MacArthur Grant.
Take it away, Nicole.
We knew adding another item to the wedding day “to-do” list was a bad idea. But having bad dessert at our wedding was just not acceptable.
There are a lot of good things about getting married in the middle of nowhere: food is cheaper, DJs are cheaper, it’s easy to find great props, it’s an intimate setting, and so on. The bad thing about getting married in the middle of nowhere is that your options for caterers, DJs, photographers, bakers, etc are limited. After talking to the only bakery in town about making our wedding cupcakes, we thought we were getting a sweet deal at 50 cents a cupcake until we had my mom do a taste test (since we were in Chicago and the cupcakes were in Pennsylvania). The report was not good, and the photos were not pretty either; droopy, swirled purple icing after we had told them we wanted nice high dollops of white icing.
We had no choice but to add baking cupcakes to the wedding day list.
Up until the wedding day, I had imagined that on that day, the running around and getting things in order would end sometime in the morning so that we would have at least an hour to sit down, relax and take it all in that we’d be getting married later that afternoon.
No. Our ceremony started at 3:30 and at 2:00 I was still running around in sweatpants, wrapping up the bouquets, putting place settings and flowers on the tables, and making a huge mess in the kitchen icing cupcakes. It was a crazy morning and not everything on our to-do lists was finished, but the cupcakes turned out great and the things that mattered got done. And since the morning (and weeks before) were so incredibly busy, when the ceremony finally happened it was such an emotional moment. Until that moment, I didn’t really have a chance to think about it all and when I walked through those doors, the countless hours of work and all the to-do lists from the past year were suddenly every bit worth it.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
For the Cake:
1 Box of Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
For the Filling:
1 Cup of confectioners’ sugar
¾ Cup of creamy peanut butter
4 TBSP of unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ Teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
8 Oz. of cream cheese, at room temperature
4 TBSP of unsalted butter, softened
½ Cup of creamy peanut butter
3 and ¼ Cups of confectioners’ sugar
1 Cup of frozen whipped topping, thawed
1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or non-stick pans). Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. Make the peanut butter filling first: combine the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla extract in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls (at least 18) and set aside on a baking sheet.
3. Next, the cake: prepare the cake batter as directed on the box.
4. Fill the cupcakes: spoon a tablespoon or two of chocolate batter into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Place a ball of the peanut butter filling in each cupcake well and top with the remaining batter so that all the cups are filled.
5. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine cream cheese, butter and peanut butter until smooth. Slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth and well blended. Mix in the whipped topping until smooth and fluffy.
7. Frost your cooled chocolate peanut butter cupcakes as desired.
8. Then, put on a white dress and get married.