Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter-Mascarpone Frosting

These are to die for…. the frosting is so light (as in fluffy, not as in low in calories….) and delicious I could just shovel that in by the spoonful by itself! The recipe for the moist cake is from Ina Garten (the superhero of decadent and delicious food!) and I did not change anything except to make the batter into cupcakes rather than layer cakes. The recipe made more than 30 cupcakes!

For the Cake:
1 3/4 cup flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup good cocoa powder (I like Valrhona)
2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs, room temp.
1 t vanilla
1 cup hot coffee

Preheat oven to 350ยบ and line muffin tins with paper. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. You can sift the cocoa powder if it is especially lumpy. In another bowl combine all the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the coffee. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix on low just until combined; add the coffee slowly and stir with a wooden spoon until mixed in. Fill the muffin cups half full (please obey this direction or you will regret it!). Bake for about 20 minutes.

For the Frosting:

2 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup creamy smooth natural peanut butter (I recommend Maranatha Organic No Stir- it’s not grainy)
3/4 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
Beat powdered sugar, chilled heavy cream and peanut butter in large bowl just until blended.  Add mascarpone and beat just until thickened (do not overbeat).
Frost the cupcakes and top with chopped salted peanuts.

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