I used to be a firm believer in boxed cake mix. It was easy, fail-proof, and quick. Plus, the cake always turned out quite well - never fabulous, but usually very good.
Well, I have found a recipe that I think challenges my firm belief in boxed cake mix. My sister sent it to me a few weeks ago, telling me that I absolutely had to make it. Never one to resist a new recipe, I decided to try it out for a staff BBQ we had planned. The recipe was for chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting, and they were delicious. Light & moist, without the generic boxed cake mix taste. They definitely require more time though, and the ingredient list is obviously 4x bigger than simply adding eggs and water to a mix. The peanut butter frosting was also a hit - although next time, I think i'd like to try a buttercream frosting instead for personal preference.
- 3 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (then take out ¼ C worth)
- 1 cup baking cocoa
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/3 cups sour cream (FULL FAT!!)
- 1 1/3 cups boiling water (add in one serving of instant coffee granules before stirring into the mix)
- In a mixing bowl, cream brown sugar and butter.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Blend in vanilla.
- Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add alternately with sour cream to creamed mixture. Mix on low just until combined. Stir in water until blended.
- Bake for about 15-18 minutes for cupcakes (350 C)
Icing (from my Barefoot Contessa Cookbook)
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter (not light, I used PC and it had a better peanut flavor than kraft)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light an