Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Smooth, creamy peanut butter buttercream atop moist deep chocolate cupcakes. I recommend adorning them with a few homemade chocolate peanut butter cups! 

This may not be as decadent or as gourmet as some of my more recent posts. But sometimes you just need to get back to basics, and boy do I!!!  Today I held the taste test and administered the surverys for friday's second round of DC Cupcakes: What the locals think. Spoiler Alert: I had to spit out one of the cupcakes. Wretched. Worst. Cupcake. Ever. I'm not exaggerating. One of our tastetesters did the same. I loved his reaction "UGH! If the Donner party would have had these cupcakes, they still would have kept on eating each other!" Spot on. 

After a seriously long day, running around from Penn Quarter, Dupont, and Tenleytown in 90 degree weather and 72% humidity, the cupcakes and myself were certainly the worse for the wear. Normally after an incredibly long and exhausting day I turn to a cupcake. It was a new experience to practically despise cupcakes...which didn't last for long. I picked up a bulgolgi box and was ready to fall right back in love with chocolate cupcakes....just maybe with a better frosting. And you can't go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter. Simple? Yes, but after today, I'm good with a simple chocolate cupcake. 

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup dutch process cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line enough cupcake tins for 28 cupcakes.

In a large bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. In 2-cup liquid measuring cup, mix buttermilk and vanilla.

In a stand mixer beat sugar and butter until blended on a low speed then increase speed to high for a few minutes until light and creamy. Reduce speed to low; add eggs, 1 at a time while the mixer continues to run.

Add in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately. Beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Pour half the batter into a large pastry bag and pipe into lined cupcake tins. Repeat with the remaining batter.  Bake 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes.

Peanut Butter Buttercream Icing

1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
A pinch of salt
4 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup peanut butter

Whip in a stand mixer using a paddle attachment butter butter, vanilla, salt, and peanut butter till creamy then whip in powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add more sugar to taste.