I think one of life's best combinations HAS to be chocolate and peanut butter; even for a non-chocoholic like me, I still like the flavor combo.
I also LOVE cupcakes. I think they are so much more fun to make than full size cakes. I can be more creative with a cupcake and they are more personal that a huge cake made for everyone.
I actually can't believe I've never made these before. They were so easy to make that I'm surprised more people don't make cupcakes at home on a regular basis.
Here's what you need:
1 Devils food cake mix
1 3.4 oz. box instant chocolate pudding
1 cup milk, I use whole milk when baking, at room temperature
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp. espresso powder (makes the chocolate taste better)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, I use Skippy
6 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup whipping cream, half & half would work too
Preheat oven to 325 degrees for dark colored pans or 350 for light silver ones. Line a 12 cup cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl place all the ingredients for the cake and mix well until smooth. This batter will seem a little thick because of the pudding addition.
Fill each cupcake liner 3/ 4 full of batter and bake for 18 - 20 minutes.
Cool in pan a minute then remove to cooling rack or paper towels. When completely cooled make the frosting.
In a medium bowl beat the butter and peanut butter until creamy and smooth.
Add the powder sugar, vanilla and enough cream to get the right frosting consistency you would like. You can add more powder sugar to stiffen the frosting and more cream to thin the frosting.
Fit a disposable piping bag with the tip of your choice. I like the large star tip. Fill the bag with the frosting and with a twist hold the bag closed.
Frost the cupcakes by holding the piping bag with one hand and squeezing with the other.
You can move the bag up and down while piping (pressing back into the frosting already on the cupcake) to get the layered look or you can pipe the frosting in a circle.
I added chocolate Jimmy's to the frosting and it gave them the extra Umph they needed to not look so plain.
Here's the handy printable - Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream