When I was around 10, my cousins came to visit for a while, and one of them was the pickiest eater EVER; the only thing he ate was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were all Pb&J. I’m sure that if these peanut butter and jelly cupcakes existed back then, he would probably have decided he no longer liked sandwiches and would only eat Pb&J in cupcake form. I don’t blame him (in this hypothetical situation, of course).
I ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when I was vegetarian, and even though I now prefer turkey and cheddar cheese, I still have a soft spot for good’ Pb&J. It’s comforting, like a family group hug or a dog’s nuzzle on your hand, or a warm blanket and 500 pillows in a writing “nest” which is actually the couch (am I the only one who does this?).
Imagine your favorite way to eat Pb&J — toasted, crust, no crust, french toasted; then add lots of sugar. That’s these peanut butter and jelly cupcakes, and I’m not afraid to say it. Soft and savory from the peanut butter, they get an added flavor boost from raspberry (or any other berry) jam. You can use all-natural peanut butter (I do) or regular, but if you use regular just reduce the sugar slightly, maybe by a few tablespoons.
When you’re making the buttercream icing, try this little trick to get a perfect consistency. The thickness and moisture level of buttercream depends on a few things: the amount of butter, the amount of icing sugar, and the amount of time spent whipping. This will vary depending on where you live and the climate, too. The trick to getting the best consistency is to add the icing sugar one cup at a time and testing the batch with a spatula after mixing it. If you scoop up some icing and have to bang the side of the bowl with the spatula to get the icing to fall off, you’ve reached the perfect consistency! If it flops right off, add some more icing sugar and continue mixing.
The recipe makes a baker’s dozen, so you won’t be overflowing with cupcakes but you will be able to take seconds or thirds, and maybe share, too. Maybe. Enjoy
Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes
Prep time: 35 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 55 mins
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup peanut butter*
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 4 cups icing sugar**
- 1/4 cup jam
- Preheat the oven to 350 F, and line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the brown sugar, butter, and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla and mix until combined. The batter might look slightly curdled, that’s okay!
- In a separate, smaller bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Pour this into the wet batter, and stir to just combine. Spoon the batter into the paper liners and fill 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top of the cupcake springs back to a touch.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. Add the butter, icing sugar, and jam to a large mixing bowl and mix until fluffy and slightly stiff. You’ll know you’ve reached the right consistency by scooping some frosting onto a spatula. If you have the bang the side of the bowl to get the frosting off, it’s a perfect consistency. If it falls off right away, add more icing sugar as needed.
- Using a pastry bag or a Ziploc bag and an icing tip, frost the cupcakes. Optional: zap some jam in the microwave for a few seconds and drizzle it over the frosting.
*This recipe uses all-natural peanut butter, so reduce the sugar slightly for regular peanut butter[br]**more or less as needed, see recipe line 4