Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Peanut Butter Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

I found this recipe right around Christmas and was just waiting for an excuse to make them.  When my neighbor invited us to her New Year's Eve party, I think it took me about 1 second to say "yes, and by the way, I'm bringing cupcakes".  Living in Japan, it is very rare, almost non-existent to find any type of treat with the peanut butter/chocolate combination. All of us out there that love reesee's have to import or improvise by making lots of peanut buttery/chocolate combinations at home- in fact, this Halloween, I gave out a few of my precious precious reesee's bars and a woman came back and was like "where did you buy that candy you gave my daughter?  I have been searching and searching."  Boy, did I feel awful when I had to let her down that it was in fact brought over in my carry-on.

When I search through new blogs, I always type in peanut butter to see what recipes they have.  This one about jumped out of the screen and grabbed me.  This recipe is from a food blog I have been reading lately called Smells Like Home.  If you don't want to do the extra step for the peanut butter dulce de leche filing, this frosting is the BEST peanut butter frosting I've ever made.  But, trust me, the whole thing together is a party in your mouth, and seriously don't make them unless you have a party to go to because your scale might read a bit higher than normal afterwards ;)

OVEN:  350'


3/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup (3 sticks) butter (unsalted)
2 1/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs
4 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream

Dulce de Leche filling:

1 cup Dulce de Leche (you can buy it or make it- I made mine by the oven method from this link)
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 - 1/3 cup heavy cream (depending on how thick you want the filling to be)- I used 1/4 cup

Peanut Butter Frosting:

1 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 cup peanut butter
8 TBSP (1 stick) unsalted butter room temperature
1 1/4 tsp vanilla
3/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup heavy cream

For the cake, prepare cupcake pans with paper liners.  I made 24 mini cupcakes and about 18 large ones.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.  In a separate small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and hot water, set aside.

In a medium sauce pan, combine sugar and butter, mix on medium heat until butter is melted.  Transfer this mixture to the bowl of your mixer with paddle attachment and mix about 4-5 minutes until it is cooled.    Add the eggs in one at a time, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Mix in vanilla and cocoa mixture and beat until combined.  Slowly add in the flour mixture, alternating with the sour cream until just combined.  Scrape down sides and mix one more time.  Then fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full of batter.  Bake in oven 20-22 minutes for large ones about 14-17 minutes for minis ( a cake tester inserted in the center should come out clean).  Let cool completely on wire rack before filling and frosting.

For the peanut butter Dulce de leche,  in a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, mix Dulce de leche, peanut butter, and 1/4 cup cream.   Whisk together until mixture is smooth, if it is too thick, add more cream in tiny amounts.  You want it to be thick enough to be the center of a cupcake and this will thicken as it cools.  I didn't add any extra cream.  Once the mixture is warm, remove from heat.

For the frosting, place confectioner's sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in bowl, cream together, use paddle if using kitchenaid.  Add the cream and beat on high until fluffy.

To assemble, it is best to use the cone method for filling the cupcakes.  This means cut the top off of each cupcake at an angle, so it's like you are removing a cone-shaped piece.  Once I removed the cone shaped piece, I cut a big part of the bottom triangle off and saved on a plate for later.

I put the Peanut butter Dulce de leche in my frosting bag and then squeezed a generous amount into the hole in the cupcake.

Then, I placed the top back on the cupcake.

Once all cupcakes were all filled, I frosted them.  I had some leftover Reesee's peanut butter cup trees from Christmas, so I cut them into small chunks and place one on top of each cupcake:
A cross-section:
They all got eaten:

I took the excess cake that I cut off when filling the cupcakes, crumbled it in my food processor, mixed it with the leftover peanut butter Dulce de leche, rolled it into balls, and put them on wax paper.  I put the balls in the freezer for about 15 minutes.  While they were in the freezer, I melted some semi-sweet chocolate in my double boiler.  I removed the balls from the freezer, dipped them in the chocolate, then set them back on the wax paper to harden.

These peanut butter Dulce de leche cake balls were delicious too!

I linked this up to a new blog I found Sweet as Sugar Cookies, she does a Sweets for Saturday post and there are a LOT of good looking things to bake over there.


  1. Wow, your cupcakes look so professional I'd think they came from some upscale bakery. They sound fantastically delicious and I just love how you decorated them. I have a linky party on my blog every Saturday called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by this weekend and link this up.

  2. those look really really yummy - i love pb and i love dulce de leche - sounds like winning combo!