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All American cupcakes

By Scott McEwan


  • 75g unsalted butter (cut into small pieces and warmed slightly)
  • 130g peanut butter (smooth is best, unless you want crunchy cakes)
  • 190g sugar (dark brown is best)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 120g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 60ml semi-skimmed milk
  • Ingredients for icing
  • 90g dark chocolate (around 70% cocoa solids)
  • 115g unsalted butter (cut into small pieces and warmed slightly)
  • Splash of semi-skimmed milk
  • Few drops of vanilla extract
  • 130g icing sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4
Cream (using whisk or electric whisk) the butter, peanut butter and sugar until well mixed, add the eggs on at a time, mixing after each, mix in the vanilla extract.
Mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add one third of the flour mix to the creamed mixture and beat well, and then add a third of the milk, repeat flour/milk steps until all of the flour and milk is added. Ensure it’s all well mixed.
Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases so each is about two thirds full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until raised and golden brown (try to avoid opening the oven door while they bake). Remove from the oven, leave to cool slightly and then transfer to a wire cooling rack (or clean grill pan) to cool entirely before decorating.
To prepare the icing melt the chocolate in the microwave (very slowly to avoid burning) or in a heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water.
Beat all of the other ingredients together in a bowl until smooth, then add the melted chocolate and continue to beat until it reaches a desirable icing consistency.

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