These chocolate salted peanut cupcakes are the perfect balance of sweet and salty. An elevated chocolate cupcake, with a rich peanut butter frosting that is dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with salt making this one of the most perfect cupcakes ever.
Cupcakes are one of the most versatile desserts out there. Baby shower? Cupcakes. Wedding? Cupcakes. Chill saturday in pajamas? Cupcakes. Whatever you are doing, cupcakes need to be involved.
The Cupcake Base:
Let’s talk the cake base. This cake is moist, tender, and the perfect amount of chocolate. While you don’t want a cake to be too rich, you don’t want a chocolate cake to be lacking flavor either.
A few of the ingredients in this chocolate cake base help the chocolate flavor become more rounded and pronounced. Pure vanilla extract helps enhance the chocolate flavor of cocoa powder making it more rich and takes off some of the bitterness without actually adding any sugar. The coffee makes sure that the cake has more of a dark chocolate flavor. (I promise you won’t be able to taste it, but you would definately miss it if it wasn’t there.)
Another nice thing about this cake batter is that you only need one bowl. Hooray!
This frosting is slightly confusing because I don’t know what box to put it in. It’s not a cream cheese frosting, not a buttercream, not a custard based frosting, and it’s not a ganache. While this frosting is completely delicious, I don’t know what frosting category it falls into.
This frosting uses Hells Kitchen Peanut Butter which is actually pretty popular in the minnesota area. Hailing from the downtown Minneapolis restaurant Hell’s Kitchen, this peanut butter is sweet, salty, creamy, and chunky all at the same time. While you can buy it, it is not that hard to make at home, and is definately worth the extra work.
If you want to substitute something else for the Hell’s Kitchen Peanut Butter I would recommend using a natural peanutbutter and adding 1/4 tsp of salt to the frosting. Although it won’t be a perfect substitute, it still should work well.
When you make this frosting, it’s important that the you whip the cream to soft peaks. The frosting will have more ingredients added so you don’t want to over mix it.
The Chocolate Coating:
It isn’t that hard to dip the finished cupcakes in chocolate. There are just two things that you have to do to make it as easy as pie. One of them is freezing the cupcakes before you dip them in the chocolate. If the cupcakes are not frozen, the frosting will melt and fall off when you dip the cupcakes. ( I learned this the hard way the last time I tried to dip cupcakes.) The cupcakes will only take an hour to an hour and a half to freeze.
Secondly, a bowl that is narrow with higher sides will work best for dipping the cupcakes. If you don’t have a narrow bowl, I would recommend using a larger mug. Dip the tops of the frozen cupcakes in the chocolate and let them set on a tray. Immediately place the sea salt on top, the chocolate will set really fast because the cupcakes are still frozen. I would recommmend dipping a cupcake, setting it on the tray and then sprinkling it with sea salt before moving on to the next cupcake. When the cupcakes are dipped you have your finished product! Delicious Chocolate Salted Peanut Cupcakes!
Chocolate Salted Peanut Cupcakes
- 1 cup All Purpose Flour (130g)
- 1 cup Sugar (207g)
- 6 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (43g)
- 1 ½ tsp Baking Soda
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ cup Milk
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- ½ cup Oil
- 1 Egg
- 1½ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- ½ cup Hot Coffee (almost boiling)
Peanut Butter Frosting:
- 15 tbsp Heavy Whipping Cream (One cup minus one tablespoon)
- 3 tbsp Powdered Milk
- ⅓ cup Hell's Kitchen Peanut Butter (Grab the recipe in the notes!)
- ⅓ cup Creamy Peanut Butter
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 ½ cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 cup Chocolate Chips
- 1½ tbsp Vegetable Shortening
- 1 tsp Sea Salt (to garnish)
- Line a muffin tin with 12 liners. Preheat the oven to 325° Fahrenhiet.
- Combine the flour, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Mix until they are all combined.
- In a measuring cup, combine the milk and the lemon juice, let sit for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the milk mixture, the oil, the egg, and the vanilla to the dry ingredients. Stir until completely combined.
- Pour the hot coffee over the batter. Stir until the coffee is completely combined into the batter. The batter will be thin.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each muffin tin 2/3 full. You may have enough batter to make 1-2 extra cupcakes.
- Bake the cupcakes at 325° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- In a seperate bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add the hell's kitchen peanut butter, the regular peanut butter, the powdered milk, and the vanilla. Stir to combine.
- Add the powdered sugar and stir until the frosting is smooth. Refrigerate the frosting while the cupcakes cool. (the frosting pipes better when it's cold.)
- Frost the cooled cupcakes with the peanut butter frosting. I reccommend using a piping bag with a round tip and piping a big mound onto the center and then using an offset spatula to take the point of frosting off the top so that the frosting has a flat top.
- Freeze the cupcakes for 1-2 hours or until the frosting is hard.
- In a small bowl combine the chocolate chips and the vegetable shortening. Heat until smooth and melted.
- Dip the cupcakes one by one into the melted chocolate. Sprinkling with sea salt immediately after dipping. The chocolate will set very fast because the cupcakes are cold.
- The cupcakes will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or the freezer for up to 3 weeks.