Anyone still have candy from Halloween? I think it’s the perfect excuse to experiment with cupcakes, but we don’t get many trick-or-treaters in my neighborhood and I don’t have children of my own to sneak candy from- so I can’t blame anyone but myself if there is candy in the house. Occasionally, I do buy candy with the intentional purpose of cupcakes. But then I have to make the cupcakes right away or risk eating it myself. An extra bit of candy found its way into the house last year, along with some other inspirational ingredients.
So I experimented with cupcake flavors. I whipped up a batch of vanilla cupcake batter, divided it up, and added a bunch of different ingredients. Among a maple cake, a cinnamon cake, and a banana cake, I made a peanut butter lover’s. I topped it with peanut butter frosting and garnished it with a peanut butter chip. Amazing…. and, now that I knew I could add different flavors to what can be a boring vanilla cupcake, I decided to try something even more adventurous.
Thus, Peanut Butter Kit Kat cupcakes were born.
Oh these things are a dream! A lush peanut butter cake with Kit Kat pieces and a milk chocolate truffle buttercream, topped with a mini Kit Kat. Perhaps you’re wondering what to do with all that ‘leftover’ Halloween candy? (Sorry, “leftover” candy is a foreign concept in my house. There is no such thing.)
You can pretty much chop up any candy and throw it into a cupcake batter or cookie dough. I just chose Kit Kats this time around. Afterall, I did Rolos and peanut butter cups awhile ago. Yes, I even did those Chocolate Malted Milk Balls for a cake. As for something not chocolate? Stay tuned for Pixy Stix Cupcakes.
So, a vanilla cupcake. Seems easy enough. I have a few recipes that I enjoy, and I’m still seeking an absolute favorite, but you may already have one. If not, there is no shame in whipping up a box mix to personalize. When I first began experimenting with cupcakes I didn’t have a complete arsenal of from-scratch batters, so I did rely on cake mixes, but not anymore.
The vanilla cupcake I decided to use starts with two sticks of butter:
So, I mixed up the batter then, because I was only making 12 cupcakes, I measured out about 5 cups worth of the vanilla batter into a separate bowl to make it peanut butter. The remaining batter can be baked up immediately or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days (no more than a week!).
To make the batter peanut butter, I added 1/2- 3/4 cup of peanut butter. It depends on your taste. I started with 1/2 then added some more because I wanted a strong peanut butter flavor. Because the peanut butter thickens the batter slightly, it’s crucial that you don’t overcook these.I had Reduced Fat peanut butter on hand because that’s all the store had that day (That’s what happens when they have an awesome sale on peanut butter!). A regular peanut butter would work just fine, but stick with creamy. You don’t want to have a super crunchy batter (you need to chop up Kit Kats to add yet!)I had the snack size on hand (Hooray for candy being on sale in October!) And chopped up 10 of the snack size packs. That’s 10 of the 2 stick packs in ONE bag of snack size. Or 5 of the standard-size bars (at 4 sticks each). 2 and 1/2 of the King-sized (at 8 sticks each).
And bake. Aren’t they lovely? I shortened my bake time. 325 for 20-25 minutes should do the trick. I checked it a bit before 20 and it was still slightly underbaked so I turned off the oven and left them in there for a few more minutes. I just wanted it to bake gently and evenly. Leaving the oven on would have overbaked them in my oven. You may find that you can bake them normally (following the directions for your cupcake batter). I have an older oven and have to compensate for uneven baking.
It almost resembles a muffin- but it has a cake texture.
But it needs frosting. Badly.
I had a batch of chocolate ganache frosting and a batch of buttercream in the fridge. Normally, I’d just melt some chocolate and once it’s cool, mix it into the butterceam, but, ganache is already so similar. It has heavy cream, melted chocolate and butter already in it, so it’s halfway there anyway. The buttercream has the confectioner’s sugar that makes it a little bit sweeter and the ganache has an intense chocolate flavor. I can’t tell you what measurements I used, I just mixed it until it taste right…. probably about 1:1 ratio. 1 part buttercream to 1 part ganache.
It’s a lighter brown color than usual, but tasted fantastic. Still VERY chocolatey. So, I used my 1M piping tip and piped a ‘rose’ on top.I could have left it as is, but I can’t do that. I love having an edible decoration that gives people an idea of what flavors they’re eating. So, Kit Kat Minis to the rescue!The best part is that I don’t even have to cut these to adorn the tops of the cupcakes! They’re the perfect size for a standard cupcake! They might be a little overpowering on a mini cupcake though.The middle has flecks of Kit Kat and consists of the deliciously moist peanut buttery cake.
And the OCD in me says that I need to make sure that the “KIT KAT” on the cupcake is facing the same way, but it’s delicious! Yum. That makes for one happy client.