Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing Complete a Birthday Celebration

My birthday fell on a Friday this year. While it may have been awesome to go to happy hour or out for a night on the town after work, that wasn’t what happened. DH and the kids wanted to make me peanut butter cupcakes for my special day so we waited until Saturday to celebrate. After Baby’s karate class, DH and the kids got right to making the cupcakes with home made chocolate icing.

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 pinch salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners, or grease and flour cups.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, shortening and peanut butter until light and fluffy.
4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.
5. Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; stir into the batter alternately with the milk.
6. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups.
7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top of the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed.
8. Cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

1/4 cup margarine, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1. In a large bowl, beat margarine and cocoa together until combined.
2. Add milk and vanilla; beat until smooth.
3. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until desired consistency is achieved. Adjust with more milk or confectioners’ sugar if necessary.

We went out for dinner that evening and the plan was to come home and enjoy the cupcakes for dessert. In the restaurant, Jed was more that his over active self. He was whiny and completely misbehaving and out of sorts. By the time dinner was through and my patience worn thin, he said the words no parent wants to hear…”Mommy, my ear hurts.” We left in a hurry, and after a quick change into pajamas and a dose of ibuprofen we headed off to bed. With no cupcakes.

Luckily, Jed rebounded and was fine in the morning. After a day of bike riding in the park and a nice family dinner, we finally had a chance to enjoy the long awaited cupcakes. They were worth the wait for sure. The cake itself was not overly sweet, and was dense and moist. I am guessing DH substituting an applesauce and oil blend instead of the shortening helped with that. The home made semi-sweet chocolate icing was a perfect compliment for the not too sweet cake. In fact, I suggested the next time we make them to add in mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and skip the icing all together. This would allow us to freeze the extra and have them at a later date. With so many cupcakes, we were already planning to freeze some anyway.

We may not have celebrated my birthday on the real date, but I didn’t care.
All that mattered to me was that I spent my special day with the ones I love…and there were yummy cupcakes. 🙂

What is your favorite cupcake flavor combination?

You can find the cupcake recipe HERE and the icing recipe HERE from

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