This recipe is only for the Peanut Butter Frosting that's on these cupcakes, because the cupcakes themselves are just from a box mix. If you've followed my blog for any length of time you know that I live at about 5000 feet above sea level (which wrecks havoc on cookies and cakes and other baked goods), and I have yet to find a scratch chocolate cake recipe that makes a chocolate cake I like (though I have incredibly high hopes for a high-altitude-baking cookbook I just bought, "Pie in the Sky" by Susan Purdy). So you can use this amazingly scrumptious frosting on whatever chocolate cake you like to make--box or scratch.
This frosting: is divine, melts in your mouth, is way better than a Resse's Peanut Butter Cup, must be eaten with a spoon out of the mixing bowl. If you like peanut butter, you may just cry when you're licking the last smear of frosting off the cupcake paper. If you don't like peanut butter, well, you might be my sister, and that means there's more for me.
You might notice the amount of heavy cream in the recipe. Yes, there really is 3/4 cup, that is not a typo. I promise you, I counted every tablespoon I added, and could not believe that it took 12 for the frosting to get to a spreadable consistency (for my regular buttercream frosting I use 3-4 tablespoons). Peanut butter is mysterious. If you're worried, start with 1/2 cup and add additional tablespoons until it's the consistency you want.
Peanut Butter Frosting
1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I am Jiff addict)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 pounds powdered sugar, sifted
3/4 cup heavy cream
In a large bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and peanut butter. Add the vanilla and mix well; scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add half of the powdered sugar and mix well. Add half of the heavy cream and mix well; scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and mix well. Add the remaining heavy cream, a little at a time, until the frosting is spreadable.
Makes enough to frost 36 cupcakes or a 2-layer, 9-inch round cake.
Note: I used a decorating tip #1M to make the swirls.