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Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 6 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter not natural
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Instructions

For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.
  2. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

For the frosting:

  1. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until pale and fluffy. Add salt and peanut butter, and beat to combine. Beat in vanilla.
  2. In another bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-speed, whisk cream until medium-stiff peaks form. Fold cream into peanut-butter mixture. Use immediately, or refrigerate, covered tightly, up to 2 days. Before using, bring to room temperature and stir with a flexible spatula until smooth.