Monday, January 17, 2011

Cupcake Believer

In my previous life, I wasn't much of a cupcake person. I preferred a big ol' honkin' slice of cake.

I feared the cupcake because it seemed to dictate its serving size to me: One cupcake is one serving. With a full cake though, a serving is a slice...and your slice can be as big as you want it to be. That's my kind of serving size.

However, I've become a cupcake believer over time. They're cute, they're snack-size, and they're rich with decorating possibilities. Plus, as I near the ripe old age of 27, it's probably not such a bad idea that my food start to dictate its serving size to me.

Given my recent affinity for the cup o' cake dessert, I was thrilled to receive Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World as an early birthday present from my in-laws this weekend (They also gifted me with the unbeatable Veganomicon. Adam's parents clearly have impeccable cookbook taste).

This cookbook rocked my fuzzy socks right off my feet. We're talking over 100 pages of toasted coconut cupcakes, lemon-blueberry cupcakes, banana split cupcakes...and lots of dark chocolate ganache.

I may never go back to full-size cakes again.

Do you need a little push to become a cupcake believer? Try today's recipe: Chocolate Yogurt Cupcakes with Peanut Butter frosting. I adapted their recipe quite a bit to work with ingredients I had on hand, which resulted in a non-vegan cupcake with ever-so-slightly less fat than the original recipe (secret ingredient: vanilla yogurt).

The non-optional key to this recipe? The peanut butter frosting. Oh heavens, yes.

If these choco-peanut butter love bugs don't make you a cupcake believer, I don't know what will.

Chocolate Yogurt Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
(adapted from a recipe in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Maskowitz and Terry Hope Romero)

I subbed in non-fat vanilla yogurt for a significant amount of the oil in this recipe. You won't even notice...especially with those mounds of peanut butter frosting on top. And please note, this recipe is NOT vegan! This recipe makes 14 - 15 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (I used nonfat)
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 TBSP instant coffee granules
  • 1 cup + 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
Peanut Butter Frosting Ingredients:
  • 10 TBSP butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup no-stir, natural creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 - 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2 - 4 TBSP milk
  • Chopped peanut butter cups
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners (after filling the 12 cupcake cups, I poured the extra batter into 2 ramekins for 2 additional gi-normous cupcakes).

2) Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the yogurt, milk, sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Sift in the remaining ingredients and beat well with an electric mixer (about 2- 3 minutes). Stir in the melted chocolate.

3) Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling only 2/3 full. Bake for 23 - 26 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

4) To prepare the frosting, beat the butter and peanut butter together; beat in the vanilla extract. Slowly sift in the confectioner's sugar while continuously beating and add 1 - 2 TBSP of milk (whatever is needed to get the frosting to spreading consistency).

5) When cupcakes have cooled, frost each one generously with the peanut butter frosting. Top with chopped Reese's peanut butter cups.


  1. So this cupcake looks huge in the first picture. I thought it was a cupcake shaped/decorated cake.

  2. I've always had the EXACT same stance on cupcakes as you described! I could have written the words myself. I've come to appreciate them, but I still like the freedom of having just a sliver of regular cake at a time. VCTOTW is the very book that opened my eyes to cupcakes' great potential :D

  3. I think I was already a cupcake lover. Now I just need to start baking to fill my craving :) These look delicious! I bet the yogurt makes them perfectly moist.

  4. Oh boo! You did it! You got me to bookmark a second dessert recipe. Now I have TWO dessert recipes happily dancing around next to the veggies. =)

    These look fantastic!

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  5. I am all about cupcakes, specifically because they're a self-contained serving size. Ironically, I've never tried to make them.

    More superficially, that peanut butter frosting looks just incredible. What an amazing treat to have around the house! So jealous.

  6. oh goodness, these look fabulous. i love cupcakes but i do understand your perspective. i see nothing wrong with eating 2... or "splitting" the 2nd w/ your husband :) (splitting being a relative term of course!)

  7. Yay, chocolate PB cupcakes! I love mini things, so cupcakes have always been up my alley. These look awesome. Your vegan cookbook collection is getting mighty impressive! :)

  8. I've always been a cupcake lover... That cupcake looks huge! I haven't seen that cookbook around...I'll have to check it out!

  9. Oh my goodness! I love this cupcake recipe. I imagine that the yogurt makes each bite especially moist. I have been a fan of cupcakes for quite some time, but I'm always on the hunt for another fabulous variety. Thank you for sharing such a great recipe. I hope that you have a wonderful Tuesday filled with love and good eating!

  10. I haven't yet been converted to cupcakes either. The texture of thick gooey brownies trumps light and fluffy cupcakes every time.
    That being said, peanut butter frosting?! Thoughts on a brownie with peanut butter frosting?
    I think I might pass out from awesome.

  11. I never used to like cake or cupcakes but I DO prefer a snack size cupcake vs a piece of cake..easier to control portions! LOve the recipe!!

  12. OMG this looks fabulous! I have tried at least three of your recipes and all have been phenomenal! Keep 'em coming! And be on the look out soon for a post from me featuring one of your recipes :)

  13. Cupcakes are my all time favorite dessert! I have to have at least two- one is never enough :) Serving sizes be damned!

  14. It's so interesting you said this about cupcakes---I never realized until now that I feel the same way. I think it was just a instinct for me to want to be able to choose something bigger! I, too, am at an age where I do have some appreciation for the cupcake serving size control method!
    ...and those cupcakes look great!

  15. OH MY GOSH! These look amazing and I'm completely with you - I like a "sampler platter" and 1 cupcake kind of steals the show...but this looks like it's definitely worth it!

  16. Me too.. I was never a cupcake person either, and well, that was before I found there were infinite possibilities in flavors. This looks really lovely! And I love yoghurt.

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  18. I do love cupcakes. I think it has something to do with being around seven year olds all day. :) These chocolate peanut butter ones look delish!