A classic sandwich in dessert form, you won’t believe the inspiration story behind these peanut butter and jelly cupcakes.
Let’s take a step back in time, darlings, all the way back to high school (for me). High school was a fun experience. I had a wonderful group of friends, played sports, was in band, all the typical “high school” things. The only thing I didn’t do was date, which now that I look back was a good thing. So when it came time to go to prom, I went with my girlfriends, and my “date” was my friend Sean whom I’ve known since 2nd grade.
We had a great night, but we ducked out just before the last dance, and this may have also turned out to be a good thing? You see, the DJ must not have worked many high school proms because instead of one of the typical “last dance” songs, he played “Peanut Butter Jelly Time“. Years later and I still can’t begin to fathom why. When I learned of this the Monday after prom, I just laughed. I was actually a bit sad to have missed it because it was so something that would have happened at my high school. High school never was the be-all-end-all of life experiences in my opinion and it’s a generally funny time anyway. Sometimes in life, it’s best to just laugh.
Fast forward to a few years ago when I was closing the bakery in preparation for our move and a renewed focus on the food blog. I wanted a good “last special” and for some reason, high school prom, and that unique final song, came to mind. So I crafted peanut butter and jelly cupcakes and dubbed them the “Last Dance Cupcakes”. Because how could I not? You just can’t make up a story like this one!
As 2016 draws to a close, I can’t think of anything more fitting to share than my Last Dance Cupcakes. This year has been quite the eventful one. Some good things happened, some not so good, some events were downright perplexing. In a way, it mirrored the high school experience, didn’t it? My desire is that we enter 2017 with a renewed hope for a bright new year. I wish for you love, light, joy, peace, cupcakes, and a memorable “last dance”!
Cheers to a new year, darlings!
Peanut Butter Cupcake Batter
- 1 cups brown sugar
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup neutral-flavored oil
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 16 ounces jelly or preserves flavor is up to you, grape or strawberry are our favorites
Peanut Butter Frosting
- 12 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Optional glaze and topping
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp preserves pull from the filling
- 3 tbsp sugar
- chopped peanuts
Preheat the oven to 350 F and place liners into 18 cupcake wells in 2 dozen cupcake pans. Set aside.
Cream together the butter, sugar, and peanut butter in a mixing bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
Stir in the egg and vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and then stir half into the peanut butter mixture. Add the buttermilk, stir, then add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full (I use a medium cookie scoop to "measure") and bake for 25-30 minutes until a tester inserted in a cupcake comes out clean and the center of the cupcake springs back lightly when touched.
Remove the cupcakes from the oven and cool completely before proceeding.
Fill the cupcakes by placing the preserves or jelly in a piping bag fitted with a filling tip. Insert the tip into the center of a cooled cupcake and apply pressure. Count to 3, remove the tip. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes
To make the frosting, cream together the butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy on medium speed. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing at low speed. Stir in the vanilla extract. Pipe or spread the frosting onto the cupcakes.
If you'd like to make the glaze, melt the sugar, jelly, and water in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Whisk together until smooth and then remove to a heat-safe bowl to cool for about 10 minutes. Drizzle over the cupcakes, top with chopped peanuts.