Tag Archives: frosting

Better than a Peanut Butter Cup

13 Mar

I gave up sweets for Lent. ūüė¶ I was hoping to kick the habit of wanting something sweet after a meal. That habit has yet to die. I went to a benefit this weekend for Bear Necessities and I ended up on the dance floor with a Priest. (Strange I know. But he was a great dancer!) I told him about giving up sweets for Lent but I still had a dessert at the benefit because it’s¬†a special occasion. I guess I needed to get¬†the guilt off of my chest. He just laughed and said, “Well, it’s almost Sunday. You’re allowed to cheat when Sunday comes around.” That used to be the rule in my house growing up, but I thought it was a nice gesture my parents did and rewarded us with keeping our Lent promise all week.

If a Priest says so, I’m not going to tell him no. So I baked this.

And I ate some on Sunday.

I also shared with one of my favorite local business’, Dimo’s Pizza. They proposed a food exchange — I’d bring in a sweet treat and in return, I get a pizza. DEAL!

This recipe for Chocolate Cake (it’s vegan!) and Peanut Butter Butter-Cream Forsting is better than a your everyday peanut butter cup. The chocolate chips baked into the cake don’t completely melt, so it’s very chocolatey! The peanut butter frosting is whipped until it’s very airy. I love how the frosting wasn’t too sweet.

If you’re a chocolate & peanut butter fan, this cake will not disapoint you! Perfect for any occasion — a BBQ dessert, birthday cake or just a good way to treat yourself!

Chocolate Cake & Peanut Butter Frosting (from Bon Appetit)

Chocolate Cake

  • Nonstick vegetable oil¬† spray
  • 1 1/4 cupsall-purpose flour
  • 1 cupsugar
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa¬† powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoonskosher salt
  • 1 teaspoonbaking soda
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped semisweet or¬† bittersweet chocolate (3 1/2 ounces)

Peanut Butter Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup egg whites (from about 2 large¬† eggs)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut¬† butter
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted¬† butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped semisweet or bittersweet¬† chocolate (about 1 3/4 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup chopped unsalted, dry-roasted¬† peanuts

Chocolate Cake & Frosting Directions

  • Cake – Preheat oven to 350¬į. Coat bottom and sides of pan with¬† nonstick spray; line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Whisk flour and next 4¬† ingredients in a large bowl. Add oil, vanilla, and 1 1/4 cups water; whisk until¬† smooth. Fold in chopped chocolate. Scrape into prepared pan; smooth top. Bake¬† until a tester comes out clean when inserted into center, 35‚Äď40 minutes. Let¬† cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  • Frosting – Combine sugar and egg whites in a medium metal bowl set over a¬† saucepan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar dissolves and mixture¬† is hot to the touch, 3‚Äď4 minutes. Remove from heat; using¬† an electric mixer,¬† beat on high speed until cool and thick, 5‚Äď6 minutes. Beat in vanilla, then¬† peanut butter. With mixer running,¬† add butter a few pieces at a time, beating¬† to blend between additions. Season with salt.
  • Run a thin knife around pan to release cake. Invert cake onto¬† a serving plate. Spread peanut butter buttercream over top. Garnish with chopped¬† chocolate and peanuts. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead.¬† Store airtight at room temperature.




Five Spice Pineapple Carrot Cupcakes

3 Feb

I’m about to drop some knowledge on you. February 3rd is National Carrot Cake Day. Bam!

I think everyone should celebrate by eating some carrot cake. Don’t turn this option away. Carrots are known to improve eyesight.

I made this recipe for a friend of mine back in December for her birthday. She loves Asian flavors (who doesn’t??!!) & we both LOVED the carrot cake at Kendall College.

It’s not my style to do stick with traditional recipes. When I saw Five Spice Pineapple Carrot Cupcakes on Food Network’s website,¬† I knew this would be a special and unique birthday treat. The pineapple keeps the cupcake very moist and tastes great with the asian flavors in the cupcake.

Oh I forgot the best part about this recipe. Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting. Holy Moly! I’m not gonna lie. I ate the leftover frosting. Just me, a spoon and container filled with ginger cream cheese¬†frosting. It was marvelous.

In regards to the frosting recipe, I don’t think you need 3 cups of powdered sugar. It made the frosting pretty sweet, so I ended up adding more ginger. I’m making these cupcakes for the Superbowl and I’m going to start with 2 cups of powdered sugar. I’ll add more if I need it. Also, I couldn’t find crystalized ginger candy so I sprinkled cinnamon on top of the cupcakes instead.

Make these cupcakes — your eyes will thank you.

Five Spice Pineapple Carrot Cupcakes (recipe from

Carrot Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (about 3 to 4 medium-sized carrots)
  • Frosting, recipe follows
  • Crystallized ginger, as garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and Chinese five-spice powder.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, crushed pineapple, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and carrots. Then slowly add the flour mixture and beat with an electric hand mixer until just combined, about 2 minutes.
  4. Fill the cups 3/4 full with batter. Bake until the cupcakes are set, about 20 to 22 minutes. When they can be handled safely, remove them from the muffin tins and let cool completely on wire racks before frosting. Garnish with crystallized ginger.

Frosting Recipe:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons Madagascar vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese ground ginger
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

In a large bowl, add the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and ginger. Blend thee ingredients with an electric hand mixer until a creamy consistency is reached, while slowly adding the powdered sugar.