Spice cupcakes with peanut buttercream

Cupcake!
Cupcake!

This week, the heavenly cake bakers had “free choice” week. We’re each picking a recipe (some have done more than one) that has already been made during this bake-through, either one that Marie made before the rest of the group joined in, or one that has already been made by the group. I chose the very first recipe that Marie blogged about. You can see her post here. This is one of the three recipes she was allowed to post, so if you want to try it out, check out her post. My husband loves both spice cake (his favourite prior to this was my Mom’s recipe) and peanut butter, so when I saw this cake, I knew I had to make it. Yes, I’m lazy and it’s taken me this long to follow through on that. 😉

Before I get too far into this, let me preface it by saying I’m watching the Olympic Ice Dance Free skate, so forgive me if I seem distracted. 🙂 Go Tessa and Scott! I saw them win at Skate Canada here in the fall when my Mom and my sister were here visiting for the competition, and became a fan. I haven’t watched much figure skating it recent years (more or less since the time of Bourne and Kraatz, really), so being able to see it online is a treat.

Mise en Place
Mise en Place

This cake follow’s Rose’s standard method for butter cakes, by mixing the dry ingredients with the butter and some of the liquid, then mixing in the eggs, vanilla and the rest of the liquid in two additions. The thing I found most interesting about this spice cake is the use of cocoa as a spice. The cake just has a teaspoon and a half of cocoa, so you don’t get a noticeable chocolate flavour, but I’m sure you’d notice if it was missing. If nothing else it adds colour. The thing I did find a bit odd is the inclusion of buttermilk, but no baking soda. Can anyone explain that? I thought you were usually supposed to balance acidic ingredients with baking soda. The only thing I miss about The Cake Bible versus Rose’s Heavenly Cakes is the lack of an “Understanding” section with each recipe.

Regardless, the batter mixes up beautifully like always.

I love my beater blade!
I love my beater blade!

I’m not very good at distributing cupcake batter evenly, even using a disher (admittedly, my disher’s just slightly too small for this purpose), so my sizes are really uneven. Oh well!

All different sizes
All different sizes

I didn’t take any pictures of making the icing — dump it all together in the food processor. I think I might be inclined to try this in the stand mixer next time, because I can’t really see what the food processor adds, and I hate washing it.

Frosted!
Frosted!

I can’t find my huge piping tip anywhere, but that was probably a good thing because I’m not sure I would have had enough frosting to go around had I used it, but the smaller star tip did a pretty job, I think.

The verdict: Jay saw me packing them up off the baking rack, and said “What are you doing?” “Putting these away so I can put them in the fridge.” “You’re not taking those to work.” “Of course not, sweetie.” He wants to know if someone who’s never baked a cake in his life would be able to make them, because he wants to send the recipe to his brother. Good thing I’ve left my old smaller Kitchen Aid stand mixer with him for safekeeping.

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8 thoughts on “Spice cupcakes with peanut buttercream

  1. Very pretty frosting job, all spiraled with the little star tip.

    I haven’t really looked at this recipe because the spice/peanut buter combination didn’t sound good to me. Maybe I need to re-think that!

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  2. I need to force myself in making cupcakes out of the batter. I’m so intimidated by them.

    Tom will probably like this combination, so it may be going into the short list.

    Oh, and they look cute enough to goggle up!

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  3. Oh wow! These look amazing. I need you to teach me how to pipe like that.

    Love that your hubby wanted to send the recipe to his brother for baking … I thought his question was leading to the more obvious – hubby wanted to bake them for himself more frequently!!

    Will have to give these a whirl very very soon. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  4. I also miss her understanding section in this book. I find myself wondering WHY??? more often than than not when baking out of Heavenly Cakes. I like to know things!

    I love the way you piped on the frosting–very sweet!

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