It’s a bittersweet occasion today. Our good friends are moving away and I can honestly say that I am going to miss them dearly. In celebration to their greener pastures, all of our friends and family are throwing them a spectacular (child friendly) going away party in their honour! Since I know their kids are a huge fan of Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches, I have made Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes!
If I am going to be 100% truthful, I really didn’t feel like baking cupcakes. I already spent all day in the kitchen baking french macarons (a post for another day) with varying degrees of success. So when I finally got to baking the cupcakes, my brain was a little off.
I couldn’t find my tried and true cupcake recipe online, so I just searched for one via google with the most stars attached to it. Now, I don’t know how this recipe got 5 star reviews, but I certainly do not agree. Instead of fluffy, golden, beautiful cupcakes, I got something more akin to a shrivelly brown looking mess with a sunken centre. Plus they shrunk when they cooled!! I was not impressed.
Considering how late in the night it was and the party was tomorrow, I wasn’t going to bake another batch. At least that’s what I said to myself. I spent all night tossing and turning because of those terrible looking cupcakes. So I woke up with a resolve to remake them.
But it was not my day, I realized that I was out of sugar, using the last bit the night before and my husband used the last tablespoon for his morning coffee. I easily could have gone to the store for more sugar, but I found 2 packets of raspberry jello in the pantry and shrugged, “why not?” Jello is mostly sugar and the actual amount of colouring, gelatin and ‘natural flavour’ is quite miniscule. Don’t believe me? Check out a pack of sugar free jello and compare the weight and volume. I didn’t want to add the sugar and then an additional packet of jello like the creamsicle cupcakes I made in the past; I just thought that the cupcakes didn’t need that much sugar.
You will notice that the cupcakes look smaller than usual. Do not fret! It’s only because I always consistently underfill cupcake liners for 2 reasons: A) I always seem to accidently overfill them and then make a mess over my muffin tins, and B) I get an extra cupcake or two. Also, sometimes, the cupcake is merely a vehicle for icing.
And the icing turned out amazing! I made 2 different icings that were true to the name of this cupcake. I simply spooned one type of icing on one side of the piping bag and the other on the other side. The only problem was that the raspberry icing had a slightly thinner viscosity, so it was a little more difficult to pipe with the slightly thicker peanut butter buttercream. Lessons learned for next time: Thin out the PB icing so it’s the same consistency with the Raspberry buttercream.
After all that work, the kids probably wouldn’t have noticed the ugly cake versus the bright pink raspberry cake, but for my dear sweet friends that are moving away, it was worth it! They deserve pretty cupcakes!
Adapted from food.com
½ cup of butter softened
2 packets of raspberry jello (approximately 1 cup worth, or just under)
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 cups of flour
1 cup of milk
splash of vanilla
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream butter and jello packets until smooth. Slowly crack one egg at a time until incorporated and mix in vanilla. Add flour and milk and baking powder, alternating.
Fill muffin tin (with liners) 2/3 full. Bake for 16-18 minutes.
Raspberry Jam Buttercream
1 cup of butter (divided)
¼ cup of raspberry jam
1 packet of raspberry jello
1 cup of icing sugar
Melt half the butter and dissolve the jello into it. Let it cool to room temperature. Cream all the ingredients together, leaving the icing sugar last to adjust to taste.
Peanut butter Buttercream
½ cup of butter
1 cup of peanut butter
2 cups of icing sugar
Cream all the ingredients together, leaving the icing sugar last (to adjust to taste). If piping with the Raspberry Jam Buttercream, thin the icing with 1 tablespoon of milk.