Easy Chocolate Frosting and 23 More!

Cream Filling_5

Here is the EASIEST chocolate frosting I have ever made.  It will frost 24 cupcakes using a knife to spread it like a can of frosting would.  To make high pillars of frosting on top, you will need to double the recipe.  And… NO trans fats!  The FDA is going to ban them soon anyway, so might as well learn to make our own flavor-filled frostings!  🙂

Homemade Can of Chocolate Frosting
frosts 24 cupcakes or generously frosts 12 cupcakes

1 stick (8 Tb or 4 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
3-4 Tb. milk or cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pinch salt

1.  Sift your cocoa and powdered sugar especially if you want them to look pretty.  If it is you and the kids… it is not going to hurt to skip this step.
2.  In a great big bowl, beat the butter 1-2 minutes.  Add 1 cup of the cocoa/sugar.  Add 1 Tb. cream
Alternate until everything has been incorporated.  Add more cream or milk if you need to thin down the frosting.  Remember:  You can always add more milk, but it is difficult to add more dry ingredients.  Adding more milk will yield a more spreadable product.  If you plan on making fancy roses that require stiff buttercream, you need less milk.
3.  Add salt and vanilla.
4.  Beat on high for 2 minutes.  Frost and eat!  If you are going to use sprinkles, then sprinkle them immediately after frosting the cake or cupcake.  The frosting will dry on top rather quickly and prevent the sprinkles from sticking.  Now… the frosting doesn’t get hard or taste dry at all.  It is just the very top.

Need more frosting ideas?

Try these!

Maple Buttercream Frosting

Maple Buttercream

Stabilized Whipped Cream

Margarita Cupcakes_3 on Whisk Together

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

King Cake Cupcakes_1CR

Caramel Buttercream

Snickers Cupcakes

Chocolate Glaze

hostess cupcake_5CR

Orange Icing

Tangerine Cupcakes CR

Lightened Up Chocolate Frosting

Light Chocolate Frosting_1 on Whisk Together

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

vanilla bean cupcakesCR

Powdered Sugar Icing

Cup of Coffee Cupcakes_4CR

Cream Cheese Frosting

carrot cake cupcake_1 CR

Peanut Butter Frosting

PB Cup Cupcake

Vanilla Buttercream

root beer float cupcake CR

Frosting for Four Cupcakes


Almond Buttercream

White Almond Sour Cream Cake

Cream Cheese Frosting for Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake_8 on Whisk Together

Brown Sugar Icing

Apple Cream Cheese Cake_2CR

Light Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate CHip cookie dough cheesecake_2CR

Chocolate Buttercream for Decorating

chocolate covered strawberry cake_1

Turtle Cake Frosting (using Unsweetened Chocolate)

Turtle Cake_1

7 Minute Frosting

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes_2

Cookie Dough Frosting

Cookie Dough Cupcakes_3

Sugar Cookie Glaze

Sugar Cookie_7CR

Lighter Caramel Icing

Caramel Icing_5 on Whisk Together

**Update**  I updated the Chicken Freezer Meal Inventory sheet.  I didn’t realize it had converted into PDF on 2 pages instead of one.  That is now fixed.

Recipe:  I wanted a caramel frosting that was light in calories, but still delicious.  This fit the bill.  I know chocolate cake should have chocolate frosting, however, I wanted to try something different on my chocolate cake.  This chocolate cake recipe was also altered for the first time by replacing half of the oil with applesauce.  It worked!  It was a little gummy due to the applesauce of course, but it worked!  I could tell and I would never have served it at a wedding or party, but I think it did fantastic for a family birthday celebration.

This recipe also uses everyday ingredients.  I know it is not as “convenient” as opening up a jar of trans fats – er, I mean, tub of frosting – but it is more convenient for me to just pull stuff out of the pantry that I already own.  You could put this on vanilla cake, applesauce-raisin, chocolate, or anything that needs a little caramel.

*TIP*  I always sift my powdered sugar if I am serving guests or selling the product.  The frostings and icings from sifted powdered sugar are always 100% smooth.  I get mixed results when I do not sift.

Caramel Icing_1 on Whisk Together

Caramel Icing
Covers 1 – 9×13 cake
Double the recipe if you want a thicker layer.  This is a very thin, but rich, layer of icing.

1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  In a medium or large pot, combine the dark brown sugar, milk, salt and butter.  Stir that on medium high heat until it comes together.  It will boil.  Bring the heat down to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes.  You can stir once in a while during this time.
2.  Take the pot off of the heat and add in the powdered sugar and vanilla.  Whisk Together.   It will all come together and thicken as it stands.  Let it stand up to 5 minutes – and probably no more.  It got too thick when I let it stand longer.  Now, you can pour that icing all over your cake and spread.

Caramel Icing_3 on Whisk Together

Recipe from “Cooking Light” Dec. 2000

Chocolate Layer Cake and Petal Cake Tutorial

Tulip Cake_1CR

Tulip Cake_2 CR

Tulip Cake CR

Tulip Cake_3CR

Please pardon the screaming blue background!  I always carry my cakes in my tupperware covered cake carrier which happens to be a bright blue that goes well with… um nothing!  Maybe a carrot cake.  But anyway, this week in my psychology class we discussed and read about Eastern psychology and meditation.  Some of it is similar to Judeo-Christian philosophy (Buddhism and Hinduism) and some of it (Taoism)… not so much.  But the main point is to bring mindfulness to the present.  Zen Master Thich Naht Hanh states in one interview, “What is it we’re so busy with, exactly?”  I thought this was a great question to ponder.

Back to the recipe:  My super awesome cousin asked me to make a princess birthday cake for her daughter’s party.  In addition, I had to make another cake that was egg-free for her brother.  (That recipe will come later.)  My go-to super moist chocolate recipe is so deliciously moist that I was afraid it would not hold up to being stacked into three layers.  So, here is a go-to easy recipe for a chocolate layer cake.  I love doing chocolate cakes – so simple, so delicious, so moist and they only use up ONE bowl.  I almost always have all the ingredients on hand.  I know Dutch cocoa is difficult to find, but I have had great success replacing this with Hershey’s Dark Cocoa which contains natural and Dutch cocoas.  I purchased some special Double Dutch Dark Cocoa from King Arthur Flour since so many recipes I have call for it and I wanted to try it.
*Normally, 5 ounces of flour is used to equal 1 cup.  However, KAF differs from this calculation and I use their weight measurement instead since they developed the recipe.

Chocolate Layer Cake
yield 16 servings

2 cups (14 oz.) sugar
2 cups (8.5 oz) AP flour*
2 Tb. cornstarch
3/4 cup (2.25 oz.) Double Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. espresso powder (or omit for children)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 large eggs (or 3 X-large eggs)
3/4 cup vegetable oil or canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 and 1/4 cup (10 oz) water, or coffee, or milk (I used water, normally I use coffee when it isn’t a kid recipient)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  You need two 8″x2″ round pans.  You could use shorter 9″ pans . Or split the batter between 3 – 8″ round pans like I did since mine were not 2″ tall.  I weighed the total batter and divided by 3.  I used parchment on the bottom and sprayed with Baker’s Joy.  Many people also grease with shortening and dust it with cocoa powder.

2.  In a great big bowl:  Whisk sugar, flour, cornstarch, cocoa, baking powder, espresso powder, baking soda and salt together.

3.  Add the eggs, oil and vanilla.  Mix it all up.  It’ll be a little thick.  It’s okay.  Add the water (or coffee, etc.) little by little and mix it all up until smooth.  Pour and bake 35-38 minutes for 2 – 8″ pans.  I used 3 short 8″ pans and it took 23 minutes to bake.

4.  Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Turn it upside down and continue to cool.  Now, if the edges are a little crusty, here is how to fix it:  you can cut them off (but then you get crumbs!) OR wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze.  Do just before they get completely cool and your edges will be soft again.  This may or may not be problem for you.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour

Buttercream Frosting  – this is my standard go-to frosting.  For large layer cakes like one with more than 2 layers plus decorations, I will increase the yield.  So, for this 3 layer cake I made this recipe using 3 sticks, 5.25 cups sugar, 3 tsp. vanilla, 3-4T milk.  You will find many buttercream recipes that use twice as much sugar – I think personally that is too sweet and this is a great balance.  But please taste test before decorating!  Using toothpicks is great for this.  My kids love to be my testers!  🙂

2 sticks of butter (8 oz.), softened
3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar – SIFT to make it look pretty
dash of salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1-2 Tb. milk

1.  Beat butter until smooth.  Gradually, add the powdered sugar.  Beat until incorporated.

2.  Add salt, vanilla and 1 Tb. milk. Beat and add milk until you get the desired consistency.  It it really dry here now in St. Louis, so my frosting this week took the full 2 Tb.

Patty's Cake CR


There is only one cake I like to decorate:  using one color and one tip.  I don’t have the patience, time or supplies to do 10 different colors.  I tried to do an ombre cake once and it just stresses me out.  I like this cake decorating method a LOT.  Now, most people use a Wilton tip#12.  I only own a #9 and I think I will go out and buy the 12 now that I know this is easy to do and worthwhile.  Do yourself a favor and spend the 99 cents on the tip!  🙂


1.  Level your cake if necessary.  This cake recipe was awesome and I had no dome problems.
2.  Fill the layers with your filling or frosting.
3.  Crumb coat the cake:  layer the cake with the frosting with a thin coat of frosting.  Put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4.  If you want your cake super pretty:  Add another thin coat if the cake underneath is still showing.  Put in the fridge for another 30 minutes to set.  This will insure that the cake does not show through the petals.
5.  For the side:  Take your frosting and put it in the decorator’s bag with tip#12 attached.  Start down the side and then take your offset spatula and smear the dot to the right.  I guess you could go left if you are left handed….  I practiced on foil first.
6.  To end:  it is difficult to end and do the last row.  I just do the best I can and make note that it is the “back” of the cake.  Most people will never notice.
7.  For the top:  I took a ruler and put a dot with a toothpick where the middle is.  Then I put a dot in the center of the top of the cake.  Don’t touch the dot.  From here, you can spiral out more petals from the middle.  This will take more time.  OR, you can just do rows starting from the middle and working your way around just like you did on the side.

I think this would be really pretty on cupcakes, too.

Fluffy White Buttercream Frosting

Fluffy buttercream_2CR

Yesterday, we had church, and then a lego birthday party and then a Christmas party.  Last year was the famous Angry Birds party which is usually one of the most popular posts on here.  He requested the same chocolate cake and I made it into cupcakes instead.  Make sure if you make the cupcakes to only use 3 Tb. of batter.  And spray your pan.  That is why the cupcake isn’t all that beautiful.  I had to cut out every cupcake because I didn’t spray the pan and because 3 Tb. of batter didn’t look like it would be enough and added 4 instead.  Well, live and learn.  It is still the most moist chocolate cake I have ever had in my life.  I wouldn’t be stacking 3 tiered wedding cakes with it though.  The cake is so moist that it barely holds up an Angry Birds Level.  😉

This buttercream was delicious and luscious.  Very creamy and easy to work with.  It seemed to hold it shape nicely overnight.  The frosting tints very well using food color gels.

Note on yield:  This will cover 24 cupcakes barely when cut in half.  Maybe a thin layer on top of each at most.  If you plan on piping the cupcakes all pretty and high, definitely follow the recipe.

Fluffy White Buttercream Frosting

3/4 cup (5.25 oz) sugar
1/4 tsp. salt (if using unsalted butter.  Omit if using salted butter.)
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup (1 oz.) meringue powder
1 Tb. vanilla
4 cups (16 oz.) sifted powdered sugar
2 cups (4 sticks, 16 oz.) soft butter or vegetable shortening or both (I used all butter), cut into chunks

1.  Into your mixing bowl, mix the sugar and boiling water.  Let it sit until it is room temperature – about 15-20 minutes.
2.  Add the meringue powder.
3.  Beat this mix on slow using your whisk attachment.  It should get foamy after a few minutes.
4.  Now, beat on medium-high until you get soft peaks forming.  This took quite a few minutes for me.
5.  Add vanilla.
6.  Change to a padding attachment, and add the powdered sugar.
7.  Add butter a little at a time.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour

Fluffy buttercreamCR

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Filling (Like Hostess)

Our church had a community worship service and a dinner before.  BJ asked for some desserts and here is one of three I made.  It is my husband’s favorite chocolate cake recipe, a dark chocolate buttercream and cream filling.  This cream filling is awesome and I can’t wait to do more applications with it.  Not only could you stuff cupcakes like a Hostess cupcake, but you could simply inject the cream filling into any 13×9, or round cake, or make some homemade Twinkies!  I’ll have to work on a recipe for the Twinkies’ spongecake and add that to my list.

I have listed the cake and frosting recipes in a previous post, but I hate post hopping so I’ll put it down at the bottom.  Here is the Cream Filling for the Cupcakes.  As stated in the past, I try many recipes before finding one good enough to post.  After several so-so cupcake recipes, this one really takes the… “cake”.  Okay, sorry I had to say it.

Cream Filling
filling for at least 26 cupcakes (I had some leftover after filling them)

1 and 1/2 tsp. hot water
1/4 tsp. salt (not coarse/kosher)
1/2 cup shortening (Crisco is now trans fat free)
1- 7 ounce jar of marshmallow creme
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1.  In a small bowl, combine the hot water and salt.  Dissolve and allow to cool.
2.  In a medium bowl, combine the shortening, creme, sugar and vanilla.  Beat with an electric mixer on low (so sugar doesn’t fly) and increase speed to medium-high until fluffy.
3.  Add water/salt mixture.  Beat more until light and fluffy
4.  To inject into cupcakes I tried two methods and both worked well but one is easier.  I took a #22 Wilton tip on a pastry bag and injected about 1 tablespoon of cream filling into the cupcakes.  This was fast and worked well.  I also tried coring the cupcake with my apple corer like I do for other fillings.  This worked well too but created more mess.

Recipe from http://www.evilshenanigans.com/2009/02/cream-filling-for-cupcakes/

 As promised here are my recipes for chocolate cake and chocolate buttercream.  The buttercream one I adapted from Wilton.  Each recipe can also be cut in half successfully.

Chocolate Cake
yield 16-20 servings  (26-28 cupcakes, or 2- 8×4 loaves, 2 – 8″ or 9″ round pans)

** If you are doing a cake about 3 layers or more (or heavy frostings/candy in between), you can add 3 eggs instead of 2 successfully to this recipe.  The added protein will add more structure to the cake **

2 cups sugar
1 and 3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk (substitution: 1 Tbs. lemon juice and 1 cup 2% milk)
1 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In one big bowl, add the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt.  Stir together with a whisk or beat on low in the mixer.
2.  Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, vegetable oil, and vanilla.  Beat on medium for 2 minutes.  It will be watery and that is just fine.
3.  As cupcakes:  using a large scoop (3 Tbs), spoon the batter into the cupcakes and bake 14-16 minutes
As 13×9″ cake: bake 35-40 min.
As 2- 4″x8″ loaves: bake 22-25 minutes
As 2 round pans: bake 22-25 minutes

As always: check with a toothpick for doneness.  Cool for 10 minutes then invert the cake/cupcakes out of the pan to cool on the wire rack.  To freeze, cool mostly and wrap in saran wrap twice.  Then wrap in aluminum foil.  Freeze in the original pan if possible.

Dark Chocolate Buttercream

yield: about 3 cups

2 sticks (1 cup or 8oz.) of unsalted butter, room temp.
3/4 cup dark cocoa, sifted  (Hershey makes this one commercially available.)
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla
3-4 Tbs. milk

1.  Cream the butter until light and whipped – about 1 minute on medium.
2.  On LOW speed, slowly add the  cocoa and powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time.
3.  Scrape the bowl to make sure all the sugar is in there.  Add vanilla and milk.  Beat on medium/medium high speed for 2 minutes.
Use immediately or store in the fridge until later use.

Shared on:

And Linked also to: Lady Behind the Curtain

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

It’s carrot cake in a cupcake!  I love carrot cake, but cupcakes are just easier when managing very large groups of people like 50 or more.  These were moist and flavorful.  I loved the cream cheese icing too!  These were so simple and fast to make when using the food processor.   But don’t forget the white sugar.  They turn out like muffins instead!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes
yield 24

2½ cups (12.5 oz) all-purpose flour
1¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. salt
1 lb. (6-7 medium) carrots, peeled
1½ cups (10.5 oz) granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1½ cups canola, safflower or vegetable oil

For the frosting:
12 oz. cream cheese (not softened)
7½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3¾ cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 muffin pans with 24 liners.
2.  Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
3.  Using the food processor, shred the carrots.  Toss your shredded carrots into the flour mixture to coat.
4.  Rinse out your food processor and put the normal blade in there.  Add your granulated sugar, brown sugar and eggs.  Process for about 20-30 seconds.  Drizzle the oil through the feeding tube while the machine is running.  Whip that up for about 30 seconds until light colored and frothy.   Add this to your carrot/flour mixture and stir until all the flour is incorporated.
5.  Divide batter between cupcake liners.  I use my 3 Tbs. cookie scoop (large cookie scoop) for this.
6.  Bake 20-22 minutes.  After 10 minutes out of the oven, remove the cupcakes from the pan to cool on wire racks.  Cool completely before adding frosting.

1.  Beat cream cheese and butter on medium with the paddle attachment.  About 2-3 minutes later it should be creamy and smooth.
2.   Switch to low speed.  Add powdered sugar a little at a time.  Fully incorporate and then add the next installment.  When it is all in, add the vanilla and beat on medium until fluffy and smooth.  Make sure to beat the cream cheese in like crazy especially if you are piping it through a pastry bag or you’ll get lumps and the piping will not come out of the bag.

Recipe from Annies-eats.net

**I’ve read several other carrot cake recipes that cut down the vegetable oil to 1 cup from 1 1/2 cups.  Just an idea to try.  Many reviews said that the cake was just as moist.  Now these were not reviews on THIS recipe, but just other carrot cake recipes I’ve come across.**

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

If you want something that tastes delicious and is a little “different” then this is for you!  LOVE these cupcakes.  Easy to put together, taste delicious and you have the option of making 12 or 24 of them.  It’s also not from a box, so no nasty weird chemicals.  Like it says on the front of ‘Nilla wafers “Simple Goodness.”  “Simple Goodness” is their slogan yet the ingredient list is NOT simple and definitely not good.    High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed oil.  Artificial Flavor… whatever that entails.

Back to the cupcakes.  I love how the filling comes from the frosting, so you don’t have to make a whole separate batch.  The cupcakes are chocolate with just a hint of root beer.  They aren’t overpowering, but moist and tasty.

Happy Baking!

Root Beer Float Cupcakes
yield 12 cupcakes

1 1/8 cups AP flour
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder (I found Hershey’s Dark in the baking aisle)
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup + 1 Tbs. heavy cream
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 Tbs. sour cream
2 tsp. root beer concentrate (McCormick makes it and it is with the spices and extracts at the grocery store, even walmart had it.)
1/3 cup root beer

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 1 muffin pan with 12 liners.  Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and brown sugar until smooth.  Stir in the cream, butter and vanilla.  Add sour cream and stir everything until smooth.
3.  Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
4.  Pour the root beer and root beer concentrate into the batter.  mix until incorporated.
5.  Divide the batter between the liners.  I use a 3 Tbs. cookie scoop.   Bake 15-18 minutes.
6.  Cool cupcakes in pan for 10 minutes and then remove them from the pan to continue cooling on the cooling rack.

Vanilla Frosting and Root Beer Filling

1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter (6 oz.), soft
4 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
2 Tbs. milk
1/4 tsp. root beer extract

1.  On medium-low speed, cream butter in electric mixer with paddle attachment until smooth – about 2 minutes.
2.  On low speed, add powdered sugar a little at a time.   Once all of the powdered sugar has been incorporated, increase speed to medium for 1 minutes to make fluffier.
3.  Add vanilla and milk.
4.  Remove all of the frosting except for 1/3-1/2 cup in the mixer.  Add root beer concentrate and beat on medium for about 1 minute, or until fully incorporated.

Putting Them Together

1.  There are 2 ways to fill your cupcake.  You can use your tip and pastry bag to squeeze it into the cupcake.  This method doesn’t usually work well for me.  But it works great if you are in a hurry or don’t need super fancy cupcakes.  Method #2: use an apple corer to remove a small portion out of the middle of the cupcake.  Fill void in the cupcake and it will get covered with frosting later.

2.  Fill your pastry bag with the root beer filling.  Pipe it into your cupcake.

3.  Cover your cupcake with vanilla frosting.  I use a 1M Wilton tip, but you could make it cute with a mini scoop of vanilla frosting like vanilla ice cream.  Or pipe with a plastic bag with a corner snipped off.

Top with maraschino cherry, chocolate syrup or – what I wanted to do – a little candy soda bottle!

Recipe from www.howsweeteats.com

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

Like I said previously, I had a few desserts to make for our block party this Saturday.  It turned out great!  If anyone needs recommendations for a balloon artist, face painter, reasonable priced bounce house (most places were twice the cost!) or catering company, I have a whole list (for the St. Louis area)!  They all did great.

But back to the cupcakes.  I had already put Snickers in a Snickers Cupcake.  So why not everyone’s beloved Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup?  These were sooooo moist and delicious with just the right amount of peanut butter flavor in the frosting.  This doctored up mix is the best.  I originally saw it on allrecipes.com where it has like 1000 good reviews.

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes
yields 30 cupcakes

1 (18.25 oz.) Devil’s Food Cake mix
1 (5.9 oz.) instant chocolate pudding (the BIG box!)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup room temp. strong coffee (take twice the amount of coffee grounds you normally would use and put 1/2 cup water through)
1 bag Reese’s Miniature Peanut Butter Cups, frozen (Recommend unpeeling them first and put into a bowl to freeze)

2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup smooth, creamy peanut butter (I like Skippy Natural)
1 1/2 lbs. powdered sugar, sifted (if you forget to sift it isn’t the end of the world, just not as smooth of a frosting)
1 1/2 Tbs. vanilla extract
5 Tbs. heavy cream
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Use non-stick spray in your muffin tin or line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2.  In a large bowl, on medium speed beat together: cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, oil, eggs, vanilla and coffee.  Mix for 2 minutes or so until thoroughly combined.
3.  Evenly distribute the batter between the cupcakes.  You can try to fit them all into 24 cupcakes.  When I used my large cookie scoop/3 Tbs. scoop, this made 30 cupcakes for me.  Afterwards, press one frozen peanut butter cup into the batter but not all the way to the bottom.
4.  Bake 18-22 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes on cooling racks.  Remove from muffin tins and cool completely.
5.  While cupcakes are cooling, in a large bowl on medium speed cream the butter and peanut butter for about 1-2 minutes (or fluffy).  Switch to low speed and gradually add in your powdered sugar little by little until all combined.
6.  Add vanilla extract and slowly add in cream.  Switch mixer to high speed and whip until fluffy.
7.  Using a piping bag or plastic bag with a hole cut on one corner, pipe frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.
8.  For optional decoration:  I had about 4-5 peanut butter cups left (after some had also been eaten by family members so don’t take stock in my numbers and how many you have left), and chopped them up into eighths.  I used the small pieces as decoration for the cupcakes.

I frosted the cupcakes using Wilton’s 1M tip.

**Make Ahead Tip***:  I usually make the frosting first the night before the cupcakes are needed.  So if I need cupcakes on Saturday, I will make the frosting some time on Friday.  Refrigerate the frosting (if it is a buttercream frosting) overnight then take it out 3 hours or so before you will need to use it.

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