Peanut Butter & Jelly Revisted.

In 2nd grade my mom made me a PB&J sandwich every single day to take to school. I will never forget that. Unfortunately said sandwich usually lost the daily battle with my smushy lunch box. Either there was jelly all over the bag every time I opened it, or there was the dreaded purple circle imprinted in the middle of the bread… I know you all know what I’m talking about. My question is why didn’t I ask for something else? I was such a pain in the neck elementary school kid… my parents might say something things will never change (he he). Anyway, it took me a while to be able to enjoy PB&J after that. At 22 years old, I am pretty sure I have outgrown that student staple sandwich, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t found other ways to enjoy the classic flavor combination.

Last night I put together a batch of PB&J cupcakes… and also a small batch of yellow cake cupcakes.

You would think that is what I am most excited to share with you, but actually… I am MORE excited to share with you all that I used to make these beauties.

With a kitchen full of them, it is only normal to forget about some of the gadgets that you have, especially if they are only meant for certain occasions. In my case, it was my Baby Cakes Cupcake Maker that sat in the cupboard collecting dust.

After a cupcake free winter, and a big weekend dinner party looming on the horizon, it was only proper to plug in this pink lady for the first time since my Mama gave it to me for my birthday last year. On top of sending that gadget on its maiden voyage I was also christening my brand new KING SIZE cupcake pan and batter dispenser that I just added to my repertoire a few weeks ago.

Talk about opposite sides of the spectrum. The Baby Cakes took 6 minutes each, and the king size cupcakes took 42 minutes and about half the bowl of batter (just for four!). It was hard to gauge how long the big guys would spend in the oven because there was so much batter in each cup, but I figured they were going to take just a little under the 50 minutes it takes to bake a cake…. and the toothpick test after 30 minutes to figure it out for sure!

What I like about the little baby cakes maker is that you don’t have to use the cupcake liners because of the nonstick surface! For little ones, that is perfect because they are easy to just pop into your mouth and enjoy … no need to go through the added hassle of removing and tossing the paper!

And it is also so much more reasonable to pipe on the intricate frosting designs making them look like dainty little gems on any plate! For those of you that don’t like a lot of frosting, the mini ones also make for the perfect proportion of cake to sweet topping because they can only hold so much atop their tiny surface!

Now for my opinion on the king size cupcake … I guess there is a preference for everyone, but I am simply not able to stomach that much cake in one serving! It is clearly the best vehicle for making any cream or jelly filled cupcake because you can pipe in a substantial amount of filling with how big they are…. But meant for one? God Bless you… Perfect for two? Absolutely.

As for the recipe… I give all the credit to my inspiration Joanne Chang and her absolutely phenomenal cookbook, “Flour”.

Talk about never being disappointed, this would be the 2nd and 3rd recipes I have made from her book and they are even more amazing than I could have anticipated.

I used Joanne’s Yellow Birthday Cake recipe and substituted the Crispy Magic Frosting in lieu of the Chocolate ganache.

Yellow Birthday Cake

Crispy Magic Frosting with Peanut Butter

To fill the centers with the delicious grape jelly all you need is an apple corer or the Wilton tip meant for inserting into the cakes.  I used Welch’s brand jelly although I would have preferred to use a less sweet organic version. Another option for filling the centers is to use a knife to cut out a bit of the center, fill it, and replace the whole with a bit of cake. Either way, remember you are covering the top with frosting so it doesn’t have to look perfect.

Follow Your Heart.

My mom asked me about this recipe as I called her last night to thank her for my new best friend, my Baby Cakes maker. She thought I had made a peanut butter cupcake – but I thought that would be too overwhelming. To be clear, these PB&J cupcakes are yellow cake cupcakes, with a grape jelly center, and  beyond magical and very creamy, Crispy Peanut Butter Magic Frosting. Better than any PB&J sammy you’ve ever had (sorry ma!).

I kept the Crispy Magic Frosting plain for the Yellow Cake Cupcakes, a combination that closes out on the best birthday cake you can make. A simple moist base topped with melt in your mouth frosting, all with a hint of vanilla. What more could you ask for…?

I am still trying to solidify my cupcake menu for the dinner party this weekend. You all will just have to wait till Saturday to see what the winning flavors come down to!

… In the mean time, I also must announce that I embarked on my 2 week detox journey today. I have been feeling so unbalanced lately, granted the junky food I’ve been consciously over consuming hasn’t helped, but I needed to change something.

Hello Kale and Strawberry Protein shakes…


Something to discuss:

What do you prefer to bite into… Mini cupcakes, regular cupcakes, or big papa cupcakes!?


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3 thoughts on “Peanut Butter & Jelly Revisted.

  1. Aly – I had the pleasure of trying your PB&J cupcakes amongst the many other cupcake delights (carrot cake, chai tea, red velvet, etc.) that you had prepared for the small neighborhood gathering at your father’s home. Your father is also quite talented in the kitchen as all of the food was fantastic. I look forward to reading your posts and wish you much success on this blog and your other culinary endeavors.

    • Paul – Thank you for reading! And for tasting last night – from what it looks like, you guys all really liked the cupcakes!! I am also so happy you liked what my Dad made (I was grateful for all the extras for lunch today). Thanks for the support, and the well wishes!

  2. Pingback: My 10 Favorite Recipes of 2011 « From Graduate to Gourmet

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