Thursday, 28 October 2010

Halloween Treats

As already mentioned I make cakes once a week for my husband and his writing team over at the games design company.  This week it's Halloween and I'd originally thought of a lovely pumpkin cake but since my husband doesn't believe vegetables belong in desserts (the freak) I had to have a rethink.  I consider Halloween to be an American holiday and thought it would be a appropriate to make something that is the epitome of Americana - peanut butter cup cakes covered in chocolate.  I've returned once again to the Primrose Bakery book and this time have not been disappointed.

The cakes themselves have a mild flavour which is important considering the 'stick to the roof of your mouth' texture of peanut butter. The chocolate icing sets hard so as you bite into it you get a satisfying thick layer of chocolate followed by soft peanutty sponge. The overall effect is one of a home-made (and much nicer) Reece's Cup.

Please feel free to admire the much improved (but still not perfect) photography.

Mini versions of these with less icing on top would be perfect for kid's parties.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes
  • 75g butter, at room temperature
  • 130g smooth peanut butter
  • 190g dark soft brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 120g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 60 ml semi-skimmed milk (room temp)
  1. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees
  2. Line a bun tray with cases - this batter made 18 fairy cake sized buns 
  3. Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar together in a large bowl.  (My tool of choice was an electric hand whisk, but a large bowl mixer would be even more effective)
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, blend after each addition
  5. Blend in vanilla extract
  6. In a separate bowl sift flour, salt and baking powder
  7. Add a third of flour to the main bowl (I sifted it again for added lift) and blend
  8. Add a third of the milk to the mix and blend.  Repeat these steps until all flour and milk is added
  9. Fill cases to approx 2 thirds full and bake for 20 mins or until a cake skewer comes out clean
  10. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 10 mins before turning out onto a cooling rack
  11. Let the cupcakes cool completely before icing

Milk Chocolate Icing
  • 60ml double cream
  • 30g unsalted butter, (room temp)
  • 300g quality milk chocolate
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (Primrose recipe specifies 1/2 but I found a little extra brought the chocolate taste out a little more)
  1. Heat the double cream and butter in a saucepan over a very low heat. Do not allow it to boil and stir continuously until all the butter has melted
  2. Once the butter has melted remove from the heat and break in the chocolate
  3. Stir continuously until all the chocolate has melted.  You may need to place the pan back onto a low heat to melt all the chunks
  4. Once the chocolate has melted add vanilla extract
  5. In order to ice the cakes the mixture needs to be at room temperature. (NB It will thicken up as it cools but a quick whisk before use should loosen it enough to ice. If not, 1 min on a low heat will return it to a usable consistency)
  6. Decorate while the icing is still soft with pieces of fudge, butterscotch, broken peanuts or even the little peanut butter drops you can get from specialist American delis

Happy Halloween


  1. These look amazing. I'm going to have to try them.

  2. The writers gave them top marks and they are fussy buggers, so I trust their judgement.

  3. I will be making these bad boys. I got some Reeses peanut drops for my birthday, so they'd be perfect on top! (baking birthday presents = the best!)
    Charlotte x

  4. I know Halloween is gone, but I think these Peanut Butter cupcakes are lovely.