Peanut butter cupcakes are cakes that are about 1-4 inches (2.54-10.16 cm) across, in which peanut butter acts as a major ingredient. The peanut butter might be present in the batter, in the frosting or as a filling. Peanut butter cupcakes often also contain other flavorings and can be made suitable for some special diets.
This type of cupcake tends to be dense and slightly oily because of the high fat content of the peanut butter. Bakers who are converting a regular vanilla cupcake to a recipe that contains peanut butter should reduce the oil or butter to prevent greasiness. Baking cupcakes with peanut butter provides extra protein in a carbohydrate-heavy dessert: about 3.5 grams for each tablespoon (about 15 cubic cm) in the recipe.
Peanut butter cupcakes that use peanut butter in the batter can be served plain or with a frosting. The most common flavors include vanilla buttercream and chocolate. When the peanut butter is used as a filling, the cupcake might be either chocolate or vanilla and accompanied by cupcake ingredients such as jam or banana slices. Peanut butter-frosted cupcakes might also add jam if the cake is vanilla flavored, but jam is rare when the cake is made with chocolate.
A cook can make filled peanut butter cupcakes by filling the cupcake pan partially with batter. He or she can then drop in a ball or spoonful of peanut butter or peanut butter-flavored confection and then fill the pan completely with batter. When the cake solidifies in the oven, the peanut butter stays suspended inside. When the peanut butter filling is heavier than the batter, however, it might sink to the bottom.
Bakers can produce healthy cupcakes containing peanut butter by using whole grain flour and reducing the fat content of the recipe. Substituting reduced-fat peanut butter for full-fat types decreases its fat content and total calories. Using applesauce to replace some of the oil or butter in the recipe also does this.
Gluten-sensitive individuals can make gluten-free peanut butter cupcakes by using natural peanut butters that contain no fillers or texture-improving ingredients, along with a gluten-free flour mix. Although peanuts themselves contain no gluten, other ingredients in peanut butter might contain trace amounts of this substance. Bakers can make vegan peanut butter cupcakes by substituting flax seed and vegetable oil for any eggs or butter in the recipe. Peanut butter cupcakes are never suitable for people who have legume allergies.