The first time I ever came across PB&J was on a family holiday to Texas when I was 9 years old. At that time the PB&J combination apparently hadn’t made it across the waters to the UK so it was a completely bizarre concept for us Brits. I remember being sat in a restaurant in Houston and my 6 year old brother was looking at the children menu wondering what on earth a PBnJ sandwich was. My mother, also completely baffled by these four letters, asked the waiter when he came to take our order what this strange dish on the children’s menu was. By the look on his face he must have thought we had come from another planet or something – “errr it’s peanut butter and jelly of course?!” Safe to say at the time this sounded completely bizarre and my brother didn’t order it.
Moving 15 years on and we Brits have certainly started to embrace this classic American combination. It’s turning up in all sorts of places, from cafe sandwich menus to energy bar ingredients and now to cake flavours! And what can I say, as a cupcake combination it has got to be one of my best yet. Whilst yes it probably would be difficult to eat too many in one go, for that one mouthful it’s sweet, gooey, sticky, creamy and simply AWESOME!
The sponge is very subtly flavoured with a dollop of peanut butter in the mixture which combines with the sweet jam oozing out from the centre of the cupcake, setting off the magical combination. Then we come to the topping…..the peanut buttercream is light and fluffy but stuffed full of nutty flavour. Drizzled with extra jam and sprinkling of peanut crumb it’s honestly like fireworks in your mouth! The hint of salty crunch from the peanuts perfectly balances the sweetness of the jam. I think some people would think the thought of cake with peanut butter with jam is just too sickly sweet but honestly TRY IT and I promise you will love it. I’ve had people try these who don’t even like peanut butter and they’ve still devoured several of them!
This recipe is inspired by the absolutely gorgeous cupcakes from Crumbs & Doilies in Soho, London created by the wonderful Jemma 🙂
Makes 12 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 125g self raising flour
- 125g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Pinch salt
- 130g unsalted butter, softened
- 50g smooth peanut butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp milk
- 150g seedless raspberry jam
For the peanut buttercream:
- 150g unsalted butter, softened
- 60g smooth peanut butter
- 270g icing sugar
For the peanut crumb:
- 50g finely crushed peanuts
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius (170 fan) and line a 12 hole cupcake tin with paper cases
- Sift the flour, sugar, bicarb and a pinch of salt into a large bowl and mix
- Add the butter, eggs and peanut butter and whisk/beat together for about a minute. Spoon in the tablespoon of milk until combined into the mixture
- Spoon in a good dollop of mixture (about an ice cream scoop size) into each paper case and put in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean
- Meanwhile make the peanut buttercream. Cream the butter and peanut butter in a large bowl for 5 minutes until light in colour. Add the icing sugar and whisk for a further 5 minutes until light and fluffy
- Remove the cupcakes from the oven and cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Once they’re completely cool, make a hole in the cupcake using a skewer about 3/4 of the way down and about half a centimetre across. Pipe a squeeze of jam into each cake.
- Pipe on the peanut buttercream, drizzle with extra jam and sprinkle on a few crushed peanuts
- Don’t over mix the sponge filling, just until the ingredients are fully combined
- To get all your cupcakes the same size you can weigh each blob of mixture in their cases so they’re all the same weight – mine were approx. 44g each but this will depend on the size of your eggs
- Do whisk the peanut buttercream for a good 5 minutes after you’ve added everything – this will ensure it is as light and airy as possible
- Don’t overdo it too much on the jam filling, you’ll be surprised by how much the jam oozes into the cake so just a smallish hole will be fine with a good squeeze of jam.
- Add just a small sprinkling of peanuts onto the top