Sriracha Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Cupcakes. Such complex compositions of coordinated components. Unlike cakes (which usually just have the basic cake and frosting layers), cupcakes venture beyond into a prolific realm of fillings and toppings. Last week was our friend Jackie’s birthday and rather than bake a cake, we decided to take on the cupcake challenge. Inspired by two of Jackie’s food favorites (Sriacha and Take 5 candy bars), we embraced each component and came up with these Sriracha Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting!

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Kabocha steel cut oat porridge, kung pao chicken, and garlic green beans to round out the meal!

I’ve gotta admit, it often surprises me how well things turns out the first time we make it, but especially when it comes to baked goods since many a time healthier substitutions and alterations get made along the way. Well, this turned out to be another one of those times! Despite having used our free sriracha from the Midtown Village Fall Festival in a few different dishes now, I still consider it to be a rather unfamiliar flavor. And although I wouldn’t usually think of sriracha and sweets together, the pairing actually worked really well in the truffle filling to provide a prominently spicy counterpart to the rich, fluffy chocolate cake encasing it.

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Because we didn’t have birthday candles…

As far as the topping, I had never even heard of Take 5 bars before Jackie introduced them to me freshman year. As the name implies, this candy bar takes five major ingredients: milk chocolate, peanuts, caramel, peanut butter, and pretzels. The chocolate, peanuts, and peanut butter worked seamlessly with the existing flavors; however, the caramel and pretzels added yet another contrasting layer (crunch with just a hint of salt) to the coordinated composition that was these cupcakes. All in all, I couldn’t have been happier with how these cupcakes turned out! Happy 20th birthday Jackie! 2014-10-23 15.37.00


Sriracha Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Makes 6 cupcakes2014-10-23 15.32.25

Ingredients

For the chocolate cupcakes:

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tbsp instant coffee powder + 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For the sriracha truffle filling:

  • 1 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips2014-10-23 15.34.04
  • Residual butter from cupcake making (~1/4 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp sriracha

For the peanut butter frosting:

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions

For the chocolate cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cupcake pan with six liners.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the coffee. Gradually add in the cocoa powder until fully incorporated. The mixture should come to a simmer, but not a boil. Once the mixture has thickened, remove it from the heat and let cool to room temperature. (Note: the butter will start to separate out, but this is actually what you want to simplify making the truffle filling)
  3. Meanwhile, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a larger bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, and vanilla. Gradually add the cooled cocoa mixture, whisking constantly until smooth and combined. (Note: Give the cocoa mixture a stir before adding it since the butter likely separated out. The cocoa mixture should want to slide out quite easily, so don’t worry about scraping out all the butter because the residual butter will be used for the truffle filling)
  5. Add the dry ingredients in 3 stages, mixing until the batter is smooth and combined.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the liners. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cupcakes pass the toothpick test. Let the cupcakes cool completely before filling.2014-10-23 15.28.43

For the sriracha truffle filling:

  1. To the saucepan with the residual butter, add 1 tbsp milk, swirl to combine, and bring the mixture to a boil.
  2. Pour the hot milk mixture over the chocolate and stir until all the chocolate melts.
  3. Add the sriracha and stir until homogenous.
  4. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until ready to use.

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For the peanut butter frosting:

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and peanut butter.
  2. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until all the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is thick and spreadable. Beat the frosting for 2-3 minutes to get a nice n’ fluffy consistency.

After they have cooled completely, core the cupcakes and pipe in the sriracha truffle filling. Top with the peanut butter frosting and a chopped up Take 5 candy bar!

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