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To make the Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcakes, you’ll need a devil’s food cake mix, Reese’s mini-cups, traditional rainbow sprinkles, and “Red Hots” cinnamon candies, along with the ingredients for the Peanut Butter Buttercream. Prepare the cake according to the box. It should yield between 22-24 cupcakes. Don’t forget to use paper liners!
Prepare your frosting while your cupcakes bake. Once your cupcakes are baked and then cooled, you will pipe on your frosting. Fill your Ziploc bag with frosting, zip it closed, and cut off a small corner from the bottom. (See the Key Lime cupcake instructions for more help with this trick.) Holding the top of the bag firmly between your thumb and forefinger, use the force of your palm to squeeze the bag from the top so the icing comes out steadily. Ring your cupcake with a line of icing starting from the outside and going in. Once all your cupcakes are piped, you get to make the cute “mini cupcake topper” for your garnish. To do this, you will place one mini Reese’s peanut butter cup in the center of your frosted cupcake. Using your Ziploc bag of icing (or if you use real decorating bags and tips, a star tip works really well here), pipe a small blob of frosting onto the top of the peanut butter cup to make it look like a cupcake. Add a few colored sprinkles and one Red Hot, and you have a teeny tiny faux cupcake adorning your real cupcake!
1/3 C. butter, softened
1/3 C. shortening
¾ C. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 C. powdered sugar
4-5 Tbsp. milk
Procedure: Cream butter and shortening together. Add peanut butter and vanilla and stir. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time. Add milk one tablespoon at a time between adding sugar. The frosting should be very firm, but able to be piped from a tube, so add a bit more milk if it is too stiff.