Fluffy and moist chocolate cupcakes pretending to be Snickers bars.
Since bikini season is pretty much over, I decided to bake something anti-bikini. Bring on the sweatpants and oversized sweaters, puh-lease.
Ok, that’s a total lie. I actually made these cupcakes last month but I knew you might be troubled with the temptation while trying to look your swimsuit best. So, I’m actually doing you a favor by sharing this completely ridiculous recipe with you today. A cupcake favor, if you will.
In true Sally fashion, here’s something totally unrelated to both snickers and cupcakes. Kevin and I celebrated this moment with a little Maryland style crab feast last week– I shared it in my photography section. Our smorgasbord was complete with crabs, old bay mac & cheese, cornbread served with buttermilk yogurt, ice cold brews, and bottomless corn on the cob. Have I ever told you how good Kevin is at picking crabs?? His talent is absurd and I’m obviously horrible at it. Are you good at picking crabs? My skills definitely remain in the cupcake world.
Now that I lost your attention, let’s discuss what makes these cupcakes ultimate:
- From-scratch chocolate cupcakes
- Creamy, rich peanut butter frosting
- Homemade caramel sauce
- Chopped Snickers bars
Are those not the 4 most incredible bullet points you’ve ever read?
So, I’ve made these chocolate cupcakes before for you. Not in a snickers-esque way, but a more classic variety. Here they are with vanilla frosting and sprinkles, and again with raspberry frosting. I love these chocolate cupcakes so much because their flavor is spot on. They actually taste like chocolate, where some chocolate cupcakes I’ve tried are lacking in the flavor department. I knooooow you know what I mean.
Cocoa powder tends to dry cupcakes and cakes out, so I make up for it every way I can. Buttermilk, eggs, oil, and a touch of brown sugar leave the cupcakes super-moist. Quite the line-up of moist-makers, am I right? Don’t leave any of them out!
And the frosting. Ahh! So good, I could (just did) scream. I usually use it to frost these brownie cupcakes or an actual pan of brownies. But the pairing with chocolate cupcakes is an obvious win. What I love most about this frosting is that it’s prominently peanut butter. Not butter and sugar with a little peanut butter flavor. Just all mostly peanut butter. ♥
I know Snickers aren’t super peanut butter-y, but they have peanuts sooo… it makes sense. And if there’s an excuse for peanut butter frosting, I’m doing it. Actually if there’s an excuse for peanut butter anything, I’m doing it. (Truffles.)
Glorious, glorious caramel comes next. You can make it from scratch or use store-bought. Pick your poison. Or whatever. You know. Let the sweet caramel drip right off that cupcake!
Chopped Snickers are the finishing touch. Without a doubt my favorite candy bar! Have you ever tried freezing your snickers bars? Incredible. Or better yet– making your own 7 layer snickers bars? –> Those should be illegal.
Candy. Bar. Bliss. Buhbye bikini.
PS: Here are my upcoming book tour dates. We are working on adding more stops, so check back for definite additions!
Ultimate Snickers Cupcakes
- 1/2 cup (42g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder1
- 3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature2
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil (melted coconut oil works too)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk3
- 5 Tablespoons (75g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (250g) creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup (120g) confectioners' sugar
- 1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade caramel sauce4
- 5-6 fun size Snickers bars, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 2 liners - this recipe makes about 14 cupcakes. Set aside.
- Make the cupcakes: In a large bowl, whisk the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together until thoroughly combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla together until completely smooth. Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then half of the buttermilk. Gently stir - about 5 stirs. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and buttermilk. Stir until *just* combined; do not overmix. The batter won't be very thick.
- Pour/spoon the batter into the liners - fill only halfway to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake in batches for 18-19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For around 30 mini cupcakes, bake for about 10 minutes, same oven temperature. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- Make the frosting: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the softened butter on medium speed for 1 minute until completely smooth and creamy. Add the peanut butter and beat on medium-high speed until the two are combined. Add the confectioners' sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and salt. Beat on low speed for about 20 seconds, then gradually increase to high speed. Beat on high for 1 minute.
- Frost cooled cupcakes. I used a Wilton #12 round tip. Top with caramel sauce and chopped Snickers.
Make ahead tip: Cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Decorate/assemble cupcakes immediately before serving. Leftover cupcakes keep well covered tightly at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 3 days. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
To Turn Into a Cake: Use a 9 inch cake pan. Fill only halfway – there will be extra batter to make some cupcakes. I am unsure of the exact bake time for the cake. Around the 30 minute mark at 350°F (177°C).
- Do not use dutch-process cocoa. Dutch-process is treated with an alkali to neutralize its acids and therefore will not react with the alkaline baking soda in the batter. Natural unsweetened is paired with the brown sugar and buttermilk to react with baking soda and maintain the proper balance of acid and alkaline as the cupcakes bake.
- Room temperature eggs are required for the cupcakes. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, put them in a glass of warm water for 5-10 minutes.
- Buttermilk is required for this recipe. If you do not have buttermilk, make your own by mixing 1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice with 1/2 cup milk. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes.
- If using my homemade caramel sauce, please keep in mind this is a salted caramel. For a sweeter caramel, reduce salt to 1/2 teaspoon. You can make the caramel sauce in advance-- see make ahead tip in the caramel recipe.
Adapted from Death by Chocolate Cupcakes
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SHOP THE RECIPE
Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.
KitchenAid Stand Mixer | KitchenAid Hand Mixer | Colorful Mixing Bowls | Rainbow Whisk | Unsweetened Cocoa Powder | Cupcake Liners | Cupcake Pan | Frosting Bags | Wilton #12 Round Frosting Tip | Snickers Bars
So about those caramel snickers bars…
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