Tuesday, July 2, 2013

PB&J Cupcakes

Hi guys! Today I'm going to share a work-in-progress recipe for PB&J cupcakes. And ya know what? Even though these are a first attempt they turned out great! 

My friends are getting married this summer and asked me if I could make the cake, so I'm trying out some recipes. I'm super touched that they asked me to make it, so I obviously want it to be ultra amazing, and overall, I think this recipe might be a strong contender.

Ok, so the main objective here is delicious cake, but there are a couple of other factors to consider in figuring out a great recipe or two for this wedding.

  1. It needs to be gluten free and vegan
  2. It needs to hold up without refrigeration at a campground in August. Overnight. And all day.
  3. There needs to be enough for 50-100 people, so I'd like to keep the ingredients good quality but inexpensive, which can be tough for gluten free and vegan baked goods!
Gluten free is easy! I do that all the time! But admittedly, I'm not extra super skilled at gluten free AND vegan. Also, when it comes to vegan butter, that shit melts at way lower temperatures than dairy butter, which is a definite concern.

So I racked my brain, thought it over, thought about delicious cake flavors, and decided to try this out. Plain yellow cake, raspberry filling, and peanut butter buttercream. My thought being that the cake and jelly will both hold up totally fine, and the peanut butter in the buttercream should help the vegan butter hold up in the heat.

Here's the recipe I used for my first attempt!

PB&J Cupcakes- Gluten Free and Vegan!- Makes about 18 cupcakes

For cake:
  • 1 package Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix. I know, it's a mix, but it's awesome, inexpensive, and consistent so I say hooray for this one!
  • 3 flax "eggs". To make a flax egg, simply mix 1 tbsp flax meal with 3 tbsp warm water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, stirring a few times, then use away!
  • 1/2 c vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 c water at room temperature
For filling and frosting:
  • Raspberry jam. I admittedly did not measure, but I ended up using about half of the jar pictured above.
  • 1/2 c vegan butter, such as Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
  • 1 c creamy peanut butter
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp (or more if needed) soy milk
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the flax "eggs" and cake mix together at medium speed until well combined.
3. Add the oil and the water and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Be sure to scrape down the sides a few times so everything gets mixed together well.
4. Line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners. I recommend using cute colorful ones as these cupcakes are awfully tan...
5. Fill the cupcake pans with batter. Don't overfill! You only want to batter to come up to about 1/2" down from the edge of the liner.
5. Bake at 325°F for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, then remove from the oven and let cool.
6. Load your jelly into a piping bag fitted with a number 230 decorating tip and inject your jelly into your cupcakes!
 7. In a large mixing bowl (or in a stand mixer, a tool I don't normally have at my disposal...) beat the butter until smooth, then add the peanut butter and beat until well combined and slightly fluffy.
 8. Add about half the powdered sugar, beat to combine, then add the other half and beat on medium until well combined.
9. Add soy milk, beat to combine, then scoop into a piping bag fitted with a number 22 star tip.
10. Pipe frosting onto the cupcakes! And hey, if you don't have a piping bag (I didn't until this weekend) you can just spread the frosting on with a knife.
And... voila! PB&J cupcakes complete!

When I make these again, I'll make a couple of minor changes:

  1. Cook the cake a few minutes longer! When I did the toothpick test it came out super clean, but once the cupcakes cooled there was a slight amount of residual gooeyness around the edges. Don't want that, so a couple extra minutes baking should take care of it. It also may have just been that I was using someone else's oven and wasn't used to it.
  2. Use more jelly! I definitely found myself wanting more. Next time I think I would cut out some of the cake to make room for more.
  3. Add more soy milk to the frosting. It tasted awesome, but boy was it hard to pipe. Especially since I am not yet skilled in the ways of piping.
  4. Add some chopped up peanuts for a nice sprinkle garnish.

Overall, these PB&J cupcakes turned out great and were quickly devoured by my coworkers when I brought them in to work. I think with a little bit more work I'll have an amazing recipe that anyone would love!

Til next time!


P.S. The frosting totally held up overnight in my 90°F kitchen. Success!


  1. Oh. My. Goodness. Wow.

    Haha. These cupcakes look amazing! I need to try this recipe!

    1. Thank you so much! I hope you get a chance to try it out!

  2. I love the addition of the jam before putting the peanut butter cream on - I think that really makes the cupcakes! They look delicious!

    1. Thank you! I agree, the jam is definitely what brings the whole thing together.

  3. oh my goodness, these look SO GOOD. I would have never thought to do a peanutbutter frosting, but now I think I want to try that on everything---brownies, I think? YUM.

    1. Thanks lady! The recipe made leftover frosting which I will be eating on graham crackers (and by the spoonful) all week. That frosting on brownies would be too amazing!

  4. Looks really yummy! I've always wanted to try peanut butter frosting!

    Bitten Glam

    1. Thank you! You should definitely try it out.

  5. EVERYONE is posting about food today, and these look super yummy! Peanut butter frosting?!?! Sign me up! :)

    1. Haha, isn't that the best/worst? I always get really inspired but really hungry looking at delicious looking recipes.

  6. Yum! I recently tried a peanut butter and jelly burger and I've been craving everything PB&J ever since!


    1. Woah! That sounds crazy! I can picture the peanut butter, but can't quite picture the jelly. I'll have to give it a try sometime!

  7. um, YUM. my mouth completely watered just thinking about that PB&J frosting. and holy crap, talk about mission impossible, huh? haha but that's awesome they asked you to make their cake! that's so sweet. i'm kind of vegan (i still eat eggs) and thought it was easy, but i never thought about the baked goods part! i've been doing this only a month, but i definitely can't give up my cupcakes and brownies ;)

    xo Marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

    1. Thanks Marlen! If you are vegan but eating eggs, baked goods are usually super easy. Replacing dairy isn't too tough, but replacing eggs is hard, so if you're eating eggs, you should still have a pretty easy time whipping up some delicious baked goods!

  8. Congrats for coming up with such a delicious-sounding cake, especially given the dietary parameters! I LOVE that you piped jam into the cupcakes--both for the taste and the surprise of finding it there. Yum!!!!

    1. Thank you so much! It's always fun to have a delicious surprise!

  9. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh my, they look SO DELICIOUS.

    x Michelle | thefeatherden.net

  10. Oh wow, you must be super good at baking if your friends want you to do their wedding cake... that's so awesome! And these cupcakes look adorable and delicious. =) I agree that the gluten free part would be easy but the vegan part would be much harder just because I know all about gluten free baking but vegan baking remains a mystery to me. Good luck! xoxo

    1. Thanks Laura! I would have never thought someone admired my baking skills enough to ask my to make their wedding cake so I was super honored and flattered.

      Thanks for the well wishes! I think next I'll try coconut cake!


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