If you are a fan of peanut butter, you will go nuts for these peanut butter filled chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate mousse frosting on top. This is an eggless recipe.
When I started TPC, my customized cake business, one of the first orders I got was from this girl Ankita. Ankita found me through instagram and the first time we met was on her birthday when she ordered her birthday cake from me. I was new to Chandigarh, had no friends, and pretty much my life revolved around just my parents and relatives and baking cakes. When I shared this with her, post her birthday she made it a point to invite me to an event she was hosting. From there our friendship started, and I am so glad it did.
I am no longer taking cake orders now, concentrating on my photography and the blog. As I was in town for Ankita’s birthday she asked me to make a cake for her. She mentioned she likes chocolate, peanut butter, nutella, dark chocolate and roasted almonds. I knew I had to make a cake that somehow got all those flavors together and still didn’t feel like a mishmash.
I ended up baking my vegan chocolate cake but this time added half butter because I like the taste and richness that butter lends to a cake. Filled one cake layer with peanut butter mousse that I adapted from here, another with a thin layer of nutella and a chocolate mousse filling, topped with dark chocolate ganache. For the decoration I made dark chocolate and roasted almond shards and filled the top of the cake with the dark chocolate shards. The cake was sinful, and an absolute success. I had shared pictures from my phone on my IG stories, but couldn’t take any for the blog.
Since I had some peanut butter mousse left and this is a recipe to be shared, I decided to make cupcakes which I could photograph for the blog post. And here I am today sharing it with you.
This cake is rich. Its sinful. So small slices suffice, although on an empty stomach I could eat one real big piece of this beauty. The recipe I am sharing is for one 8 inch 3 layer cake. I halved the cake recipe to yield 12 cupcakes.
If you are a peanut butter and chocolate fan, make this cake. If you know someone who loves peanut butter and chocolate, this should be that person’s birthday cake. You could fill both the layers with the peanut butter mousse, but I wanted to cut down a little of the richness that the peanut butter mousse lends to the cake. Alternating layers of peanut butter mousse and chocolate mousse was perfect!
The chocolate mousse is actually one of my favorites and have made it so many times now. I adapted the recipe from here. In India, since finding heavy cream is a little tough to find, I use the non-dairy whipping cream. Rich and Tropolite both have worked fine for me.
I am giving the instructions for both- the cake and the cupcakes. Whatever you choose, do try this recipe out.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1¾ cups sugar*
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used KA Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda*
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups hot water*
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 113 gms cream cheese
- ⅓ cup confectioners sugar
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup hot water
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp espresso coffee
- 130 gms bittersweet chocolate
- 1 cup heavy cream, cold
- 4 tbsp nutella
- Preheat oven to 350º with rack in the center.
- If making cake, prepare 3 8 inch cake tins by greasing and lining them with parchment rounds. If make cupcakes, line cupcake pan with liners.
- Whisk the dry ingredients except instant coffee together in a large mixing bowl. I suggest sifting all the dry ingredients except the sugar in the large bowl and then whisking in the sugar.
- Combine the wet ingredients- water, oil, vinegar, instant coffee, and vanilla in a large measuring cup.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold together with a wooden or rubber spatula or a hand whisk just until combined, a few lumps are OK.
- Pour batter into prepared pans.
- Bake until a tester comes out clean, 25-30 min for cake, 15-18 min for cupcakes.
- Let the cakes cool in pan for 10 minutes. Run a skewer or knife around the edges to loosen the cake.Invert on wire rack, or remove cupcakes from pan. Let cool completely.
- In a stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese with sugar, peanut butter, vanilla and salt on medium speed until creamy and light, about 5 minutes. Beat cream in another bowl on high speed to stiff but not dry peaks. Fold cream into peanut butter mixture. Keep chilled until ready to use.
- Dissolve the cocoa powder and instant espresso powder in hot water. Melt the chocolate until its nice and smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, whip the cream with 1 tbsp sugar (if required, the non dairy kinds comes sweetened) until hard peaks form.
- Stir the cocoa mixture and nutella into the melted chocolate. Add half of the whipped cream and gently mix everything together. Fold in the rest of the whipped cream and mix until no white streaks are left. Refrigerate until cake is cooled completely.
- I use a 1M tip to remove some cake from the centre of the cupcake. You could use a knife or a corer if you have one. Fill with the peanut butter mousse. Swirl the chocolate mousse on the top. You can drizzle with some chocolate ganache if you feel like.
- Put your first layer of cake on the board. Drizzle with some simple syrup ( feel free to add liqueur to the syrup- bailey's works well). Fill with a layer of peanut butter mousse. Top with the second layer of cake. Drizzle with syrup. Fill with a layer of chocolate mousse. Top with the third layer of chocolate cake. Glaze the cake with chocolate ganache or leftover mousse, as you like. Decorate as you like.