Nutella & Peanut Butter No Frost Cupcakes

It was my mom’s birthday this Friday, so I decided to wake up early and make her some cupcakes. To keep it simple I stole the idea of adding Nutella or peanut butter to the top before baking and wala, no need to frost the cupcakes! Mini anything is the perfect bite-sized, guilt-free snack, so I made more minis than regular sized cupcakes.  They are just so adorable too.

To bake these treats:

  • 1 box yellow Jiffy cake mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup Nutella

imageIn a mixing bowl, mix together the cake mix, flour, sugar, eggs, butter, milk, cream cheese and vanilla using an electric hand mixer until well blended. To make it easier on yourself you can use two boxes of Jiffy, milk, vanilla, and an egg.  I decided to make more cupcakes than the little box allowed for, so I started throwing together a few items to a. spice up the plain cake mix and b. increase the overall volume of my batter.
imageNext, take three small mixing bowls,  preferably microwaveable.  This will be your topping.  I chose to experiment with three different blends, so you can do the same, pick one, all three or try your own.  In your first small bowl, add approximately 1/4 cup peanut butter. I used organic, as it was easier to stir and a little softer than the regular Jiffy.  In the next bowl add the remaining peanut butter and 1/4 cup Nutella mixing thoroughly.  In your final bowl, combine the cream cheese and remaining Nutella until creamy.  To soften the concoctions, throw each bowl in the microwave for 10 seconds.

I used both mini cupcake pans and regular sized muffin tins, spraying the regular sized as I didn’t have paper cups.  In the mini pans, fill each cup 3/4 full.  With the remaining batter, add in one banana, blend with a hand mixer, and fill the regular sized cups 3/4 of the way full. I then tossed some chocolate chips on top for added flavor and a delicious pairing with the banana, but you can also mix these in.

Once all the muffin tins are filled, add a dollop of each mixture into the desired muffin tin batter.  With the mini cupcakes, I chose to go row by row added Nutella cream cheese then Nutella peanut butter.  image

The big tins with the chocolate chips is where I used the organic peanut butter.  Then take a toothpick and gently pull the topping out from the center to the sides, mixing it with the batter a bit. It seemed the softer the mixture, the easier it was to gradually twist into the batter, still allowed the heavy, sweet topping to stay on the surface.  The cream cheese mixture was definitely the easiest, followed by the organic peanut butter.  I’d suggest microwaving them all to keep them soft and manageable.

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Once everything is well blended, toss your pans in the oven at 325 degrees Farenheit for 20 minutes or until cooked through.  Take out the large peanut butter banana chocolate chip cupcakes and add a few more chocolate chips to the top while the pan is still hot so they melt as a frosting, or toss back in the oven for a minute. I didn’t do this, but the peanut butter was a bit much to eat in one sitting, and I think the semi-sweet chocolate topping would break up the dryness of the peanut butter.

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imagePlace on a cooling rack when completely finished. And definitely eat while these babies are hot!

imageYou can see on the mini ones how the Nutella/peanut butter/cream cheese sits in the middle and on the top of the cake creating a layer that requires no frosting.  Our favorite, by far, was the Nutella cream cheese, but they were all delightful and even light enough for breakfast.  The peanut butter was a tad on the excessive dry side, but really paired well with the banana. I’m wondering if it would be better as a mini also, as there was still the concentration of the topping, but an even amount with the cake batter.

imageThe simple nature of these makes them a quick snack or dessert, and they are easy enough that the kids will be glad to help out in the kitchen, if only to be the first one in line for a taste-test. The amounts are variable, and depending on your personal liking, you can adjust everything.

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