Tomorrow is St Patrick’s Day! To celebrate, why not give this recipe a try? My Pot of Gold Cupcakes are easy enough to make with kids and you probably already have all of the ingredients in your pantry. On the outside, they look like a regular chocolate cupcake, but once you bite in, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find a hidden Reese’s like “golden” peanut butter filling. Decorate with your favorite version of a candy rainbow and you’ve got a St Patrick’s Day themed dessert fit for a leprechaun!
I love hiding surprise fillings in cupcakes. They add a “wow” factor that is sure to impress. Fillings like the one for this cupcake are some of the easiest fillings to do. This Reese’s style filling gets baked right into the cupcake meaning that there is very little fussing over the cupcakes after they’ve come out of the oven. Just assemble, bake, and frost, and that’s it!
Start by filling your cupcake pans with cupcake liners. For this recipe, I chose a golden liner to help drive home the pot of gold theme.
Next, mix together the cake batter. This rich chocolate cake batter is probably the easiest cake that I make. You literally throw all of the ingredients into a bowl together and mix them with a hand or stand mixer. That’s it! And to top it all off, this cake comes out perfect and moist every time. What could be better?
After you’ve finished mixing, the batter should be smooth, slightly thick, and look something like this:
Fill the cupcake liners only HALF way. Because you will be adding a peanut butter filling to each of these, you don’t want to overfill them at this point.
Now you’ll want to mix up the peanut butter filling. It’s made up of just two ingredients; peanut butter and powdered sugar. You mix together equal parts of both of these until they are smooth and fully combined.
The filling is ready to go when it looks similar to this:
To fill each cupcake, simply roll the peanut butter filling into small balls (about 1/2 tbs of filling per ball).
Sink the balls into the middle of each cupcake.
Don’t worry about trying to sink the filling all the way to the bottom of the cupcake or about covering the filling up with batter. The filling will naturally sink to the bottom while the cupcake bakes and the cupcake will bake over the top. Just sink the filling down far enough that the batter begins to surround it.
Continue doing this until all of the cupcakes are filled.
Bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting, I used a traditional Buttercream Frosting that I colored green.
I always opt to pipe frosting on my cupcakes rather than spreading it with a knife or spatula. Piping frosting on is actually much faster than icing by hand and I feel that it gives the cupcakes a much more finished look. If you don’t have piping bags and piping tips at home, a great shortcut is to use a ziplock bag in place of a piping bag.
With just a couple of simple steps, you’ll be piping like a pro!
Start by folding the top rim of the bag down to expose the inside of the bag.
Open the bag up as wide as you can and fill one corner of the bag with frosting.
Flip the rim of the bag back up and twist to create a seal just above the top of the frosting.
Cut off the corner of the bag to create an opening. The bigger you make the opening, the more frosting that will come out at a time. For this basic swirled look, I cut off about 1/2 an inch of the corner. Remember that you can always cut more if you need to, so start with a little and cut more if you decide you’d like a wider opening.
To make this swirled look, start on the outside of the cupcake and pipe around in a circle, spiraling in toward the center of the cupcake.
Once all of the cupcakes are frosted, decorate with your favorite rainbow colored candies. I was planning to use those sour rainbow fruit strips, but after searching several stores, I came to the conclusion that they don’t sell those in the UK (at least not in the stores in our area) so I settled for multi-colored M&M’s. I think they turned out cute and the M&M’s certainly taste better than the fruit strips! Plus, someone had to eat all of the brown M&M’s that couldn’t be used in the rainbow. It was a sacrifice I was willing to make.
The filling really does taste just like a Reese’s filling. It’s a great surprise when you take a bite. My husband absolutely loves Reese’s and he just couldn’t say enough good things about this cupcake.
Share them with your friends or keep them all for yourself. You can’t go wrong with these delightful treats!
Happy St Patrick’s Day!
Pot of Gold Cupcakes
Makes 30 cupcakes
For the Cake:
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 2 eggs
For the Filling:
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 bag of M&M’s for decoration (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Begin by making the cake. Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Beat on low with a mixer for 30 seconds, then beat on high for 3 minutes. Fill cupcake liners 1/2 full with the cake batter.
For the filling, stir together the peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth and well combined.
Roll the peanut butter filling into 1/2 tbs sized balls. Sink one ball of filling into each cupcake.
Bake the cupcakes for 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
Frost the cupcakes with a buttercream frosting colored green and decorate with rainbow candies.