Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes with PB Cream Cheese Frosting

Hello all– Peanut Butter & Chocolate– goes together like peaches & cream or bacon & eggs.  It’s just a pretty irresistible combination.  I’m imagining this could be a hit at your 4th of July Bar-b-que!!


1 chocolate cake mix
vegetable oil
3 eggs
1/3 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
4 oz. cream cheese
1 box powdered sugar (about 3  2/3 cups)
1/2 tsp.vanilla
3 to 4 tab. milk

Make the cake mix according to the recipe on the box. (Mine used 1/2 cup oil, 1  1/4 cup water and 3 eggs.)  Use an electric mixer– and also add in the 1/3 cup peanut butter.

Use cupcake paper liners in cupcake pans to make 24 cupcakes.  Fill the cupcake cups 1/2 full with batter and the pop them into a 350 degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until the cupcakes are firm to the touch.

Let the cupcakes cool before you frost them.

To make the frosting, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, 1/2 cup peanut butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla.  Add the milk, a little at a time until the frosting is smooth and creamy.

Top the cupcakes with frosting and dig in!


Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Hello there– How’s everything with you??  I’m in the kitchen watching over a pot of pork ragu simmering on the stove and listening to the soundtrack of Godspell (old favorite) –and writing to you!  I call that a good morning.

Wanted to send off this cupcake recipe.  I know there’s a debate about using/absolutely not using cake mixes.  I rather like them– and the tender moist cake they produce.  This recipe adds lemon zest and juice and tops it off with tangy lemony cream cheese frosting.  They’re pretty perfect (even for a cake mix!)


1 lemon
1 lemon cake mix
canola oil
3 eggs

1 lemon
8 oz. cream cheese, room tempertature
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 box powdered sugar (3  3/4 cups)

To make the cupcakes, grate the peel off of the lemon.  Then cut it in half and juice it.  Set the grated peel and juice aside.

Read the ingredients for the cupcakes on the box of your cake mix– mine used 1 cup water, 3 eggs and 1/3 cup vegetable oil.  In place of the full cup of water, pour the lemon juice into your measuring cup and then fill with with water to measure 1 cup.

With an electric mixer beat together the cake mix, eggs, water-juice, grated lemon peel and oil for 2 minutes until it’s a smooth fluffy batter.

Spoon the batter into muffin pans the have been lined with cupcake wrappers (or sprayed with cooking spray).  Should make about 24 cupcakes.  Bake them at 350 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes, until they are slightly browned and firm to the touch.  Let them cool before you frost them.

To make the frosting, grate the peel of the second lemon and extract the juice.  Then with your mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, lemon peel and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice.

Frost the cooled cupcakes and enjoy!!

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Hello there– I know, I know you shouldn’t start a new recipe with a disclaimer– But if you are a blogger (this means you, all my blog-buddies), you know the sometimes photos aren’t what you’d hoped.  But I loved these tender, creamy cupcakes!!- so I’m sending along the recipe and you’ll have to imagine how pretty (and delicious) they were! OK??


chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 pack instant coffee crystals (about 1 tsp.)
1 tsp. coffee liqueur  (like Kahlua)

1 pint whipped cream
2 tsp. instant vanilla pudding powder
tsp. powdered sugar
1 cup mascarpone cheese
unsweetened cocoa powder

Mix the cake mix according to the directions on the box.  (Mine used 3 eggs, 1/2 cup oil and 1 1/4 cup water).  Add in the instant coffee and coffee liqueur and beat for two minutes with an electric mixer.

Pour the batter into 24 paper cupcake liners in cupcake pans.  Pop them in a 350 degree oven and bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until they are firm to the touch.  Let them cool completely.

With an electric mixer, beat the whipped cream along with the pudding powder and powdered sugar  –until it is stiff and set.  With a spoon, fold in the mascarpone cheese.

Top each cooled cupcake with a large dollop of the cream & mascarpone mixture.  And then dust the cocoa over the cream through a small sieve.  Refrigerate the cupcakes if you are making them way ahead…  So delish!


Orange Cupcakes


Hi there– Our kids live in Ojai– and if you’ve ever been there, you know it’s nestled int a valley teeming with citrus groves.  There are spans of orange and mandarin trees lining the roads that lead up to their house.  So when they come down to visit, they often bring in the door a big red net bag of oranges, fresh from the farm!  There’s a big bowl sitting on kitchen the table here next to my lap top.

So when I wanted to make cupcakes this week for friends coming in on Thursday night, I thought– how can I use a few of these oranges??!  And here they are– orange cupcakes:

Orange cake mix (Duncan Hines)*
2 large oranges
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 pound box powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 cups)
1 tsp. vanilla

Use a grater to grate off all the orange skin of the two oranges.  Set aside.  Then juice the oranges keep the juice aside as well.

Make the cake mix according to the directions on the package (mine asked for oil, eggs and water) — But substitute 1 cup of orange juice for the water called for!!  (save 2 tablespoons of the orange juice to use for the frosting)  Stir in half of the grated orange peel into the batter (save the second half of the peel for the frosting).

Spoon the batter into muffin tins lined with cupcake papers about 1/2 full.  Should make about 24 cupcakes.Pop them into the oven for 15 0 18 minutes at 350 degrees, until they come out firm to the touch.

Let the cupcakes cool completely and then make the frosting– With an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, 2 tablespoons of the orange juice and the rest of the grated orange peel).  Spread it thickly on the cooled cupcakes and you’re ready for a party!

* If your market doesn’t have orange cake mix, a yellow or white mix would be just as well.


Coconut Cupcakes


Hello all– Cupcakes.  They’re the old stand by around here.  The nice way to have 24 little pieces of cake that are easy to serve, easy to eat for a crowd in the house.  These are from last Thursday when we have our weekly group of 20 & 30 somethings come in for the evening.  It’s fun for us to hang out with all those bright lively people and happily, they like coffee and cupcakes.  So it all works out…


1 white cake mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
3 eggs
1  1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pound box powdered sugar (about 3  3/4 cups)
2 to 3 tab. milk
extra shredded coconut to scatter over the tops


This is easy.  Make the cake mix according to the package directions.  My mix used 1 cup water, 1/3 cup oil and 3 eggs.  After you beat the batter with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, stir in the 1  1/2 cup coconut.

Spoon the batter into cupcake pans that have been lined with muffin papers.  Should make about 24 cupcakes.  And pop them into a 350 degree oven for 15 to 17 minutes until they are golden and firm to the touch.  Let them cool.

For the frosting, with an electric mixer, beat together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla.  Then slowly beat in the powdered sugar and milk.  When it’s all combined into a smooth frosting, spread it generously over the cupcakes and immediately sprinkle on the coconut over the top while the frosting is still moist so it will stick.

That’s it.  Make coffee. Invite friends.  And eat.


Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

Hi there pumpkin loving friends– It’s that time of year that we can’t resist, pumpkin-izing everything!  Even cupcakes.  So when the college kids from church came over to eat last week, I made up a couple batches of these and they seemed to like them pretty darn well.  School party?  Snacks at work?  Treats for Trick or Treaters?  These could be just right.

1 yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup pumpkin
2 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

With a mixer, blend up all the ingredients, beating for 2 minutes on medium speed.  Then spoon it into cupcake liners– about 22 cupcakes.  Bake for 15 to 18 minutes at 350 degrees.

1 stick butter
1/3 cup Hershey’s Dark Cocoa powder
8 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pound box of powdered sugar

Set out the cream cheese to come to room temperature.  Put the butter in a bowl and melt it in the microwave.  Mix in the cocoa and then beat in the cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until it’s smooth and ready to spread on your cupcakes.

This frosting recipe makes enough for a 2 layer cake.  You might have some extra when you use it for cupcakes.  But leftovers save nicely in the fridge for several days…


Hello friends.  My sis.  She’s amazing.  So when her kids wanted cupcakes for their wedding she said, “No problem!”  She whipped up close to 600 cupcakes.  And 6 gallons of frosting.  And all the goodies to decorate cupcakes at a “frost your own cupcake bar” for the wedding!
It was big fun.  The wedding guests frosted, sprinkled and chomped and then went back for seconds…

Luanne baked up 6 kinds of cupcakes.  There were white cake, mocha, strawberry,  banana, oreo and cocoa chocolate apple cake (an old family recipe).  Then she stirred up 6 flavors of frosting– strawberry, mocha, cream cheese, cream cheese chocolate, oreo and salted crarmel– with real homemade caramel and sea salt (the best!).  Next she rustled up assorted sprinkles, nuts, candies, fruit to top them all off.
Finally, she stacked them on a giant tiered
cup cake stand and voila!


Last of all she baked up a “giant cupcake” to top the cupcake tiered extravaganza.  Add on the top the bride and groom figurine from our mother’s 1949 wedding cake and it was a beautiful, bountiful cup cake feast– and a touch of fun for Matt and Andrea’s lovely day of wedding.

Here’s Ted and Luanne, inaugurating the cupcake display.  Great Baking Lulu!