I don't think a day goes by without me eating a handful (or three) of nuts. If that handful of nuts just happens to be inside a cupcake, you won't hear me complaining.
NOTE: I used a blend of cashew nut and macadamia nut butter. If you want to make these with peanut butter, use natural peanut butter.
Nut Butter Cupcakes with Nutty Mousse Frosting
slightly adapted from Food Network
For the Cupcakes:
1/2 cup nut butter (I used a mix of cashew nut and macadamia nut), well stirred
75g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
For the Frosting:
3/4 cup cream
170g cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup nut butter
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
silver dragees for decorating
Make the Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Line two muffin tins with 18 paper liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the nut butter and butter together until smooth. Beat in the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on low speed to fully incorporated one egg before adding the other. Stir in the vanilla.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, just until incorporated.
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the paper liners. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Make the Frosting:
Whip the cream to soft peaks and chill.
Beat the cream cheese until smooth and then add the nut butter, honey and vanilla. Beat until incorporated. Fold in the whipped cream with a spatula, all in one addition.
Spread each cupcake with a generous amount of frosting and top with a silver dragee.