These cake bites were inspired by the iconic peanut butter cup. I wanted something a little lighter, but with the same amazing, creamy, peanut butter center that we peanut butter-aholics live for. So…let’s recap. Exquisite chocolate fudge cake, creamy peanut butter filling, all topped with a rich milk chocolate frosting…need I say more!?!
For the Chocolate Cake Bites:
- 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon cocoa
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup cake flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon butter
For the Peanut Butter Cream Filling:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
In a medium bowl, whisk the cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and cool to room temperature, 20 – 30 minutes.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs, the remaining 3 tablespoons water, and the vanilla just until combined.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed for a few seconds until combined. Add the butter and the cocoa mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the speed to medium and beat for two minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
On medium low speed, gradually add half of the egg mixture. Increase the speed to medium high and beat for 30 seconds to incorporate the ingredients. Return the speed to medium low, and add remaining egg mixture.
Again, increase the speed to medium high for an additional 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beater, and beat batter again for 15 seconds on medium to ensure batter is smooth.
Spray a 24 count mini muffin tray with cooking spray. Using a tablespoon, drop the batter in the muffin tin, spreading batter evenly among the cups. The cups will be quite full and you should not have any batter remaining. Tap the muffin tin on the counter to remove any air bubbles in the batter and to smooth the tops.
Bake the mini cakes for 10 – 12 minutes until puffed and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
Remove the cake bites from the muffin tin using a butter knife, being careful not to slice the edges. Allow to cool completely, for at least two hours.
While the cakes are cooking, prepare the peanut butter filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and vanilla.
Slowly beat in the powdered sugar and the pinch of salt. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Add in heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, then beat at medium-high speed for a minute or two until light and fluffy.
Fold peanut butter into the buttercream mixture.
Blend just until peanut butter is combined, then transfer to a large pastry bag with a plain tip. Set aside.
Once the cakes are cooled, prepare cakes to be filled. Using a small serrated knife with a pointed tip, carve a hollow into each cake bite. Be sure to leave a small edge and to go almost to the bottom of the cake. Using the pastry bag filled with the peanut butter cream, fill each cake hollow creating a smooth top between the filling and the cake.
With a separate pastry bag fitted with a star tip, top filled cake bites with chocolate frosting. Make sure all peanut butter filling is covered. If desired, accent cake bites with chocolate jimmies or other sprinkles.
Refrigerate cakes for at least an hour before serving. Refrigerate any remaining cakes (yeah right…like these will stick around). These little bites are amazing when frozen as well!