Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

We go together like rama lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong…

I’ve been singing this song all weekend, often a capella and much to Luther’s dismay.

Because it is Valentine’s Day next week I was trying to come up with something romantic. Now, I’m not a traditionally romantic big  gestures sort of person. I like cards that say  I like you more than pizza and things like that so for my Valentine’s Day cupcakes I was trying to come up with perfect pairings. Like Brie and Strawberries. Or Mac and Cheese… And I came up with

We go together like peanut butter and jelly.

That is why I have been singing to myself.

Yes, these are pb&j cupcakes! And even better yet, they have a surprise heart on the inside.

I had seen these sorts of hidden image cupcakes before but they always needed to be cut in a particular direction. I wanted you to be able to just take a bite out and have a heart show up. I came up with a way to do it and was really pleased to find out that it works!! I wasn’t the first one to figure it so there is a video for you to reference as well.

If you don’t want to do the heart thing you could just put a dollop of jam on top of the peanut butter batter and maybe swirl it around to make it pretty. Yum!

secret heart cupcake pb and j cupcakes peanut butter and jam cupcake




1 basic vanilla cake
¼ cup of jam
pink gel food colouring

100g butter
½ cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ cup milk

Preheat oven to 170°C.
Line a muffin tray with cupcake cases.


Make your favourite vanilla cake and use gel food colours to get a vibrant pink colour. Cut of any browned edges of the cake and crumble into a bowl.

Add jam and mix. You want it to be mouldable (like if you were making cake pops) so add more jam if required.

Roll into ½ inch balls. Roll one end of the ball into a point. Press down on the rounded end with your pinky to make a cone shaped indent. Set aside.

Put all the cupcake ingredients into a mixer and beat until combined (about 2 minutes on medium).

Spoon some mixture into the cupcake cases until they are about half full. Push the hearts in the centre of each cupcake. Spread any extra mixture around the hearts.

Bake at 170°C for 15 minutes (or until the top springs back to the touch).

Allow to cool before icing.


what if i write something here

what if i write something here

what if i write something here

what if i write something here
what if i write something here

what if i write something here

what if i write something here



100g butter
½ cup peanut butter
2 cups icing sugar
¼ cup milk

125g butter
½ cup jam
2 cups icing sugar
2 Tablespoons milk

Sit all ingredients until they are at room temp.


Beat peanut butter and butter together until creamy. Add icing sugar in 3 lots, beating well after each addition.

Add milk and beat on high for 3-5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Set aside.

In a new bowl, beat together jam and butter. Add icing sugar in 3 lots, beating well after each addition.

Add milk and beat on high for 3-5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Set aside.

To ice cupcakes with two-tone icing, prepare a piping bag with a big star tip. Press peanut butter icing into one side of the bag. Press jam icing into the other side of the bag.

Squeeze the icing out until you have both colours coming out. Swirl icing onto cupcakes.



pb&j cupcakes

I’ve been really enjoying recipes where I just dump everything in the mixer. There may be a few more like this coming.

Do you have V Day plans?

xo Isabel

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Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes

Valentine's cupcakes

Valentine’s Day is about two weeks away so I thought I would start posting some things related to that. The only problem is that I am absolutely the least romantic person I know. If there was a class in preschool teaching kids how to be romantic, I missed it. Amongst my plans for Valentine’s posts I tried to come up with cool card designs and things like that. The best I could come up with was

“If you were on fire and I had a glass of water, I wouldn’t drink it.”

Ooh, doesn’t that just fill you with feelings of love and affection? Yeah nah. I think I will stick to the baking.

raspberry frosting

Chocolate is one of those foods that seem to work with every special occasion. We eat it at Christmas, Easter and birthdays. Summer or Winter, night or day, chocolate works. It is no wonder that people give it on Valentine’s! There is a 90% chance that the recipient will enjoy it.

For the season of luuuurve, I developed these raspberry and dark chocolate cupcakes. They can be made with frozen or fresh raspberries, and are a lovely gift for that special someone.

real raspberry buttercream

Raspberry and Chocolate Cupcakes


  • 125g butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 250g dark chocolate
  • 1 cup milk
  • 140g raspberries


Beat butter until pale and light. Add sugar and beat until lovely and creamy. Add eggs one at a time and then the vanilla extract. Make sure all of this is well combined.

Sift cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add to the mixture in parts. It will be quite a thick mixture at this point.

Melt chocolate and milk together. I find using a double boiler is the best way to do this. Allow to cool slightly, then a pour into the mixture. It may take a little while for it to combine. If at first it seems like clumps of mixture in the chocolate you need to keep mixing.

Carefully fold in the raspberries. Fill cupcake cases about 3/4 full. Place in the oven at 180°C (360°F) for 15-20 minutes. They are ready when they spring back when touched lightly. The best placement is to have the bottom of the tray in the middle of the oven.

Allow to cool before icing.

Raspberry Buttercream:


  • 75g butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup raspberries (defrosted if using frozen)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk (optional)


Beat butter until pale and creamy. Add raspberries and Vanilla. Beat until well combined. Sift icing sugar into the bowl. It is best to do this in parts as the amount you need may change slightly depending on how much juice was released by the raspberries you used. Combine well. Add a little milk if you would like a smoother consistency.

I melted some chocolate and piped it over a baking sheet into the shapes I wanted. Any chocolate and berry combination would work with these. The raspberries develop this amazing molten texture after baking. It almost creates its own filling!

white chocolate cupcake

Although this may seem like a lot of steps and ingredients, the cupcakes are quite easy to whip up and are sure to impress.

xo Isabel

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Old post circa Feb 2014

Creme Brulee for Two!

valentines day dessert

Are you (or someone you love) the sort of person that loves peeling the protective plastic off screens? Do you have a severe addiction to popping bubble wrap? Some may say you take a sick pleasure in things like that but those aren’t the sort of people worth talking to anyway. If that spoke to you, then creme brulee is your dessert!

The best creme brulees have a crunchy top and deliciously smooth custard. Cracking the sugar with a spoon is soooooo satisfying!

This is a super easy dessert and can be planned well in advance. For those planning a date night this would be perfect.

easy creme brulee

Creme Brulee (serves 2)

  • 100ml cream
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp castor sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp demerara sugar

Place the cream and the vanilla in a saucepan over a medium heat. When there are a few rolling bubbles around the edges of the pan it is ready to take off the heat.

In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Slowly pour the cream into the bowl as you stir.

Pour the mixture into two ramekins. Place these in a roasting dish and half-fill the dish with water. (A bain marie.) It should come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake at 160°C for 20 minutes. Then take out of the oven but leave in the water filled dish for another ten minutes. Then remove to cool. It should be set but a little jiggly in the centre.

Once cool sprinkle a layer of demerara sugar on top. Try to make sure it is all even. Melt the sugar with a brulee torch (or under the grill. You want to keep it under the grill for the shortest amount of time possible if using that method.) Cool and keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Take out of the fridge about 15 minutes before serving.



The Boy liked melting the sugar as much as eating it.  I think I preferred the results. What do you think is the best bit? It was the perfect amount for 2.

xo Isabel

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Old post circa February 2014