Peanut Butter Caramel ‘Chikki’ Cupcakes

Salty Peanuts + Caramel = A match made in heaven 🙂

‘Chikki’ is a traditional Indian sweet made with peanuts and jaggery. It’s similar to what is called ‘peanut brittle’ around the world. I’ve tried to replicate its flavours in a cupcake, because why not 🙂

Presenting ‘peanut butter honey muffins’ (eggless, sugarfree) with ‘salted caramel buttercream’, decorated with peanut brittle and a drizzle of salted caramel! <Insert happy dance emoji here!!>

peanut chikki cupcakes 1.jpg

I had bookmarked a recipe sometime back for an eggless sugarless peanut butter muffin, which I thought would be perfect for this recipe so as to balance all the sweetness from caramel in the frosting. The muffin in itself is quite healthy, but also runs the risk of being dry if not baked properly (no eggs or sugar to soften the crumb, so make sure you do not overmix the batter and do not overbake the muffins). The combination with the frosting & brittle takes it to another level! You can make your own peanut brittle or use the store-bought ones for decorating 🙂

peanut chikki cupcakes 2

Now, the recipe combinations are versatile – make PB caramel frosting if you want more of peanut flavour. Chocolate and PB go well together as well, so try with some chocolate PB cupcakes. You can also core out the middle of the cupcake and add caramel. All sound so yum!

I used chunky peanut butter which gives these small bites of peanuts within cupcakes which I liked, but you can use creamy PB as well. Look at the texture 🙂

peanut chikki cupcakes 3

The recipe made 8 muffins in total (I actually ate one cupcake before the frosting was ready, well 😀)

Ingredients –

Peanut Butter Honey Muffins
125g all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
50g peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
30ml (2 tbsp) oil
60g (3 tbsp) honey
180ml (¾ cup) milk, room temperature

Peanut Brittle
50g sugar
1 tbsp water
30g peanuts, roasted, salted and roughly chopped
8g butter (½ tbsp)

Salted Caramel Buttercream
60g unsalted butter
100g icing sugar – sifted
3-4 tbsp salted caramel (sauce recipe here)

Procedure –

Peanut Butter Honey Muffins
1. Prepare a muffin tin with liners – this recipe makes about 8-9 regular sized muffins. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. In a large bowl, sift the flour and baking powder 2-3 times.
3. In another small bowl, add the oil, peanut butter, honey and milk and mix till slightly combined.
4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined (some lumps are okay). DO NOT OVERMIX else you’ll end up with dry muffins.
5. Pour the batter into prepared tin and bake it for 12-13 minutes at 180C. A toothpick inserted should come out clean and the top will be springy when touched. DO NOT OVERBAKE else it’ll dry out the muffins.
6. Remove from the oven and after 2-3 minutes, remove the muffins from the tray and let them cool completely on a wire rack.

Peanut Brittle (check the salted caramel recipe for more tips & tricks in making caramel)
1. Prepare a baking tray – either with a silicon baking sheet or just grease the tray well.
2. Prepare the caramel – in a heavy bottom saucepan, add the sugar and water and heat on a low/medium flame.
3. Once the sugar dissolves, do not stir. The sugar will start turning golden and then turn amber. Switch off the heat. Keep a close eye on the caramel as it can go from amber to burnt in a matter of seconds.
4. Add the butter and mix. Be careful as it’ll bubble up and release steam. Once the butter melts, add the peanuts and mix till they are coated evenly with caramel.
5. Immediately spread out the caramel on the baking tray as evenly as possible with a silicone spatula to about 1/2 inch thickness. Let it cool for about 15-20 minutes. Break the brittle into medium sized pieces to use as decoration for cupcakes.

Salted Caramel Buttercream
1. Using a hand mixer/electric mixer/whisk, beat the butter for about 5-7 minutes till smooth and pale.
2. Add vanilla essence and mix well.
3. Gradually add the sifted icing sugar to butter while beating it. Ensure all sugar and butter is mixed well.
4. Add 3 tbsp of salted caramel sauce (recipe here) and beat the mixture again for 2-3 minutes till all combined.
5. You can add more caramel sauce (1 tsp at a time) or icing sugar (1 tbsp at a time) depending on the consistency of the frosting.
5. Transfer the icing to a piping bag with a nozzle of your choice (I used Wilton 1M).

Assembly –
Pipe the buttercream on cooled muffins with rosettes swirls. Drizzle some salted caramel sauce and decorate with a piece of brittle on top.
You can also core the centre of the muffins and add some caramel sauce inside.

Muffins recipe by pinchofyum blog

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