Yep. You read that right. Fried peanut butter and jelly cupcakes.
No, I didn’t deep fry a cupcake. But now that you mention it, that is a great idea… Anyway, I was watching Diners, Drive Ins and Dives on Food Network one night. Food Network and Cooking Channel are pretty much my go-to’s when there’s nothing else on television. I’m never NOT in the mood to watch food shows. In fact a lot of my ideas come from these shows. Case in point, fried peanut butter and jelly cupcakes. I can’t tell you exactly which show or what restaurant they were filming at but I know it was a rerun and I had seen it before. They were making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich but the kicker was that they dredged it in a wet mixture and then frosted flakes and then pan fried it.
BOOM. Light bulb! I asked myself the most important of questions: Why am I not eating this in cupcake form?
In all seriousness, I couldn’t even tell you what they made after that. I zoned out and started thinking of ways to make this cupcake happen. The cake would need to be similar to bread. I wanted a tasty cupcake, but not too sweet since it’s more or less a vessel for the rest of the goodness in the cupcake. Recently I made Christina Tosi’s Barely Brown Butter Cake for a different dessert and thought the taste profile would work well for these.
I decided to do half the cupcakes with grape jelly and half with strawberry. My husband is in the grape jelly camp. I am firmly planted in the anything-BUT-grape-jelly camp. The obvious choice for frosting was peanut butter. The last component was the crunchy corn flakes. And honestly, this was the most important part of the cupcake. It had to be right. I went back to another tried and true recipe from Christina Tosi – Cornflake Crunch. (Serious girl-crush going on over here, can you tell?) I had a hunch that if I used it like a streusel on top of the cupcake, it would stay crunchy enough to give good texture and add another layer of flavor. Just like the sandwich version.
Believe it or not, these turned out spectacularly on the first try. I’m almost afraid to try them again! Using the Cornflake Crunch as streusel is really what puts these cupcakes over the top!
Fried PB&J Cupcakes
makes approximately 24 cupcakes
from Momofuku Milk Bar
5 cups cornflakes
1/2 cup milk powder
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
9 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
- Pour the cornflakes into a bowl and crush until you have pea sized pieces. Add the milk powder, sugar and salt and toss to combine. Add the melted butter and toss to coat. The dry ingredients should bind with the cereal creating small clusters.
- Spread onto parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Cool the mixture completely before storing or using in a recipe. Store in an airtight container at room temp for up to one week. Stored in an airtight container in the freezer, mixture will keep for one month.
Barely Brown Butter Cake
from Momofuku Milk Bar
4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp brown butter
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
- Place 2 Tbsp butter in a microwave safe bowl and top with a microwave safe plate. Microwave for 3-5 minutes. The butter will pop while browning. Check the butter and if not browned enough, microwave again in 1 minute increments. While the brown butter is cooling, stir periodically to incorporate caramelized bits of butter. Cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine butters and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs and mix on medium-high for another 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- With the mixer on low speed, stream in buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Increase the speed to medium-high and mix for 5-6 minutes until the mixture is practically white, twice the size of your original butter-sugar mixture and completely homogeneous. You are basically forcing too much liquid into an already fatty mixture that doesn’t want to make room for it, so if it doesn’t look right after 6 minutes, keep mixing. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- On very low speed, add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix for 45-60 seconds, just until the batter comes together and any remnants of dry ingredients have been incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix on low speed for another 45 seconds to ensure that any lumps of cake flour have been incorporated.
- Fill paper lined cupcake pans about 3/4 full. Top cupcake batter in each cup with a couple tablespoons of Cornflake Crunch. Bake for about 20 minutes. Cupcakes should bounce back slightly when touched. If the centers are still jiggly, bake for a few minutes more. Remove cupcakes from baking pans and cool on wire rack.
Peanut Butter Buttercream
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
- Cream together butter and peanut butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add one cup of powdered sugar at a time, scraping the bowl in between additions. Add vanilla and enough heavy cream to reach desired consistency.
To Assemble Cupcakes:
- Core cooled cupcakes and fill with jam/jelly of your choice.
- Frost cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream.
- Garnish with extra jelly and leftover Cornflake Crunch.
- I used store bought jelly because I was dying to try these. Feel free to use homemade as well!
- I tried filling these with a bismarck tip/Wilton tip 230. It didn’t work as well as I would have hoped. I would just core the cupcakes with a knife, then cut off the small end of the core and place the top back on the cake over the filling.
- The cupcakes did sink a little bit in the middle. Not enough to ruin the cupcake and once you fill and frost, nobody will notice. I have plans to try to tweak the recipe to see if I can avoid the sinking. It could have also been baker error!
- Please read and follow the cake directions. This cake has a TON of fat and liquid in it. If it’s not mixed properly it will bake it’s way out of your pans and onto the bottom of your oven.
It’s peanut-butter-jelly-time!! Enjoy!