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Peanut Butter Lava Fudge Cupcakes

For the Hot Fudge Sauce:
5 oz (140g) finely chopped semisweet chocolate or chocolate chips
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (1/2oz/ 15g) cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
6 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (1⅛oz/ 32g) sugar
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons milk (use water instead for a darker chocolate taste)
Pinch of salt
1½ tablespoons (3/4oz/ 21.3g) unsalted butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

For the Cupcakes: (you can substitute your favorite cake mix for a shortcut)
½ cup (1 stick/ 4oz) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1½ cups light brown sugar, packed
2 egg, at room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups cake flour* (see note for substitution)
⅔ cups sour cream, at room temperature
¾ cups hot water (or coffee)

Peanut Butter Frosting:
1¼ cups (10oz/ 283g) unsalted butter, softened but still slightly cool
1⅓ cups creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2¼ cups (9oz/ 255g) confectioners sugar (sift if lumpy)

16 to 17 storebought or homemade chocolate-covered pretzels, for garnish
Chocolate sprinkles, chopped peanuts or crushed pretzel, for garnish
1/2oz (15g) melted chocolate, for sticking garnish to the cupcake rim


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