Sweet & Salty Honey Peanut Cupcakes

My neighbor is a bee keeper. Mostly she keeps bees in a more lush area of the city, but she also has some hives in her backyard. She dropped off some of her backyard honey the other day. I just had to make some cupcakes with it! This creation consists of honey chiffon cake, layered with some salty peanuts, and then topped with a honey cream cheese frosting.

I had some challenges with the cake and wasn’t able to experiment enough with it to get it to my high standards. The posted recipe is just shy of what I would deem acceptable, but the frosting is a definite winner.

I have had some people ask me, “How do I do it?” what with a demanding full-time job, a baby, the blog… Well, I don’t really do it… not like I used to, anyway. It’s definitely a lot harder to devote the time required to get a great post together given that they often involve recipe development of some sort. I am exploring other content ideas to help bridge the gap between posts, but I don’t want to just link or refer to other existing content on the web – there are already plenty of blogs doing just that and doing it well. So, we shall see. In the meanwhile, explore the archives if you haven’t had a chance.

I am planning on baking next for the first ever meet-up of the Bay Area Cupcakes Take the Cake group. My inspiration for my next creation is color and the plan is to pair chocolate and fruit in a few different combinations… Join us if you are from the area!

Honey Peanut Cupcakes
~9 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

2 tablespoons peanuts, unsalted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup + 1 tablespoon flour (cake if you have it, otherwise all-purpose)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons grape seed oil or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons whole milk
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup thick honey
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/4 cup sugar

1. Chop peanuts together with the salt and set aside. If you can’t find unsalted peanuts use the salted but only add a pinch of additional salt. Taste the chopped nuts and make sure they are salty.
2. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder into the bowl of a standing mixer.
3. In a medium bowl, combine oil, milk, egg yolks, and honey. Stir to combine.
4. On a low setting, start to beat the dry mixture and slowly add the wet. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until incorporated.
5. Transfer mixture to another bowl. Wash and dry mixer bowl.
6. Whip egg whites with whip attachment on medium-high speed until foamy. With the mixer on medium speed, add cream of tarter and slowly add sugar. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.
7. Scoop a cupful of the stiff egg whites into the batter and stir to combine. This should lighten up the batter.
8. Transfer the batter to the egg whites and gently fold until there are no more streaks of egg white.
9. Fill cupcake cups about 1/3 full. The sprinkle peanut/salt mixture over top. Fill with batter up to 2/3s full and bake at 350 F for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Sweet & Salty Honey Peanut Cupcakes
layering in some peanuts

Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ounces or 1/2 package of Philly cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1-2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons thick honey

1. Bring butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours.
2. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment.
3. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.
4. Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar and the honey. Beat until combined.
5. Add more sugar until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like.

Note: The honey I used in both recipes was very thick, meaning it was not pourable unless I warmed it in a water bath first. This works great for the frosting as it keeps it thick. Note that if you use pourable honey the texture of both recipes may change slightly!

1. Frost.
2. Topped with chopped, salted peanuts.

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