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low carb peanut butter cupcakes

Super-light and gently sweet, these scrumptious low-carb peanut butter cupcakes are so easy to make. Smear with the creamy peanut butter buttercream for an absolutely irresistible treat.

I’ve been baking these low-carb Peanut Butter Cupcakes for anyone and everyone these days. We’ve eaten some, frozen some and of course shared some. I just love knowing that a sweet, low-carb treat is just a freezer door’s-reach away. Don’t you?

These have everything I want in a cupcake: they are easy to make, have a balanced flavour, are tender of crumb. And they just happen to be the perfect vehicle for a swirl of delicious peanut butter buttercream frosting.peanut butter cupcake - low carb

Incidentally, I am not normally a frosting person. But I guess you probably knew that already. Yes, I am that awkward person who always picks off most of the frosting. The icing on bought cupcakes is usually just too sweet and too thickly piped for my taste. And I don’t think I’m alone.

This icing is not too sweet. {You can make it sweeter though, if that’s how you like it.} But it is definitely creamy and luxurious – as all good frostings should be.cupcakes

Although these peanut butter cupcakes are low-carb, they are quite rich. Butter and peanut butter see to that. So, I would say that they are a singular treat rather than an eat-the-whole-tin kind of thing. Luckily they are fairly self-limiting owing to the satiating effect of almond flour and peanut butter. But I don’t want to tell you what to do, of course.

Tips for baking low-carb peanut butter cupcakes

I’m still experimenting with low-carb baking. Creating light and delicious low-carb sweet bakes isn’t very easy. Different sugar swap outs have different properties. Not only from actual sugar, but from each other. I wrote a bit about low-carb sugars recently in my recipe post, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies. If you are new to low-carb baking, or just curious, go have a read. And of course the whole not using flour thing makes things trickier still.

cupcakes and jam The “sugar”

For today’s recipe I am using erythritol. It is probably the most common of the safe sugar substitutes in sweet baking. This sugar sub is granular; the sweetness level fairly close to sugar (erythritol is slightly less sweet by weight); and it is not bitter in higher amounts – unlike stevia. It also helps with the browning. Stevia, although easily found in supermarkets, just isn’t right for baking. To make it suitable, it is usually blended with either sugar or erythritol. I only use stevia in drinks.

Another contender would be allulose. I only just bought my first pack of allulose – it is pricey! and rare! – and haven’t used it. But I hear great things about this low-calorie, monosaccharide sugar, especially when making something like a caramel sauce, where erythritol tends to crystallise when cooled. It is an actual sugar, derived from certain fruits, like figs and plums. But only found in small amounts.

I digress. If you don’t have either of these in your cupboard, fret not. Just use granulated or caster sugar. A mix of soft light brown and white would be even better.

The ‘flour”

Almond flour, finely ground and perfect for baking projects, this useful flour-alike is getting easier to find. But if you can only get ground almonds or almond meal, pop it in a blender or food processor, pulsing until it breaks down a bit. You may still get some chunkier bits though. If so, sift it in a medium-hole sieve to catch these less-than-perfect pieces.

I have also been making my own seed and nut flours. For my recent Life-Changing Bread Rolls I made sunflower flour, roasting seeds until deep golden brown, then pulsing in my Froothie high powered blender. An upcoming recipe will have you opting for either homemade pecan flour (!!), or bought almond flour. Here’s a hint: cardamom buns.

low-carb peanut butter cupcakesWhat you need

  • Smooth peanut butter – good quality, no-sugar added and drippy. If you can’t get drippy (I love Pip & Nut brand – linked below), pop in a microwave for a few seconds to loosen it up. You will need some for the cupcakes and the frosting.
  • Butter – again, good quality; unsalted stuff is best. We are very lucky in the UK to have good butter not only from France and Ireland, but also from our own dairies. I’ve not used coconut oil or vegan butter for this, but you can have a go. If using coconut oil (semi-solid rather than actual oil), use about 8 grams less. Use butter for both cupcakes and frosting.
  • Erythritol – as described above. I will link to what I use below.
  • Eggs – organic and room temperature
  • Vanilla extract – the real stuff please. For cupcakes and frosting
  • Almond flour – as described above. I will link to what I use.
  • Almond milk – unsweetened
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Vinegar – it helps to activate the baking powder in low-carb baking, but is crucial in a lot of vegan baking
  • Low-carb icing/confectioner’s sugar – for the frosting. Or you can blitz granular kind in a blender until powdery. If you think you will want to do more low-carb baking, it is worth getting the super-fine stuff. I will link to what I use below.
  • Optional: Low-sugar jam, roasted peanuts, freeze-dried raspberries or strawberries

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How to make these low-carb peanut butter cupcakes

  1. First of all you cream the soft butter and the smooth peanut butter until light.
  2. Then add the erythritol and whisk up.
  3. Add one egg at a time, whisking for one minute with each egg addition.
  4. In a separate, larger, bowl dry whisk the almond flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Then you will scrape in the wet mixture and whisk this up, followed by the vinegar, vanilla and almond milk.
  6. Leave this to hydrate while you preheat the oven to 160F fan/350F and pop 12 paper cupcake cases in a 12-hole cupcake/small muffin tin.
  7. Fill the cupcake cases and place the baking tin on the middle shelf of the preheated oven.
  8. Bake for 23-25 minutes. The cakes should be golden, slightly cracked with only a gentle rise. The top should feel just firm to the touch. I would test at 22 minutes to see how they are faring.

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  9. While the cakes are baking, wipe or clean the beaters and whip up the frosting. Let it settle to a spreadable texture, either by popping in the fridge to firm up. Or, if you are in Scotland (!), just place it in a cooler room.
  10. Let the cupcakes cool in the tin on a baking rack until completely cool. Once cool you can either peel off the paper and enjoy as is, or frost. You will see that I added jam to some (homemade blackcurrant chia jam made up with a little erythritol; ask in the comments if you want the recipe) and roasted peanuts. You will also see some with freeze-dried raspberry bits.low carb peanut butter cupcakes

Products that I use

These are Amazon UK affiliate links. Buying on these links costs you nothing extra but helps to defray the cost of running Food To Glow, and keeping it ad-free. Thanks so much!

Kenwood Hand Mixer Electric Whisk – I’ve had my one for many years and, although not fancy, it works very well.

Almond Flour by NKD Living

or for a bigger bag, Kirkland Signature Almond Flour Blanched California Superfine, 3 Pound (Pack of 1) (it’s what I am using now)

Pip & Nut Smooth Peanut Butter – 1kg – Absolutely No Palm Oil – No Added Sugar – Always High-Oleic Peanuts – Natural Source of Protein and Healthy Fats

100% Natural Erythritol 1 Kg (2.2 lb) Granulated ZERO Calorie Sugar Replacement

Powdered Erythritol by NKD Living – Zero Calorie Icing Sugar 1kg (2.2 lb)

Nielsen Massey Pure Vanilla Extract, 60 ml

Circulon – Momentum – Non Stick Muffin Tin – 12 Holes – PFAO Free – Dishwasher Safe – Carbon Steel – Grey

KAISER Creativ Muffin Paper Cups Pack of 200 White Ø 7 cm High-Quality and Easily Removable Greaseproof Paper Ideal for Sweet and Savoury

Freeze Dried Raspberry Pieces (100g), No Added Sugar, 100% Natural, Gluten Free, Vegan Friendly

These low-carb Peanut Butter Cupcakes – even with the peanut butter buttercream frosting – would make a great treat for those who are diabetic or have PCOS . Eating low carb has been found to greatly help with these conditions. And of course they are fab for anyone just wanting to lessen the amount of free sugars in their diet!

** While you are here, I want to let you know about a new book from the Together Book Project that gathers the experiences of the pandemic from global authors as a fundraiser for the NHS and our frontline heroes. The poet-activist-academic Benjamin Zephaniah is one of the authors offering their own, very literate, view on things. Do check it out on Amazon: UK, India, US and the rest of the world.**

If you make this recipe, do consider rating them in the recipe card below by pressing the star button under the image. And of course feel leave a comment, and share this post on your social media channels. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. I often post short Instagram-only recipes, so definitely consider following me there xx

low-carb peanut butter cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

low carb peanut butter cupcakes
5 from 5 votes
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Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting - low-carb

Super-light and low-carb, these scrumptious peanut butter cupcakes are so easy to make. Smear with the creamy peanut butter buttercream for an absolutely irresistible treat.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword baking, cupcakes, low-carb, peanut butter
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 small cupcakes
Calories 198 kcal
Author kellie anderson

Ingredients

  • 50 g smooth peanut butter unsweetened; loose, drippy kind
  • 40 g unsalted butter softened
  • 80 g granulated erythritol sugar substitute or unrefined granulated/caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs room temp
  • 150 g almond flour fine
  • tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 80 ml unsweetened almond milk

Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

  • 80 g smooth peanut butter unsweetened
  • 50 g unsalted butter softened
  • 30 g erythritol icing sugar substitute or icing/confectioner's sugar
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Add the peanut butter and butter to a bowl and whisk with beaters until smooth. Add the erythritol and continue beating until lighter in texture. Add one egg and beat well for one minute. Add the second egg and do the same.

  2. In a separate larger bowl, dry-whisk the almond flour, baking powder and salt. Use beaters or spatula to whisk in the wet mixture. Once full amalgamated, add the apple cider vinegar, vanilla and almond milk. Whisk/mix until smooth. Let the mixture sit and hydrate for five minutes while you preheat the oven to 160C fan/350F, and add paper cupcake liners to the cupcake baking tin.

  3. Spoon the mixture evenly between the cases (using 10-12 holes, as you wish) and place the tin on the middle shelf of the preheated oven. Bake for 23-25 minutes, until golden and slightly risen - they won't rise much. Leave to completely cool on a baking rack before topping with frosting or removing from the paper cases.

Frosting

  1. While the cupcakes are baking, use electric hand mixer to blend the peanut butter and softened butter. When smooth, add the sugar and vanilla, stirring first (with the beaters at off setting) then whisking up until smooth. Let the frosting firm up by leaving in a cool room before frosting the cupcakes. If you aren't using it in this baking session, store it in the fridge, bringing it out to soften as required.

Recipe Notes

Sugar: you can use normal sugar in this recipe, cutting back by one-two tablespoons to account for it being a bit sweeter by weight than the erythritol. If you wish to use half light brown and half caster or granulated, do so. If you are using erythritol and have both brown and regular, use them half and half for a deeper flavour.

Almond flour: if you can only get ground almonds, be sure to whiz them in in a blender or food processor to get it finer and more like flour.

Vegan: I've tried making these low-carb peanut butter cupcakes with aquafaba (chickpea liquid), and it didn't work for me. I did it with defrosted aquafaba so that may have been a factor. If you are successful in making this recipe vegan, please do let me know! I haven't tried flax egg.

Storage: These keep well unfrosted and in an airtight container for up to five days. They also freeze well unfrosted. Defrost and eat within one month.

Nutrition Facts
Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting - low-carb
Amount Per Serving
Calories 198 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 43mg14%
Sodium 119mg5%
Potassium 144mg4%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 227IU5%
Calcium 71mg7%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting (low-carb)

  1. Ann says:

    I have been fortunate to try these little lovelies and can assure you that they are light and delicious.

  2. Mr A says:

    I’m not normally into sweet things but I’m TOTALLY into these!!!!!!! Salty peanut butter in a light sweet cupcake – brilliant

  3. Rachel says:

    Making these the other day was a lot of fun and so easy, thanks to your awesome low carb low sugar care package! I just love these. The texture is perfect and you do not notice the difference in flours and sugars. Sharing them with our loved ones over here, too <3 Thanks mum xxx

  4. Lovely cupcakes, Kellie.

  5. Well Im one of the lucky ones who was given one of these amazing cupcakes to try. They are light, have a magical sweet/ salty balance and totally moorish. Very clever invention indeed, I loved it!

  6. Keto Connect says:

    I am really impressed by your blog. Your blog article is very informative and helpful.

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