As a child I had really weird tastes. I always hated the standard things that most other kids loved- like cheese in all forms, ketchup, white bread and candy while loving foods like olives and horseradish. Probably the most bewildering dislike I had was peanut butter. That means no ants on a log, no Reese’s, no peanut butter on crackers or peanut butter cookies and absolutely no peanut butter and jam sandwiches. The concept of tainting jam with even a pat of peanut butter was unthinkable!
Over the years though, I’ve done some major soul searching and experienced growth. Not only do I love peanut butter now, but I eat it or some other nut butter pretty much every day! I now understand just what is so enticing about the combination of luscious, creamy peanut butter with sweet and tangy raspberry jam. So naturally when I received the Peas and Thank You cookbook for Christmas I knew I just had to make the PB& J-filled cupcakes.
I made a couple variations to the original recipe:
- used a combination of flours (whole wheat, light spelt and oat) instead of whole wheat pastry: I like incorporating a variety of grains into my diet instead of relying solely on wheat
- added some cinnamon (1 tsp)
- used half a cup of coconut sugar with a few drops of stevia in place of the 2/3 cup sugar. Coconut sugar is great because it’s a low-glycemic food (slower increase in blood sugar!) and can be substituted 1:1 with regular sugar. Stevia is a good option for a sweetener as well since it has a negligible effect on blood sugar. And because it’s 300x sweeter than sugar, a little goes a long way. If you light a sweeter cupcake though definitely go for the full 2/3 cups of sugar as stated in the recipe. I used Crofter’s Organic Raspberry Spread because to me raspberry jam will always be superior to strawberry in this combination. And this brand is naturally fruit sweetened (yay no refined sugars!)
really tasty jam! naturally fruit sweetened and has a pretty cute label
As I mixed the batter I was a little concerned because it seemed a little dry but I put my faith in Mama Pea and just put the batter in the cups like she said, put some pb and j on top and topped with a little more batter.
what a mess….
but at least the clean-up is fun!
And the verdict? The cake is light and crumbly, kind of like a cross between a muffin and cupcake, and the peanut butter and jelly filling is like an explosion of amazingness on your tastebuds. They definitely won’t win any beauty pageants (I probably should have spread the dollop of batter on top a little smoother to make them a little more visually appealing), and my choice of flours definitely resulted in them rising less than Mama Pea’s version, but I like that you can see the peanut butter and jam oozing out. No need for icing with these bad boys, they are just perfect as is. There’s no way these are going to last very long…I mean there’s only 1/2 a cup of sugar in the whole recipe so I can totally justify eating these for breakfasts and snacks and not just dessert right? Ok good (: