Recipe courtesy of Gina Ciaburri

Slam Dunk

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 24 cupcakes
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Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup honey

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup honey roasted peanuts, finely chopped

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, recipe follows

32 ounces caramel popcorn with peanuts, for garnish 

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 to 6 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with 24 liners. 
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large mixing bowl, using a electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium to medium-high speed for 30 seconds, gradually adding the granulated sugar about 1/4 cup at a time, until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl down and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the honey and vanilla. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Fold in the chopped peanuts. 
  3. Spoon the batter into the lined pans, filling the cups half to two-thirds full. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the cupcake center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely.
  4. Frost the cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. Place caramel popcorn on top of the frosting in a mounded fashion, pressing gently to secure.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  1. Using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth. Add the vanilla extract. Alternately add the powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream, beating on high after each addition until the frosting reaches piping consistency. 

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