Fluffernutter Cupcakes

Let me tell you a little about my dad.

He’s a big dude with bright curly red hair and an even brighter personality.

It’s obvious that I got his personality, just sayin’.

And the man loves food.

Which is kinda funny since he’s been on this pretty strict diet for quite some time now. He’s lost a whopping 20 pounds, and he’s diligently logging all of his calories on his Loseit.com account.

As proud as I am of him (I really, truly am!) I have to admit, I have a bit of suspicion. Along with inheriting his dazzling personality, I also inherited his horrible snacking gene. And trust me when I say we have a HORRIBLE snacking gene.

So when he started this diet, I was pretty sure I’d walk in on him shoving fistfuls of gummies in his mouth, because, let’s be honest here, I totally do the same thing with chips.

It’s bad.

I even have the cheesy baked-Cheetos fingers to prove it. It’s awful.

But he’s kept up with his diet, and like I said, I’m totally proud. And as far as I know, he hasn’t been shoveling gummies by the boxful into his mouth-hole, but sadly, I can’t say the same for me.

Except replace gummies with those freakin’ baked Cheetos. Those things are the devil, in crunchy, cheesy form. Swear it. At least they’re baked, though, so they’re less-offensive than the regular ones, but still not something my bikini-body-in-training approves of.

And even though it’s rainy and hailing here in Sacramento, it’s still June. This bikini body needs to reveal itself one of these days, so I better lay off the chips. It’s a depressing thought that plagues me daily.

Anyways, more about my Pops: He’s a Jeopardy know-it-all (seriously, trying to play against him is a sorry loss); he’s a maniac on the drums; he’s obsessed with Judge Judy (he even has a beloved autographed picture); and an encyclopedia for The Simpsons. In fact, he and my brother only communicate in Simpsons quotes.

It’s kind of scary.

But all in all, for his quirks and weird trivia mind, he’s my Pops and he had a birthday this past week that demanded some serious celebrating. I’ve already mentioned Pops is a fan of food, especially sandwiches. And while I can’t get away with making a roast beef cupcake, I do know that he thoroughly enjoys fluffernutter sandwiches… you know, the standard peanut butter and marshmallow fluff on white bread type of classic.

So why the hell not turn a fluffernutter sammy into a fluffernutter cupcake?

So I did. And Pops was thoroughly impressed (his diet wasn’t).

They aren’t low-fat, but they are highly delicious. You need to try them now.

Fluffernutter Cupcakes

1 box yellow cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box
1 small box SF/FF vanilla instant pudding
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter, divided
2 7-oz cans marshmallow fluff
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 32-oz bag powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk–you may not use all of it
Nutter Butter cookies, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin pans with paper liners. In a large bowl, prepare cake mix according to package directions. Stir in pudding mix and 1/4 cup peanut butter until well blended. Divide among muffin cups evenly and bake about 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
2. Once cupcakes are cooled, use a sharp paring knife to cut a small hole in the center of each cupcake. Make sure you do not cut too deep. Toss holed-out cupcakes (or keep to snack on!) Fill cupcakes with marshmallow fluff to the tops. Do not overflow.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter, vanilla, and remaining 1/2 cup peanut butter until blended, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium, and beat in powdered sugar, one cup at a time, alternating the cups of powdered sugar with a splash or so of milk. Use the milk at your discretion–you want the frosting to be smooth and spreadable. Add salt last. Stir in remaining marshmallow fluff. You want ribbons of fluff, so don’t fully combine it with the peanut butter. Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes, covering the filling of the cupcakes. Top with a halved cookie, if desired.

*Frosting recipe adapted by CDKitchen’s Fluffernutter Frosting

These cupcakes are rich, sweet, peanut buttery and taste surprisingly identical to the famous classic sandwich.

I’m pretty sure you need to make them, even if your dad isn’t as cool as mine.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

xo, Hayley

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