Peace, Love & Peanut Butter Cupcakes

August 12, 2011


The blog world is a wonderful incredible thing. It brings hundreds of thousands of people together from all over the world. Different backgrounds, religions, views, nationalities, and stories. As my mom would say there are people from “all walks of life” surrounding us. Everyone has a story to tell.

I started this blog in the fall of 2008. After some time of looking online at many other blogging baking and cooking websites I decided I wanted a piece of the internet real estate. At the time I was obsessed with the Shopaholic book series, and thus Bakeaholic was born.

I had been interested in baking and cooking from a young age. My mom and dad would let me help in the kitchen, and I’m pretty sure I was putting roasts in the oven when I was 14 years old, so dinner could be ready by the time my full-time working parents were home and we could all enjoy dinner together.

That was one thing my dad insisted on. Every night we ate dinner as a family. Sometimes dad would cook, he was Italian and an amazing cook (having worked in and owned restaurants in the past), and sometimes mom would cook (with dad watching over her shoulder to make sure she was ‘doing it right’ haha) You could say he was a perfectionist when it came to food, much like myself. Most nights my mom would be home after my dad, so he would be the one in the kitchen. It was always a joke that my brother, two years older than I, would be served first. This goes back to an Italian tradition where the boy is the ‘king of the family.’ I guess since he was the first grandson born on that side of the family, and a boy, he was treated like a little prince, and my Nonna made sure of it haha. Even if I were sitting at the table first, his plate would be put at his spot, and then mine. It was a running joke for us. How I miss family dinners.

I can remember every smell of the dishes he would make, pastas (an Italian staple, often 3 times a week), homemade french fries, Pork chops in mushroom soup, french toast, steak with crab and shrimp. Don’t forget the bearnaise sauce. Then there were the nights my mom would work late, maybe once a week. We had the same meals almost every time. A mini pizza with a big salad, a large salad with Tuna fish, or grilled cheese and tomato soup. And a fruit salad for dessert. I knew if mom was working a late shift, we were sure to have one of those meals.

My dad would always make enough dinner to “feed an army” as my mom put it. It’s true, we could have invited another family over at a moments notice and still have leftovers for the next day. And we often did. My dad was ‘giving to a fault,’ again, as my mom says. He would give up anything and everything for anyone if they were in need. He loved his family first and foremost, and held his friends dear. He would always want to host a dinner, BBQ or family function. He was the anchor to our family. I wish he were here to see my blog, to read it and see how far I’ve come from making cookies. He always wanted ‘something sweet,’ and he would ask my mom to pick up a treat at the store while getting groceries.

This past week another blogger, Jennifer Perillo, lost her husband to a sudden heart attack. Just like my father (pictured above). Like us, in an instant he was gone, without being able to say goodbye. It was my sixteenth birthday when he passed away seven years ago, at the age of just 45. Unfortunately I know what she and her daughters must be going through. I would never wish that feeling upon anyone, it is a heartbreaking and horrible experience. On her blog this week, she posted a recipe for Creamy Peanut Butter Pie. She urged the bloggers out there to make it in memory of her husband, his favourite, and share it with those you love. Because we never know what tomorrow will bring.

I thought this was a perfect oppourtunity to make these cupcakes. I had been wanting to make peanut butter cupcakes for a while, and tomorrow we are attending a family reunion (on my mother’s side) with over 70 family members attending. Some we have not seen in many years. I am very much looking forward to re-connecting with everyone, and remembering onceagain how important family is to all of us.

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and hopefully you are able to share it with those you love. Maybe over a slice of pie, or a cupcake. I think my dad would have definitely like these cupcakes.

Creamy Peanut Butter ‘pie’ Cupcakes

Devil’s Food Cupcakes 
Recipe from Martha Stewarts CUPCAKES 


  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.
  3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-
    quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting
Recipe by Bakeaholic
  • 1 cup butter, slightly softened
  • 3-4 cups icing sugar (more/less depending on consistency)
  • 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tbs. pure vanilla
  • splash of milk (I used almond milk due to allergy, can use soy, rice, coconut etc.)
  1. In stand mixer, using paddle attachment, cream buter until light and fluffy. Add Vanilla and mix once more.
  2. Add peanut butter, and mix again until combined.
  3. Add Icing sugar one cup at a time, alternating with a splash of milk until desired consistency reached. You want it stiff, but still creamy and soft so you can run a knife through it.
  4. Continue mixing until you have a frosting consistency.
  5. You can pipe it with an icing bag onto the cupcakes, or use the back of a spoon or a knife/spatula to frost cupcakes.
Everyone said the frosting was absolutely delicious! It is so creamy, fluffy and light~
Optional: Pour 1/2 cup of chocolate cookie crumbs into a bowl, and dip tops of cupcakes into it for a ‘pie’ like taste.

Update: The Food Network has compiled a list of Bloggers around the world taking part in this event ‘A Pie For Mikey.’ I am happy to be included on the list.’

Also seen on Better Recipes, and Tastespotting has also dedicated the front page to pies.

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  • Reply Auntie Heas August 12, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    Oh that is such a moving story, brought me to tears. . . What a talented writer you are, totally see you writing a Book one day! I can hardly wait to eat one of your Cupcakes! you should read that Blog out at the Reunion is Simply a Beautiful story of what “Family” is all about! I Love You xxx

  • Reply Josie Penner August 12, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    Oh Alicia they look sooooo good. I am sure they will taste as wonderful as they look!! Maybe because there are so many children & family who we are not sure might have a peanut or nut allergy; you might want to make up a sign for your cupcakes that they do have peanut in them. Just a suggestion. Looking forward to seeing you & all the family tomorrow.

  • Reply Josie Penner August 12, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    I also loved the story of your family, such loving & caring memories of your Dad you have.

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  • Reply Hinna August 12, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    I also know all to well how it feels to lose someone from a sudden heart attack. My dad passed away from a sudden heart attack almost two years ago. I was vacationing in the US at the time and first got a call from my sister who informed me that our dad had had a heart attack. Twenty minutes later, I called my brother who told me that he had passed away….

    I look back and some of my fond memories of my father have some component of food attached to them. :o)

    I will definitely make these cupcakes and will be thinking about you and Jenn when I do.

  • Reply Aunty Weez August 12, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    Lou, Loved the delightful memories of your Dear Dad. Marv and I and the girls always felt nothing but family love from your Italian clan. I remember Renato would attend the going’s on in the kitchen, tasting and giving added touches to the dishes simmering on the stove. Your Mom would make a wonderful lettuce salad with Renato’s Dad’s Ramo’s wine vinegar! Your memory of your loving Father”s Italian kitchen, woven in your life, will continue with you vividly, unforgetable smells and flavors, remembered lovingly of Renato. Yours and Nick’s to keep forever. Love you Aunty Louise and Uncle Marv

  • Reply Shandi August 14, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    Hi Alicia, your blog is awesome and so are you! We had a family bbq last night, I was trying to think of something to make for dessert, then I remembered this post you made. I had everything in my cupboard to make these so I made the cupcakes last night and they turned out great! my first time making cup cakes from scratch 😀
    Love you xoxo

  • Reply Alicia August 14, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    Shandi : Oh I’m glad they turned out 🙂 xoxo

    Thanks for the lovely comments everyone 🙂

  • Reply Lori Baker August 14, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    Alicia, my sentiments are those of your Aunty Heather!! You are an amazing writer!! And and amazing woman!!

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  • Reply Vera Zecevic-Cupcakes Garden January 5, 2013 at 6:30 AM

    Alicia, this is very emotional story…You have a great talent for writing, and for baking of course.
    These cupcakes look great so I couldn’t resist to featured them on my blog, but if you don’t agree with that please contact me and I will remove it immediately.
    All the best

  • Reply maddie November 20, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    Oh my gosh..this is amazing..

  • Reply Libby Huber August 30, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    How many cupcakes does this make? I need to know so I can figure out how much to make for my sisters birthday party

    • Reply Alicia September 3, 2014 at 1:35 PM

      should be 2 dozen, 24 =)

  • Reply Jessica Yoder December 19, 2014 at 8:39 AM

    They turned out great . I added concentrate milk to it since I didn’t have milk . And cisco instead of butter . Super moist .

    • Reply Alicia February 13, 2015 at 7:45 PM

      glad to hear jessica! thanks for trying them out!

  • Reply April August 11, 2016 at 7:28 PM

    How many cupcakes does this make?

    • Reply Alicia August 30, 2016 at 6:25 PM

      i believe two dozen!

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  • Reply Lana Hammer October 7, 2016 at 4:33 PM

    I just made these cupcakes last night for my daughter’s 13th birthday. They are AMAZING!! The best recipe, I can’t even believe how good these are. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Kat February 6, 2018 at 9:08 AM

    None of the stores around me carry dutch – processed cocoa powder. Will it mess up the recipe if i use regular cocoa powder?

  • Reply Stefanie June 20, 2018 at 6:21 PM

    I’ve tried the cupcakes and they were sooo good , I wanna make a cake with this recipe. Do you know how many 6” layers it will make and how long to bake? Thanks

  • Reply Jenny October 31, 2018 at 9:50 AM

    Hi Alicia! I would like to make this recipe but I don’t have sour cream. What can I use instead?

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