Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Brown Sugar Frosting

Good Morning! I hope everyone’s week is off to a great start. This week is filled with fun things for me, which I am super excited about. I’m currently sitting in a hotel room in Michigan, off to do some college visits. After I fly back tonight, I’m only in school for 2 days before my physics class and I head to Six Flags for Physics day! After a long day at the amusement park, I’m headed straight to upstate New York for even more visiting. I can’t wait!
This week was also a bittersweet goodbye to MSM for another year. Most of my friends graduated this year, so I was so proud of them but also so sad that they won’t be able to join me again for next year. I took all of my finals and did my make up jury, which I’m happy to say I got an A- on! Overall, it’s been a stressful few weeks, but now that it’s over, I’m so excited to get back in the kitchen and work on making some great summer recipes for you guys!
As you’ve probably figured out by now, I love dessert. My favorites have to be a warm oatmeal brown sugar cookie coming out of the oven, but cupcakes are a close second. I was looking for a cupcake recipe that has ingredients that you probably all have in your pantry right now, because I don’t have zucchini flowers or stone fruits all the time, so I know you don’t too. While the cupcake was so moist and delicious, the highlight for me was the frosting. It is too easy to make and absolutely fantastic. The combination of the peanut butter and the cream cheese makes it so creamy, but the brown sugar makes sure that it doesn’t get as sweet or chalky because of the copious amounts of powdered sugar that other recipes use. What are you waiting for? Get baking!


Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Brown Sugar Frosting from How Sweet It Is

makes 12 cupcakes


  • 1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt, stirring to mix. Set aside. Line a cupcake tin with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk brown sugar and egg until smooth. Add in vanilla extract and milk, again mixing until combined. Slowly pour in melted butter, continuing to whisk. Add in the flour, soda and salt, mixing with a large spoon until batter is smooth.
  3. Using a 1/4 cup measure, add batter to liners. Bake for 16-19 minutes, or until tops are puffy and golden, and don’t jiggle when touched. Let cool completely.

Peanut Butter Brown Sugar Frosting

  • 6 ounces cold cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • raw turbinado sugar for topping, if desired
  1. Add cream cheese to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until smooth, then add peanut butter and vanilla extract, mixing until combined. Add in brown and powdered sugars gradually, with the mixture on low speed. Once everything has been added, turn to medium-high speed and mix for 4-5 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides. If you’d like the frosting a bit sturdier, add additional powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time, mixing like before. Frost cupcakes!

The perfect way to make any boring meal extraordinary. I’ll be waiting (for the frosting of course)!

-Rayna 🙂


Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes

Hello again! Sorry for the delayed post, but I’ve been trying to adjust to my new junior year schedule! I’m doing all of the same things that I did last year (school, gymnastics, and viola) but it was just getting into the swing of it that took some work. But now I’m practically settled in, so more regular posting should occur. There are some weeks that I’m overflowed with work so I won’t be able to post, but I’m hoping those aren’t going to happen too often!

One of the most exciting things that has happened is me starting up music school again, which I adore. I’ve met so many incredibly talented people here that I just love. My schedule is packed (I’m taking 6 classes and my day goes from 9-6) but I love everything I’m in. A new class I’m taking this year is an introduction to music of the 20th and 21st century, which is something that I’m not too familiar with but excited to learn more about more modern music.

Now onto these cupcakes. I’ve seen them over on Brown Eyed Baker for awhile now, but I was just waiting for the right occasion to make them. Once my mom decided to make it her project to make some delicious homemade limoncello at the beginning of the summer, I know that these would be fantastic. The tartness of the limoncello doesn’t take over too much and you still get that lovely lemon flavor. Yes, please!

Lemon Limoncello Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes


For the Cupcake

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 ounces (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons limoncello
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon

For the Lemon Curd

  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk

For the Limoncello Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 ounces (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon limoncello
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted


  1. Prepare the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the center. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and  baking powder; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until light and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the limoncello and beat an additional minute. On low speed, add flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add the lemon juice and zest and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Divide the batter between 12 muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely.
  2. Prepare the lemon curd: In a heavy medium saucepan, stir together the lemon zest, juice and sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolk. Whisk the lemon mixture into the eggs to temper them. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium heat, whisking constantly until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let cool completely.
  3. Prepare the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the limoncello and beat for an additional minute. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated and smooth.
  4. Assemble the cupcakes: Cut a hole into each cupcake with the large end of a melon baller or the back end of a large pastry tip. Fill each cavity with the lemon curd. Fill a pastry bag with a star tipwith the cream cheese limoncello frosting and pipe onto each cupcake. If you don’t have a pastry bag, a ziploc bag with a small hole cut out will work as well. Decorate with lemon and berries, if desired.

Don’t you just love summer recipes?

-Rayna 🙂