Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pecan Pie Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

I was recently asked if I could make these cupcakes for an upcoming event.  I have never made pecan pie cupcakes, or maple cream cheese frosting for that matter, but I was quick to accept the challenge.  No sooner had I sent my reply to this email request, did I begin to wonder . . . how on earth would I know if these cupcakes taste good?  I have never even eaten a piece of pecan pie!  I have avoided pecans, and most nuts for that matter, for the entirety of my life because I have never liked the texture.  So after talking to my future mother-in-law, who frequently makes pecan pie, I searched the Internet for a recipe to use as a guide.  I chose this recipe because it uses almost identical ingredients to the pie and I wanted to maintain as much of the similarity as possible.  After the cupcakes were baked I decided to try one.  I figured if I thought they were pretty good, and I don't like pecans, I should be in pretty good shape.  Much to my surprise they were delicious!  They have a gooey quality to the cake, which I was told is typical of pecan pie, and a subtle sweetness. Topped with the sweet maple frosting, they are quite the cupcake!   

Pecan Pie Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ cup butter, softened
2 large eggs, room temp
½ cup whole milk, room temp
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla extract

10 oz cream cheese, softened
5 T unsalted butter, softened
½ tsp imitation maple flavor
3 ½ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup

1.   Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2.   In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
3.   In large bowl, cream brown sugar and butter at medium-high speed with electric mixer for about 5 minutes.
4.  Reduce speed to low.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5.   Add flour mixture to butter and mixture, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Fold in pecans and vanilla.
6.     Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.  Tap pan against counter to release air bubbles.
7.     Bake 18-20 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 5 minutes.  Remove from pan, and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
8.     Frosting:  Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add maple extract and powdered sugar and beat until smooth.  Gradually add pure maple syrup until frosting is stiff enough to pipe.  Add more sugar or syrup as needed to get the right consistency.

Source:  Cupcake Recipe from a Taste of the South Magazine

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