Maple Pecan Pancake Cupcakes

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I love brunch, and I love cupcakes. So why not make a cupcake for brunch?! I think everyone is happier with a little sugar in the morning. I was originally inspired by this recipe, but made a few changes to the cupcake base by using buttermilk, and adding candied nuts to the cupcake batter.

Maple Pecan Cupcake Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup toasted, candied pecans
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

Maple Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp milk, room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Buttermilk Pancake Topper:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon and 2-1/4 teaspoons butter, melted

Yield: 12 cupcakes

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Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, until light. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. Stir in buttermilk, and maple syrup. Gradually blend in the flour mixture, stirring until the batter is just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Divide evenly into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Turn cupcakes out on to a wire rack to cool before frosting. I ended up making a double batch, and decided to also make blueberry pancake cupcakes! After I had used half the batter to bake the maple pecan cupcakes, I added 1 cup of blueberries to the remaining batter.

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As the cupcakes cool, prepare the frosting. Combine butter, maple syrup, milk and half of the confectioners sugar in a large bowl and beat at medium-high speed until smooth. Add remaining sugar in gradually until frosting is thick enough to spread easily. Frost the cupcakes using a large star tip.

For the pancake topper, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together buttermilk, milk, eggs and melted butter. Keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to cook. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium high heat. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, using a wooden spoon or fork to blend. Stir until it’s just blended together – do not over stir! Pour the batter onto a lightly greased pan, using approximately 1 tablespoon for each mini pancake. I could cook about six pancakes in my pan at a time. Brown on both sides, then place on a wire rack to cool.

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Once all the pancakes have cooled, top each cupcake with three pancakes, and secure with a toothpick. Drizzle maple syrup over the pancakes, and place a tiny, cold, cube of butter on the top the pancake stack.

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Note: I topped the blueberry cupcakes with a blueberry reduction (1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 cup light corn syrup, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 maple syrup). The winner at the end of the day? It was a toss up. People couldn’t decide which one was better. I think the group consensus was that the star of the show was the frosting 😀

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