Maple Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream


I recently discovered there is an AMAZING cake decorating supply store about a mile from my house. I’m going to need to find some serious self-control so that I don’t end up spending every paycheck there, but I stopped in this weekend and was amazed by the variety of icing colors, cake pans, cookie cutters, chocolate, flavorings, and candy molds. The best part is, the prices are pretty reasonable and the lady working there was extremely helpful. Obviously as soon as I got home I just had to bake.

Although I was tempted to make pumpkin cupcakes, the jar of Grade B maple syrup in the fridge was calling to me, and I ended up finding this recipe for maple cupcakes. The flavor is amazing, although the texture is a little denser than I’d like. Still, it didn’t stop Mike and me from eating way too many of them, and I’m going to post the recipe just because the flavor is so amazing.

For frosting, I decided to experiment with swiss meringue buttercream. It always makes me a little nervous because it takes awhile to take on the right consistency, but after it’s ready it is seriously amazing stuff! Because of my addiction to maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal packets as a kid, I used brown sugar for the buttercream and it worked perfectly. These will make anyone with a sweet tooth extremely happy!

Recipe:

cupcakes
(adapted from Baking Bites)

makes 12 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 12-cupcake pan with paper liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside

Beat the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in the vanilla and the eggs (one at a time), scraping down the bowl after each addition.

Stir the buttermilk and maple syrup together and add to the butter mixture alternating with the flour. Mix on low and be careful not to overmix.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins. Bake for about 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

frosting
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, cut into small cubes
pinch salt

Stir the egg whites and brown sugar together in a heat-proof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water. Stir constantly with a wire whisk until the temperature reaches 160 F. Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on high until soft, shiny peaks form.
Switch to the paddle attachment, and mix in the salt and butter (one cube at a time) on medium-low. The frosting will look lumpy or curdled at first, but after about 8-10 minutes should be smooth. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.

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