Maple Pecan Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

My inspiration for this recipe came from my toddler Mimi. While I was rocking baby Emmett to sleep, I happened to see Mimi walking around the kitchen. Very typical Mimi, she loves to be in the kitchen looking, trying to come up with ideas. Usually she walks around, then decides she either wants French fries or pancakes, which means I have to stop what I’m doing and make them (and she likes to help). But this time she didn’t ask for anything. Emmett started fussing, I kept rocking, out of the corner of my eye I see Mimi walk into the living room and sit down, kept rocking, patting…. finally, Emmett was asleep. I looked up and what did I see? Mimi sitting on the floor drinking maple syrup. Good grief. So, because I can take a hint, I thought maybe, just maybe, she would like a maple dessert.

Now, I won’t lie, I rarely make cupcakes. I also rarely make frosting. I don’t know why though. I love cupcakes and I love frosting, so it seems like I would make them more often. I usually make muffins or cakes and I tend to make glazes instead of frosting. I definitely plan to make them more though, especially after this successful recipe. The flavor was amazing — not exaggerating. The maple jumps out, and the pecans really add a lot of flavor, try not to skip those if possible.

On the negative side though, I’m not crazy about adding granulated sugar to the frosting. I’m not sure what it adds (does anyone else know?). If you beat it long enough, it does dissolve into the icing mostly (I don’t think I mixed mine long enough, so a tiny bit of sugar remained). But next time I make these, I will try leaving it out completely and just add more powdered sugar if necessary. And I might reduce the maple syrup in the frosting to 1/2 cup, just to save some money. Another note, do not over fill the cupcake pan. Only fill them 3/4 of the way up or less, but not more. I over filled 4 of them just a bit and the edges were a bit hard.

Dry ingredients
Mix together the dry and wet
The pecans, I chopped them finer than this
Fill the muffin pan

Maple Pecan Cupcakes
Serving Size = 18 cupcakes (I got 2 more)
Original Recipe

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (I didn’t have any. I mixed together milk and 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice and let it set for a few minutes.)
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and ginger. Set aside.
  3. Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, syrup, and vanilla.
  4. Stir in the flour by thirds, alternating with the buttermilk. Stir in the nuts.
  5. Fill muffin cups (18 – 20) about 3/4 of the way up, but not anymore, and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before adding the icing.


Mix together the icing

Maple Frosting
Serving Size = 4 cups
Original Recipe

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar (next time I will might try skipping this and adding additional powdered sugar if necessary)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup (might reduce to 1/2 cup next time)
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  1. With a mixer, beat together the butter, cream cheese, salt, and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Continue beating and add the maple syrup and confectioners’ sugar. Increase speed to high and beat for 1 more minute.
  3. Chill one hour before using.