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Freshly-frosted butter pecan cupcakes on a dessert table with milk.

BUTTER PECAN CUPCAKES


Description

These butter pecan cupcakes deserve a place on your Thanksgiving dessert table! These cupcakes are fluffy and tender with the perfect crumb. Topped with scrumptious frosting, they’re garnished with a butter pecan topping that brings visions of pecan pie.


Ingredients

Scale

CUPCAKE BATTER

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly-packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or melted/cooled butter)
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

BUTTER PECAN TOPPING

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

FROSTING

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of salt, to taste

Instructions

CUPCAKES

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 12-well cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners. 

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, sea salt, and ground cinnamon. In a second bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, milk, eggs and vanilla.
  2. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix just until no large lumps remain. Be careful: do not over-mix the batter or the cupcakes will be dense instead of light and fluffy.
  3.  With a metal scoop or 1/4 measuring cup, divide batter equally between wells of prepared cupcake pan. Each well should be filled 3/4 full. Bake 14 to 16 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the middle of 2 to 3 cupcakes comes out clean. Transfer the desserts to a cooling rack. 
  4. Cool cupcakes completely before frosting. Although the surface may be cool to the touch rather quickly, the interior heat will rise to the surface and make the frosting droop. Cool them in the pan 10 minutes, then in the freezer 20 minutes (but no longer than that). Cooling on the countertop takes 1 hour.

BUTTER PECAN TOPPING

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine pecans, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, egg, and vanilla extract.
  2. Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly, or until the topping mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature before using.

FROSTING

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed for 1 minute. Add vanilla extract. Mix to combine. 
  2. Drape a flour sack towel over the stand mixer to protect your countertop. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Once ingredients are combined, stop the mixer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  3. Beat the frosting on high speed for 2 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with your favorite metal tip. For these butter pecan cupcakes, I used a Wilton 1M.
  4. Pipe a ring of icing around the edge of each cupcake. Fill the center with butter pecan topping. Serve and enjoy cupcakes while fresh!

Notes

FOR FLUFFY CUPCAKES: Always use fresh baking powder. Check the expiration date on the can. If it’s old or expired the cupcakes will not be fluffy. Bake the batter right after it’s assembled. If it sits out too long the bubbles created by the baking powder will deflate. To protect the bubbles, it’s also important that the batter is not over-mixed. This can result in dense cakes.

HOW TO PREVENT CUPCAKES FROM SINKING: Do not overfill the cupcake liners. The proper amount of batter for each cupcake well is 3/4 full. Always under-fill rather than overfill cupcake liners. We want to give the cakes room to rise and dome. Once the batter rises past the supportive sides of the wrapper, the batter spreads and sinks because it no longer has a structure to help keep it upright.

  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cool Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Butter Pecan Cupcakes, Pecan Pie Cupcakes, Thanksgiving Cupcakes