Maple Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Everywhere I look, I see another recipe I want to try that is all about pumpkin.  Seriously, they are everywhere.  I know that I just made pumpkin snickerdoodles, and they were great. But what about pumpkin English muffin bread, pound cake, or even ice cream?  Even the new book from the boys at Baked has a section dedicated to this favorite ingredient of fall.  I don’t even know where to start.

 

I’m sure there is some kind of rule about posting two, three, or five recipes in a row that are all about pumpkin.  So I’ll wait.  But speaking of the boys from Baked, they have a maple cupcake in Baked Explorations that is perfect for this time of year.  They are really good, though they are crazy sweet.  Not that it’s a bad thing. 

 I decided to split the batch and bake some standard-sized cupcakes and several two-bite cakes in a mini cupcake pan, and I preferred the minis.  They were just the right amount of sweet.  When you’re ready for a break from pumpkin recipes, give them a try.

 

Maple Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 12 cupcakes

For the cake:
1 ½  cups all-purpose flour
1 ½  teaspoons baking powder
1/2  teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened, cut into chunks
1 cups pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B but Grade A is fine)
1 large egg yolk
1 large egg
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk

For the frosting:
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
a tiny pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth.  Turn the mixer to low and stream in the maple syrup, stopping a couple times to scrape the sides of the bowl.  Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is nearly uniform in color, about 3 minutes.

Add the egg yolk and egg, one at a time, and beat until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Add half of the flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Add the milk and slowly stir in so it doesn’t splatter.  Add the rest of the flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Scrap the sides and bottom of the bowl.  

Fill the prepared cupcake pan about 3/4 full. Bake the cupcakes for 18-23 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Bake min cupcakes about 12-13 minutes.  These cupcakes may take longer to bake than traditional cupcakes due to the maple syrup.

Let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes in the cupcake pan, and turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Frosting:
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter until it is completely smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined.  Add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. Be careful not to overbeat the frosting or it will lose structure.

Frost the cooled cupcakes with a pastry bag or your preferred method.  Refrigerate any leftover cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Notes:
Recipe is slightly adapted from Baked Explorations.
I will restate the wise words of the authors and ask that you please use real maple syrup for these cupcakes.
For high-altitude baking, decrease the baking powder to slightly more than one teaspoon.

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