Welcome to the November edition of the Lady Behind The Curtain Dessert Challenge where we are using pears and maple as our spotlight ingredients. Since I made muffins last month, I decided to stay on the handheld dessert theme and make cupcakes this time. These are so moist and flavorful! The texture is more like a muffin than a cupcake, but the maple buttercream just puts it over the edge from snack/breakfast food to a true dessert! I started with this cupcake recipe from Sugar Hero and this frosting recipe from Chow and tweaked it as you see below. This is definitely a keeper!
For the cupcakes:
1 1/8 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Chinese five spice
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups finely diced pears
1/2 cup chopped & toasted pecans
For the frosting:
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. This is a perfect time to toast the pecan pieces. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt & Chinese 5 spice.
With an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Then add the egg and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the pears and pecans gently by hand.
Fill the cupcake liners no more than 2/3 full because the cupcake will spread instead of rise and you don’t want ugly cupcakes. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with few or no crumbs. Cool completely and frost with the maple buttercream.
For the frosting, beat the butter, salt, and maple syrup together with an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Don’t worry if it still looks separated because the sugar will make it come together. Add the sugar about 1/2 cup at a time and mix thoroughly. You may need to adjust the sugar amount to make it the consistency that you want.
I decided to use a 2D piping tip to frost the cupcakes. It almost looks like a rose when you are done. This recipe makes 12- 14 cupcakes.
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