Maple Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream

*By: Linz Bordner*

Photo: Linz Bordner

A favorite dessert I make around Thanksgiving are Maple Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream. If you are a maple-lover like I am, these will hit the spot! The recipe is from the one and only Martha Stewart. The key ingredient is of course maple syrup, but be sure to use only pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B. I’ve found some grocery stores do not carry Grade B, so I opt for Grade A that is dark and robust in flavor, and it works just as well.

For the buttercream, you will need to invest in a candy thermometer if you don’t have one.

You can also leave some cupcakes unfrosted, which make for a delicious and decadent breakfast or brunch pastry.

Recipe as follows:

MAPLE CUPCAKES

2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter until smooth. Add the maple syrup, and beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scaping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add flour mixture, and beat well to combine. Beat in milk and vanilla until combined.

3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Can be stored up to 1 day at room temperature in airtight containers.

MAPLE BUTTERCREAM

6 large egg yolks

2 cups pure maple syrup

1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into tablespoons

1. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix egg yolks on high speed until pale and thick, about 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, bring maple syrup to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat; clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Cook until the syrup registers 240°F, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. With mixer on medium speed, carefully pour the syrup in a slow, steady stream down the side of the bowl until it is completely combined, about 1 ½ minutes. Continue mixing until the bottom of the bowl is only slightly warm to the touch, 5 to 6 minutes.

4. Add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, mixing until completely incorporated after each addition. Once all butter has been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until buttercream is fluffy, about 4 minutes more. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and whisk on low speed until fluffy again, about 5 minutes.

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