Sometimes, you just have to make cupcakes, even if you have no good reason to.
It might begin with one of your friends sending you a recipe for an “autumnal birthday cake.”
I tried for a few weeks to come up with an excuse to bake this cake, then finally threw caution to the wind, bought a ridiculous amount of maple syrup (1 1/2 cups, for the record, is a RIDICULOUS amount of maple syrup), and went for it.
I didn’t feel like making cakes (and I got my cupcake tin back, in case you were on the edge of your seat from my previous post), so cupcakes it was!
This recipe makes a great cake with a lot of maple flavor–1 1/2 cups of maple syrup will do that, I suppose (can you tell I’m completely flabbergasted that this recipe used ONE AND A HALF CUPS of maple syrup? because I am). I’m not keen on meringue frosting since I don’t like eggs, so I swapped that out for an incredible whipped cinnamon frosting from Sweetapolita, one of my favorite cake blogs.
The overall effect is basically a brunch cupcake. They taste exactly like pancakes with cinnamon butter. For that reason, I deeply believe these would be dynamite with bacon sprinkled on top. Sadly, I am currently a reluctant vegetarian, so alas, no bacon for me.
Happily, I ended up making these just in time for a friend’s birthday! It all comes full circle in this blog (recall: we began with “autumnal birthday cake”). Sometimes procrastinating on baker-blogging gets you places in the end, folks. That’s your lesson for today–now go bake these, put bacon on top, and have yourself a brunch snack.
For the cupcakes
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups maple syrup
Scant 1/2 tsp maple extract (optional)
3 1/3 cups self-raising flour
1/3 cup hot water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a cupcake tin.
In a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating in between additions, then turn the mixer to low and add the maple syrup to make a smooth mixture; add the maple extract last. Add flour in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour and alternating with hot water.
Fill cupcake tins 2/3 full of batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes (mine came out perfectly at 24 minutes) and allow to cool before frosting.
For the cinnamon frosting
13 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon, to taste
pinch of salt
In an electric mixer, cream butter for 8 minutes on medium speed until light, pale, and fluffy. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute to incorporate, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be super light, creamy, and fluffy. Best used right away. I used a 96 Aceto open star frosting tip to make the rosette-ish shapes on these cupcakes.