Thursday, June 21, 2012

Brown Sugar Pecan Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

One of my goals this summer is to perfect my cupcake baking abilities.  I really LOVE a great cupcake. And if it's even possible, the three boys in the house love sweets even more than I do.  So yesterday, Jackson (my youngest son) and I headed out to the store to pick up cake flour, whipping cream, and pecans to give my first cupcake recipe a try.  I found this recipe on Epicurious and it seemed like a great place to start.  The cake part was really straight-forward but the frosting was a bit more daunting.  I have to admit that this was my first time making caramel and attempt number one had to go down the drain.  The results were super yummy!!!!  The cake was more like a muffin but the brown sugar flavor was awesome.  I only used about half of the caramel sauce in the frosting so that it wasn't too runny.  Jackson declared that the frosting was the BEST EVER and immediately licked it all off the top of his cupcake.  :)  It was so exciting trying something new and I hope that you'll give this cupcake recipe a try too!


For the Cupcakes:
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped toasted pecans
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Frosting:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans

  • Preparation Instructions:

    For cupcakes: 
    Put rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Spray 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray; line with muffin cups.
    Whisk both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt in medium bowl. Stir in chopped pecans. Beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar; beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to blend between additions. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; beat on low speed just to blend. Divide batter among muffin cups.
    Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 15 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover; store at room temperature.

    For frosting: 
    Stir sugar and 1/4 cup water in medium saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high; boil until syrup turns deep amber, swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat; add cream (mixture will bubble up). Stir over low heat until caramel bits dissolve. Whisk egg yolks in medium bowl. Very gradually whisk hot caramel into yolks. Cool to room temperature.
    Using electric mixer, beat butter and salt in large bowl until smooth. Beat in caramel. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Let stand at room temperature until thick enough to spread, about 1 hour.
    Spread frosting over cupcakes. Place pecans on plate. Roll edges of cupcakes in nuts. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Taken from:

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