MAPLE CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

We all know my character ‘Avery’ on “The Young and the Restless” loves to let loose with some cupcake baking when she’s stressed.  But let’s be honest, real life cupcake baking can BRING ON stress, not to mention a big ol’ mess in the kitchen.  So I’ve worked out a recipe that’s super easy (and dare I say FUN) to throw together in a short amount of time.  And the result is one heck of a delicious cupcake!  For something a bit different, I’ve added maple syrup to my batter, making it a perfect treat for the fall season.  Think “pancake inside a cupcake” with this one.  Find me on Twitter or Facebook (see tabs to the upper right of this page) and let me know what you think!

Maple Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups cake flour

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 whole eggs

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

*Cream Cheese Frosting (see below)

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, sift flour.  Add brown sugar, baking powder and salt and mix well to combine.  Set aside.

Melt butter in a small pan or microwave and set aside.

In a medium bowl, add eggs and yolk and lightly whisk until just mixed. Add milk, syrup, sour cream, vanilla and melted butter and mix until all is combined.

Slowly add wet mixture to the flour and mix just until all ingredients are combined and batter is not lumpy.

Use a 12-cup muffin pan with liners and fill batter equally in each cup.

Bake for about 20 minutes until cake is set and a toothpick comes out clean when cake is pierced.

Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.  Once frosted, sprinkle toasted walnuts on top.

Frosted cupcakes are good in the refrigerator for a few days and can be frozen in a freezer- safe bag or container for at least a month.  Thaw before eating.

*Note: If you really want to be fun, try substituting chopped bacon pieces on top instead of walnuts.  Also, nuts can be omitted all together for any allergie concerns.

*Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients:

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Using a stand mixer with paddle attachement (or a hand-held whisk) cream together the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and salt on medium speed until smooth and creamy.  Turn the mixer to low and add the vanilla until well blended.  Do not overmix.

Frosting can be refrigerated for up to a week.  Bring to room temperature before frosting cupcakes.

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