January 31, 2012

Maple Cornmeal Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

I decided to deviate from the chocolate cupcake varieties that I shared with my co-workers the past few weeks with this Maple Cornmeal Cupcake with Maple Frosting. This was a recipe that immediately intrigued me from The Big Book of Cupcakes, probably because of the unique flavor combination.

This isn't my favorite frosting as I find it overly sweetthe powdered sugar to butter ratio is disproportionate in my humble opinion. However, it pairs nicely with the slightly grainy cupcake for an overall enjoyable cupcake. As one co-worker phrased it, "They are strangely delightful."

Maple Cornmeal Cupcakes with Maple Frosting
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cups sugar
1 tsp. maple flavoring
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 tsp. maple flavoring
2 to 4 Tbsp. milk
18 pecan halves
1 tsp. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. maple flavoring
1/8 tsp. sea salt

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place paper baking cups in each of 18 regular-size cupcake tins.

In medium bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, beat butter on electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in maple flavoring and eggs. On low speed, alternately add flour and milk, starting and ending with flour. Beat just until blended.

Divide batter evenly among cupcake tins, filling each 2/3 full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in tins 5 minutes, and then remove cupcakes to cool completely on wire racks.

To make frosting, mix powdered sugar, butter and maple flavoring. Beat in milk gradually to reach desired consistency. Frost each cupcake.

To make toppings for cupcakes, combine butter, sugar, maple flavoring and salt. Gently stir in pecan halves to coat evenly. Top each cupcake with a pecan half.

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