Maple Syrup Cupcakes

It’s Part III of my Fall dinner party wrap up and though fancy cheeseboards and decadent mac ‘n cheese got us through the first part of the evening, the dessert course is always the most coveted. Especially when there’s an Italian family involved.

While I whipped up some Maple Syrup Cupcakes, our guests brought so many delightful confections that we had a veritable smorgasbord of goodies to feast on.

All the bases were covered, including a decadent Fallen Chocolate Souffle Cake topped with strawberries from Sweet Melissa Patisserie...

My Aunt Janet’s famously best ever chocolate chip cookies (really, I’ve never had a better chocolate chip cookie and it’s my mission to get to the bottom of her secret ingredient)...

My Aunt Janet’s Grandma Mary Apple Pie (see the depth of that thing? I’m taking notes for the next time I attempt one of those bad boys...)...

 

And my own maple syrup cupcakes, a rich cake with cream cheese frosting that I couldn’t help but compare to homemade pancakes. They were full of fall flavor and a fun change up from the traditional chocolate or vanilla cupcake (not that there’s anything wrong with those). And the bonus element? These cupcakes were even better the next day when I tried them for breakfast, after the flavors had a chance to meld together. The one downside? Real maple syrup doesn’t come cheap...especially when you buy it at the specialty food store attached to your apartment building. Oops. Anyhow, aren’t you dying to get down to the details?

 

Maple Syrup Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
*Adapted from The Kitchn
for the cupcakes:
3 C all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 stick butter, slightly softened,cut into chunks
2 tbsp vegetable shortening, at room temperature
2 C pure maple syrup (not Mrs. Butterworth’s or any imitation maple syrup of the sort)
3 egg yolks
1 large egg
1 1/2 C whole milk
1 C walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional, I left them out)
for the frosting:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
12 oz cream cheese, softened
4 C confectioners’ sugar
2+ tbsp maple syrup

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line two muffin tins with paper liners. I got sweet orange and yellow gingham ones (perfect for Fall!) from Bake it Pretty! In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Meanwhile, in your stand mixer (or in large mixing bowl with hand mixer) , beat the butter and shortening until completely combined. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the maple syrup. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is combined, about 3 minutes. Next, add the egg yolks and egg, one at a time. Beat together until just incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated. Slowly pour in the milk. Add the rest of the flour and mix until just combined. If adding walnuts, fold them in.

Fill the prepared cupcake pan about three-quarters full. Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. The pans should be rotated midway through the baking time. Cool the cupcakes for 15 minutes in the cupcake pan, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting: In your stand mixer, beat the softened butter until smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined. Add the sugar and the maple syrup and beat until smooth. Frost the cooled cupcakes - I used a sweet pastry bag and tip set that I snapped up at Party City.
Makes 24 cupcakes

So there you have it. A roundup of desserts from our Fall Dinner Party, each one of them decadent and delicious and absolutely perfect for Fall. In fact, I had to send most of the leftovers to work to keep from eating every last bit of them!

The question of the day is: What's your favorite dessert? A sweet cupcake? A rich chocolate cake? Or do you skip the sweets in favor of more savory goods?