Moist vanilla cupcakes studded with plenty of toasted butter pecans and topped with cinnamon buttercream frosting.
Yield:12 -14 Cupcakes
Skill Level:✽ ✽ ✽
For the Pecans:
1 cup finely chopped pecans
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
For the Cupcakes:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons brown sugar, loosely packed
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg whites
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons water
3/4 cup toasted pecans, from above
For the Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
3-4 tablespoons water or milk
To toast the pecans, preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Combine the melted butter, pecans and brown sugar in a medium sized bowl and toss to coat.
Spread the pecans evenly onto the cookie sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes, or until toasted.
Set pecans aside to cool.
To make the cupcake batter, preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
Add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
Add the egg and egg white one at a time, mixing until combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine the milk and water in a small measuring cup.
Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined. Add the milk mixture and mix until well combined. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
Stir in the toasted pecans. Set the remaining pecans aside for later.
Fill the cupcake liners about ¾ full and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
Remove cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.
To make the frosting, beat the butter in a large mixer bowl until smooth.
Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth and well combined.
Add the vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt and 1-2 tablespoons of water or milk and and mix until combined.
Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
Add additional water or milk, as needed, to get the right consistency frosting.
Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, then sprinkle with the remaining toasted pecans.
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