I love, adore, and sometimes even crave maple.
A little piece of my heart died the day Starbucks decided to no longer carry their maple lattes. And as a teenager working my first job in a doughnut shop, a maple long john (known in the Pacific Northwest as a maple bar) was my pastry of choice.
So when I came across this recipe for maple cupcakes topped with rich maple buttercream frosting, you bet your buttons I fired up the mixer and got down to business.
I was super interested to learn more about maple syrup and how exactly this sweet nectar made its first appearance. According to Wikipedia (the world’s most reliable source) the process of making maple syrup was first done by the indigenous peoples living in the northeastern part of North America. Aboriginals developed rituals surrounding their sugar making in celebration of the Sugar Moon, which was the first full moon of Spring. One of these rituals was a maple dance. For the love of all things sweet, I don’t know exactly what a maple dance is, but I think I want to be a part of it. 🙂 They learned how to tap the maple trees to extract the sap that was eventually turned into maple syrup, and I don’t know about you, but I’m forever grateful.
I made these heavenly cupcakes for a dinner get together with all of our dearest friends and they were a hit! At the end of the night our good friend Corey mentioned that he thought I should have topped them with a slice of bacon. While I think the maple/bacon trend is interesting, I also find it extremely weird. I’m sure my distaste for these flavors mixed together hasn’t helped, but I just haven’t been able to jump on that band wagon. However, Corey celebrated his birthday just a few weeks later, so these just happened to make an appearance on his doorstep…
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
2 cups pure maple syrup,, preferably Grade B
3 large eggs, room temp
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard or mini muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. With an electric mixer on medum-high speed, cream butter until smooth. Add the maple syrup, and beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture, and beat well to combine. Beat in milk and vanilla until combined.
3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until glden and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes for standard, 10 to 13 minutes for minis. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.
For the buttercream, use whichever buttercream recipe you love and substitute Mapeline maple extract for the vanilla extract in the recipe!