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Vanilla Cupcakes with Maple Frosting and Candied Walnuts

Here’s a cupcake flavor you can enjoy all year long. Vanilla cupcakes with maple frosting topped with homemade candied walnuts.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vanilla cupcakes, vanilla cake, maple frosting, maple buttercream, candied walnuts
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Author: Maryanne Cabrera

Ingredients

Vanilla Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • cup whole milk , room temp
  • 3 Tbsp nonfat yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup unsalted butter , room temp, softened
  • cup granulated sugar
  • cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temp

Maple Frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temp, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 Tbsp dark maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp maple extract ,optional but highly recommended

Candied Walnuts:

  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • cup granulated sugar
  • kosher salt or cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling

Instructions

Vanilla Cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, mix together milk, yogurt, and vanilla. Set aside both bowls.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Add eggs one a time, making sure first egg is incorporated before adding second egg.
  • Scrape down bowl. Add half of dry mixture. Continue to mix and stream in half of wet mixture. Add remaining dry mixture, followed by remaining wet mixture.  Mix until there are no more streaks of dry mixture.
  • Divide batter evenly between prepared muffin tin (about 1/4-1/3 cup of batter per muffin).  Bake for 18-20 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, or until cake lightly springs back when touched.  Be sure to rotate pan halfway through baking.  Let cupcakes cool in tin for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

Maple Frosting:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar until smooth.  Add maple syrup and heavy cream and continue to mix.  Add remaining confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time.  Add maple extract.   Beat until smooth and thick.

Candied Walnuts:

  • Lightly toast walnuts in preheated 350° F oven for 5-8 minutes.
  • In a sauce pot, heat sugar oven medium heat until sugar dissolves.  Stir with wooden spoon to ensure sugar cooks evenly.  Once sugar has dissolved, continue to heat until amber in color.  Remove from heat and stir in toasted walnuts.  Make sure walnuts are evenly coated with sugar syrup.
  • Pour out walnuts onto a silicon mat or greased parchment paper.  Spread out nuts and separate from each other with wooden spoon or fork.  Sprinkle nuts with salt or cinnamon sugar.  Let cool.