Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Buttermilk Spice Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

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This is a great recipe for Fall time that doesn't involve pumpkin or apples, but still has all of the warm spices of the season. The combination of my cinnamon spice blend with the creamy maple cream cheese frosting is absolutely divine. I love these cupcakes this time of year. They also make a great addition to any Thanksgiving dessert table, next to all of the pumpkin pies and apple crisps!



Buttermilk Spice Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting 

Yield: 14-16 standard cupcakes or 2-3 dozen minis

Ingredients

Buttermilk Spice Cupcakes:  
  • 1 1/8 cup (126g) cake flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1 large egg + 2 large egg yolks, room temperature (separate when cold)

 Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract -OR- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted 
  • cinnamon for sprinkling on top


Directions

Prepare Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with baking cups.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt into a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar and mix for about 30 seconds to distribute the ingredients evenly and aerate the flour.  Beat in the softened butter and oil on low speed until it is moistened and looks like wet sand, about 45 seconds.

Vigorously whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla and eggs for about 30 seconds, until well combine. On low speed, pour half of the liquid mixture into your batter in a very slow and steady stream. Increase to medium speed and beat for about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure all ingredients are fully incorporated. Slowly add the rest of the liquid mixture into your batter and beat for about 20 seconds.

Distribute the batter between baking cups (about 3-4 tablespoons batter each, for standard, or 1 1/2 tablespoons batter each, for minis). Bake standard size cupcakes for 16-18 minutes and minis for 8-10 minutes, or until your finger leaves a slight impression on the tops of the cupcakes when pressed and inserted toothpick comes out clean or with with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Do not over bake. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.



Prepare Frosting:
With an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth (make sure they are both at room temperature so you do not get lumps in your frosting). Add maple. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until incorporated. Beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy.
  
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