Maple Walnut Cupcakes

I may or may not have mentioned it before ;-), but I am a chocoholic.  I am also a major maple walnut fan.  Faced with choosing between the two flavors, I have been known to become paralyzed with indecision.

Much as I love chocolate, when a maple walnut dessert is offered on a menu, maple walnut it is!  Supply and demand rules at the restaurant—baking at home is another story.  You can have what you want…when you want.

These maple walnut cupcakes from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook via The Way the Cookie Crumbles blog was just my cup of tea—with the cupcake, of course.  The delicious treat is pleasingly flavored with maple, vanilla, and cinnamon; and it is chock full of toasted walnuts.  Topping it off is an ethereal maple walnut buttercream frosting with that topped off with a candied walnut.  Yum, yum, and more yum!

It’s not often that chocolate takes a back seat in my kitchen, but this maple walnut cupcake ruled for the day.

One year ago:   Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Two years ago:  Cranberry Relish

Maple Walnut Cupcakes

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Makes 2 dozen


  • 2 3/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 tbl. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 16 tbl. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. maple extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted, chopped medium-fine
  • Maple Buttercream (recipe below)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line two standard 12-up muffin pans with paper liners. Into a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until combined.  With the mixer still on medium speed, add the flour mixture in two parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ended with the flour.  Fold in the walnuts.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, adding about 1/3 cup to each.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until cupcakes are golden and a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.  Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool slightly.  Invert the cupcakes onto the rack; then reinvert and let them cool completely, top sides up.  Frost tops with maple buttercream.  Cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Maple Buttercream

Makes enough for 2 dozen cupcakes (about 2 cups)

This frosting can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days.  Bring to room temperature before using.

  • 3 large eggs yolks (I used pasteurized eggs)
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitting with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes; set aside.  In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the maple syrup to a boil, and cook until it registers 240 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat.

With the mixer running, slowly pour syrup down the side of the bowl in a slow, steady stream, until completely incorporated, about 1 minute.  Continue beating until bowl is just slightly warm to the touch, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add butter, one piece at a time, until thoroughly incorporated and the frosting is fluffy, about 4 minutes more.

Fran’s Notes

Once the cupcakes were refrigerated—even though I let them come to room temperature—I thought the cupcakes became too firm.  At the risk of melting the soft frosting, I microwaved the cupcakes at very low power (30%) for 10 seconds.  The frosting did get a little melty, but the microwaving did the trick for the cupcakes.  They became soft and tender as they were warm from the oven.

Source:  A recipe from The Way the Cookie Crumbles

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