I thought moving across the country alone and working a 9-5pm job would give me lots of time to do things for myself. You know, like spending hours exercising, practicing meditation, making a dent in my reading list, and of course, blogging all the time. I would say I have been averaging a new post every 2 weeks, so you can probably guess where I’m at with my other goals.
Being alone does give you a lot of time to think and reflect. I’m definitely learning a lot about myself. For starters, I came to the conclusion that I will like any ice cream flavor as long as there are nuts in it. Talenti’s pistachio gelato will forever have a special place in my heart and freezer. However, I now have to make extra room in both spaces because I have fallen in love with Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream‘s maple walnut flavor. Their ice cream was the inspiration for these maple walnut cupcakes, and these cupcakes are one of the most delicious treats I have ever had!
The cupcakes are made with finely chopped walnuts and brown sugar. Creaming the sugars and butter and not over mixing the batter once the dry ingredients are added makes these cupcakes delightfully light and soft. The cupcakes are also very moist, and the bits of walnuts give it a nice little bite. Allow me to get to the best part. The most delicious maple syrup frosting. It is so spectacular and simple. Make sure to use pure maple syrup. It can be a little expensive, but trust me, it is absolutely worth it.
I used Wilton’s 2D decorating tip to pipe on the frosting, then I sprinkled half the cupcakes with William-Sonoma’s gold sprinkles and the other half with finely chopped walnuts.
- ½ cup unsalted butter, soften
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup raw walnuts, finely chopped
- 1 cup unsalted butter, soften
- 3½ cups powdered sugar
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- Preheat the oven 350F degrees, and line standard sized muffins pans with 16 paper lines.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the butter and sugars until fluffy and smooth on medium-high speed, about 3 minutes.
- Reduce the speed to medium-low, then add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla extract.
- Slowly add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of bowl with a spatula.
- Add the chopped walnuts, and slowly pour in the milk. Mix until just incorporated.
- Fill each liner three-quarters full, then bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the butter and sugar, adding the sugar one cup at a time, on medium-low speed.
- When the powdered sugar is mostly integrated with the butter, increase the speed to high and mix for 1 minute, stopping once to scrape down the bowl. Slowly pour in the maple syrup, then continue to mix for another 2 minutes, until the frosting is nice and fluffy.
- Spread or pipe over cooled cupcakes.