Banana and Maple Syrup Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream and Sugared Pecans

In my last blog post I promised a super-sweet recipe.

Finally, here it is!

I made these cupcakes back in October (but have been so busy I haven’t had the chance to post them) and they were a big hit. I was super, super pleased with how they turned out.

To make these scrumptious cupcakes I used a banana bread recipe from the September 2012 Delicious magazine (which by the way, is delicious on its own as banana bread. Probably the best banana bread I’ve ever had).  I also made my own sugared pecans which after a bit of research on the web, turned out to be pretty easy!

How to Make Sugared Pecans:

Place a quarter of a cup of pecans in a saucepan with one tablespoon of caster sugar and one tablespoon of water.

Cook over low heat, stirring gently, until the sugar and water mixture has virtually disappeared (it’ll dissolve and coat the pecans in the meantime). Be so careful – it’s a matter of seconds between perfect sugared pecans and ruined ones (white and lumpy ).

Too easy.

image

image

image

image

You could use these for a range of things, not just cupcake toppers. A Christmas present idea, perhaps? Presented all pretty like in pretty jars.)

How to Make Banana and Maple Syrup Cupcakes

(Adapted from “Maple banana bread” in the September 2012 Delicious)

What you need:

3 eggs
125g unsalted butter, (melt and then cool)
200g brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 override bananas, (the more overripe the better. Mash these up)
1/4 cup sour cream (the recipe called for creme fraiche but I didn’t have any. Sour cream worked perfectly, so feel free to use either)
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Line cupcake tins with cupcake cases. I like to make mini cupcakes and so this made quite a fair few (sorry, I can’t quite remember exactly but it was probably in the vicinity of 18-24. Definitely more than 12! I also had a lot left over so I filled a nifty mini cake tin and made a mini banana bread (sooo good!).

Next up, beat the eggs, butter, brown sugar, maple syrup and vanilla in an electric mixer for 5 minutes or until the mixture goes thick.

Then, beat in the banana and sour cream.

Then, sift in the flour, baking powder and cinnamon.

Now, mix until combined. Be careful not to over-mix.

Scoop your mixture into your cupcake cases.  I’m pretty sure the rule is to fill them up 3/4 full so they don’t spill over and go nuts in the oven and they rise to the right amount.

Bake in your moderate oven for about 20 minutes.  Keep an eye on them, just in case because the cooking time will depend on how big your cupcakes are. As a rough guide, the recipe called for 35 minutes to bake the banana bread.  Use a cake skewer tester thing to check whether they’ve cooked the whole way through or press the tops with your fingers. If they bounce back up, you know they’re done.

Leave to cool!


How to Make Maple Buttercream

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but this icing (or frosting, if you like) was freaking delicious.

Beat 125 grams of butter, 1/4 of a cup maple syrup and 1 cup of icing sugar until light and fluffy. This can take up to ten minutes.  It’s worth the wait and the sore arm if you’re using a hand-mixer.

Taste as you go – you might need to add more maple syrup to enhance the flavour. I think I ended up adding a few more splashes of maple syrup before I was done.

Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes. I piped. First time ever. It was messy.

Finally, decorate with your sugared pecans! I chopped mine up small and sprinkled them over the top.

image

image

image

I took these to work for our Halloween Baking Day. To make them Halloween like, I stuck in a bunch of “RIP” gravestone cupcake toppers and labelled them “Graveyard Cupcakes” in my best spooky writing. They disappeared by 11am.

image

Would I make them again? Oh, yeah.