Butter Pecan Mini Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream

Have you ever been to Montreal? It’s such a beautiful city. Quite a few years ago I went to a conference there for work. I have to admit; I ditched one of my classes about a quarter way into the lecture after my head was bobbing up and down and I could barely stand myself. I headed out into the street and started zipping into as many shops as I could before I had to be back for my next lecture. One of the things I noticed rather quickly was there are a lot of shops displaying maple syrup. Canadians are really proud of their maple syrup and they should be. It’s top quality. They like to use their maple syrup in a lot of things; not just over pancakes. I came across a store that had maple syrup tastings. What, stop, whoa…maple syrup tastings? that’s right. There is light, darker, darkest; whatever you like. I learned a lot that day about maple syrup. I learned you should never settle for anything but the real thing. These cute little mini cupcakes are topped with maple buttercream. Make sure to use the best you can find.

Butter Pecan Mini Cupcakes

yield: 24 mini cupcakes

recipe: adapted from 200 mini cakes & bakes

1/2 Cup (1 stick)  unsalted butter, room temp

1/2 Cup sugar

1  1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

1/4 Cup milk

1 Cup cake flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1  1/2 tsp.  baking powder

1/2 Cup finely chopped pecans

whole pecans, toasted, to decorate

Maple Buttercream

1 Cup unsalted butter, room temp

1/2 Cup confectioners sugar, sifted + more if needed

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla bean paste

6 Tbsp. real maple syrup

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place a 24 well silicone mini muffin cup liner on a baking sheet. Conversely if you don’t have a silicone muffin pan you can use regular mini muffin pan with paper liners.

2. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Add the milk, vanilla and stir. Combine the rest of the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture and beat to combine. Stir in the chopped pecans.

3. Fill the wells of the mini muffin cups with one Tablespoon of batter. Bake for about 11-12 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for about 2 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to continue cooling until completely cool.

4. Frost cupcakes [use a start tip if you have one] with Maple butter once cakes are completely cool and top with a whole toasted pecan.


Cream together the butter and sugar until light. Add in the salt and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the maple syrup, beat until smooth. Add any additional confectioners sugar if needed one Tbsp. at a time if buttercream is too soft.

36 Comments Add yours

  1. Spotted these on Pinterest and drooled all over my computer. They look delicious!

    1. swooz says:

      Thanks Lori, My husband said these were a keeper. I hope you try them!

  2. Claire Blagg says:

    Hi, I would love to make these cakes but in England we say “ounces” you say “cup” so I’m not sure of the correct measurements. Can you help? Thanks.

    1. swooz says:

      Dear Claire, Yes; one Cup= 8 ounces, 1/2 Cup= 4 ounces and so forth. I hope you enjoy the recipe! Happy Baking, Suzie~

  3. paual price says:

    where can I find the vanilla bean paste?

    1. swooz says:

      Paual, You can find it near the regular vanilla in finer grocery stores. Not everyone carries it. Nielsen-Massey makes it as well as other brands. King Arthur Flour also carries it. Once you discover it, you will wonder how you ever lived without it! Best, Suzie

  4. Carri says:

    The vanilla bean paste – I see that there is a Madagascar Bourbon kind. Is this the kind you use or use one that is only vanilla bean.

    1. swooz says:

      Hi Carri, either type will do. I think most of the time I’ve used the madagascar type as it’s been the easier type to find; brand wise.

      I go through tons of vanilla bean paste. I love it in so many things. Play around with it; I love it with making vanilla buttercream; it adds an entirely different depth of flavor.


  5. Katherine says:

    I’m an amateur baker, so this might be a silly question, but how many regular cupcakes would this yield?

    1. swooz says:

      Hi Katerine, I’d say only about 6 regular size cupcakes. I used about 1 Tbsp. of batter for the mini’s and usually a regular cupcake takes about 1/4 cup of batter which is 4 Tablespoons, so guessing only about 6. These are very rich tasting so keep that in mind; that’s why the mini version works so well. Thanks for asking for the other bakers I’m sure appreciate it too. Happy Baking! Suzie

  6. These look so delicious, I am going to make these today! I love to make mini size cupcakes and especially love recipes that call for things I have on hand! Have you ever tried Michele’s Butter Pecan Maple Syrup? To die for 🙂

    1. swooz says:

      I have not tried that…but now you have me intrigued! I’ll have to try it!! Thanks!!!

  7. Kelsey says:

    Will this recipe work for a regular sized cake?

    1. swooz says:

      Kelsey, I’m sure if it would. If you try it though; I would change the flour to cake flour as the cakes area bit dense and also the cakes are very rich. I’m not sure if doubling the recipe would be enough; if you try it- just remember as a good rule of thumb to always fill your cake pans 1/2 way full to allow for appropriate rise. Best of luck. If you try it, let me know. Thanks very much for the question! Suzie

  8. kathie says:

    there’s no directions for the frosting–

    1. swooz says:

      Hi Kathie, thanks for pointing this out to me! I just updated the post. Happy baking!!

  9. Char says:

    My frosting came out all chunky and not smooth- seems like the syrup did not incorporate. Any thoughts?

    1. swooz says:

      Dear Char, was the syrup at all crystalized? If so this could pose a problem. Also, try sifting the confectioners sugar as if there are any lumps that can make it difficult to get a smooth frosting. Best, Suzie

  10. Pam Doty says:

    The cupcakes sound great, but 2 sticks of butter seems like an awful lot for the # of cupcakes it makes. Expecially when it doesn’t take much powdered sugar. Does the icing actually get firm and does it need to be refrigerated?

    1. swooz says:

      Hi Pam, you can cut back on the frosting by half if you like–I tend to have a habit of making extra as when I made these I piped the frosting which uses up more frosting. Yes, it is best to let the frosting firm up a bit with a little chill time (esp. if you plan to pipe the frosting rather than just spread it on).

      1. Pam Doty says:

        I guess I didn’t phrase my question correctly. I recently made some different cupcakes with buttercream icing. The icing recipe was EXACTLY the same as yours (same qty. of everything), EXCEPT it called for 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar instead of 1/2 cup. It was very good, so I was wondering for yours should have said 2 1/2 cups.

      2. swooz says:

        Hi Pam, ah, got ya. Actually no, the recipe is intended to be more of an enhanced sweetened BUTTER- cream rather than a frosting per se. But if you prefer to add the quantity of sugar as you mentioned you certainly could. The maple sugar acts as an emulsifier and along with the xxx sugar it is just sweet enough and firm enough to be a creamy soft buttery “buttercream” for lack of a better word, but not a frosting per se. Hope that helps. Thanks for stopping by the Sweettooth as always. Cheers, Suzie.

  11. Jennifer says:

    I just mixed up these cupcakes and the batter is very thick. I’m surprised there isn’t any milk in this recipe. Any thoughts? Did I do something wrong?

    1. swooz says:

      Hi Jennifer, This recipe was pulled from a cookbook of mine and the recipe is written as was provided in the book. Yes, the batter is thick; you could certainly play around with it and add some milk if you like, but I made the recipe as is. Cheers~ Suzie

  12. terri says:

    I have looked everywhere for both the vanilla bean paste and cake flour. why can’t I find them? I thought for sure Earth Fare would carry them. no luck. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I want to make these for my dad for Father’s Day :). thanks!

    1. swooz says:

      Hi Terri,
      Yes-to make 1 cup of cake flour you take 3/4 Cup + 2 Tbsp. of all-purpose flour and add 2 Tbsp. of cornstarch. (this is also posted under my category “baking tips” if you like-check out that area as I have other baking substitutes there for future ref). In place of the vanilla bean paste you can use the seeds of one vanilla bean. If you want some sources to buy it online: Amazon carries it as well as King Arthur Flour. All my best~ Suzie

      1. terri says:

        Thanks Suzie! I appreciate your response.

  13. Beth says:

    I had been looking for a while for vanilla bean paste. I finally found it at Sur La Table specialty store.– Beth

  14. Raquel says:

    Can you use vanilla extract? I can’t find vanilla bean paste

    1. swooz says:

      Yes, you certainly can use vanilla extract. You can order vanilla bean paste online (for future) if you like- there are many sources- Amazon and King Arthur both carry it.

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