A maple pecan cupcake balancing between the divots of a cupcake tin with a bunch of whole pecans beside it

Maple Pecan Cupcakes

  • Author: Julianne
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 20


Celebrate fall in the best way possible – by whipping up a batch of these Maple Pecan Cupcakes! They’re topped with a creamy brown butter pecan frosting for the ultimate autumn treat.


For the Maple Pecan Cupcakes

  • 1 ¼ cup pecans, toasted
  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Greek yogurt vanilla or plain (5.3 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg

For the Brown Butter Pecan Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, browned
  • 67 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or heavy cream)
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Additional pecans for garnish


Make the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
  2. While the oven is preheating, toast the pecan. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for up to 10 minutes, until you start to smell the pecans. Set them aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients: cake mix, eggs, milk, oil, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla extract, light brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix all the ingredients together until it’s well combined.
  4. Take ½ cup of the toasted pecans and coarsely chop them with a sharp knife. Fold the pecans into the cupcake butter.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between cupcake liners, about 3 tablespoons for each cupcake.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes, baking times will vary by oven. Check the cupcakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.

Make the Frosting

  1. Remove 3 sticks of butter of the refrigerator, one stick will be browned and the other 2 will be left to soften.
  2. To brown the butter, use a small saucepan, and cut the butter into pieces. Melt the butter over medium heat and allow it to boil and bubble. Once it’s stops boiling, stir it frequently and it slowly starts to turn an amber color and releases a nutty aroma. Remove the butter from the heat and allow it to cool.
  3. Cut the remaining butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 3-4 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until butter looks light in color.
  4. Add 4 cups powdered sugar, one cup at a time and mix on low speed until incorporated into butter. Add the maple syrup and bourbon and continuing beating.
  5. Next , add 1 cups of powdered sugar and slowly pour the cooled brown butter into the frosting and beat it into the butter until the frosting is completely smooth.
  6. Add the last cup of powdered sugar and a pinch of salt and beat on low speed until the cream is incorporated. Then beat it at a high speed for 1 minute to whip some additional air into the frosting.
  7. Take the remaining toasted pecans and finely chop them with a nut grinder or a sharp knife. Add the pecans to the frosting and mix them until they are incorporated.
  8. Take a large cookie scoop (3 tablespoons size) and scoop the frosting onto the cupcakes. Place a whole pecan on top.


Makes 20-22 cupcakes.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: homemade cupcakes, fall cupcake, dessert for fall