We Québécois take our love of maple syrup seriously. When I was living in Switzerland last semester, many of the other exchange students were also from Québec. A couple of them actually got some maple syrup deliveries while overseas. In the past year, the province’s treasured product made international headlines. Last March, an escaped convict planned a day time jailbreak and climbed a rope into a hijacked helicopter. His bid for freedom was short lived; police found him holed up in a sugar shack(!). Yup, that happened. Also, Quebec’s infamous maple syrup heist has made it to Hollywood. It was announced recently that Jason Segel will star in a film about the theft of an estimated $18 million worth of maple syrup from a storage facility in Québec. Dubbed the Great Maple Syrup Caper, thieves siphoned off the contents of 16,000 45-gallon barrels. Almost two dozen sticky-fingered thieves were arrested, and the final suspect was caught in Montreal after a year on the lam.
These Canadiana cupcakes are very sweet. Maple and walnut is a classic flavour combination. Maple cream cheese frosting tops these golden cupcakes and as a finishing touch, I decorated them with whole toasted walnuts. Since I chopped the walnuts up in big chunks, the nuttiness overpowered the maple in some bites.
Recipe Source: Baked Explorations
Yields 24 cupcakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, slightly softened, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, at room temperature
2 cups pure maple syrup
3 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1) Preheat the oven to 325F.
2) Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners.
3) Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
4) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening until it trails like a ribbon.
5) Pour the maple syrup. Beat on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes.
6) Add the egg yolks and egg, one at a time, beating until incorporated.
7) Add half of the flour mixture, mixing until combined.
8) Pour in the milk.
9) Add the other half of the flour, beating until just combined.
10) Gently fold the walnuts into the batter.
11) Divide the batter among the 24 cups, filling them up about three-quarters full.
12) Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.
13) Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.
14) Turn the cupcakes out of the pans and let cool completely on a wire rack.
1) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth.
2) Add the cream cheese and beat until incorporated.
3) Beat in the sugar and maple syrup. Do not overbeat or the frosting will lose its structure.
Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Bring cupcakes to room temperature before serving.