The pecan pieces are a little heavy, so I added some extra baking powder to this recipe. They may not "puff" up as much as a cupcake generally does, but that's where the lovely 1M decorating tip comes in! I love this large "star" tip that I use to make these beautiful cupcake designs. Simply hold the tip about an inch above the center of the cupcake. Apply pressure to the decorating bag, and watch as the frosting fans out into velvety frosting ribbons. Then repeat the steps, as you add a second layer to the frosting ribbon. Add your toasted buttered pecans on top, and you're ready for the big feast!
Hope you have something special planned on your Thanksgiving menu, and you are doing something memorable with your loved ones! Here's how we made these Thanksgiving Butter Pecan Cupcakes:
Cupcakes: 1/2 cup white sugar; 1/2 sugar light brown sugar; 1/2 stick salted butter; 1 and 1/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour; 1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder; 1/4 tsp. sea salt; 1 egg; 1 cup whole milk; 1 tsp. vanilla; 1 cup pecan pieces plus 3 tablespoons butter
Brown sugar buttercream: 1 stick salted butter; 2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar; 1/4 cup light brown sugar; 3 tablespoons whole milk; 1 tsp. vanilla
Garnish: 1/2 cup pecan pieces
Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with 12 liners. Place all pecan pieces -for cupcake and garnish-on a foil lined baking sheet. Melt butter in the microwave. Drizzle over the pecan pieces. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter. Mix on medium speed until creamy. Add the brown sugar and white sugar. Mix for 1 additional minute, or until combined. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sifted flour, baking powder, and salt. In another medium mixing bowl, combine the egg, milk, and vanilla. Alternatively add the dry and wet ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar mixture, mixing on low speed after each addition. When everything is combined, turn mixer to medium speed for 2 minutes. Remove bowl from stand. Fold in 1 cup of the pecan pieces. Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full of batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Brown sugar buttercream: Place the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the brown sugar. Mix until combined. Add the milk and vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Mix for 3-5 minutes, until soft peaks form. When cupcakes are cooled, pipe icing onto the center of each cupcake. Garnish with remaining 1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces.