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Maple Pecan Cupcakes

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These rich, dense chocolate cupcakes are topped with a light whipped maple pecan frosting that is out-of-this-world delicious! 

I know. Maple pecan things are a dessert for the fall- not early summer! I just couldn’t resist. Maple and pecan are two of my favorite flavors together! I thought about saving this post for November and I couldn’t make myself wait to share it with you because it is just that good! These are delicious. So if you can’t bring yourself to make them, pin the recipe for later- but pin it. You will want this one someday!!! Promise.

Here is how we made these (printable recipe here)

INGREDIENTS: (makes 24 cupcakes)

  • One boxed chocolate cake mix plus oil and eggs to make according to box
  • Milk- enough to replace the water required by boxed mix.
  • 1 (3.9 oz.) box of chocolate pudding (instant)
  • 3 cups chopped pecans (divided)
  • 24 pecan halves
  • 2 sticks salted butter (softened)
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of maple extract or flavoring


  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees
  • Mix 1 and 1/2 cups of chopped pecans with dry cake mix.
  • Add eggs and oil according to package, and add milk instead of water- in the same amount as listed on package.
  • Add box of instant chocolate pudding.
  • Beat on high for 2 minutes until smooth.
  • Scoop evenly between 24 cupcake liners placed in muffin tins and bake according to package- until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • Gently remove from tins and allow cupcakes to cool on countertop.
  • Make frosting by placing butters, powdered sugar and maple flavoring in a large mixing bowl.
  • Beat on high until light and very fluffy (2 to 3 minutes).
  • Fold in one cup of chopped pecans (this leaves 1/2 cup for sprinkling on top!)
  • Use a cookie scoop to place a dome of frosting on each cooled cupcake. Press a pecan half on top and sprinkle with a bit of chopped pecans. 

  • Store in a loosely sealed container for up to 3 or 4 days. Refrigerate to keep a day or two longer.
  • Enjoy!

My thoughts: You are going to love these! If you want to simplify, just make the boxed cake mix as-is plus nuts. The milk and pudding make the cupcakes more dense, rich and moist- but you could skip adding these extra ingredients to save time. It’s that frosting… even my friends who aren’t big frosting lovers were licking this stuff off the top of these cupcakes. Yum. Hope you get a chance to try them- now- this fall- whenever!! 🙂 Enjoy! ~r

Other maple and/or pecan recipes to try! (click on a photo to see instructions)



Malted Milkshake Cupcakes

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Malted Milkshake Cupcakes

Dark chocolate cupcakes topped with the creamiest malt frosting ever.  Like a malted milkshake minus the cup!

I have an addiction to chocolate malts.  Not chocolate shakes, just malts.  The creamy, chocolatey kind that you drink through a striped straw at the pool.  My mom makes the best chocolate malts ever.  They are really simple to make, but there’s just something about her leaning out of the patio door and asking, “Anyone want a malt?” that makes me smile.  It’s one of our summer traditions.

Moms Malts!!{Her easy recipe? Ice cream, malt powder, cocoa and milk~ a blender full of ice cream plus cocoa and malt to taste, and milk to desired consistency}

I wanted to make a frosting that tastes like a malt.  It took me a couple of tries, but I finally hit the mark.  It’s wonderfully creamy and smooth.  It is also a very soft whipped icing that must be kept refrigerated because it has milk in it, and because it will not keep a pretty piped finish if it gets warm.

Believe me, the flavor and texture are worth it!

Malted Milk Cupcakes

Here’s how to make these yummy cupcakes! (printable recipe)


  • One boxed dark chocolate cake mix (plus water, eggs and oil to make according to box)
  • 4 packets of Dream Whip
  • 1 1/2 cups of cold milk
  • 6 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 Tablespoons of malt powder
  • 1/2 -1 cup of powdered sugar (to desired consistency)


  • Make cake mix according to box and bake in 24 cupcake liners placed in muffin tins.
  • Cool cupcakes completely.
  • Put Dream Whip, milk, cocoa powder, malt powder and powdered sugar into a mixing bowl and blend together.
  • Using a mixer, beat until stiff peaks form (3-4 minutes) 
  • Add extra powdered sugar if needed, to desired consistency.  This is a soft whipped frosting, so it won’t be the consistency of a stiff buttercream~ even with lots of powdered sugar.  (believe me, I tried!)
  • Spoon frosting into a zip-top bag fitted with a decorating tip and pipe frosting on cupcakes.
  • Refrigerate until serving and just before serving add a malted milk ball and sprinkle with cocoa powder if desired for garnish.


Malted milk cupcakes!!!!

My thoughts:  these are *almost* as good as my moms malts.  This frosting is really yummy.  It would be a great filling for a layer cake too~ or even a filling for cupcakes.  You could fill chocolate cupcakes with this and then just spoon some chocolate ganache over the top.  Oh the possibilities!  Hope you get to try these and enjoy them as much as we did!  ~r

Malted Milk Cupcakes!!!More recipes you might like:

Chocolate Mousse CakeStrawberry layer cakeMini chocolate chip cookie cheesecakesCake balls filled with cream cheese frosting

Cupcakes for Casper :o)

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Two years ago- almost to the day- I brought home a puppy destined to be my best friend- his name is Casper.

This past thanksgiving weekend I was sent a picture via facebook by my friend Mimi.  Mimi is spending a year studying in England and I’ve NO idea where she found this picture- but it made me laugh and I KNEW that someday  I would make this dessert:

(I did try to find the original source of this picture and I just couldn’t– so my apologies if it is yours.  I always try to credit a source but just couldn’t find it!)

My biggest concern with these cupcakes was of course the tremendous amount of icing on them—YUCK!  I decided that mini cupcakes turned upside-down on top would bump up the center and reduce the amount of icing needed.  My second concern was the icing itself.  A heavy buttercream would work- but a little of that goes a long way.

After making my last dessert- Chocolate Mousse Cake, I realized that the filling “mousse” layer was the PERFECT consistency for these cupcakes.  A light whipped frosting that is still thick enough to keep its shape.  Once I’d decided on the frosting I created my own:

THAT one looks good!

Yum! I need a bite of that!


Here’s how I made them:


  • One box of white cake mix (I use Duncan Hines) with water, oil and eggs to make according to package.
  • One box (4 packets) of Dream Whip Whip (find it by the pudding boxes- or order multiple boxes online for a better deal)
  • 1 1/2c. cold milk
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • mini M&Ms or black/brown icing coloring.


  • Make cake according to package and make as cupcakes.  Only make about 16-18 cupcakes though and use the rest of the batter in a lightly greased mini-muffin tin to make 16-18 mini cupcakes (with no liners).
  • While cupcakes are baking make frosting.
  • Combine Dream Whip, milk and powdered sugar in a large bowl and beat on high until it is very stiff (whipped frosting consistency).  Refrigerate until use.
  • Cool cupcakes completely and then level the tops with a serrated knife

  • Divide about 2/3 of the frosting off into a zip-top bag that has a corner clipped off and a decorator tip inserted in the opening.  Refrigerate.
  • If you aren’t using mini-M&Ms for eyes and nose, pull about 3T of frosting out and color it black or brown with icing color.  Place this in a zip-top bag as well with a tip inserted.  Refrigerate.
  • Use the rest of the frosting to frost the top of each large cupcake.  Tip the mini cupcake upside-down on top and frost that as well.

  • Using the bag of icing with the decorator tip, pipe icing on making little points coming up from the cupcake.  make a larger dollop of icing for the nose and two off the top and folding over a bit for ears.

  • Take the bag of black icing (or your mini M&Ms) and make eyes and a nose.

(My technique started off rough and gradually improved.  Here’s my two 1st ones:













  • Keep refrigerated until serving

My thoughts:  You could certainly use a couple of cans of frosting for this if you want.  The light whipped frosting is SO tasty though.  These cupcakes are easy but time-consuming.  I’m no cake-decorator, so I loved that these are so free-form….just have fun!  

Here’s some more photos of Casper and my friend Danielle enjoying the finished result (they BOTH have frosting on their noses!)  Only little tastes for puppies though– these are cupcakes designed for people and feeding them to your pets could make them sick.












Have you seen Casper in my other recipes?

Check him out in Coconut Lemon bars with Mimi  and Fresh Blackberry Tart.

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