one of my favorite things about making cupcakes is turning some kind of a dessert like pie or ice cream or candy into a cupcake. for example, i’ve made an apple pie cupcake, a banana split cupcake, and even a twix cupcake. it’s super fun trying figure out how to squeeze all of the flavors of the specific dessert into a little itty bitty cupcake.
my latest creation is a pecan pie cupcake. i made these cupcakes for our office thanksgiving lunch. pecan pie a popular dessert made for thanksgiving. but typically just make cupcakes for our office birthday treats and other celebrations. so i needed to come up with a pecan pie inspired cupcake.
i did some research online and combined my favorite components of other pecan pie cupcakes into the ultimate pecan pie cupcake! it starts with a brown sugar cupcake, filled with pecan pie filling, topped with whipped cream and a pecan pie crust decoration. it tastes just like pecan pie but in cupcake form!
i’ll give you fair warning – there are quite few steps to making these pecan pie cupcakes. the night before i made the cupcakes, i prepared the pecan pie crust decorations. of course, you could make your own pie crust but i just picked some up at the store – much easier and for the purpose of these decorations, it will do just fine.
roll out the pie crust dough onto a lightly floured surface. then using a fluted round cookie cutter, cut out little circles of pie crust.
place the pie crust rounds on a silpat mat or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
then in a small bowl, mix together a little melted butter, corn syrup, and a pinch of salt.
brush a little bit of the butter/syrup mixture on top of each crust round.
then place a pecan half in the center of each one and brush more of the butter/syrup mixture on the pecan.
the pecan pie crust decorations are now ready for the oven.
bake them at 400 degrees f for 6-8 minutes. transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. i then stored them in an airtight container until i was ready to use them the following day.
now for the brown sugar cupcakes – i actually used the same cake recipe as the one from the chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes 2.0 recipe but without the chocolate chips. i thought they would be good for the pecan pie cupcakes because it would complement the brown sugar flavor found in pecan pie filling.
start by combining the brown sugar and butter in the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment.
once it’s nice and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each one.
now combine the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
add the dry ingredients and milk alternating between each – starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
finally, add the vanilla and mix to combine (your batter will look a little different because i accidentally added the vanilla in earlier than what the recipe calls for. oops!).
the batter is ready!
divide the batter among 24 cupcake lined cups and bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees f for 18-20 minutes.
while the cupcakes bake, make the pecan pie filling. it’s really similar to the filling used in traditional pecan pie but instead of cooking it in a pie shell you cook it on the stove. in a medium saucepan, mix together the sugar, brown sugar, and cornstarch. then add the corn syrup, melted butter, salt and eggs. cook it over medium heat until it starts to boil.
then stir in the chopped pecans and then the vanilla extract.
chill the pecan pie filling in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
the last component is the stabilized whipped cream.
now it’s time to start assembling the cupcakes. transfer the pecan pie filling to a disposable pastry bag. cut the tip large enough that you can easy squeeze out some filling.
if you don’t have pastry bags, you could use a large ziplock instead – or really just grap a spoon and you’re good to go. i just found the piping the filling was the cleanest and quickest way to fill the cupcakes.
using the cone method, fill each cupcake with some of the pecan pie filling.
pipe a swirl of whipped cream on to each cupcake.
last, but certainly not least top each cupcake with a pecan pie crust decoration.
all of the components come together and totally tastes like pecan pie. of course, nothing can beat the texture and flavor of traditional pecan pie, but this is a really fun alternative. hope you give it a try!
Pecan Pie Cupcakes
Pecan Pie Crust Decorations
- 1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (1 sheet)
- 2 tablespoons light or dark corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 24 pecan halves
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3/4 cup corn syrup
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Brown Sugar Cupcakes
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1½ cups light brown sugar, packed
- 4 large eggs
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Stabilized Whipped Cream
- 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 3 cups whipping cream
- 2/3 powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- To make the pecan pie crust decorations, preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut 24 rounds using a 11⁄4-inch fluted cutter. Reserve
scraps for another use.
- In a small bowl, combine syrup, melted butter, and salt; lightly brush over dough rounds. Gently press 1 pecan half onto each dough round. Lightly brush tops of pecans with butter mixture.
- Bake until dough is golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool completely. Store in a air tight container or resealable plastic bag.
- To make the brown sugar cupcakes, to make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners (24 total).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir together to blend.
- Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl on low speed, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until incorporated. Blend in the vanilla.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the pecan pie filling, in 2-quart saucepan, stir together granulated sugar, brown sugar and cornstarch. Stir in corn syrup, melted butter, salt and eggs.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil.
- Remove from heat; stir in pecans and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
- Cool 10 minutes. Refrigerate 1 hour or until thickened.
- To make the whipped cream, combine the water and gelatin in a small, microwave safe bowl. Microwave for about 15-20 seconds until the gelatin is dissolved. Allow to cool slightly, then pour in a little bit of the cream. Mix to combine.
- Pour the rest of the cream into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the powdered sugar.
- Whip the cream until slightly thick, then add the gelatin/cream mixture and vanilla. Continue whipping until the whipped cream is stiff.
- To assemble the cupcakes, fill the cupcakes using the cone method – use a small paring knife to cut a cone out of the center of each cupcake. Add some pecan pie filling into the well.
- Pipe a swirl of whipped cream on to each cupcake and top each one with a pecan pie crust decoration.
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