These vegan maple & pecan cupcakes will set off fireworks on your taste buds, with melt-in-the-mouth pecan cupcakes, a fluffy maple frosting and a centre of luscious maple spread. Plus, the recipe has no egg replacements, and did I mention the cupcakes are absolutely gorgeous?
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 355 ºF (180 ºC) and line a 12-hole muffin/cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ground pecans, maple sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon (optional) and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk, oil, maple syrup and lemon juice.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk everything together until you get a smooth batter with no flour clumps.
Divide the batter between the 12 paper liners, filling each about 3/4 full.
Bake at 355 ºF (180 ºC) for about 22 minutes, or until golden brown on top and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the cupcake/muffin tin to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
Allow the vegan butter to soften slightly at room temperature, then use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer with the double beaters attachment to beat it until fluffy.
Add the maple sugar, salt and vanilla (optional), and beat for about 5 minutes until fluffy and creamy.
Use an apple corer or a piping nozzle, turned upside down, to create a cavity in the middle of each cupcake. Fill it with ~1/2 tbsp of maple spread.
Pipe the frosting on top of the cupcakes with a nozzle of choice (I used Wilton 1M) and sprinkle with chopped pecans and maple flakes.
Storage: The cupcakes keep well in a closed container in a cool dry place for 3 - 4 days.