Butterscotch & Caramelised Pecan Cupcakes //
These cupcakes were born from a fit of tidying – I have a rather epic baking cupboard, which was getting a bit out of hand. After unearthing packets of unopened pecans, a pack of butterscotch sprinkles, and an inordinate amount of cupcake cases, I figured I needed to use up all these goodies and the idea was born! I knew butterscotch and pecan went well together from when I made my butterscotch pecan cheesecake a few months ago.
These cupcakes are genuinely one of the yummist things I’ve ever made – decadent pecan-filled buttercream, super sweet butterscotch filling in the centre and drizzled on the top – oof. I highly recommend them!
40g unsalted butter
110g light brown sugar
135ml double cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt
120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
40g unsalted butter, softened
0.5 teaspoon vanilla extract/paste
250g icing sugar
80g unsalted butter, softened
0.5 teaspoon vanilla extract/paste
Handful of pecan nuts
Extra sugar & butter for caramelizing
Makes 9 large cupcakes (I used ‘muffin’ style cases, as I usually do)
. First make your butterscotch, as this needs to cool completely before you can use it.
. Over a medium heat, melt the butter, then whisk in the sugar until combined with the butter, then whisk in the cream and leave to bubble together for 5 minutes, without stirring. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla and salt. Place to one side and allow to cool completely.
. To make the cupcakes, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3 / 170c.
. Mix together your flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter together (ideally in a mixer but it can be done by hand too!) until they reach a sandy texture. Add half the milk and combine.
. Add the egg and vanilla to the other half of the milk and whisk together with a fork. Add to the mixture slowly, mixing until incorporated each time.
. Spoon the mixture into your cases so they are a little over half full. Pop in the oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
. For the buttercream and decoration, first caramelize your nuts! Put about 60g of butter in a frying pan, and slowly melt. Add 60g of light brown sugar, and thrown in your nuts (and maybe a pinch of cinnamon if you’re feeling in the mood!). Stir constantly to stop your nuts burning. You want to ensure all the nuts have a good all-over coating of the butter and sugar. Do this for about 5 minutes, then turn out onto a piece of baking parchment to cool.
. Select 9 (or however many cupcakes you’ve made) of the nicest looking whole nuts and put to one side to decorate. At this point I would pop the rest in a bowl and blitz with a food mixer to add to the buttercream – no worries if you don’t have a mixer, you can just chop them really fine, or just leave it out – they’ll still be yummy either way!
. By now your butterscotch should be cool. Cut a small circle out of the centre of your cupcake, keeping the lid. Fill the hole, not quite to the top. This will all be covered in buttercream so it doesn’t matter if it’s a bit messy!
. To make the buttercream, sieve your icing sugar into a large bowl, and add the butter. Combine the milk and vanilla in a separate bowl, then slowly add to the buttercream mix. If you want, add the chopped pecans at this point. On a machine, put onto a medium speed for a couple of minutes. The old fashioned way, beat until you achieve the desired fluffy texture.
. Spoon your buttercream into a piping bag with a nozzle attatched (I like a big nozzle!) and do a lovely swirl from the middle out to the edges. Repeat on all cupcakes.
. Pop your whole pecans you put to one side earlier, one on each cupcake. Then, with another piping bag and a small nozzle, use up some more of your butterscotch by drizzling it all over the cupcakes.