Butter Pecan Cupcakes
If you like butter pecan ice cream, then you’ll LOVE these butter pecan cupcakes! Topped with a brown butter frosting that will make you swoon!
Butter Pecan! Omg. It’s definitely one of my favorite ice cream flavors, especially at this time of year. There’s just something about that toasty, nutty flavor. It’s so good with your Thanksgiving pies! Try it. You’ll thank me.
But today we’re doing cupcakes! A few weeks back, I was chatting with my assistant about today’s post. I had an empty slot on the calendar and asked her if she had any suggestions. She said, “I think you’re due for something nutty.” And I was like “Perfect!”
You see, I had just recently come across a recipe for butter pecan cake in Better Homes and Gardens magazine. The minute I saw it, it went straight onto my wish-list.
So, I thought it would be fun to create a cupcake version, because who doesn’t love a cupcake? Cute, perfectly portioned, and easy to transport. They’re always so great for holiday parties, whether you’re hosting or just bringing along to share.
And I promise you everyone is going to LOVE these butter pecan babies. The cupcakes are soft and melt-in-your-mouth, and studded with crunchy buttered pecans. And the frosting is to-die-for! Brown butter Swiss meringue buttercream. I’m telling you!!!
Be sure to check out this Swiss meringue buttercream post for tons more info on how to make this uniquely delicious frosting, and all the amazing things you can do with it!
More great cupcake recipes on my “Cupcake Recipes” Pinterest board!
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Butter Pecan Cupcakes
For the butter pecan cupcakes:
- 1 1/3 cups (132 g) pecans, chopped
- 3 tablespoons (44.36 g) salted butter
- 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons ) baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) salt
- 2/3 cup (151.33 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 2 (2) eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) vanilla
- 1 cup (244 g) milk
For the brown butter Swiss meringue buttercream:
- 1 1/2 cups (340.5 g) unsalted butter, (3 1/3 sticks) plus 3 tablespoons
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 2/3 cup (333.33 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) kosher salt
For the garnish:
- 1/4 cup (24.75 g) pecans, toasted and chopped finely
To make the butter pecan cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line cupcake pans with grease-proof papers.
- Place the salted butter in a small skillet over medium heat.
- Add the pecans, and cook, stirring, until toasted and fragrant.
- Set aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the unsalted butter and sugar together on medium-high speed, until pale and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla until smooth.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring on medium-low speed until incorporated.
- Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula, and stir in the milk until smooth.
- Fold in the cooled buttered pecans.
- Divide the batter equally between all 24 lined wells of the cupcake pans.
- Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part of a cupcake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool completely, then top with brown butter Swiss meringue buttercream and garnish with chopped toasted pecans.
To make the brown butter Swiss meringue buttercream:
- Place the butter in a small skillet over medium heat.
- Cook until the butter melts, foams, and turns a nutty brown color.
- Remove from heat and cool until solidified.
- Place the egg whites and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and set it over a pot of barely simmering water.
- Cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture becomes thin and opaque, and the sugar has completely dissolved. (It should no longer feel gritty when rubbed between the thumb and forefinger.)
- Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk on medium high speed until completely cool. (There should be no hint of warmth when you place your hand on the side of the mixing bowl. Refrigerate if necessary.)
- When the meringue is completely cool, fluffy, white, and thick enough to hold stiff peaks, add the solidified brown butter, one tablespoon at time, while whipping on medium-high speed. (If it begins to look curdled, continue whipping until it comes together before adding more butter.)
- Mix in the salt. (If the frosting seems runny, place it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, then re-whip.)
- Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a jumbo open star tip.
- Top the cupcakes with swirls of buttercream, then garnish with chopped toasted pecans.
Wow these are delicious! Taste great and have a wonderful texture. Do you think the pecans could be replaced with walnuts?!
Can you use this recipe and make a cake instead of cupcakes?
Yes- I think you could do a 3-layer 6-inch cake, a 2-layer 8- or 9-inch cake, or a 9×13 sheet cake. Just be sure to adjust the bake time as needed. Good luck!
You might want to add a note in the SMBC instructions to refrigerate the browned butter, so that it solidifies. Not everyone will know to take that step.
That info is already included- see step #3 of the SMBC instructions.
Just made these tonight and they are seriously SO delicious! I am not a fan of buttercream because it’s normally so thick and heavy, but this brown butter Swiss merengue buttercream is beautiful. It is light, fluffy, and not overly sweet. The cake is moist and all assembled there is a great balance of sweet and salty. I’m very happy with them! Thanks for a great recipe!!
My pleasure Athena! I’m so glad you liked the recipe as much as I do. That sweet and salty thing is such a winner for me too. Thanks for the great feedback!
What a delicious flavor combo!! I love these already!
ahhh i love butter becan and I love that these cupcakes have swiss meringue buttercream!!
Yes! SMBC forever! It’s my favorite, especially with the butter browned. Thanks Kayle!
I seriously want to rip through the screen and grab one!
Haha thanks Jennifer!