Monday, April 2, 2012

Cinnamon Cupcakes with Maple Cinnamon Buttercream

Breakfast is easily becoming my favorite meal of the day. As a kid growing up, I really never gave much thought to my first meal. It was usually a bowl of Kix cereal or frosted strawberry pop tarts. Both of which I would devour in less than two minutes as I ran out the door to catch the school bus.

As I'm getting older, I'm becoming much more adventurous in my eating habits. Things I once used to crinkle my nose at, are now some of my favorite dishes! I'm especially growing fond of the flavor combinations in breakfast foods. Recently I've been mixing up a southwestern egg white stir fry before I head to work in the morning. I combine 4 large egg whites with red, yellow, orange and green peppers, diced and seasoned with crushed black pepper. Delicious! A close second favorite  breakfast dish (and a far less healthy option) is a cinnamon vanilla french toast, drizzled with 100% pure maple syrup.  The maple and cinnamon flavors are so addicting, it's hard not to refill your plate numerous times.

It was about 10pm on Saturday night and for some very strange reason, I found myself craving a hearty plate full of this french toast. With no bread in the kitchen, instead, I decided to use these flavors in this week's recipe. A cinnamon cupcake base is piled high with the most incredible buttercream flavor I have ever tasted...Maple! Yes, it is so delicious that I could skip the cupcakes all together and sit there with a spoon just eating the frosting from the bowl. Drizzled with a spoonful of pure maple syrup, this cupcake has all the flavors of a classic french toast breakfast. For a bit of added flair, raisins decorate the buttercream frosting, also adding to the flavor palette. Simply delicious and great for breakfast or dessert!

Cinnamon Cupcakes with Maple Cinnamon Buttercream
Adapted from Annie's Eats 

For the Cupcakes

1 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
4 tbsp butter
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp orange extract
1/2 tsp vanilla

-Preheat oven to 350* and line cupcake pan with wrappers (makes about 12 cupcakes)
-Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl.
-Stir milk and butter over low heat, just until butter has melted. Be careful not to let the milk burn!
-In a small bowl, beat eggs and sugar, for about 5 mins.
-Add the vanilla and orange
-Add the flour mixture
-Beat in the milk/butter mixture
-Divide evenly among cupcake wrappers. Bake until golden brown (about 15 mins)

For the Frosting

4 cups confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp cold milk
2 sticks butter
5 tbsp 100% pure maple syrup

-Beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy
-Add the maple syrup and milk until desired flavor is achieved
-Decorate cupcakes using a piping bag and drizzle with left over pure maple syrup

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