These Maple Cupcakes are moist and fluffy, with a delightful maple flavor that will please everyone. The homemade maple cream cheese frosting is the perfect finishing sweet touch. Enjoy these cupcakes as an addition to your holiday menu, or make them any time of the year for a special maple-flavored treat.
Cupcakes are perfect for parties and holidays because they are small and individualized, so everyone can have their own. They are also easy to eat and don’t require any utensils, which is great for when you’re serving a lot of people. And finally, cupcakes just look really festive and fun!
While there are many flavors of cupcakes you can make, these maple cupcakes are the perfect pairing for the fall and winter seasons. The moist maple cake and maple cream cheese frosting are both delicious and add a touch of sweetness that everyone can enjoy!
Top with pecans for an extra nutty crunch and flavor, or serve them with your favorite sprinkles or decorations.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Great to make for a party or a crowd giving everyone an individual serving.
- The maple cream cheese frosting is easy to make and adds a touch of tangy sweetness.
- Both kids and adults love the flavor of maple making them a hit for everybody.
- Maple cupcakes are made with simple baking ingredients you can find anywhere.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Flour – A mix of all purpose flour and cake flour is needed to create the perfect moist and fluffy texture to the cupcake base. You can substitute the cake flour with all purpose flour, but the cupcakes may not be as fluffy.
- Baking Powder – Helps the flour rise to create a spongey cake texture.
- Salt – Helps activate the baking powder and balances the sweetness in the recipe.
- Cinnamon & Nutmeg – Gives the cupcakes a nice warming spiced flavor.
- Unsalted Butter – Adds to the dense and rich texture of the cupcake while adding a buttery flavor. You can use salted in a pinch and slightly reduce the amount of additional salt in the recipe.
- Granulated Sugar – Sweetens up the base of the cupcake.
- Eggs – Helps bind all of the ingredients together and keeps everything set while baking.
- Maple Syrup – Use pure maple syrup.
- Vanilla Extract – Infuses the cupcakes with a light vanilla flavor.
- Milk – Helps thin out the cupcake batter while adding a rich texture.
- Chopped Pecans – Crunchy pecans help add a nutty texture and crunch to the cupcakes. You can omit, if desired.
For the maple cream cheese frosting:
- Unsalted Butter – Used to create a creamy buttery texture in the frosting.
- Cream Cheese – Adds a tangy and creamy base to the frosting that pairs well with maple flavor.
- Confectioners Sugar / Powdered Sugar – Sweetens up the frosting while giving it its spreadable texture.
- Maple Syrup – Use real maple syrup.
- Salt – Helps balance out the sweet flavor of the sugar and maple syrup.
- Chopped Pecans – Adds pecan flavor and ties into the pecans in the cupcake base. You can omit, if desired.
If you don’t have maple syrup and want to create a similar flavor, you can substitute the maple syrup with light brown sugar.
How to Make Maple Cupcakes
- Prepare for baking: Preheat oven to 350° F. Line standard muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.
- Combine the dry ingredients: Into a bowl, sift the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk to combine.
- Combine the wet ingredients: Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment until fluffy. Then, add each egg one at a time until they are fully incorporated. Add the vanilla and maple syrup. Finally, add the dry ingredients in 3 batches alternating with the milk until the cupcake batter is fully combined. Fold in pecans with a rubber spatula.
- Bake the maple cupcakes: Divide the batter into the prepared muffin tins making sure they are 3/4 full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean from the center. Let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes before removing and placing them on a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
- Assemble the frosting: While the cupcakes are cooling, add the butter and cream cheese to a stand mixer and beat them together for 5 minutes with the paddle attachment. Gradually add the sugar at a lower speed until fully incorporated. Add the maple syrup and salt and mix at a higher speed for 2-3 minutes until everything is fully combined.
- Assemble the maple cupcakes: Add the frosting to a piping bag and pipe on top of the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle the tops with additional chopped pecans and serve.
A large closed star tip was used to swirl the frosting in these photos.
- Do not overmix the batter as it could result in tough cupcakes.
- Do not overfill the cupcake tins. Make sure to not fill the muffin tins more than three-quarters full as it will overflow while baking.
- Prep the frosting in advance. The maple cream cheese frosting can also be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to use. Just let it come back to room temperature before piping on top of the cooled cupcakes.
- Add more maple flavor with maple extract. If you want to add even more maple flavor to your maple cupcakes, try using maple extract in addition to or in place of the vanilla extract.
- Bring ingredients to room temperature. Make sure your eggs and butter are at room temperature before beginning to make the cupcake batter. This will help everything mix together smoothly.
- Use other nuts. If you don’t have pecans on hand, feel free to use any other type of nut or even leave them out entirely.
- For a chocolate maple cupcake, try adding some cocoa powder to the batter.
- Or for a spicy cupcake, add a pinch of ground ginger to the dry ingredients.
- If you’re looking for a dairy-free or vegan cupcake, try using soy milk or almond milk in place of the regular milk. And use a vegan butter substitute like Earth Balance in lieu of the unsalted butter as well as a vegan egg substitute.
- Make classic cream cheese or vanilla frosting instead of the maple frosting. You can omit the maple syrup and use a teaspoon of vanilla extract (or two teaspoons) in the frosting to make vanilla cream cheese frosting.
- To make gluten free maple cupcakes, you can try to substitute 1:1 gluten free all purpose flour, however the texture may be different (not as light and fluffy.)
Did you try these Maple Cupcakes? Leave a recipe rating and review below.
Maple Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cupcakes:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
For the frosting:
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (1.5 sticks)
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
- Sift together flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla and maple syrup. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each. Fold in the chopped pecans.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about ¾-full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Let cool in the pan about 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Turn the mixer down to low speed and gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated. Add in the maple syrup and salt and mix until incorporated. Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat for an additional 2 to 3 minutes minutes, or until light and fluffy.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Enjoy!
- I use a large closed star tip for pipping frosting.
- You can freeze the cake part of the cupcake. Thaw and then make the frosting just prior to serving.
Other Cupcake Recipes
- Angel Food Cupcakes with Strawberry Filling
- Churro Cupcakes
- Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
- Strawberry Cupcakes
- Whipped Vanilla Cupcakes
- Lemon Coconut Cupcakes
This recipe originally published in 2017. It was updated with new recipe tips and republished in February 2022.