This recipe came about in such a surprising way! The day before we moved house, I received a lovely email from Jaime who works for RSPCA Victoria (Australia). Jaime asked if I would be interested in developing a cupcake recipe for the RSPCA’s Cupcake Day, which is held during the month of August, however the official day is Monday 18th August. Surrounded by boxes and in between a run to the new house, I replied that I would be delighted to develop a recipe….I will just have to get my kitchen sorted out first!
I know chocolate and vanilla are popular flavours with people, but I wanted my cupcake to stand out and be completely different. I put my thinking cap on and I thought, and I thought but nothing was coming to mind until my husband said, “How about a Maple Pecan Cupcake”? What a brilliant idea….now why didn’t I think of that, and what would I do without him! Then we bounced around ideas of how we could ‘dress’ this cupcake up to make it extra special. So after a bit of discussion we decided on maple frosting and the finishing touch would be a candied pecan on top. This recipe is also the first time where I have included grams, ounces and to the best of my ability worked out accurate cup measurements.
This event is one of the RSPCA’s biggest fundraisers for animal welfare. Last year the Cupcake Day raised more than $1.2 million across Australia. The proceeds help the RSPCA to continue their tireless efforts to fight animal cruelty via their adoption centres, animal shelters, veterinary clinics, educational services and Inspectorate teams.
RSPCA Victoria receives less than 3% government funding, so they rely heavily on the kindness and generosity of public donations. If you would be interested in hosting a cupcake party please click on this link to register and receive you free host kit, with all the tools to help plan your party.
Update: I have found when I use a 2D piping tip instead of a plain star tip, I need to increase the frosting measurements. I increase the icing sugar to 262g (9.2 ounces or 1¾ cups plus 1 tablespoon), the butter to 70g (2.5 ounces or 5 tablespoons) and the pure maple syrup to 2½ tablespoons (37.5ml).
50g (1.8 ounces or ½ cup minus 2 scant tablespoons) white rice flour
35g (1.2 ounces or a scant ⅓ cup) pecan nuts
25g (0.9 ounces or 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon) potato starch
20g (0.7 ounces or 2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon) sorghum flour
10g (0.4 ounces or 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon) sweet rice flour
8g (0.3 ounces or 1 tablespoon) tapioca starch
1 teaspoon (5ml) baking powder
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
⅛ teaspoon (0.625ml) salt
125g (4.4 ounces or ½ cup plus 1 scant tablespoon) gluten and dairy free butter
100g (3.5 ounces or ½ cup plus 1 scant tablespoon) light muscovado sugar
75ml (5 tablespoons) almond milk or dairy free milk of choice, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (30ml) pure maple syrup
1½ teaspoons (7.5ml) pure vanilla extract
1 large organic or free range egg, at room temperature
Candied Pecan Nuts
12g (1 tablespoon) golden/raw caster sugar or superfine sugar
1 teaspoon (5ml) macadamia nut oil or other neutral flavoured oil
210g (7.4 ounces or 1 ½ cups minus 1 scant tablespoon) pure icing sugar
55g (1.9 ounces or 4 tablespoons) gluten and dairy free butter
2 tablespoons (30ml) pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 160C and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Add the pecan nuts to a small blender and blitz to a fine crumb. Don’t blitz for too long, otherwise you will end up with pecan butter.
Sift together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl except the pecan meal, stir that through after.
Cream the butter and sugar together with a handheld mixer, this will take a couple of minutes. Next add the egg and beat until well combined, then add the maple syrup and vanilla extract and continue beating until light and fluffy.
Add half of the dry ingredients and pour in half of the milk and mix on a low speed until combined. Then add the rest of the flour and milk and mix again until thoroughly mixed through.
Use a spoon and ¾ fill the cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes. Once cooked allow the cupcakes to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, use a serrated knife to level off any peaks. The top of the cupcake needs to have a level surface when piping the frosting.
To make the candied pecans, heat a non-stick or a well seasoned stainless steel frypan over a medium high heat. Add the pecans, sugar and oil.
You need to stir frequently so that the nuts and sugar do not burn (especially towards the end). When the sugar begins to melt,
stir constantly until all the sugar is melted and the nuts are well coated.
Immediately transfer the nuts onto a sheet of baking paper or parchment and separate them straight away, as you don’t want them to harden stuck together. The coating takes about 5 minutes to cool and harden.
To make the frosting, add the icing sugar, butter, maple syrup and vanilla extract to a bowl. Using a handheld mixer, start mixing on a low speed until combined and then turn up the speed and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
Transfer the frosting to a piping bag or you can of course use a spatula and spread the frosting over the cupcake. I am very much a beginner when it comes to piping techniques, so I decided to pipe a rose as I find it’s one of the easier ones to manage without too much stress.
Then all that is left to do is place the candied pecan on top and you’re done!!
These cupcakes have a very soft and fluffy texture.
Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse
Note: all recipe oven temperatures shown are for a fan forced electric oven. Please refer to the below guide to help you adjust your oven accordingly. This recipe is shown in bold.
Oven Temperatures Chart
130C = 110C fan = 250F = Gas mark 1
150C = 130C fan = 300F = Gas mark 2
160C = 140C fan = 320F = Gas mark 3
180C = 160C fan = 350F = Gas mark 4
190C = 170C fan = 375F = Gas mark 5
200C = 180C fan = 400F = Gas mark 6
220C = 200C fan = 425F = Gas mark 7
230C = 210C fan = 450F = Gas mark 8