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Cake Mix Maple Pecan Cupcakes

You may not be thinking about fall desserts right now, but as far as we are concerned, it is always a good time to enjoy maple syrup — including cooking and baking with maple syrup. So, when it comes to this recipe for Cake Mix Maple Pecan Cupcakes, maple syrup is a big part of their delicious flavor.

Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Making Cake Mix Maple Pecan Cupcakes

In addition to the maple flavor, one of the things I love about this cupcake recipe is how easy it is. One of the reasons it is simple and quick is because we’re using box cake mix.

For the longest time I didn’t think you could share a legit recipe if it included boxed cake mix. But I’ve come around to the notion that you don’t always make everything from scratch when cooking. I mean, did I boil off the maple syrup I use in this recipe? No, I bought it at the store.

Also, this recipe calls for store-bought cream cheese frosting. Yes, I could make that from scratch, fairly easily. But using premade means this recipe gets done faster.

Ingredients Overview

Image shows baking ingredients: white cake mix, cream cheese frosting, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vegetable oil, caramel sauce, eggs, and chopped pecans. Notably missing is the pumpkin spice mix.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preheat the oven to the temperature specified on the box of cake mix that you’re using. While the oven heats, start working on the cupcake batter.

You’ll want to prepare the cupcake batter according to the box instructions. So, mix together the cake mix, eggs and vegetable oil.

Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Note: since we’re making a maple flavor-infused cake, you’ll want to substitute one-quarter cup of pure maple syrup for one-quarter cup of milk or water — depending on your mix. If the batter ends up too thick, you can add milk or water back in a few tablespoons at a time until it gets to the desired consistency.

Next, mix in the pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice mix. Note, you can use a handheld beater like we did. Or, you can mix all of the ingredients using a countertop mixing stand like a KitchenAid or Ankarsrum. Fun fact: if you have neither but have an immersion blender, it can double as a handheld mixer.

A mixing bowl with pumpkin puree and cream being blended by an electric mixer on a marble countertop.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Add the chopped pecans to the batter. Finish mixing. Your batter will now be a lovely golden color.

Maple Pecan Cupcakes Shared - finished batter
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Now it’s time to pour the batter into your cupcake pan. You can coat the pan with a non-stick cooking spray or you can use paper cupcake liners. The choice is up to you. We went with the latter option.

Maple Pecan Cupcakes Shared - batter in muffin tin
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Bake according to the box recipe. That’s typically 15 to 20 minutes. Use a toothpick to check the cupcakes. When it comes out clean, then you know they’re done.

Maple Pecan Cupcakes Shared - cupcakes in tin 3
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Let the cupcakes cool before moving onto the next step. You can cool them by flipping them almost sideways in the pan or you can place them on a wire rack.

A baking tray holding 12 freshly baked muffins, with some muffins slightly sunken in the middle, placed on a marble countertop.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

However, you may want to put them back into the muffin tin when you’re ready to decorate them. It will make it a bit easier so they can’t move around. So, once the cupcakes are cooled, use a small spoon to drizzle a bit of caramel sauce over the top of each cupcake.

A muffin tray with ten yellow cupcakes, one being topped with a caramel glaze from a pouring container.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Next, pipe or spread the cream cheese frosting onto the cupcakes, covering the caramel drizzle.

Cupcakes in a muffin tin, some with caramel frosting and one being frosted with whipped cream using a piping bag.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Top with chopped pecans. This will add crunch and flavor.

A close-up of cupcakes with swirled white frosting topped with pecan halves, set against a soft-focus floral background.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

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Maple pecan cupcakes featured image

Cake Mix Maple Pecan Cupcakes

You may not be thinking about fall desserts right now, but as far as we are concerned, it is always a good time to enjoy maple syrup — including cooking and baking with maple syrup. So, when it comes to this recipe for Cake Mix Maple Pecan Cupcakes, maple syrup is a big part of their delicious flavor.
In addition to the maple flavor, one of the things I love about this cupcake recipe is how easy it is. One of the reasons it is simple and quick is because we're using box cake mix.
For the longest time I didn't think you could share a legit recipe if it included boxed cake mix. But I've come around to the notion that you don't always make everything from scratch when cooking. I mean, did I boil off the maple syrup I use in this recipe? No, I bought it at the store.
Also, this recipe calls for store-bought cream cheese frosting. Yes, I could make that from scratch, fairly easily. But using premade means this recipe gets done faster.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 Cupcakes
Calories 237 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For the Cupcakes

  • 15 ounces yellow or white cake mix One box.
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix Or, a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 16 ounces cream cheese frosting One container of store-bought frosting.

For the Caramel Drizzle & Garnish

  • ½ cup caramel sauce Homemade or store bought caramel sauce
  • 24 chopped pecans

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to the temperature specified on the box.
  • Prepare the cupcake batter according to the box instructions, however, substitute a of ¼ cup of pure maple syrup in place of ¼ of milk or water (depending on your mix) if the batter is too thick add milk or water until it gets to the desired consistency.
    15 ounces yellow or white cake mix, ½ cup vegetable oil, 3 large eggs, ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • Mix in the pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice mix.
    1 cup canned pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix
  • Add the chopped pecans to the batter.
    ½ cup chopped pecans
  • Bake according to the box recipe, typically 15-20 minutes. Use a toothpick to check the cupcakes.
  • Once the cupcakes are cooled, use a small spoon to drizzle a bit of caramel sauce over the top of each cupcake.
    ½ cup caramel sauce
  • Pipe or spread the cream cheese frosting onto the cupcakes, covering the caramel drizzle.
    16 ounces cream cheese frosting, 24 chopped pecans
  • Sprinkle some chopped pecans over the frosting for added crunch and flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cupcakeCalories: 237kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 2gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 190mgPotassium: 68mgFiber: 1gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 1625IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 1mg

Disclaimer

Please note that nutrient values, if included with the recipe, are estimates only. Variations can occur due to product availability/substitution and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of origin, preparation, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

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