Recipe: Sticky pecan upside-down cupcakes
These cupcakes need an extra-large muffin tin with openings that have a one-cup capacity to hold all of their pecans, sticky topping, and batter. The glaze should stick to the cupcakes rather than to a paper liner, so I forego liners and line the bottoms of the muffin tins with circles of waxed paper. The pecan mixture bubbles up around the cupcake and glazes the sides with the honey coating. Whipped cream or ice cream is a good accompaniment for these cupcakes.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
5 tablespoons honey
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola or corn oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) pecans, coarsely chopped
Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cut 12 waxed paper circles that fit the bottom of extra-large muffin tin cups. Line 12 extra-large muffin tin cups with the paper circles. Spray the inside of each opening and the paper circles with nonstick cooking spray.
Make the topping. Heat the butter, honey, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter and brown sugar melt and the mixture is smooth. Take off heat and set aside.
Make the cupcakes. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the egg, egg yolk, and sugar until thickened and lightened to a cream color, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.
On low speed, mix in the oil and vanilla until blended. Mix in the sour cream until no white streaks remain. Mix in the flour mixture until it is incorporated and the batter is smooth.
Put 1 1/2 tablespoons of the brown sugar topping in the bottom of each waxed paper–lined cup. Spoon 2 tablespoons of pecans on top. Fill each cup with a generous 1/3 cup of batter, to just below the top of the pan.
Bake just until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. (Insert the toothpick into the cupcake batter, not into the sticky pecan topping.) Cool the cupcakes for 2 minutes in the pan on a wire rack.
Use a small knife to loosen the cupcakes from the sides of the pan. Carefully place the wire rack on top of the cupcakes in their pan. Protecting your hands with a pot holder and holding the pan and rack together, invert the pan and rack to release the cupcakes onto the wire rack. Remove the paper circles. If any pecans should stick, replace them on the cupcakes. Leave the cupcakes upside down to cool completely. Serve, pecan side up, warm or at room temperature. The cupcakes can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
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Excerpted from Cupcake Kit: Recipes, Liners, and Decorating Tools for Making the Best Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans. Copyright 2009 by Chronicle Books. Excerpted with permission by Chronicle Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.