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Pecan Streusel Stuffed Cupcakes with Grand Marnier Buttercream

December 31, 2012

mini cupcakeHappy end of 2012!  I hope you have all enjoyed your holidays and I wish you a happy and healthy new year!!

I’ve realized this year that working full time combined with taking care of three little humans that call me mom does not leave much time for baking, let alone blogging about it.  So I’m squeezing in one last dessert to close out a rather crazy year.

measuring dry ingredientscreaming butter and sugaradd eggsadd dry ingredients to batter

I’m not really sure what to even call these…I kinda just used a lot of stuff that I had leftover after the holidays 🙂  Basically its my moist stand-by vanilla cupcakes made in minis, filled with a pecan-cinnamon streusel and topped with a grand marnier buttercream.  Orange and cinnamon is one of those wonderful holiday combinations and I love the unexpected texture of the toasted pecans when you bite into the cupcake.

mini cupcakespecan streuselhollowing out the cupcakesfilling the cupcakes with streusel

cupcakes

One Year Ago:  Grand Marnier Souffles

Pecan Streusel stuffed Cupcakes with Grand Marnier Buttercream
Yields 48 mini cupcakes or 12 standard size

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (optional)
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature

2 ounces pecans toasted, once chopped should be about 1/4 cup
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (taste to your liking)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons grand marnier
zest of a quarter to a half of an orange, also to your liking-I actually didn’t have it at all in the pictures here

Directions:

1. For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line 2 cupcake pans with liners.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream the butter at least 3 minutes or until the butter is the consistency of mayonnaise (gross I know!). Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy (about another 3 minutes or so). Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl in between each addition. Beat in vanilla and vanilla bean paste. Add flour in two parts alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour.

3. Fill the cupcake liners about 1/2 full. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes for mini size and 18 minutes for regular cupcakes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. For the streusel filling: Place the toasted and chopped pecans, brown sugar, melted butter and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl and stir with a fork until completely combined.

5. For the buttercream: Beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes, until very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a 1/2 cup at a time. .  When icing is slightly thicker than spreading consistency, drizzle in the grand marnier and orange zest and beat until smooth and spreadable. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.

6. To assemble: Using a 1/2 -inch round pastry tip (for mini cupcakes, for standard size use a 1 inch), cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom about 2/3 of the way. Twist the pastry tip gently and the cake should come right out.  You can then clean out the pastry tip with a thin knife.  Fill the cupcakes with a little bit of the streusel to fill the hole.  Frost with the buttercream and enjoy!

cupcakesinside the cupcakes

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