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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Gimme some brown sugar and praline, cupcake!

IronCupcake Challenge Nuts & Seeds

Well I decided to take the plunge and enter a cupcake in THE one and only cupcake challenge. the IRONcupcake challenge :) So I got to working in the kitchen and came up with these sweet little cupcakes.

Gimme some brown sugar, cupcakes

3 cups cake flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
6 oz. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
4 eggs, at room tempurature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350F. In mixing bowl sift in cake flour, salt, baking powder, and brown sugars and mix for 30 seconds on low speed to combine. Add in butter and sour cream and mix for about 30 more seconds. In a seperate bowl whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla and add it to the flour mixture in 2 parts mixing thouroughly and scraping the sides after each addition. Line cupcake pans with paper liners and fill 2/3 way full. Bake for 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Makes approx. 30 cupcakes


1 1/2 cup pecan halves
1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a 300F oven toast pecan halves on a foil lined cookie sheet for about 8 minutes checking often because they burn easily! Let cool and chop roughly ( I did this so I could have smaller pralines to fit on top of my cupcakes, but you don't have to do it.)

In a medium heavy bottomed sauce pan combine brown sugar, sugar, heavy cream, and salt. Cook over medium heat until the sugars dissolve and mixture starts to come to a boil, making sure to stir occasionally.

Continue cooking until mixture reaches 235F-240F on a candy thermometer or soft-ball stage when small amount is placed in water, about another 15-20 minutes. Be very careful with this step, as overcooking will cause a grainy texture!

Remove from heat and add butter, vanilla, and pecans. Stir with a wooden spoon contiuously for approx. 3-4 minutes until mixture thickens enough to be scooped out and not be too runny. I used a cookie scoop to get even, small pralines, but 2 spoons will work too. You need to work very fast because the mixture will set up in the pan if you don't. If you have two people that can scoop all the better!

Brown Sugar Praline Buttercream
(Adapted from Marthastewart.com)

4 large egg whites
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
1 tsp vanilla
8 pralines chopped finely (recipe above or purchased ok too)

In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water, whisk together egg whites, sugar, and salt. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch.

Transfer to the clean bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attatchment. Beat on medium speed until fluffy and cooled, about 15 minutes.

Raise speed to high; beat until stiff peaks form. Switch to paddle attatchment and reduce speed to medium-low; add butter, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, until fully incorporated. Add in vanilla. Fold in praline pieces with spoon.

Ok now here's what I need you to do! Head on over to NO ONE PUTS CUPCAKE IN A CORNER and vote for your top 3 favorites (hopefully mine will be one of them :D ) Voting starts Sunday, March 29 at 8 p.m. and runs through Friday, April 3 at 12 noon.

The winner will recieve these fabulous prizes:
-A Bunnycake Easter Plushie by DOGBONEART.
-A whimsical piece by CAKEASAURUS.
-as well as a pair of cupcake earrings from LOTS OF SPRINKLES.
-a collection of all new printed cupcake liners, 200 in all from Sweet Cuppin' Cakes Cupcakery.
-PLUS, IronCupcake:Earth can not forget our good friend, CAKESPY, who is now going to be doing a piece for our winner each month until further notice - sweet!
-HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson
-a t-shirt from UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM

Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers . And as a special thank you, we would like to once again thank DIANAEVANS for her participation in the February challenge. An incorrect link was posted and we want to be sure that she gets the recognition she deserves. Thanks again Diana!



  1. Love you cupcakes! Pralines are one of my faves! Good luck in the iron cupcake challenge, you get one of my votes!
    also, love all your cupcake toppers, they are so cute!!

  2. Yum, I love pecans, these cupcakes look delicious! Good luck in the competition! :)

  3. what a nice and delicious cupcake :) its surely a winner :)

  4. You perfect cupcake was the one that attracted my attention and I voted for you!!! Best of luck!

  5. Does the icing get hard like a praline?