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Brown Butter Pecan Cupcakes with Fluffy Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

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Velvety brown butter pecan cupcakes are topped with an easy, & fluffy chocolate cream cheese frosting, toasted nuts and finished with a drizzle of chocolate.

Brown Butter Nut Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

These brown butter pecan cupcakes are my favorite go-to cupcakes when I really want to impress a crowd…Not too sweet and full of flavor; they sound fancier than your average cupcake but they are fairly easy to make!

Just before I graduated Johnson & Wales I started my own home-based cupcake business…Sadly enough, cupcakes weren’t paying off my student loan debt and eventually my small business sizzled out while I started looking for a “big girl” job.

When people ask me what my favorite cupcake is to make…yeahp you betcha it’s these:

Brown Butter Pecan Cupcakes with Fluffy Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

They get a lot of attention so make sure you save a few for yourself before they’re devoured by your guests!

If you’ve never had the pleasure of tasting brown butter, you’re in for a treat… Its one of those secret weapon ingredients that (in my opinion) make anything and everything better whether sweet or savory.

Find my tutorial on how to make brown butter here.

Start by toasting your pecans on a baking pan. Check often, stirring every couple of minutes. Keep a close eye because they can go from perfectly toasted to burnt very quickly! Once they are nice and golden, remove and set aside.

Next onto our browned butter liquid gold: melt butter over medium heat in a small saucepan.  You NEED to use real butter; this will not work with margarine.  Once the butter is melted, let it continue melting until it starts to foam for another 2-4 minutes.  You will start to smell a delicious nutty fragrance developing and that my friends, is the smell of browned butter.

Click here for a in-depth tutorial—>What is brown butter and how do you make it?

Remove from heat and let cool.  The butter should be a caramel color and you should see brown bits on the bottom of your pan.  Congratulations, you’ve successfully made browned butter!  I told you it was easy :).

Mmm mmm mmm, see all those delicious brown specks of browned butter bits in the pecan cupcake batter?

The smell in my kitchen from these cupcakes is UNBELIEVABLE.

This recipe for easy & fluffy chocolate cream cheese frosting is homemade deliciousness:

Finish your brown butter pecan cupcakes by frosting and sprinkling with extra toasted nuts and a drizzle of melted chocolate.

If you want to take these pecan cupcakes up a notch, make a batch of my homemade salted caramel sauce and fill the cupcakes with before frosting, or drizzle some on top!

Brown Butter Pecan Cupcakes with Fluffy Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Velvety brown butter pecan cupcakes are topped with an easy, & fluffy chocolate cream cheese frosting, toasted nuts and finished with a drizzle of chocolate.

Course Dessert
Keyword Carmel, Chocolate, Cupcakes, Nuts
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Assembly Time 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 18 cupcakes

Ingredients

Brown Butter Nut Cupcakes

  • 1 cup Pecans or walnuts
  • 1 stick Butter divided in half
  • 1.5 cups All Purpose Flour 181g
  • 1/2 Tbs. Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 Tbs. Cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar 149g
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 cup Milk

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 stick room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 TBS cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extra
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips melted and slightly cooled (reserve 1/4 cup for drizzling finished cupcakes)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with liners, set aside. Roughly chop nuts, spread on baking sheet and bake until toasted about 8-10 minutes, stirring halfway through and checking occasionally so they do not burn. Set aside to cool.
  2. To brown butter begin by placing 4 TBS butter in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. The butter will start to bubble up and foam. Continue cooking, stirring frequently until the butter has a nutty fragrance and is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool..

  3. In a medium bowl, measure flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and whisk together until combined. Set aside.

  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or hand mixer, combine remaining 4 TBS of room temperature butter with the granulated sugar and cream until combined. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the brown butter and continue to mix until combined. Increase the speed and allow it to mix for 2-3 minutes,until fluffy and light brown.

  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  6. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk, mix just until combined. 
  7. Fold in 3/4 cup toasted nuts.  Reserve other 1/4 for garnish.

  8. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Rotate halfway through for even baking. Once done, remove and cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:

  1. Beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed in bowl of electric mixer or stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Turn mixer to low and gradually add in powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
  3. Mix in vanilla, 1/3 cup of melted chocolate, and salt.

  4. Turn mixer up to medium/high speed and whip until smooth and fluffy.

To Assemble Cupcakes:

  1. Frost cupcakes using star tip or spread on with small knife.
  2. Garnish with toasted nuts and drizzle with remaining melted chocolate.

  3. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you want to step these cupcakes up one more notch, I sometimes fill them with my homemade salted caramel before frosting. You can find the recipe here: Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Follow this tutorial on How to Make Brown Butter.

The Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting should be refrigerated if not serving immediately.

You can soften the cream cheese by placing in a small bowl in the microwave for 8 second intervals until softened.

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