Impossible Pecan Pie Cupcakes are the perfect dessert for anyone who loves pecan pie, whether you’re looking for an easier version of your favorite dessert or simply want to try a new twist on it. This recipe is based on the same idea as my Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes. Impossible pie is a “back of the box” recipe for baking mixes, like bisquick. These “pies” are primarily pie filling, to which a small amount of the baking mix is added. As the “pie” bakes, a soft, crust-like outer layer around the filling – delivering a pie that you don’t need a traditional pastry crust for. In my Pumpkin Pie Cupcake recipe, I incorporated enough flour and leavening into a pumpkin-rich batter. Here, I use the same technique to transform a pecan pie batter into a batch of easy-to-make and easy-to-serve Impossible Pecan Pie Cupcakes.
The filling for these cupcakes is based on the filling for my Maple Pecan Pie, a pecan pie recipe which uses maple syrup instead of corn syrup to provide the syrupy sweet liquid for the filling. I added just enough flour to hold the batter together, along with baking powder and baking soda to help the cupcakes rise in the oven. The filling is very liquidy, almost like a crepe batter. Pecans are placed into each prepared muffin cup and batter is poured on top of them before baking.
As the cupcakes bake, the pecans rise to the top of the cupcake, just as they do in a traditional pecan pie. The base of the cupcake is an extremely moist cake that captures the flavors of maple syrup, brown sugar and vanilla. The pecan layer is crunchy, and if you use lightly salted pecans, it’ll have a sweet-salty finish to it. It is all the flavors of pecan pie in a completely new, single-serving package. It’s a great twist on a classic fall favorite.
I recommend baking these with muffin wrappers and not simply greasing your muffin cups because the cake is so moist it might be difficult to get them out. I typically serve these plain, or warmed up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The recipe makes 16 cupcakes, so it is enough to serve a crowd, but these keep well (they’re best stored in the refrigerator after the first day) and make a great snack even if you’re not going to entertain with them.