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Impossible Pecan Pie Cupcakes

Impossible Pecan Pie Cupcakes
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.

Impossible Pecan Pie Cupcakes, interior

Impossible Pecan Pie Cupcakes
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
3/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups chopped, toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 16 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together brown sugar and butter until light. Whisk in eggs, followed by maple syrup, milk and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.
Add in flour mixture and whisk until flour is very well incorporated and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Divide pecans evenly into prepared muffin cups. Pour batter over pecans. Batter should just cover the pecans in each muffin cup.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cakes are set and spring back when gently pressed.
Cool on a wire rack. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before removing wrappers.

Makes 16.

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  • Karen
    November 22, 2011

    I don’t usually have maple syrup around. Can I use a traditional filling, or for that matter, a chocolate pecan filling?

  • raquel
    November 22, 2011

    Pecan pie tastes best when it is served warm and I usually put a scoop of vanilla ice cream… and it is really perfect dessert for anyone

  • Belinda @zomppa
    November 22, 2011

    As in, impossible to resist? I admit I’m not a huge pie fan, so this is like the perfect thing.

  • kyleen
    November 22, 2011

    These look delicious! I’ve never tried pecan pie, but I’d love to make these cupcakes.

  • Karina (Australia)
    November 22, 2011

    Thank you for sharing your passion!

  • Kathryn O
    November 23, 2011

    I am a huge pecan pie fan, so I am on board with any and all variations. I’ve already got my thanksgiving menu planned, but I am definitely going to have to try these asap!

  • Kalyn
    November 23, 2011

    What a great idea. You’re always coming up with something fun.

  • Pattypro
    November 24, 2011

    My hubby loves pecan pie, but rarely eats more than one slice from it, because of the sweet factor. These would be a perfect substitute, freezing them for the occasional treat.

  • Shelly@Kaye Syrah
    November 26, 2011

    I remember my grandmother making “Impossible Pies”, thanks for bringing back such fond memories! Will be trying these out soon!

  • Laura
    November 27, 2011

    I discovered your blog while I was looking for a Thanksgiving dessert. I made these delish little cupcakes and I was not disappointed! I was hoping that there would be some leftover to take home with us, but everyone ate them up! They were such a hit!

    Thanks for the fantastic recipe. I’m back on your blog today to find something to make for dinner, and of course I’ll be making another batch of these for dessert!

  • Elaine M
    November 27, 2011

    Made these last night. They were good, but not great, as in the price of pecans and real maple syrup, well they must be the best ever to justify the cost of making them.

  • Lindsay
    October 16, 2016

    Pecan pie – cupcake style? Genius!

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