Vanilla Maple Whiskey Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes:
  • 16 ounces all-purpose flour (approximately 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 12 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs
Maple Whiskey Filling:
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup, room temperature
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Vanilla Whiskey Buttercream (See Notes):
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 16 ounces unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons whiskey
Prepare the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two 12-cup regular muffin tins with cupcake liners and lightly coat with baking spray.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla.
  4. Scrape down the sides, turn the speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, allowing each to incorporate completely before adding the next. Scrape down the bowl periodically. Don’t worry if the batter breaks up a bit (this is a very high egg:butter ratio). It will come together in the next step.
  5. Scrape down the sides and then add the flour on low speed, mixing until combined. Turn the mixer up to medium speed for a few seconds to help bring the batter together.
  6. Divide evenly between the liners, then bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool while preparing the filling and buttercream.
Prepare the Filling:
  1. In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer (or using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment), combine the maple syrup, butter, confectioners’ sugar, whiskey, and salt. You can adjust some of the ingredients to taste slightly by adding a bit more whiskey, maple or a splash of vanilla. Just avoid thinning it out too much.
Prepare the Buttercream:
  1. Add the sugar and water to a medium sauce pot. Cover and turn the heat to medium-high. Once the liquid begins to simmer and steam has developed, remove the cover (this helps prevent crystallization). Using a digital thermometer, cook the sugar to the soft boil stage, 235-240 degrees F, approximately 5 minutes.
  2. While the sugar is cooking, whisk the egg whites on high speed in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until a soft peak has formed.
  3. Turn the mixer speed down to medium-low and very slowly pour the syrup down the side of the bowl into the egg whites.
  4. Once the syrup is completely incorporated, turn the speed to high and allow the meringue to continue forming a stiff peak while cooling down. Mix on high until the meringue has reached room temperature, approximately 20 minutes.
  5. Once the meringue is room temperature, slowly begin incorporating the soft butter on medium speed. Once all of the butter has been incorporated, turn the mixer speed up to high and slowly add the vanilla and whiskey.
Prepare the cupcakes:
  1. Using a small knife or cupcake corer, remove the center from each cupcake. Pipe or spoon the maple filling into each cupcake. Pipe the buttercream on top.

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