Maple Leaf Cupcakes

It's been a bit quiet on the baking front recently, but as one of Mike's colleagues left the company this week, I needed to get my baking tins out. D'arcy and his family are relocating to Toronto. How exciting is that? And to mark the occasion I wanted to try and make something that he would like.

These are chocolate cupcakes, covered in Maple Syrup Frosting, and decorated with little sugar fondant maple leaves. I'm not terribly good with sugarpaste. Sadly, the leaves didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped, as it was difficult to get the colour right with the materials I had. I basically coloured three different shades of fondant - orangey, red and reddy brown - to try and get autumnal shades. Then I cut out different sized maple leaves and pressed them with a veiner. Having left them to dry for about 8 hours (over crumpled baking parchment to get a curled effect), I then dusted them with some gold, brown and terracotta flower dusts. The block colours were a little strong, and bizarrely the best effect I got was when I rolled up the left over bits of each colour into one ball - getting a mottled piece of sugar fondant, which then rolled out to give a marbled effect. Much more realistic but still not totally right!

The frosting I used combined some  butter with a little cream cheese, with icing sugar and a few tablespoons of maple syrup. This was just enough to flavour the frosting without it being overpowering. The combination of chocolate cake and frosting worked well, and aesthetics aside, I was really pleased with how they turned out.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Maple Syrup Frosting

Ingredients (makes 16)

225g softened unsalted butter
225g light soft brown sugar
4 medium eggs
1 tbspn milk
200g self raising flour
1/2 tspn baking powder
4 tbspns cocoa powder

For the frosting
200g softened unsalted butter
100g room temperature full fat cream cheese
around 3 - 4 cups of icing sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 155 Fan / 170 Conventional / Gas 4. Line a muffin tray(s) with cupcake cases - I got 16 out of this batch.

Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Then add the eggs (one at a time mixing briefly to incorporate) and milk. Add the flour, baking powder and cocoa, and mix gently till thorough incorporated. Scoop into the cases so that they are about two thirds full.

Bake in the oven for around 18 - 20 minutes until risen and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool in the tray for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to completely cool.

For the frosting, cream together the butter and cream cheese until silky (preferably in a stand mixer using a paddle attachment). Add the maple syrup and mix in. Then, adding a cup at a time, add the icing sugar until you get a consistency you like - it needs to be quite thick but still soft enough to spread / pipe.

Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and then decorate as you please.

Mike said that they were a great success. I hope so.

Good Luck D'arcy, Kate and Mackenzie - hope the move goes well and that you have a fab time!


Susie :) x


  1. Perfect cupcakes with pretty decorations x

  2. They look brilliant. I love the leaves, they looks very effective against the white buttercream. What brand of maple syrup would you recommend? I've wanted to buy some for a while now to make maple syrup and bacon cupcakes! Xxx

    1. Hello, sorry I'm a bit late with this but the one I use is Clark's Pure Canadian Maple Syrup No 1 Medium (it's got a black label). I get it at Asda, and its about £3 for 180ml, so a bit pricey. They do do cheaper versions (and there is a Clark's one that is cheaper, too, with a red label). I know that the strengths and quality vary, but the first time I needed some for a recipe I picked up a bottle of the black label one, and it worked so well that I've stuck with it. :)

  3. so, so, so pretty with perfect icing and piping... just beautiful!

  4. Your maple leaves are very impressive. They look real and smells real but they are not leaves :D

  5. I think the leaves look awesome - love that they even have the veins in them and everything and the 3 colours worked really well! What a great flavour combo to wish your friends well on their Canadian adventure! I don't really like maple flavour but my husband has said that's gonna have to change when we move to Canada! hehe

    1. Oh absolutely - isn't it some form of residency test? haha! Glad you like the leaves :)

  6. I love maple syrup - these look gorgeous. I love your maple leaves - I would not have a clue how to make them.

    1. Thanks Ros :) They were a cobbled together version but I think the multi coloured ones definitely worked out OK. :)

  7. STUNNING! Such LOVELY and VERY pretty wee cakes and the leaves are amazing too! Karen

    1. Thanks Karen, that's very sweet. Glad you like them :)

  8. I think the little leaves look really pretty. Marbling the colours together looks really effective. The maple syrup frosting sounds fantastic too.

    1. Thanks Jo. I think the marbling was definitely a bonus - I wasjust going to bin the odds and ends of colour, but together they looked great! :)


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