Home 5 Recipes to Help You Host a Very Chapel Hill Thanksgiving Toasted Pecan-Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Toasted Pecan-Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

By Carrie Brogren

1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
2 cups white sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 16-oz. can sweet potatoes
2/3 cup orange juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract (I prefer the organic Madagascar vanilla extract)
3 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt

In a shallow baking pan, toast pecans at 350 F for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once at about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool. // In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat sugar and butter together at medium speed. Add eggs, one at a time, until blended. // In another large bowl, whisk together sweet potatoes, orange juice and vanilla. Set aside. // In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. // Add half of the flour mixture to the sweet potato mixture and beat with electric mixer on low until blended. Add the remaining half of flour mixture and beat again just until blended. // Fold in most of the toasted pecans with a rubber spatula. The remaining small amount of toasted pecans can be used to garnish the cupcake tops after frosting. // Line a muffin or cupcake pan with baking cups and spoon batter into cups until about 2/3 full. // Bake at 350 F for about 28 to 30 minutes. Cool for about an hour before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Slowly add powdered sugar and vanilla until blended. Spoon frosting into pastry bag and frost cupcakes (or simply frost by hand). Garnish with a sprinkle of finely chopped pecans.