• 2 cups cake flour, stirred before measuring                        
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed, muscovado if possible
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) milk
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

       Brown Sugar Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) butter
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half or milk
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed, muscovado if possible
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar


  1. Heat oven to 350°. Line 18 to 21 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat 6 tablespoons butter and 1 cup brown sugar until light. Beat in the egg and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract until well blended. Add about half of the flour mixture and about half of the milk, slowly beating until blended. Blend in the remaining flour mixture and milk, then fold in pecans.
  4. Fill paper liners 1/2 to 2/3 full. Bake for 24 to 28 minutes, until the cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched with a finger. Cool in pan on a rack; remove from the pan, then frost with brown sugar frosting or dust with sifted confectioners' sugar.
  5. Frosting:
  6. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, slowly bring 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup half-and-half or milk, and 1 cup light brown sugar to a boil, stirring frequently. When the mixture begins to boil, remove from heat and set aside to cool to lukewarm. Sift 2 cups of confectioners' sugar into the lukewarm brown sugar mixture and beat until smooth and creamy. Add a little more confectioners' sugar if needed, or beat in a little hot water if the frosting becomes too stiff. Frost the cooled cupcakes.

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