butter pecan cupcakes

I’ve always felt that butter pecan ice cream is a very grown up flavor. My grandparents’ freezer was customarily stocked with chocolate or neopolitan ice cream when I was a little girl and I could count on it being there, waiting for me to dig in after a long day of making mud pies, playing with my imaginary friends (who were always animals, never people) and climbing trees. But sometimes I’d open the freezer door to find a box of butter pecan staring down at me. In my mind, combining butter and pecans seemed like such a mature move, one that a responsible person would make. Adults eat butter pecan ice cream. They look forward to it after a long day of doing adult things, like shucking beans. That’s what I thought made someone an adult when I was five years old. Shucking beans and wearing pants in the summer.

Last week I was remembering my childhood and those special days when my grandma would scoop some butter pecan ice cream into my bowl. I loved the sweet, nutty combination. It was delicious and eating it made me feel so grown up. Since I don’t have an ice cream maker, I decided to pack those same flavors into cupcakes with the help of a recipe I found from Taste of Home.

I told Mr. Court Kitty all about it and he was instantly ready to nap on top of tackle this recipe.

Butter Pecan Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home
Makes 12 cupcakes
Printable recipe

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread, softened
  • 1 cup vegan refined sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 5 ounces Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups vegan confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla almond milk

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

To toast the pecans, spread them out on a baking pan lined with aluminum foil and bake for 5 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the Earth Balance and refined sugar on low-medium speed until combined. Mix in the applesauce, vanilla and almond milk.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, sea salt and baking soda.

Combine the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients, mixing on medium speed until well combined.

Stir in vinegar by hand, then fold in 1 cup of the toasted pecans.

Spoon the batter into cupcake liners

and bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick can be inserted and removed cleanly.

Allow the cupcakes to cool to room temperature.

To make the frosting, combine the Tofutti, Earth Balance, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and almond milk into a large bowl and mix on low-medium speed until fully combined.

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of toasted pecans on top.

The pecans inside the cupcake are soft and inviting.

They’re begging you to eat them. Go ahead. Give in. Do as the pecans say.

29 thoughts on “butter pecan cupcakes

  1. These look fabuloso! I am planning to do the 21 day Vegan Kickstart in September – I’m going to follow your blog so I get some great recipe ideas! I’m really worried about the giving up of cheese for 21 days! Any advice?!

    • Honestly, cheese was the hardest for me to give up. I loved cheese on EVERYTHING and the fake cheeses just weren’t doing it for me. You can try to find replacements and see if you like them (recipes to some cheesy eats are http://thetolerantvegan.com/2011/05/mac-and-cheese-pizza/ and http://thetolerantvegan.com/2011/05/baked-chicken-less-taquito/ ) but the only real advice I have is to power through it. After a week you won’t crave it as much. Just keep telling yourself that it’s worth it. Giving up cheese resulted in HUGE changes for my body and health. I became more regular (TMI? Sorry!) and my stomach pain went from an every day occurence to never happening at all. It was worth it for me. But it was hard. Send me a message if you want to chat more about it or if you need a pep talk! And don’t beat yourself up if you give in to cravings and have cheese. We’re all human, we’re not robots and sometimes we just really need a bite of cheese, you know? But eventually you won’t crave it. That’s a promise. :)

  2. butter pecan ice cream is very grown up, I never thought of that. I am thoroughly obsessed with the buttery flavour of that ice cream.

    Mr. Court Kitty looks like a Mr. Jackson who will always sleep on whatever open book/magazine / laptop I am trying to read. I think it’s they don’t want to lose your attention.

  3. Oh thank goodness I found this recipe! I’ve been looking for some healthy sweets to satisfy my sweet tooth. I’ve recently switched over to a vegetarian diet for health reasons and because it just makes sense. Butter Pecan ice cream is one of my weaknesses, I hope these cupcakes help!

  4. These look so yummy! The glaze on top looks excellent! I love your cupcake wrappers! They totally fit with the style of the cupcake! Did you get them someplace special?

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  7. I love butter pecan ice cream! But you are so right. When I think about it from the childhood me mind, it seems like an adult treat for sure. These cupcakes I think would please kids and adults alike though :) Such an awesome idea!

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  9. These look great! It’s funny, when I was a little kid, I always thought butter pecan was for old people! And then just recently I had a bit of some and I don’t know what I was thinking – it’s one of my favorite flavors now =)

  10. This is my auntie’s favorite flavor! I want to make them for her (and convince her that she’ll never miss the eggs and butter!)

  11. How amazed I was to open this page of your blog and see your kitty!!! I thought perhaps my kitty Cambria had morphed herself into the computer!!

    I am going to bake these cupcakes tonite…

  12. I made these for my boyfriend’s birthday last week and they were amazing. They have a such a nice light texture and great flavor and the non-cream cheese frosting was delicious. Thanks for the great recipe.

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  17. I would love to make these but any ccake I make with applesauce comes out terrible. Is the applesause to replace the eggs or for moisture?

    • Hi Cassia,
      The applesauce is just for moisture. You can also try a vegan yogurt or part vegan yogurt and part mashed bananas. The cake will rise regardless because of the vinegar + baking soda that’s included in the recipe. :)

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