Maple Pear Cupcakes

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It’s not easy to find dessert recipes using fresh pears. I make a mean pear cobbler and everyone seems surprised that pears taste so fabulously good with cinnamon and “cobbler dough”.  I think I like it better with pears than apples, but I digress.  In this recipe, Java Cupcake  managed to incorporate fresh pears into the cake AND the frosting.  The maple syrup and spices really set off the pear flavor.   Rich, delicious, and something different!

Maple Pear Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

Maple Pear Cupcakes
  • 2 medium pears, peeled, cored & diced (1 1/2 cups diced)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (NOT breakfast syrup)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened & cubed
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Pear Buttercream
  • 1 medium pear
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup (NOT breakfast syrup)
  • 1 Tbsp pure honey
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 lb + 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • Cooked pears (about 3 Tbsp)
  • heavy cream – to desired consistency
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • pinch of Green gel food coloring (optional)
  • Thin sliced pear – for garnish


Maple Pear Cupcakes
    1. Peel, core and dice the pears and place in an 8×8 dish.
    2. Sprinkle the nutmeg and cinnamon over the pears. Pour the maple syrup and vanilla over pears also. Stir it all together until the pears are well coated.
    3. Sit on the counter, uncovered, for 2 hours. Stir occasionally.
    4. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners.
    5. In the bowl of your stand mixer, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Turn the mixer on low and mix for 30 seconds.
    6. Add the butter, vanilla and sour cream and mix until the flour mixture is no longer wet.
    7. Add the eggs one at a time and mix after each egg until incorporated. Scrape the sides & bottom of the bowl to make sure everything has been mixed.
    8. Fold in the mainating pears and all the juices in the pan.
    9. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter.
    10. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until they are golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean.
    11. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Pear Buttercream
    1. Peal, core and dice the pear and place it in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and honey and mix.
    2. Once the pears begin to soften, press a fork into each piece of pear to break it up. You don’t want mushy pears, but soft small pieces.
    3. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the sauce to thicken and turn a dark golden caramel color.
    4. Remove from the heat the pears to another bowl to cool. If you’re short on time, pop the pears in the fridge to cool for about 15 minutes.
    5. Once the pears have cooled, in the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
    6. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time and beat until incorporated.
    7. Add the cooked pears and mix in. Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat on high for 1 minute.
    8. One teaspoon at a time, add the heavy cream. Mix well each time you add more. Add enough cream until you reach your desired consistency.
    9. Mix in the salt.
    10. At this time, add the green food coloring. Use just enough to get a light, yet bright green color. This step is optional.
    11. Beat the buttercream on high for 1-2 minutes or until it has become light and fluffy.
    12. If the buttercream is thin, chill in fridge for about 10 minutes before piping.
  1. Using a Wilton 1M piping tip fitted on a disposable piping bag, pipe swirls of frosting onto each cupcake.
  2. Top with thin slices of pear for garnish.



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