Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

cinnamon roll cupcakesI love cinnamon! It is my favorite spice, as I believe I’ve mentioned before. It has a calming effect on me like lavender does, especially when paired with vanilla. And while I didn’t have time this weekend to make cinnamon rolls–in fact, I have never made cinnamon rolls from scratch–I did have time to whip up a batch of cinnamon roll cupcakes.

The recipes below are hybrids of several that I found online, including a delicious cinnamon cream cheese frosting that would pair well with pumpkin, apple, or ginger cupcakes. They’re sweet, but not too sweet, and almost muffin-like; I could certainly eat one for breakfast. What’s great is that you don’t actually need the frosting if you’re short on time, or just not into frosting; you could leave the cupcakes plain, or dust them with powdered sugar.

Note: the original recipe that I found claimed to yield 26 cupcakes, but the recipe below that I used yielded 33 cupcakes.

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2/3 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups milk

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In another medium bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans; mix well and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter for about 30 seconds; add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating well until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat to combine.

Add flour mixture and milk alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour and beating until just combined after each addition. Scrape sides of the bowl often.

Use a 1-inch cookie scoop and drop one level scoop of dough into each cup; top with 1 teaspoon of the brown sugar mixture, then add another scoop of dough, followed by 1/2 teaspoon of the brown sugar mixture.

Bake for at least 20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons cinnamon

Preparation

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and cinnamon and beat well, scraping the sides of the bowl often.

Use a 1-inch cookie scoop and drop scoops of frosting onto each cupcake. Frost with a small offset spatula. Store in the refrigerator, but bring to room temperature before serving.

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