French Toast Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream

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I woke up yesterday with a craving for french toast. I also really wanted cupcakes. Since I worked the night shift last night, I was excited for a morning to bake. However, different plans were in the works. Paul wanted to run a few wedding-related errands, and I was okay with that! Long story short, I had found this recipe for french toast cupcakes, and didn’t get to make them. I’m on night shifts for the whole week, and decided to make them this morning.

These cupcakes are a little more complex than normal, because they have a streusel topping. It’s not overly complicated, just an extra step to take these cupcakes from great to amazing.

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I also had a fantastic idea to put these cupcakes over the top.I am a lover of the unconventional ideas in baking, and the idea of having elements of your whole breakfast in a cupcake is extremely appealing to me. For a few cupcakes, I added some bacon “sprinkles”. I just used pre-cooked bacon bits, and just sprinkled a few over the tops of the cupcakes.

If you are in for a breakfast-y treat that covers the sweet (and the savoury if desired!), these cupcakes are right up your alley!
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Ingredients

Yield: 24 cupcakes

For the streusel:

½ c. packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. sugar
½ c. flour
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
5 tbsp. butter, cold and cut into chunks
Cinnamon sugar, for garnish

For the cupcakes:

3 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
1 c. butter, at room temperature
1 c. sour cream
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla

For the buttercream:

1 c. butter, at room temperature
4 c. icing sugar
1½ tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. salt
1/3 c. maple syrup
2 tbsp heavy cream or milk
¼ c. bacon bits (more or less as desired, optional)

To make the streusel, in a medium bowl combine the sugars, flour, cinnamon and salt and whisk until combined evenly. With your fingers, mix the butter into the dry ingredients until evenly incorporated. Refrigerate while preparing the batter.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Whisk until combined. In the bowl of a mixer, blend the butter, sour cream, vanilla, and eggs until smooth. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until smooth, about 30-40 seconds. Hand blend any remaining dry mixture into the wet with a spatula.

Drop about 3 tbsp (¼ c.) of batter into the cupcake liners. Top with streusel. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the streusel. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before icing.

For the icing, in the bowl of a mixer beat the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar, and stir in the vanilla, salt and syrup with a spatula. Add the cream or milk, 1 tbsp. at a time, and beat until you get a light, fluffy consistency. Spread over cupcakes, or if you want to be a little fancier, pipe onto cupcakes with a piping bag and tip. Sprinkle with bacon bits if desired.

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