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Test Kitchen Approved

Maple Cupcakes with Smoked Sugar Frosting

Adapted from the Life Love and Sugar blog and Food52 by Ashlee Redger


12 cupcakes

Prep Time

15 Minutes

Cooking Time

30 Minutes

Adapted from the Life Love and Sugar blog and Food52 by Ashlee Redger

A subtly sweet cupcake with just a hint of smokiness in the fluffy Italian meringue frosting.

Recipe Notes

This recipe was adapted from Life Love and Sugar's Moist Vanilla Cupcakes and Food52's Italian Meringue Frosting.


For cupcakes:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

For meringue frosting:

3 egg whites, room temperature

1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

1/4 cup water

Savory Spice ingredients in this recipe

  • Natural Maple Extract

    Our Natural Maple Extract is perfect for adding the sweet, yet savory, flavor of maple to many types of dishes. As with our other extracts, this pr...

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  • Whiskey Barrel Smoked Sugar

    We smoke this sugar in-house in Denver, Colorado using wooden staves from whiskey barrels. Use it to add smoked flavor to sweet and savory dishes. ...

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  • Pure Madagascar Vanilla Extract

    Madagascar Vanilla Extract is the classic, smooth vanilla flavor that immediately comes to mind when people think of vanilla. As with all our vanil...

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For cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with baking cups. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, water, oil, egg, and extract. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and stir until a thin batter forms. Fill each cup about two-thirds full. Bake for 20 to 25 min., or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Cool for about 10 min. in the pan, then set cupcakes on a rack to cool completely.

For meringue frosting: While cupcakes cool, make the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. While egg whites whip, cook sugar and water in a small pot over medium-high heat until mixture reaches 238 degrees (soft-ball stage). With the mixer running, slowly stream the hot syrup into the egg whites. Add vanilla extract and increase mixing speed to high. Beat until stiff peaks form. Pipe or spread the frosting onto the cupcakes, then sprinkle generously with extra sugar.