Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.
In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add 4 egg yolks. Beat well. Add 2 tsp vanilla. Mix.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to creamed mixture, alternating with the milk. Mix well.
With clean beaters and medium-sized bowl, beat 4 egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whites into the batter with a spatula.
Fold in 1 cup of the pecans.
Reserve 2/3 cup batter. Fill the cupcake liners 1/2 full with batter. Bake for 5 minutes.
Combine the reserved batter with corn syrup, 3 eggs, brown sugar, the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla, and the remaining 1 1/2 cups of pecans.
Spoon the pecan topping on partially baked cupcakes.
\Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes come out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.
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