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Yield
12 servings (serving size: 1 cupcake)
Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Increase speed to high; beat for 1 minute.

Step 3

Weigh flour. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients (through cinnamon), stirring well. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating until just combined. Stir in 1/3 cup walnuts.

Step 4

Place 12 muffin cup liners in muffin cups; divide batter evenly among cups. Bake at 350° for 19 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. (Cupcakes will look slightly pale.) Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan; cool on wire rack.

Step 5

Place cream of tartar and egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Combine maple sugar, 1/4 cup water, and dash of salt in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 238°. Gradually pour hot sugar syrup into egg white mixture, beating until stiff peaks form. Spread about 3 rounded tablespoonfuls frosting over each cupcake. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons nuts.

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