What better way to celebrate National Cupcake Day (Dec. 15) than with a Better Homes & Gardens’ treat that’s a perfect fit for the season?
Blame it on the season, I guess, but I’ve been obsessed with sweet potatoes lately. And for some reason, they taste better than ever–and that was even before I made Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting while I was home for Thanksgiving.
Inspired by the baked sweet potatoes, the roasted sweet potatoes and the sweet potato fries I’ve had recently, I wanted to make a not-so-sweet cupcake that would be seasonally appropriate too. I searched the Internet for a recipe for Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, and several worthy options came up.
It came down to one from Fine Cooking and one from Better Homes & Gardens. But the latter won out because the former included ingredients like cloves and ginger, and I feared it might be too much like a spice cake.
That’s not to say, though, that the recipe didn’t need a little tweaking–or at least I thought so. For starters, why use canned sweet potatoes when you can use fresh? That was the no-brainer substitute.
Others were more of a risk. The cupcake batter is flavored with vanilla and cinnamon, but I wanted to make it a little sweeter so it wouldn’t taste like a sweet potato bread. I added about a fourth of a teaspoon of maple flavoring, which I also added to the frosting.
I though the cream cheese frosting might need to be a little sweeter, so another fourth of a teaspoon of maple flavoring was in order. I cut the amount of milk (bourbon can also be used, according to the recipe) because I wanted the frosting to be of piping consistency.
Also, the addition of the maple flavoring added a nice brown sugar-colored tint to the frosting, which made it look very autumnal as well. Though the frosting was sweet, it was offset by the toned-down taste of the cake, which was a little more dense, but not as much as, say, a pound cake.
Overall, these got rave reviews, and I can’t wait to make them again. But I doubt I can wait until next fall!