Pancake Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream and Fresh Blueberries

I've never really been a breakfast person.

All throughout elementary school and highschool I remember getting various breakfast bars, fruits, and breakfast 'shakes' shoved at me as I walked out the door on my way to school, only to be zipped away in my backpack and forgotten about until weeks (or months) later, during that frantic dig for a writing utensil, ANY writing utensil (no matter how many pens and pencils you buy at staples on that optimistic Pre-September shopping trip, you never have enough... where do they all go?!) (I'd like to add that I only did this with non-perishable items and not the aforementioned apples ... nothing like expecting to clasp your hand around a number 2 and instead feeling something that resembles a number 2 of a different sort ... amiright?)

This was during weekdays.

Weekends however, were a different story.

On weekends, my brother and I got to sleep until the late late hour of 10am (any later and my mother would be on the warpath). We would wake up, go downstairs, and for some reason this day where I would have no scholastic commitments (aside from that homework I was saving until Sunday night, of course) would make me want to eat everything in my kitchen. But, dear readers, this was no time for breakfast bars, shakes, or apples. The weekend held the promise of eggs, bacon, and pancakes smothered in maple syrup, and now, just like that, breakfast was my favourite meal of the day.

Now, dear readers, I believe there are three lessons to be learned from this story:
1) Always buy more pencils. Even when you think you have enough, you probably don't
2) Backpacks are not a proper long-term storage facility for fruit
3) Even if you’re not a breakfast person, when you have the time you can find something that tickles your fancy (or you could sleep until noon [for those that don’t live in my parents’ house] and wake up in time for lunch, skipping breakfast altogether!)

(and now for the cupcakes ...) This is an homage to that Saturday Morning-No Work-No School-Homework Procrastination breakfast of my childhood, when times were simple, Saturday morning cartoons were still awesome ... and I wasn't cooking for myself.

I'd been wanting to make a pancake cupcake for a while but was unsure how to go about it; in order to be able to call something a "pancake cupcake" it should, rightfully, not only taste like a pancake, but have the proper texture. This recipe hits both points right on (I'm an epic mixture of awesome and modesty ...) and this cupcake is just so delightfully odd you can't help but like it (kind of like me :)) <- I know it looks like a closing bracket, but it's actually my impressive double chin that I have acquired from eating so many cupcakes ...)

The cake is super spongy like a pancake (when you break it open, it has the same airbubbles and everything) 

like this!

and is not actually sweet at all, which you'd think would be really off-putting for a cupcake, but just you wait for the frosting my friends; our good friend Paula Deen called, and she wants her VAT of sugar back (which is probably a poor choice seeing as she has diabetes, but I digress). The maple sugary goodness of this frosting packs a punch straight to your cavities, but you won't mind because you'll be floating around in cupcakey heaven while your dentist bills skyrocket. 

But really. The combination of the Canadian heaven (that's what I've named the frosting) with the spongy pancake transported me back to my kitchen table on a Saturday morning, still in my jammies and drowning my pancakes in syrup with the BIGGEST smile on my face. And the super thing is, you can garnish this cupcake with pretty much anything you want! I used fresh blueberries (partly because they're deliciously fresh on top of this cupcake, and partly so I didn't die of scurvy) but if you were feeling super adventurous you could use chocolate chips, pecans, or my personal favourite, crumbled bacon (put on your culinary seat belts folks, we're getting crazy!). 

I hope you have as much fun with these as I did, and I advise you to make them RIGHT NOW. Remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day ;)

Happy Baking!

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Cups Whole Milk
2 Eggs
1 Ounce (Two Tablespoons) Unsalted Butter, Melted and Cooled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with liners, and then spray the liners with non-stick spray (important step!). Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together milk and eggs, then stir in the melted (and cooled) butter. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients slowly and whisk together until moistened and just combined (it's okay if it looks a little bit lumpy!). Divide the batter between the liners and baked until puffed and slightly firm to the touch, approximately 10 minutes. Let cool for approximately 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting (aka Canadian Heaven):
8 Ounces (1 Cup) Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
2 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Optional Toppings (ex. blueberries, pecans, bacon)

To make frosting, use wire whisk attachment of a stand mixer to whip the butter on a medium-high speed until smooth (approximately 5 minutes). Reduce speed to low, and add in powdered sugar, half a cup at a time. Once all powdered sugar has been added, scrape down the bowl with a spatula and increase the speed to medium-high, mixing until light and fluffy. Add the maple syrup and the vanilla, and keep mixing until smooth and incorporated. Garnish as desired, and enjoy!


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"A party without cake is just a meeting."

-- Julia Child