Moist Brown Sugar Buttercream Cupcakes

This homemade recipe for moist brown sugar buttercream cupcakes is super simple. The recipe has two secret ingredients. The first, is responsible for its moist velvety texture while the second, kicks the flavor all the way up a notch. As you know, nothing tastes better than homemade baked goods. This recipe is so easy you will be making moist brown sugar buttercream cupcakes all the time.

Secret Ingredients

The first secret ingredient is the buttermilk. Buttermilk acts like a tenderizer, has a tangy taste, and keeps cakes from being too sweet in flavor. Best of all, buttermilk keeps your cake super moist. I think we can all agree that no-one likes a dry cake.

The second secret ingredient is maple syrup. Fun fact: did you know that Quebec is the world largest producer of maple syrup? Maple syrup come in various flavor notes. There is light, medium and dark. The light taste like golden sugar, chicory or toast; the medium exudes burnt wood, caramelized sugar, coffee bean, or chocolate. The dark, is more like burnt coffee or sugar, and ground coffee beans. So, for this moist brown sugar buttercream cupcake recipe, I decided to go with a medium tone and it does not disappoint. It brings out all the rich flavors that feel warm and cozy for the fall season.

Brown sugar cupcake ingredients
cupcake ingredients

Supplies Needed

  • muffin tins to make 12 cupcakes
  • paper liners
  • hand stand/mixer
  • mixing bowls
  • spatula
  • pastry bag and large tip


For Brown Sugar Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

For Maple Syrup Buttercream Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cardamom
  • nutmeg to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Maple Syrup Brown Sugar Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line a muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Combine the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a mixer. Then, beat on medium speed until ingredients are well combined, light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg, beat well. Stir in vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate, medium sized bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  5. By hand, gradually fold in about 1/4 of the flour mixture using a spatula into the butter and sugar mixture.
  6. Add about 1/4 cup of the buttermilk and use spatula to fold in until just combined.
  7. Continue to alternate adding flour and buttermilk ending with the flour mixture. Mix until the ingredients are completely combined and smooth. Do not overmix.
  8. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way with batter. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Check doneness by inserting a tooth pick into the center of one cupcake and it come out clean.
  9. Allow cupcakes to cool completely in pans before frosting.

Maple Syrup Buttercream Frosting

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat together softened cream cheese and butter until well-combined.
  2. Add brown sugar and beat until well incorporated.
  3. Gradually add powdered sugar until completely combined.
  4. Add maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt, and stir until ingredients are thoroughly combined, pausing to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula.
  5. Pipe or spread frosting over cooled cupcakes.
Baked Cupcakes

Pro Tips

Best tips for baking cupcakes

  • Use fresh high quality ingredients – try to use organic where possible.
  • Before use, allow wet ingredients to come to room temperature.
  • Pre-heat the oven to achieve the lightest cupcake and try not to open the oven before time.
  • Do not over mix the batter as it will result in a dry and dense cake.

I hope you will feel inspired to make this delicious recipe for moist brown sugar buttercream cupcakes. You can make this for any occasion. Cupcakes also pair very well with champagne so feel free to enjoy the two together.

moist brown sugar buttercream cupcakes
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