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Candied Sweet Potato Cupcakes

I have been MIA for a little bit but I'm back! I'm also back at a great time might I say-just in time for an MS Cupcake Club post. This month Karen from Karen's Cookies, Cakes, & More chose Candied Sweet Potato Cupcakes. I have to say I was really excited to try this recipe because I have never had a dessert with sweet potatoes, but it's so close to pumpkin it made sense to me. At the same time, I was also nervous because others may know something I don't as there are no desserts out there with sweet potatoes. Also, telling people I was bringing sweet potato cupcakes to a get together got me a couple confused and worried looks.

Every month at least a couple members of the club complain that the recipe was a muffin desguised as a cupcake. So this month, I will be one of those members. As delicious as they were...they were muffins. To prove they were muffins, I made some in a muffin pan and had them the next day and they were great!! These are way to dense to me cupcakes. I also did not like the marshmallow topping. It was a sticky disaster to work with and the taste was just 'eh'. So my verdict is if you are looking for a muffin recipe for the holiday season this good one but for cupcakes...I don't know!

Cinnamon-Pecan Coffee Cake

This is the first month in my new cooking group The Cake Slice Bakers. For the next year, we will be baking cakes out of Nancie McDermott’s book Southern Cakes. For our first cake, the group has chosen a Cinnamon-Pecan Coffee Cake.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what to expect from this cake. Although, not an unusual combination of ingredients it is not a cake I have seen before. Having baked it, I can tell you it is fantastic. The flavor, aroma, and texture all work beautifully together. The butter gives the pecans a sweet candy like flavor, the cinnamon is surprisingly not overwhelming, and the cake itself is moist. As it name states, it would be perfect in the morning with a cup of coffee. And Pecans are so festive so it is a perfect cake to have on hand for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season.
Now let’s talk about where I went wrong and I really don’t know how I went wrong…well actually I do. You are suppose to lay one layer of the batter, top it with the cinnamon-pecan raisin filling, and then put another layer of batter on top of that and so on. Well I put too much batter on the first layer and didn’t have enough for the second layer and so my cake became a cake with no filling. Either way, the flavor was not compromised and given that we only have so much of a sweet tooth it worked out perfectly for us.
Check out the other lovely cake slice bakers here!

Cinnamon-Pecan Coffee Cake
(Adapted from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott)
For the Cake
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs

For the Cinnamon Raisin Filling
1½ cups light brown sugar
3 tbsp all purpose flour
3 tbsp cinnamon
1½ cups raisins
1½ cups coarsely chopped pecans
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, melted

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 9 inch pan.
2. To make the filling- In one bowl, combine the light brown sugar, flour and cinnamon and mix everything using a fork or whisk. In another bowl, combine the raisins and pecans in another bowl and toss to mix them. In another bowl, melt butter. Take all three bowls and set aside.
3. To make the cake batter- In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Also combine the milk and vanilla.
4. In the bowl of a electric mixer combine the butter and sugar whisk on high speed until pale yellow about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and beat for another 2 minutes.
5. Start slowly adding the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Alternate between the milk and flour.
6. Spread half the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle half the cinnamon mixture over the batter and pour half of the melted butter on top of it. Then sprinkle half the raisins and nuts.
7. With a spatula spread the remaining batter over the filling. Finish by sprinkling the rest of the cinnamon, butter and nut mixture making sure to cover the cake evenly.
8. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes-until the cake is golden brown. Let the cake cool before serving and you can serve out of the pan.


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