Mini Cinnamon Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Spiced Buttercream and Candied Maple Walnuts



Happy Friday!

Thanks for your inspiring comments on my Road to Health post yesterday. A great way to start off Friday. :) I really want to get back into writing my regular series as much as I can. Life has been a bit crazy for the past while, but I’m going to try to fit more of those types of posts into regular rotation because I really enjoy talking about these things as well as hearing your own thoughts.

Tomorrow my family is getting together for Steve’s birthday celebration and I offered to whip up some delicious vegan cupcakes. It has been a while since I have made cupcakes and I have just been itching to try a new flavour perfect for the Fall season.

I originally wanted to make pumpkin cupcakes and then Eric told me that Steve hates pumpkin. I think I almost spit out my Green Monster in horror. After deciding that perhaps I shouldn’t disown my brother in law on his birthday, I decided to expand my Fall flavour horizons, just for him!

Of course, vanilla and chocolate cupcakes are always a safe bet, but sometimes a gal just needs a little spice in her life.

Sometimes, a gal also needs miniature, bite-sized desserts, reminiscent of the Easy Bake Oven creations of yesteryear.


Mini Cinnamon Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Spiced Buttercream and Candied Maple Walnuts

These super cute mini cupcakes look like regular chocolate cupcakes, but they are actually hiding a subtle cinnamon flavour. Chocolate and cinnamon blend together wonderfully in these Fall inspired cupcakes. The spiced buttercream and candied walnuts really make everything come together- it’s like a bite-sized Fall party in your mouth! These cupcakes would also make a wonderful Valentine’s Day treat.

Cupcake batter adapted from Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan.


  • 2 cups + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup regular cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 & 1/8th cup sugar
  • 2.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 & 3/4 cup water
  • 1/8th cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Spiced Buttercream Frosting
  • Candied Walnuts (see below)


Directions: Preheat oven to 275F and prepare the candied walnuts. See below for directions. Once the walnuts are prepared, set aside, and begin making the cupcake batter. Preheat oven to 350F and line a cupcake pan (or grease). In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg). In a smaller bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (water, vinegar, oil, and vanilla). Add wet to dry and mix with a blender until smooth. Do not overmix. I used a mini cupcake pan, so I scooped about 1/2-1 tbsp of cupcake batter into each. If using a regular cupcake pan, fill each cupcake tin about 1/2-2/3 of the way up (maybe 3 tbsp of batter approx?). If using a mini cupcake pan, bake for about 14 minutes at 350F. If using a regular tin, bake for about 20 minutes until the cupcake springs back slowly when pressed. Be sure not to overbake these as it is very easy. While baking, prepare your spiced butter cream (see recipe here). Once the cupcakes are done baking remove and cool for about 20 minutes or so before frosting. Spread on about 1/2-1 tbsp of frosting and then place a candied walnut on top. Makes about 40 mini cupcakes (I’m not sure how many regular sized cupcakes- maybe 16?).


Easy Candied Walnuts


  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted


Directions: Preheat oven to 275F. Add 1 cup of walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes being careful not to burn. Remove from oven and place in a large bowl. In a medium sized pot, add all ingredients (except walnuts!) and heat over medium stirring well to blend. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low-medium to simmer. Be careful not to burn. Keep stirring the mixture for about 10 minutes until it gets thick. Once it has thickened up nicely remove immediately from stove top and pour into bowl with walnuts. Stir quickly being sure to coat all the walnuts. This is a very quick process and it is essential that you not leave the syrup mixture sitting for any amount of time (you will see why below!)

Candied walnut ingredients…


Along with 1 cup toasted walnuts…


After toasting shove a few in your mouth. Mmmmm. So good and addicting! Place in a bowl and hide the bowl from yourself or you will eat them all. I swear I am like a squirrel when around nuts…


Take your candied syrup and quickly pour onto walnuts. Stir quickly, coating all walnuts.


Do not stop to take pictures of your syrup or it will harden and it will be impossible to fully coat all the walnuts. Hence, below…


Note to self: Sometimes it is best not to snap a picture during time-sensitive issues in the kitchen!! (They still tasted great though).

Lay the walnuts on a lined baking sheet and set aside. Hide from mouth.

Bake your cupcakes!


I love mini cupcakes because you get to eat more. ;)


I made about 40 mini cupcakes I believe.

Now spread about 1 tbsp of the buttercream and top with a candied walnut!


Easy as that!


A delicious Fall-inspired birthday cupcake and a great way to change up the regular chocolate or vanilla cake.


Of course, Eric and I both had to taste test for some quality control. We both LOVED these cupcakes. The perfect combination of Fall flavours without being overpowering. The candied walnuts were key and gave the cupcake a wonderful crunch.

All wrapped up and ready for the party!

20101105-IMG_9646 20101105-IMG_9669

I bet they won’t last long…


Are you a cupcake lover? What flavours do you like? Have you ever had any interesting flavours that blew you away?

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{ 87 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda (Eating Up) November 5, 2010

I do love cupcakes! I’m so amazed at people’s creativity with flavor combinations! I really love a good banana cupcake with whipped cream frosting. Mmm.


Bridget November 5, 2010

Any cupcake with cream cheese icing is probably my favourite! Like a carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese icing…….mmmm :) Delicious!

I used to think walnuts were gross and bitter but recently I’ve given them another try and love them. Funny how things change.


lisasfoods November 5, 2010

I agree – cream cheese frosting is the best. I love it topped on carrot cake or red velvet cupcakes. The frosting really does make the (cup)cake.


Therese November 5, 2010

That’s it Angela, I think you finally killed me out of yumminess. Good going.

I’m a simple girl. I like it vanilla with a not-to-sweet plain old vanilla buttercream frosting.


Lily @ Lily's Health Pad November 5, 2010

I am a cupcake fanatic! I’ve never tried it, but Cupcake (a local cupcake bakery) has a lime poppyseed flavor I really want to try! I had a pumpkin cupcake last weekend, but it wasn’t my fave. It wasnt as smooth and silky as I’d hoped…and it had nuts! I like nuts, but I don’t think pumpkin cupcakes should have nuts in them. :-/


Leanne @ Simplicitlee November 5, 2010

I loooooove cupcakes. I may just go get some after work now!

I love that bright blue wall, I want to paint my computer room that color!


Alicia November 5, 2010

YUM! My favorite is confetti cupcakes… I had a mocha cupcake one time that totally blew me away! Thanks for the recipe :)


Jackie @ ananda prana November 5, 2010

I want to have cupcakes at my wedding instead of a regular cake, I love them so much! Those look fabulous :)


Jenna November 5, 2010

Cupcakes! I feel like they are the “it” dessert to make right now. Those look so yummy :)


Krystina (Basil & Wine) November 5, 2010

I would have to try REALLY hard not to eat the entire tray of candied walnuts.


Holly @ couchpotatoathlete November 5, 2010

Am I a cupcake lover? Could anyone really say “no” to that question?

I love cupcakes and cinnamon in just about anything is delicious to me, oh and I love candied walnuts too, so these look amazing to me!

I really like regular old white cupcakes with simple frosting!


Steph@stephsbitebybite November 5, 2010

I have got to make these! YUM!


Walnut Lovers November 5, 2010

This are perfect! They look so yummy. Thanks for sharing!


Allison @ Food For Healing November 5, 2010

i love that cake dome tray, so cute


Mi-An Dela Cruz November 5, 2010

YUMMMY!!! I SO LOVE CUPCAKES!! i’ve been making them recently since my niece has been visiting a lot and she loves them. Last one I made was Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing. But these LOOK amazing and i’m sure they taste amazing too!!! I’m gonna make them for thanksgiving! Happy Friday!


Sara November 5, 2010

Actually, the pumpkin cupcakes I made last week were the best flavored ones I’d had in a while!! It’s all about pumpkin pie spice. Sorry that your brother-in-law is twisted in the head & doesn’t like pumpkin!! ;)


Sophia November 5, 2010

I love candied walnuts! Those cupcakes look awesome, makes me want to bake. Lol

Please enter my great CSN stores giveaway:


Carolyn November 5, 2010

Oh, gracious! These look delicious! It would be a sin not to make them ASAP…! Thank you for sharing this recipe, Angela! =D


Megan @ Healthy Hoggin' November 5, 2010

“I love mini cupcakes because you get to eat more.” <– totally agree with this statement. ;) I actually LOVE making my baked treats smaller, so I can eat multiples!! If a cookie recipe calls for dropping the dough by the tablespoon, I'll do half that so I can eat two (who are we kidding, more like four!) cookies! Mini-versions are more fun, anyway!!

My favorite cake flavor of all time is moist strawberry cake with almond-buttercream frosting. Best. Combo. Ever. Sadly, not many people are fans of strawberry cake like I am, so I don't get to make it very often, either!!

Love the crunch you added on top of the cupcakes! Perfect for Fall!!


Maria @ Oh Healthy Day November 5, 2010

I love the fact that these are mini cupcakes! Sometimes a whole cupcake is just too much, but minis are perfect!

I just recently discovered the combination of peanut butter and pretzels. Just tip them right in :)


christyn @ All Ways Nutritious November 5, 2010

wow! those mini cup cakes look tasty! thats the first thing i started to bake when i was a teenager, but not from scratch. i really haven’t had a cupcake in a long time…i am due!


Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday November 5, 2010

Generally I don’t like chocolate cupcakes.
I like the sound of the buttercream and nuts in this recipe though


Wei-Wei November 5, 2010

Your cupcakes are too pretty! Maybe the walnut half should have been whole, that would have looked awesome :D


Laurab @ foodsnobstl November 5, 2010

There is not a cupcake I don’t like. Red velvet is my fav, although right now I am craving a gingerbread cupcake with cream cheese frosting. Maybe chocolate cream cheese!


Laura November 5, 2010

Is it weird I laugh everytime you write “gal” ?


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 5, 2010

I thought I was the only one! ;)


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 5, 2010

Aww these look so cute!! My Easy Bake Oven was by far my favourite childhood toy. I used to get frustrated though when my easy-baked goods didn’t turn out like the pretty ones on the box! Happy Birthday to Steve! :)


Maria @ runningcupcake November 5, 2010

Yum- they look good. Love the spiced nuts too- I might make them just to have as a snack on their own!


Jennifer @ November 5, 2010

I’m not a huge cupcake fan, but these look amazing. I’d take one of these over a slice of pie, scoop of ice cream, or hunk of chocolate any day!


Alina @ Duty Free Foodie November 5, 2010

“I almost spit out my Green Monster in horror” = awesome :)

I like cupcakes, but on my list of favorite desserts, they are beaten by several other items, including chocolate, creme brulee, and now also macaroons.


Shanna November 5, 2010

Oh no you didn’t! These sound and look so good. If I lived closer, I’d be on your doorstep!


The Blue-Eyed Bakers November 5, 2010

Look at those little lovelies! How adorable!! And how completely divinely delicious looking…! That candied walnut!? Perfection!


Dee November 5, 2010

I love cupcakes! <3 These look AMAZING!


Liz @ Blog is the New Black November 5, 2010

The candied walnuts look like the best part!!! :)


Gloria November 5, 2010

Mmmm!!! Almost a good alternative to chocolate pumpkin cake on Thanksgiving… Almost ;) No lie, I made that ED&BV Chocolate Cinnamon Cake this morning at 6am before work for my best friend’s birthday tonight. I turned it into a German Chocolate Cake with a macadamia/hazelnut/coconut icing!


sarah November 5, 2010

My favourite cupcakes would be blueberry with white chocolate. They are really colourful with a dreamy taste.


Claire (Low Impact Fashionista) November 5, 2010

Yum I’d be satisfied with the candied walnuts alone!


Maddie (Healthy Maddie) November 5, 2010

I’m not a big cupcake fan (I prefer muffins over cupcakes) but those look great. Chocolate and cinnamon sounds delicious as does your spiced buttercream frosting! Have a good weekend :)


Rachel @ Fit Fun and Fabulous November 5, 2010

I don’t really like icing so I like the cupcake’s icing-free neighbor, the muffin!


chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 5, 2010

Love cupcakes – particularly the top!


Stefanie November 5, 2010

Thsoe are cute little cupcakes. A nice glass of almond milk would complete those cupcakes. :) I like plain cupcakes (no frosting). I’m not talking just plain vanilla cupcakes though. I’m not a big fan of buttercream of any kind because it is too sweet for me. The last cupcake I had was a carrot cake cupcake and it was good. It was frosted with vegan cream cheese frosting that I thought was really sweet. I would like to try different flavor combinations. A banana cupcake with peanut butter frosting would be good.


Beth @ DiningAndDishing November 5, 2010

I totally adore cupcakes! Although I am a huge chocolate fan, for some reason I prefer a nice simple vanilla. There is something very delicate about a pure vanilla flavor :).


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