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

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on November 5, 2010


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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{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda (Eating Up) November 5, 2010 at 11:14 am

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 at 11:17 am

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 at 1:57 pm

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 at 11:19 am

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 at 11:21 am

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 at 11:24 am

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 at 11:25 am

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 at 11:26 am

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 at 11:27 am

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


Krystina (Basil & Wine) November 5, 2010 at 11:30 am

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


Holly @ couchpotatoathlete November 5, 2010 at 11:31 am

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!


[email protected] November 5, 2010 at 11:39 am

I have got to make these! YUM!


Walnut Lovers November 5, 2010 at 11:43 am

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


Allison @ Food For Healing November 5, 2010 at 11:46 am

i love that cake dome tray, so cute


Mi-An Dela Cruz November 5, 2010 at 11:49 am

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 at 11:53 am

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 at 11:56 am

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 at 11:57 am

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 at 12:01 pm

“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 at 12:01 pm

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 at 12:06 pm

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 at 12:08 pm

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 at 12:13 pm

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


Laurab @ foodsnobstl November 5, 2010 at 12:19 pm

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 at 12:27 pm

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


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 5, 2010 at 8:09 pm

I thought I was the only one! ;)


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm

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 at 12:30 pm

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 at 12:31 pm

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 at 12:43 pm

“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 at 12:44 pm

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 at 12:45 pm

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


Dee November 5, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I love cupcakes! <3 These look AMAZING!


Liz @ Blog is the New Black November 5, 2010 at 1:10 pm

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


Gloria November 5, 2010 at 1:19 pm

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 at 1:38 pm

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


Claire (Low Impact Fashionista) November 5, 2010 at 1:56 pm

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


Maddie (Healthy Maddie) November 5, 2010 at 2:17 pm

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 at 2:25 pm

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


chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 5, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Love cupcakes – particularly the top!


Stefanie November 5, 2010 at 2:30 pm

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 at 2:32 pm

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 :).


Beth November 5, 2010 at 2:32 pm

What gorgeous photos! Your cupcakes look wonderful!


Melissa November 5, 2010 at 2:43 pm

” I swear I am like a squirrel when around nuts…” Same goes for me… too funny!
Pre-vegan, I loved the German Roasted Pecans that you could get at the mall during Christmas-time… Your candied walnuts seem very reminiscent!
The cupcakes sound so yummy… can’t wait to make them!

Did you watch The Office last night? It was so funny!


Melissa November 5, 2010 at 5:08 pm

I just made candied nuts… I didn’t have any walnuts, so I used pecans, brazil nuts, and cashews and they are soooo good! No need for any cupcakes, here! They do taste just like the ones from the mall, but better, because I know they’re actually healthy!


Kate November 5, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Holy moly…. I need these! I wish like crazy I had my own kitchen.


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is November 5, 2010 at 2:46 pm



Madeleine November 5, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Interesting that balsamic vinegar is an ingredient in the batter… I want one!!!!!


Alex November 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Thank you so much for the trick of candied walnuts! I’m going to make candied pecans this weekend to go with my date muffins!


Clare @ Fitting It All In November 5, 2010 at 3:08 pm

I saw the photo at the top of the post and was sold. My co worker just walked in with a tray of mini cupcakes too! It’s mean to be…gotta try these!


Nichole November 5, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Angela you are the QUEEN of vegan deserts. OMGEE yumminess overload!! hahaaa


Olya November 5, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Those look gorgeous! (I have a feeling your house has desserts in every corner of it :) Unless you have an oversized freezer, or you and Eric work really hard to eat all of them)
I sometimes wish there was such think as vegan sugar-free frostings. I love frostings but the amount of sugar they require make my teeth ache :)


[email protected] November 5, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I love cupcakes!! Yours look so yummy and cute.


Amber K November 5, 2010 at 3:42 pm

I used to! I haven’t tried any good gluten-free ones. GF baked goods are definitely different!


Halley (Blunder Construction) November 5, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Maybe someday you could get into the home air freshener business. I think you could just capture the smells in your kitchen over the course of a week, and have an unbelievable line of scents! Home Candles by Oh She Glows…. it works!


Lauren M. November 5, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Oh Goodness. I’m drooling. I’ve been in Europe for a week and half and I’m missing my healthy homemade sweets! But I’m not complaining because gelato and macarons are fabulous!


stacey-healthylife November 5, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Those are so cute I love mini things.


Camille November 5, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Who hates pumpkin!? Oh the humanity!


Hannah (Running In Freedom) November 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm

These look DELICIOUS! Definitely going to try them out on my family over the Holidays.


Candice @ChiaSeedMe November 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm

These look amazing! And I love the color scheme of your pictures:)

I absolutely love cupcakes. Recently I had one that was pumpkin spice with fennel, and it was amazing!! Best cupcake I’ve ever had:)


Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) November 5, 2010 at 5:34 pm

I so wish I could bake like you ! I love the candied walnut on top. Such a nice crunch on top!!


Little Aspects November 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Mmm, they look delicious! I’m a fan of the plain vanilla cupcake. For our wedding, instead of a cake, we had a tower of cupcakes – they looked and tasted amazing! And since we had a breakfast wedding, they were perfect as “morning tea” with a cup of coffee for our guests :)

PS – made a variation of your banana apricot oatmeal cookies yesterday (substituted pumpkin for extra banana and apricots for walnuts) – they were so good! My husband ate three in a row!


sarahnotsoplainandtall November 5, 2010 at 5:50 pm

mmmmm my mouth is watering!!! I will be making these when I go home for Thanksgiving!!
Thanks again for the Blogging Tips…Im up on Twitter now @healthymodel
I’ve already added you!



Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin November 5, 2010 at 6:08 pm

These look far better than anything I ever made in my easy bake oven. ;)

I’m a fan of just good ol’ chocolate cupcakes!


monicanelsonfitness November 5, 2010 at 6:16 pm

what I would give for one right now with my coffee.:) Do I love cupcakes? YES. What flavor? THIS ONE! :)


Chelsea November 5, 2010 at 6:51 pm

These cupcakes are on my counter waiting to cool for the icing!!! This looks like such a good recipe and I really wanted to try something sweet and new so thanks for the great idea!!!


Allie (Nutty FlexitALLIEan) November 5, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Yayyy mini treats :-)


Nicole @bodybybeer November 5, 2010 at 9:04 pm

I LOVE your covered display-plate-thingie! I’m putting that on my X-mas list/ wedding registry.


Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather November 5, 2010 at 9:43 pm

I do love me some cupcakes!! These look wonderful and the flavor combo – I can’t turn down chocolate and cinnamon, no way.


Jenny November 5, 2010 at 9:52 pm

yum yum!


Pam landy November 5, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Have you heard of Sprinkle? The store that just sells cupcakes. Their peanut butter chocolate chip cupcake with peanut butter frosting is AMAZING!


[email protected] November 5, 2010 at 10:46 pm

I am such a cupcake lover!!!! My favorite is red velvet or anything involving PB and Chocolate!!!


Faith @ lovelyascharged November 6, 2010 at 12:44 am

Holy crap…maple + nuts + chocolate…in vegan cupcake form? YES. Please.


Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) November 6, 2010 at 1:37 am

Oh these look divine…and ironically i JUST posted about 5 mins ago with a table of foodbuzz cupcakes that they had waiting for us here tonite.

And also pics of all the ladies I met tonite.

It was a great night, but of course, I wish you were here too :) Totally missed seeing you! There’s was lots of wine. Good thing, b/c they were very limited on their vegan food choices, but nothing a lil wine couldnt make up for :)


Rebecca November 6, 2010 at 3:21 am

Those cupcakes look awesome, they look so dark, rich and chocolatey (is that even a word hahaha ).
I like cupcakes, there is a place where I live that makes Vegan Cupcakes in all different varieties, they are awesome, you can’t even tell they are vegan.


Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes November 6, 2010 at 3:39 am

I’m a big coconut cupcake fan. Your cupcakes look yummy!


Amy November 6, 2010 at 4:32 am

I love cupcakes! I would love to try baking red velvet ones.


Marathon Bound Gal aka Grace November 6, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Wow, those look amazing. I would like to see some pumpkin cupcakes, that sounds good. :0) I love chocolate cupcakes always!


Kareen November 6, 2010 at 9:13 pm

I just made the Cinnamon Chocolate Cupcakes and they were fantastic!!! I didn’t have the necessary ingredients for the icing, but even without and just topped with (store bought) candied pecans they were great.


Leah @ Simply Fabulous November 9, 2010 at 11:57 am

What would be the best mixer to use for the butter cream frosting? A Kitchen Aid? Or?


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 9, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Any mixer would do! :)


Melissa November 9, 2010 at 5:29 pm

I couldn’t resist!! I made these on Saturday night for a dinner I made for friends. These were REALLY great. They were even devoured by their two year old son!! Thanks for sharing and making my dinner fabulous:)


CathyQ November 14, 2010 at 1:26 pm


I made these on Friday and OMG they are sooooo good! I found the batter wasn’t very sweet, I know you’ve taken an edge off your sweet tooth lately, but with the icing and the candied walnuts, they are delish! I had to take pictures and send to my friend in Miami to convince her to make some too.



paula November 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Yes PLEASE!!! can’t wait to make this scrumptous dessert.

oh my, i love your blog! i can’t believe i just found it. i feel like i’ve been living under a rock all these years! my husband and i are vegetarians and having access to your recipes will make it so easy and fun to go vegan! :))) thank you for sharing your talents! i am gonna explore the heck outta your website!


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 12, 2012 at 7:53 am

It’s a pleasure to meet you Paula! Thanks for reading :)


Vegan Radhika Sarohia February 23, 2013 at 11:22 pm

I love love love vegan cupcakes!
Unfortunately I’m on a low carb diet these days, so cupcakes are not exactly on the menu haha
But when I used to have them, I loved vanilla flavor cupcakes with strawberry or white frosting omg so delicious
These chocolate ones here look SO delicious. The vegan buttercream frosting looks amazing too, I could stare at these photos all day:D


Ish Reihana September 3, 2014 at 8:44 pm

I’ve tried your recipe today and have found it hard only due to the conversion of 1/8 ext….being a learner cook……..but i also found that once you cooked mini it was 1/2 the time if you are cooking fan forced……perhaps you need to mention that in your cooking instructions…..and also if you are trying this recipe for the first time to check your walnut recipe to your liking… i pulled mine out 1/2 the time due to my induction cook top capabilities and achieved exactly what you mentioned…..

Not picking but thought it would be good feedback……..great recipe… it…….especially if you have no eggs but crave a cupcake……


Jacqueline November 18, 2018 at 11:10 pm

The buttercream is an unreal combination with the chocolate cake, so good!
Can’t wait to make these again!


Anna Trombetta May 1, 2019 at 1:35 am

This sounds so yum! Do you think it would be possible to make a cake instead of cupcakes without changing much of the recipe? I assume bake time would change to accommodate the thicker cake…


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