pecan upside-down cupcakes

procrastinating: feeling glum.

prep time: 45 minutes

bake time: 25 minutes

cleanup time: 15 minutes

time spent procrastibaking: 90 minutes

hey there, procrastibakers. i’m having one of those days where things are just not working out as much as i’d like them to. i spent the morning applying for jobs (and if last week was any indication, even getting a response would be miraculous); i am running precariously low on funds, even for a grad student; relationships and friendships are shifting and changing– basically, i’m in some sticky situations.

in reality, that’s not so fun, but it HAS served as the inspiration for today’s procrastibaking: sticky pecan upside-down cupcakes. sweet pecan glaze bubbles over the top and sides of these cupcakes, making each bite delectable. nutty, sticky– sounds about right. let’s get going!



  1. muffin tin (preferably an extra large one)
  2. medium saucepan
  3. large mixing bowl
  4. small mixing bowl
  5. spoons for stirring
  6. 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  7. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  8. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  10. 1 large egg
  11. 1 egg yolk
  12. 1 cup sugar
  13. 1/2 cup corn/canola oil
  14. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  15. 1/2 cup sour cream
  16. 1 1/2 cup (aka, 6 oz) pecans, coarsely chopped


  1. 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  2. 5 tablespoons honey
  3. 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

step one. preheat your oven at 350 degrees F. prep your muffin tin by spraying with non-stick cooking spray (Pam, Bakers Joy, whatever) and fit each of the little spots with a small circle of wax paper. this’ll help when the gooey pecan goodness wants to bubble all over your cupcakes. once you’ve lined each of the spots, hit em again with the non-stick spray (maybe you’re like me and have no wax paper laying around… you can use little cupcake liners– just flatten and refold so they only fit the bottom of the tin as pictured!).

step two. let’s make the topping! add all three ingredients (butter, brown sugar, honey) to your medium saucepan and heat on medium, stirring constantly until the butter/brown sugar melt completely. once it’s smooth, remove from heat and set it aside. lookin good already!

step three. in your medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

step four. in your large mixing bowl, combine your egg, egg yolk, and sugar, and beat until it’s an ecru color and thick– which should take about two minutes if you’ve got a fun electric mixer or triceps of steel, and a little longer for the rest of us. once that’s all blended, slowly add the oil and vanilla, and blend completely. finally, mix the sour cream in and blend completely.

step five. consolidate your dry and wet ingredients in the large mixing bowl until the batter is smooth. it should be fairly thick.

step six. take the brown sugar topping we made in the beginning and scoop two heaping spoonfuls into each muffin tin. it should nearly fill the cupcake-liner we placed at the bottom.

step seven. on top of the brown sugar topping, sprinkle a small handful of the pecans so that the topping is mostly covered with nuts.

step eight. scoop two generous spoonfuls of batter on top of the pecans. this is why if you have an extra-large muffin tin, it’ll come in handy– the batter should just reach the top of the pan. toss these in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick/knife inserted into the cupcake comes out clean (for reference, only test the cupcake part, because the sticky topping will get on your toothpick if you insert it too far, and then you run the risk of overcooking your cupcakes!).

step nine. once the cupcakes have been removed from the oven, place the tin on a wire rack to cool for two minutes. then, use a small knife to loosen the cupcakes from the sides of the pan. once they’re all loose, take your wire rack and place it on top of the pan. being careful not to burn yourself, invert the pan so the wire rack is now on the bottom, and the tin is overturned. remove the paper circles and replace any pecans that might have come loose.

on paper, this recipe seems awesome, and should work out perfectly. but for me… eh. not so much. i don’t know exactly why it didn’t go exactly according to plan– i did get a little distracted at the end when it came time to loosen and remove the cupcakes from the tin, so maybe it was that– but in any case, sometimes recipes just fall flat. they don’t always work all the time– even when you hope that they will.

sometimes it just doesn't work out.

so, we spent 90 minutes on this recipe, and it’s laying in a heap of crumbs on our kitchen counter (hopefully, yours are intact!). we could cry over spilled cupcakes, but hey– we had fun making them. and in the meantime, the crumbs are still scrumptious.

here’s hoping that tomorrow’s more successful– and more delicious!


Filed under 90 Minute Recipe, cupcakes, fail!

2 responses to “pecan upside-down cupcakes

  1. That is sometimes the way the cupcake crumbles, dear procrasty. Fail not to see the beauty in the sweet aroma which wafts over the crummy ruins; and if you can’t hold the cupcake together, at least you can salve your soul with the sweet debris of your valiant effort.

    Surf on into the Light my child,

    Reverend Buddy Lee

  2. floopeygirl

    Just saw this delightfully sinful treat. And somehow, the fact they were crumbly, just makes them all that much more enticing. It’s like when you feel the walls are falling down around us, somehow it seems appropriate that so to should our very special procrastibaked baked goodie do the same.

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