The title sounds like it should be accompanied by some drool-inspiring photos, but alas, I am going to disappoint you today with this particular post. Or maybe half of this post. The cupcakes turned out, but the frosting did not. I will share pictures because I have no shame and, as with most things, my mistakes could help others not do the same thing.
So the recipe I was using for the cupcakes provides for a peppermint frosting. It always turns out awesome and I highly recommend it, although my cupcakes have never turned out looking like those in the picture accompanying the recipe. But today I thought I would try out this other recipe that I have for maple frosting because first, it was easier (I had just burned my hand, so didn't really want a complicated icing), and I've done the peppermint icing a few times before and thought it was time for something new.
The cupcakes turned out beautifully. The recipe requires 1/2 a cup of buttermilk, which I really think is some sort of magical secret ingredient in baking. If a recipe requires buttermilk, you know it's going to be delicious. So here's how they looked before frosting:
So after the cupcakes had cooled, I made the maple frosting. The only ingredients were 1 1/2 cups of icing sugar, 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp maple syrup. The instructions were to blend together the maple syrup and the softened butter, then add the icing sugar. When the icing sugar was added, however, the mixture was very dry, not holding together, just crumbs. So I added another tablespoon of maple syrup and it seemed to come together adequately and had the consistency of shortbread before baking. For the avid bakers out there, you will probably be able to tell just from that description that my icing was destined not to work out. Well, here's how they looked once I managed to get the frosting on them: