Derby Cupcakes

I incorporated chopped pecans and mini chocolate chips into a brown sugar cupcake batter. Then topped them with a fluffy cream cheese frosting with a dash of brown sugar added. To make them more like a pie, I topped them with a crumble of pie crust. I love the salty contrast it gives to the sweetness of the cupcake!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword kentucky derby, pecan pie
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 18 Large Cupcakes
Author Melissa Mortenson


  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 C packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 c buttermilk
  • 1/2 c finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 c mini chocolate chips
  • 1 t vanilla
  • garnish:
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  • mini chocolate chips
  • whole pecans
  • icing:
  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla


  • Preheat the oven to 325. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners
  • Cream butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time. Sift together flour, salt & baking powder in a separate bowl. Add half of the buttermilk to the egg/sugar mixture. Add half of the dry ingredients. Add the other half of buttermilk then the other half of the dry ingredients. Mix well. Add vanilla.
  • Mix in chocolate chips and finely chopped pecans until just combined.
  • Scoop out into cupcake liners and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • Cool.
  • Roll out refrigerated pie crust on a cookie sheet and poke with a fork several times. Cook according to package directions until just golden brown. Break into large pieces.
  • Cream together cream cheese, butter, and brown sugar. Beat until well combined. Add 1 lb of powdered sugar slowly until all is combined. Add vanilla.
  • After the cupcakes are cooled, frost (I used a star icing tip and a piping bag to frost them). 
  • Garnish with a whole pecan, mini chocolate chips, 1 large piece of pie crust. Sprinkle more crumbled pie crust on top.