I'm not sure I can give a fair critique of these cupcakes. The cupcake itself is very moist and tender, and I thought that the walnuts added some terrific taste and texture (I was also pleasantly surprised that the walnuts remained evenly distributed through the cupcakes and didn't just sink to the bottom, given how thin the batter was). The frosting is fabulous.
The thing is, I didn't love the maple flavor of the cupcake. I enjoy a little maple syrup on pancakes and waffles as much as the next person, but I like my maple syrup in moderation; I have never been a fan of those leaf-shaped maple candies that are made from boiled down maple syrup. These cupcakes are pretty darn maple-y. The upside to that is that tasters who really like maple loved the cupcakes. As for me and Tom, not so much. But I can definitely appreciate that this is a good maple cupcake.
Recipe: "Maple Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting," from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.