1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and shortening until ribbon like. Turn mixer to low, stream in the maple syrup. Increase speed to medium-high, beat until mixture is uniform in color, about 3 minutes.
4. Add egg yolks and egg, one at a time, beat until just incorporated. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl. Add half flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated. Stream in buttermilk. Stop the mixer, add rest of flour, then turn mixer on until just combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
5. Fill prepared cupcake pan about three-quarters full. Bake cupcakes for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time, until a toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. These cupcakes take longer to bake than traditional cupcakes due to the maple syrup.
6. Allow cupcakes to cool for 15 minutes in pan, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
7. Make cream cheese maple frosting
8. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat softened butter until completely smooth. Add cream cheese, beat until combined.
9. Add sugar and maple syrup and beat until smooth. Be careful not to overbeat the frosting or it will lose structure.
10. Assemble cupcakes
11. Fit pastry bag with largest tip, fill bag with frosting, and pipe enough to cover cupcake in big mound. You can also use offset spatula to frost cupcakes.
12. Top with French toast flakes (recipe below) and pipette of maple syrup, as in photo. Dust with cinnamon.
Directions for French Toast Flakes
1. Heat oven to 400˚.
2. Beat egg with vanilla.
3. Roll out puff pastry into 12-inch square.
4. Brush pastry with egg, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.
5. Cut into squares (any size), place on baking sheet.
6. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
7. Remove to wire rack, let cool before using to top maple cupcakes.