Apples Part Two

**This post is dedicated to a Miss Nip Glit who told me to get my butt posting**

The weather is changing and fall is coming upon us, so that means fall flavored cupcakes!  I debated over pumpkin, apple, and wait for it…sweet potato and decided to go with the the pumpkin cupcakes.  Super excited to do pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting, I headed to the store to pick up a few ingredients.  Well, there was no pumpkin anywhere to be found!  So sad!  After some research I found out that there’s another pumpkin shortage this year (last year the crop got flooded out) because so many pumpkins were destroyed by Irene.  First that biotch ruined my Sunday dinner when we lost electricity and now she’s messing up my cupcakes!

On to plan B…apple cupcakes!  Last year it was the caramel apple cupcakes and this year I went with apple pie a la mode.  When I was looking for the canned pumpkin, I saw some apple pie filling and decided to just go with it.  A spiced apple cake with apple pie filling and vanilla bean frosting?  Yes please!

I looked at tons of recipes to try to put this one together but there wasn’t a great spiced cake recipe to go off of so I pretty much had to work on the fly while I was making them and just make up the recipe.  It worked surprisingly well and I’d use it again for the base of another spiced cupcake.

I have to admit that I didn’t actually try the finished product but I did try the cake part and it was light, moist, and delicious.  And considering they were topped with my favorite frosting, how bad could they be??  

 Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1 can apple pie filling (divided in half and chopped into small pieces)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin with 12 liners.
  2. Beat butter until smooth and add sugar.  Beat until light and fluffy and mix in vanilla extract.
  3. Beat in eggs one at a time.  In a separate bowl, whisk together all remaining dry ingredients.
  4. Add in half of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixing until incorporated, then add in half of the water.
  5. Mix in remaining flour mixture and then water until just incorporated.
  6. Fold in half of the apple pie filling to the batter and fill 12 cupcake liners evenly.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Once the cupcakes cooled, I cut out the centers and filled them with the remaining apple pie filling.  They were frosted with my favorite swiss meringue buttercream.  Even though I didn’t try the final cupcake put together, I’m going to go out a limb and say they were pretty good because well that’s what they tell me and I like to believe it.  Plus, the actual cake part that I did try was pretty damn good, so I can only imagine that the whole thing together was good.  Plus, my Boy Cupcake stole three from the party I brought them to, so they had to be pretty good I guess.
xoxo,
~CurlyCupcake
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Carrramel Apples!

Back in the beginning of fall when the weather was good, our little group decided to take a family trip to participate in fun fall festivities.  What could be more fun on a fall day than a jumping pillow, hay ride, apple cannon, and of course a trip through a corn maze (which we pretty much cheated our way through then ended up walking out the entrance instead of the exit)? And yes, things like what is happening on the left actually happen when we have a family fun day.  What can I say?  We love jumping photos, so any excuse to make a photo into a jumping photo will work, even if it’s Susical being attacked by a giant hay spider.

Sadly, our first farm didn’t have any apple picking there.  You’d think a place that lets you shoot apples out of a compressed air cannon would have some trees, but no so my friends.  We had to make our way over to the next town to find a place to go apple picking because I of course had to make some kind of apple cupcakes.

These weren’t going to just be any cupcakes, they were going to be the perfect combination of fall flavors, like a bite of apple pie a la mode all wrapped up in the perfect little cupcake package.  So how about caramel apple cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting?  Sounded pretty good to me, so we got to work picking the perfect apples for the cupcakes (and at $15 a bag, they should be some perfect apples).

These cupcakes were amazingly similar to the base of the farmer’s market zucchini cupcakes because I wanted a really good spiced cake base for them and let’s face it, I’m not creative enough to completely come up with something myself out of the blue (well okay, I’ve done it a few times but I swear it’s a lot harder than it sounds).

Ingredients

Makes 18 cupcakes

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp. crystalized ginger chopped (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups peeled, chopped apples
  • 1/4 light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 18 caramel candies (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line 18 cupcake tins with liners.
  2. Melt butter in a medium-sized pan over medium heat.  Once melted add 2 cups of chopped apples and brown sugar.  Cook until apples are just starting to get soft (you still want them to be firm though because they will continue to cook when you bake them in the cupcakes).  Take pan off heat and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat eggs and add in oil, vanilla and zucchini.  Mix only until combined.
  4. Whisk together all dry ingredients (sugar, flour, cinnamon, pie spice, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in a separate bowl.
  5. With the mixer on medium low add in the flour mixture in three batches making sure to completely mix everything in after each addition.
  6. Fold in apple mixture to the batter until just combined and spoon in a bit of batter into each tin (until it it just almost half way filled).  Place caramel candy in the center of the tin and cover each with the remaining batter.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

So I know what you’re thinking, these sound pretty amazing, huh?  How could they possibly even need frosting?  Oh, but they do!  And nothing was going to go better on these puppies than a vanilla bean buttercream frosting.  Yes, you’ve heard right…I’m breaking out the bulk bourbon vanilla beans used to make the vanilla extract for this frosting.

I used the best Swiss Merengue buttercream frosting recipe that I have and scraped out the little black flecks from the inside of a few beans to add in.  I even broke out the homemade vanilla extract for this one to make it extra special because if I haven’t mentioned, these were for a bachelorette party.  And God was this frosting good.  You know how I always mess up this recipe?  I don’t know what my problem is but it’s completely a hit or miss for me, but thankfully this day it was a hit.  The frosting was the prefect consistency of light, buttery, vanillaness.

I have to tell you a secret though.  I imagine that the frosting went really well with the cupcakes but in all honesty I can’t give you my opinion on it because I never actually got a chance to eat a cupcake.  I had some frosting, but never combined with any cake!  I’m going to go out on a limb though and say they came out okay because no one was complaining to me about them.  I think people also really liked biting into the cupcake to have a melty little caramel surprise inside.  Now I’m going to have to do a redux so I can actually try them the second time around.

xoxo,

~CurlyCupcake