Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

This proved to be a bit of an adventure. The cupcakes were fine but I'm fairly new to the homemade frosting game so trying out caramel frosting proved difficult. But i can't do things easily. I wanted to either make some caramel frosting or something with brown sugar in it, i just felt it would go well with the cupcake.'s how it went. 

Apple Cupcakes


3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, room temperature (45g)
3/4 cup Apple Sauce, smooth (I subbed apple butter because its what I had)
1 cup Apples, diced
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 Large Egg, room temperature
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/8 tsp Salt
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy
  • Beat in the egg and vanilla extract
  • In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices together
  • Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined
  • Beat in half of the applesauce until just combined making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl
  • Combine half of the remaining flour, followed by the rest of the applesauce
  • Mix in the last of the flour and beat until just combined
  • Fold in the diced apple
  • Divide the batter among the cupcake papers, filling each till about 2/3 full
  • Bake until cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed or a toothpick comes out clean, about 18 - 20mins
  • Cool for about 10mins before removing cupcakes from pan and cooling on a wire rack

Caramel Frosting


1 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Mix the brown sugar, butter & water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. (Brown sugar should be packed so tightly in the cup that when you dump it into the saucepan it will retain its shape). Turn the heat to medium-high and melt the butter and sugar together, stirring constantly. 

Bring the mixture to a boil and continue boiling for one minute before removing it from the heat. While the mixture is still warm, add the vanilla and then stir in the powdered sugar under it reaches the frosting consistency you desire.

Sounds easy right?! NOT! 

The first try at it I didn't boil the mixture long enough and it ended up really grainy. Tasty but grainy and I couldn't use it. I tried adding water, heating it again, adding powdered sugar, etc. But in the end I ended up with super sweet caramel in a bowl. 

Take 2 went much better. 

I had just enough brown sugar to make another batch and I boiled that sucker for like 4 minutes, using a whisk to make sure it was all dissolved and not grainy. Then it was so warm I wanted to cool it down in the fridge....and it got super hard! So I heated it a bit before it went into the piping bag and all was well. It was tough to pipe tho. 

I piped it into circles but the color of the frosting made it look kinda like poo on the cupcake (sorry it did), so I opted to smooth it out with my trusty offset spatula. It made it look much more like an actual caramel apple anyway.  

I left them at room temp for the day so we could try one after dinner.

YUM! They look a little iffy but the flavor was great. The cake is super moist and the pieces of apple were tasty and perfectly cooked. The frosting really made it taste like a caramel apple. They went great together. 

Would I make it again? The cupcake yes...the frosting- if I'm feeling a bit crazy maybe, otherwise I'd make some cinnamon vanilla frosting next time. 

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