Apple Spice CupcakesPosted: 12 October 2011
Sometimes you make cupcakes intentionally to make a pretty dessert. There’s nothing wrong with this. Cupcakes are, in their natural state, adorable. They’re wee cakes. Little baby cakes. These words bring to mind cute little babies and tiny little desserts. Cute as a button, right? Right.
But sometimes you want a cupcake that is really, really good. Not just the filling and the frosting, but the cake itself. When I want to make the boys in my family happy, I make the crack cakes. That would be, the Grown-Up Hostess Cupcakes, full of dark chocolate, rich cake and cream cheese. Not everybody loves that crazy rich chocolaty treat though. Sometimes you need a break from chocolate. I know. The ad campaign of Dove Chocolates is cringing as I say it but not all indulgences need to be chocolate based. Sometimes you want a cute little cupcake that isn’t terribly frilly but tastes really good. Perhaps even one that fits with the season.
Since I still have several pounds of apples in my kitchen, just waiting to be peeled, chopped and baked into a number of delicious treats, my mind obviously jumped to cupcakes. Apples and cupcakes go hand in hand, no? Actually I think the apple cupcake seed was planted by a recent trip to Starbucks where I saw their pudgy, plump pumpkin muffins. You know, the golden cakes that are filled with cream cheese and have no frosting so they’re technically a muffin? Yeah. Those. I saw those. I’ve been on a cupcake mission ever since.
Don’t think one of those pudgy little buggers won’t find it’s way into my grubby little hand soon. It totally will. Still. I wasn’t quite ready to usher in the season of pumpkin eating. I like to cling to summer..and early fall as much as humanely possible. Apples for another month, at least. Then we can move on to pumpkins. I will undoubtedly give in to the pumpkin-mania and start whipping up desserts as orange as my handbag. (Trust me, it’s orange.)
For now we have these apple and cinnamon spice cupcakes. Apple cake topped with cinnamon buttercream frosting. Simple enough to make. Complex enough in flavor to delight my tastebuds. That’s really all I’m looking for. The cake is dense but not dry and not too heavy. The frosting is light and sweet. All in all, a pretty perfect cupcake for enjoying on a picnic amongst the changing leaves. Or just at your cubicle on a Wednesday.
Apple Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
makes 24 cupcakes
for the cupcakes
3/4 cup oil
3 cups chopped apples (about 6 apples)
1/2 large lemon
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup milk
Peel, core and chop the apples using a hand chopper or a food processor. Squeeze half of a large lemon over the chopped apples and toss until coated.
In a separate, large bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, oil, milk and vanilla.
Add in the apples and stir until combined.
Mix in the flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Stir until just incorporated. The batter will be lumpy.
Pour into lined cupcake pans and bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Using a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add one cup of powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and cinnamon and beat until smooth. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing completely. Scrape the sides of the bowl with spatula.
Once the cupcakes are completely cool, decorate with frosting. Store in an airtight container. Freeze for longer storage.