apple cupcakes + caramel

Apple Cupcakes with Caramel Sauce

November, already?! 2010 has just flown by. This week marks the anniversary of my admission to the IL Bar, 10 months of my engagement to Dave and the first week that I wished I had tucked gloves into the pocket of my fleece.

Leaves, Engagement
Photo by Steve Koo, my super awesome wedding photographer.

Its time for crunchy leaves, cozy Uggs, “falling back”, the occasional egg nog chai tea latte and apples.

Apple Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

Especially, these Apple Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream. I converted a cake recipe from the super awesome second cookbook from the Baked fellas, that I was sent to review from the publisher. I may or may not have squealed with delight when they sent the email asking if I would like a copy. This book includes classic desserts with just a little Baked tweak. I can’t wait to try the Nutella Scones, Baked Cheese Grits, Double-Chocolate Loaf with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread, Orange Creamsicle Tart, and even the Tomato Soup Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting.

Apple Cupcakes

Apple Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream
Recipe adapted from Baked Explorations

The apple cupcakes are just at that fine line between muffin and cupcake because they are not too sweet but just incredibly moist and delicious.

Makes approx. 3 dozen cupcakes

For the apple cake:
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
4 cups applesauce (homemade is better but I used store-bought with success)

Caramel Buttercream {I will admit that I had problems with my buttercream being too runny, probably because my butter got too warm, but just ended up using the caramel sauce at a topping.}

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons Classic Caramel Sauce (recipe below)

Make the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 325F. Place cupcake liners in a muffin tin. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and clovers together in a large bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy, about 4 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined.

Add the flour mixture to the mixer bowl in three parts, alternating with the applesauce, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape bowl the bowl, then mix just a little more to make sure all the flour is mixed in.

Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake for 22-25 mins until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

Make the buttercream:
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the flour and sugar together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter and vanilla; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy.

And 1/2 cup of the caramel (recipe below) and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, put the bowl in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then beat again until it is the proper consistency (which hopefully happens for you).

Classic Caramel Sauce
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, softened, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Yield: About 2 cups

In a medium saucepan with high sides, combine the sugar and corn syrup with 1/2 cup water. Stir the mixture gently so you don’t slosh any of it up the sides of the pan. Turn the heat to medium-high and continue stirring until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high, stop stirring, and allow the mixture to boil. Once it begins to turn a rich caramel color (or 300F on the candy thermometer), remove it from the heat, add the butter and cream, and stir until combined.

The caramel sauce, tightly covered, in the refrigerator, for up to 1 week (or maybe even longer). Its really good on ice cream.

Top the cupcakes with either the buttercream, if the consistency worked for you, or just drizzle some caramel sauce on top, also quite delicious.

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One response to “apple cupcakes + caramel

  1. Any time the words cupcake, apple, buttercream, and caramel appear in the same sentence, you know good things are forthcoming.

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