Spiced Apple Mini Cupcakes

While not as disastrous as the chocolate coconut muffins I attempted a little while back, this particular effort was pretty underwhelming. The idea is solid—apples + caramel (in mini cupcake form) = it’s fall, son!—but, I think I was a little sloppy with the preparation. The cupcakes themselves were all over the place in terms of size and consistency and the frosting was oversalted.

However, they certainly make for a pretty picture. Which, all things considered, is a positive takeaway. Just need to work on refining the recipe (and/or paying closer attention) and they should taste as good as they look.

INGREDIENTS (Slightly modified from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

CUPCAKES

  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 skim cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 small apples, peeled and finely chopped (I shredded ’em. No bueno.)

SALTED CARAMEL FROSTING

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

DIRECTIONS

CUPCAKES

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 4 x 6 mini muffin tin with your favorite decorative liner.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, whisk together baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and flour.
  3. Beat together butter and sugars until smooth. I used my stand-up mixer because I am lazy and it makes everything easier.
  4. Add eggs. one at a time, until completely incorporated into mixture.
  5. Add milk and vanilla extra until completely combined.
  6. Fold in flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
  7. Fold in apples until batter, making sure they’re completely incorporated. I’m pretty sure I failed to do this.
  8. Portion batter in prepared muffin tin and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.
  9. Once finished (do the ol’ toothpick insert thing), remove from oven and allow to completely cool on a wire rack.

FROSTING

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add cream and sugar, stirring constantly until completely dissolved.
  3. Add salt and continue cooking for 2 – 3 minutes (mixture will thicken). DO NOT OVERCOOK OR USE TOO MUCH SALT.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  5. Using a hand mixer, add powdered sugar until desired consistency.
  6. Put that your frosting in a piping bag create decorate cupcakes that taste better than they look.
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