Apple Spice Cupcakes
For my first official cupcake baking (and decorating) experiment, I decided to try apple spice cupcakes in honor of my favorite season’s end. Now, I must give credit where credit is due. I found an apple spice cupcake recipe on Squidoo.com that I modified slightly. In addition, I found a cupcake blog that featured apple cupcakes decorated as apples, so I stole that idea and made it my own. Thank you, Kara’s Cupcakes.
Apple Spice Cupcake Ingredients:
1 cup shredded apple (about 3 of your favorite apples—I’d stay away from Macintosh apples, as they can be too mushy. Green apples tend to be tarter and firmer. Skin or not is up to you)
2 cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
⅔ cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
¾ apple cider (or apple juice)
Red crystal sprinkles
Red cupcake wrappers
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:
½ cup margarine
½ cup shortening
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup milk
Directions for cupcakes:
– Preheat oven to 350°.
– Sift dry ingredients together.
– Cream butter and sugar until light.
– Add eggs one at a time, add vanilla.
– Alternate the flour and apple cider into the creamed mixture until well combined.
– Fold in the apple pulp.
– Line muffin tin with papers or grease.
– Pour batter into cupcake tin (about ¾ full for each cupcake).
– Bake 23 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
– Whip up the frosting.
– Let cool completely before frosting.
Directions for frosting:
– In a large bowl, cream margarine and shortening until light and fluffy.
– Add salt, vanilla, confectioners’ sugar and milk. Beat well.
Frost your cupcakes with a knife or spatula, delicately dip the tops in a bowl of red sprinkles, then garnish each of them with a mint leaf and a pretzel stick stem. Easy peasy! Nice and easy. Feel free to be creative and switch it up a bit. Go crazy and use green sprinkles, chocolate straws, and fondant leaves. The apple cupcake world is yours for the taking.
What I learned from this experience:
- Don’t slice up the apples before you shred them with a grater. I learned this lesson the hard way. I used an apple slicer, then proceeded to shred each tiny slice on the grater. After almost shredding my knuckles, I grabbed a whole apple and went to town shredding it down to the core. That was much easier and my knuckles thanked me later.
- Prep time took me about an hour overall: 15–20 minutes for the cupcakes and 5 minutes for the frosting (which you could whip up while the cupcakes are baking). Decorating took me about 30 minutes for 12 cupcakes. However, I am a perfectionist and in this case, a beginner. Do not judge me.
- Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting them. If you don’t, warmth from the cupcake will make the task of frosting more difficult because the icing will slide around on the cupcake like a greased pig in a mud pen. Avoid this pain in your arse.
- If you don’t eat them all in one sitting (blasphemy!), refrigerate the remaining cupcakes. Ya know, for the frosting.
If the apple spice cupcakes weren’t already enough, here’s another doozy—pumpkin spice cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting (recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.com). I didn’t modify anything in the cupcake recipe, but I did add a bit of Crisco® to the frosting to thicken it up. From this experience, I discovered that cream cheese frosting hates me. My first batch of frosting slid right off the sides of the cupcakes. Wah wah… As you can see from the picture, my second batch of frosting was slightly more successful.
Godspeed, cupcake bakers.