Fall is here which means my trend of fall-themed baked goods will continue!! My family went to an apple orchard in Elkhorn, WI called the Apple Barn and got a bunch of Honey Crisp apples (my favorite!!). I wanted to make something for a preceptor who kind enough to be a reference for my current job and given her love of cupcakes, I decided there was no better way to thank her than with cupcakes. With fresh apples in tote, the only logical next step was to make an apple cupcake…and then top it with caramel and peanuts! It quickly became a fall-inspired dessert!
This cake took a little bit of work, but ended up really well in the end. I originally grated the apples, but decided afterwards that the texture was too much like a muffin–so I decided to finely chop them up (could easily do this in a food processor). The original cupcake had a TON of spice in it, but I thought that it took away from the apple flavor a bit, so I toned that down as well. Caramel buttercream was courtesy of Martha Stewart–I can’t get enough of the recipes in her Cupcakes cookbook!! Here’s the recipe (minus the buttercream–don’t want to get in trouble for posting that one 🙂 )
Spiced Apple Cupcake
Makes 18 cupcakes
2-3 Honey Crisp apples–finely chopped (include the juice!)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2.5 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp ground ginger
3/4 cup canola oil
1 tbsp vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners. Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices in a medium-sized bowl. In a larger bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, and vanilla until well incorporated. Then add the brown sugar and mix until combined. Add the apples.
2) Add the drys into the wets and mix until just combined. Fill the cupcake liners until 3/4 full. Bake for 18-19 minutes. Cool and top with caramel buttercream and chopped peanuts.
Sorry for the lack of posts for a while! Life kind of got in the way of baking–I’ve had some pretty big changes in my life lately, but everything has worked out for the best. I got my first RD job as a WIC Nutritionist at the site I interned at during my Dietetic Internship. Woot! Ok enough about me…let’s get to the cupcakes…
These cupcakes were made for my dad’s work–they are having a luncheon where the employees need to bring an “international side dish” of sorts. His coworkers requested that I make something for their lunch and so I agreed to make something for them. The result=lemon cupcakes with a prickly pear buttercream frosting. Sounds weird right? Trust me, they are delicious! The inspiration for this dish came from some prickly pear lemonade I made a year ago– saw some prickly pears at the grocery store and wanted to make something with them.
I used Martha Stewart’s Lemon Cupcake recipe from her beautiful cupcake cookbook. I also used her swiss meringue buttercream recipe (I think I prefer Italian buttercreams) BUT the prickly pear part is all mine. So onto the prickly pear part…
These are prickly pears–they are part of the cactus plant! Get yourself 7 of these guys. You can probably find them at ethnic grocery stores.
Grab a cutting board that won’t stain and maybe wear an apron–this stuff can stain pretty badly. Cut off the ends and slice down the side of each pod.
Peel the peel off of the bud. It’ll come off really easily.
Throw them in a blender and blend until completely smooth (give it a few minutes).
Grab a fine sieve and strain the juice. You’ll notice a bunch of small blackish seeds. Discard them.
Pour the juice into a small pan and add ~3 tablespoons sugar. Reduce it until it gets syrupy.
It’ll look somewhat like this. Cool it off and add it to the frosting with the vanilla!
Top the lemon cupcakes with that delicious frosting that you made and enjoy! I shared my trial batch with a bunch of friends in Wisconsin and they went over really well. Luncheon is tomorrow so I’ll find out tomorrow how his coworkers like the actual batch!