Sunday, October 9, 2011

Apple Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

Another seasonal cupcake for you.























If you follow me on facebook then you know I was making cakes for a friend's wedding yesterday.  one of the flavors she chose was Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.  This is the cupcake I served her when I had her over for a tasting.  I love these cupcakes with both the Caramel Buttercream and Cream Cheese Frosting.  The Caramel Buttercream is rich and sweet and the Cream Cheese Frosting is smooth and tangy.  If those two frostings aren't enough for you, perhaps try Peanut Butter Frosting.  I have to admit that I never actually thought to pair this Apple Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting, but it makes perfect sense.  I had another set of friends over for a cake tasting and the Apple Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting (which was their idea) ended up being their favorite.  Just reminds me sometimes I need to open my eyes a little wider.  Either way, this is a delicious cake that should definitely be included in your Fall recipes.

I have included the recipe to the Caramel Buttercream below.  Here are links to my Cream Cheese Frosting and Peanut Butter Frosting

Apple Cupcakes
recipe from Baked Perfection

makes 24 cupcakes

3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated apples**
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease or line a 12 cup muffin pan.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and sugars until creamy. Beat in the the orange juice, vanilla, and vegetable oil. Slowly add the flour mixture, mix until just combined. Stir in the grated apples. Bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Cool completely before frosting.

**Bakers Note - I prefer to use a mix of sweet and sour apples.  For my latest batch I used a mix of Granny Smith and Macintosh.

Caramel Buttercream
recipe slightly adapted from Martha Stewart


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
4 large egg whites, room temperature
2 teaspoons  vanilla extract

Bring 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar and the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Wash sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until caramel is dark amber. Immediately remove from heat, and slowly add cream, salt, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth. Let cool.

Beat butter with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

Place whites and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Remove from heat, and attach bowl to a mixer. Whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and add beaten butter, cup at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in vanilla.   Switch to paddle attachment. With mixer on low speed, add caramel, and beat until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.

**Bakers Note -  When I made the caramel I doubled the recipe and used the leftover to drizzle caramel over the cupcakes.  You will still have some leftover which is great on ice cream!