I made these cupcakes the week we went apple picking, because when you live in New England you go apple picking and eat cider donuts! I immediately needed to get to work on using up that half bushel! We have pretty much been putting apples in everything! I recommend making apple bacon Mac and cheese! Anyways this is a spiced apple cake filled with apples and topped with a maple bourbon caramel buttercream! I liked this cake because it wasn't super sweet and the caramel was not too sweet compared to other caramels, probably because of the bourbon. I also sprinkled some cinnamon sugar on top.
This recipe makes 15 cupcakes!
For spiced apple cake:
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 3/4C granulated sugar
- 3/4C applesauce
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 egg
- 1 1/2C all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
1. Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Prepare a cupcake trays.
2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix together sugars, applesauce and vegetable oil. Mix in egg and vanilla, followed by remaining ingredients. Mix just into all ingredients are combined.
3. Divide mixture among prepared liners. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted only has a few moist crumbs. Cool on a wire rack.
For apple filling:
- 1 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium apples -I used honey crisp, peeled, cored, and finely diced
- 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 tablespoon water
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add apples, sugars, lemon juice and cinnamon. Cook until apples are tender and release their juices – about 10 minutes. In a small bowl or glass, combine cornstarch and water. Add to apples and stir, cooking until thickened. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature before filling the cupcakes.
For the maple bourbon caramel:
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- Pinch of coarse salt
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp bourbon
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1.Pour the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a small saucepan and pour the water over the sugar. Heat the pan over medium-low heat. Once the edges of the sugar start to liquify, start stirring the liquid into the sugar until all of the sugar has liquified. When the liquid turns an amber color - this can happen quickly - turn the heat off and slowly pour in the cream, whisking while the mixture bubbles up rapidly.
2.Whisk in the bourbon, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Return the pan to medium-low heat for a couple of minutes, stirring to melt down any clumps that may have formed. Take the pan off the heat and allow the caramel to cool before using in the frosting.
For the buttercream:
- 2 Sticks unsalted butter; room temperature
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 1/3 cup caramel sauce
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Whip the butter for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy
- Add the confectioners sugar one cup at a time until fully incorporated
- Add the caramel sauce, vanilla, and beat for another 4-5 minutes until fluffy and it wouldn't fall out of the bowl if you tipped it upside down...try it its fun!
- Taste and add more caramel if you want
- pipe onto cupcakes and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.