Thursday, 24 November 2011

Cupcakes A to Z: Apple Pie Cupcakes

They say there is nothing as American as apple pie.  And even though I'm a Canadian, I still love apple pie. 

The same day as the Lobster Soup, I made Apple Pie Cupcakes.  And I couldn't decide so I made two versions.

Let me start by saying that I HATE peeling apples.  Especially after I proceeding to ram a serrated paring knife into my palm, which was really fun by the way.  If, in the future, I'm ever making apple pie and applesauce in large quantities, I'm totally getting one of those do-hickeys that you stick the apple on a skewer and turn a handle and there's a little peeler thingy.  Totally getting one of those.

Apple Peeler - Gardening
Yeah - one of these.  I love tools.  Especially funky ones that have only one use.  But maybe one that peels only.
My Dad says that "it's not a project until someone bleeds".  Yeah - I bled for these cupcakes - that's how committed I am people.  I'm seriously not messing around here.


So the first version is a cupcake with cinnamon in it, cooked apples baked onto the top, and a cinnamon buttercream.

The second version is a vanilla cupcake with cooked apples in a cut-out and a vanilla buttercream.  I was really excited about this one because it was my very first "cored" cupcake.

I started out by doing both sets of apples so they'd be just ready to go as soon as the cupcake were.

Peeled and blood free.

Apples for Version 1
Apples for Version 2

All the junk for Version 1.  Um.  I kinda noticed that the yolks were two different colors.  I'm sure they're fine.  But that's weird right?  I'm not the only one thinking that?
 During the first version of these cupcakes, I accidentally sifted the sugar with the flour and the cinnamon.  I knew something was weird, but didn't discover what I'd done until I put the butter in the mixer.  Oops.  And it totally didn't help that my Mom called and I was busy talking to her instead of paying attention to what I was doing.  After I stuck the cupcakes in the oven I turned around and realized I forgot to put the apples on top.  But the cupcakes had only been in for like 30 seconds, so I ripped them out and topped them with the apples and put them back in.

Rescued from the oven and properly topped.

The recipe says to bake at 325F for 15-20 minutes, but they were in for quite a bit longer than that (like 25 minutes or so), and I'm slightly concerned that there's one floating around that's not totally cooked.  Gak.

Version 1 "baked"

Then top with a smooth and decadent cinnamon buttercream.  I kind of loved the cinnamon buttercream.  It tasted great, but the little flecks of cinnamon upped the cute quotient a whole bunch.

See the cinnamon speckles?  Cute right?

I did think that the cupcake was a little dry - but that's to be expected because it was in the oven for so freaking long.  And the frosting kind of slid around on the apples when I bit into them so I had to be a little careful to not drop it all over myself.

In the second version, you bake a vanilla cupcake and then cut a core out of it.
All the fixin's to make Version 2.  At least those two egg yolks are the same color.  Freak out factor is much smaller.

After the cupcakes are cored, you fill those empty wells with apples that were cooked in cinnamon and sugar.

Coring the cupcakes.  That's the dirty rotten scoundrel knife that "got" me earlier.  I'm keeping my eyes on that one.
All the cupcakes cored and filled.

Then you top with a vanilla buttercream.  I wanted to hide the apples so it was kind of like getting a little surprise!

What's with the weird lighting in this picture?  Oh well - here's a yummy treat.  Try not to jam it down your throat all at once.

And it was really delicious - you got all the lovely vanilla and the you got the burst of apple and cinnamon.  Yum, yum, yum.

So I was wondering, what if I put the cinnamon frosting on the version two cupcake?  But, I do think it might be a little too much cinnamon.

I guess if I had to choose, I would choose version two.

Once I had an apple pie that had maple syrup baked into the crust.  It was dang delightful.  I bet the apple filling would be awesome baked into a maple cupcake and topped with vanilla frosting.

Oh - and just so you know.  Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 was SO FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!

This is the Cane Girl - signing off.

Apple Pie Cupcakes
This is the one I chose
For the cupcakes:
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk

For the apple filling:
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 - 3 teaspoon sugar
3 large Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and diced

For the frosting:
20 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoon heavy cream

To make the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. 
  5. Add the vanilla extract and mix well to combine.
  6. Add in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Stir until just combined.
  7. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 to 3/4 full.
  8. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 to 22 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes.  Remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the apple filling:
  1. Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the cinnamon and sugar and cook for a minute, until the mixture begins to bubble.
  3. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the apples.  Mix well.
  4. Cook until the apples are somewhat tender, about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool.
To make the buttercream:
  1. In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.
  2. Add icing sugar and salt, beat at medium low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds.  Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds.
  3. Scrape the bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds.  Then increase the speed to medium-high heat and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice.
  1. Use the cone method to remove a chuck from the center of each cupcake, making sure to leave a rim around the tops.
  2. Fill the holes with the cooled apple mixture.
  3. Top with a swirl of vanilla buttercream.
Apple Pie Cupcakes
This one is perfectly fine as well - the only complaint I had was that it was hard to tell when they were finished baking.
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoon baing powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 ounces (2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon or orange zest
1 cup whole milk

For the apple topping:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

Cinnamon Frosting:
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

To cook the apples:
  1. Melt butter and sugar in a large frying pan over medium-low heat.  Stir to dissolve sugar. 
  2. Add apple slices and cook for 8 - 10 minutes or until apples are lightly caramelized.  Remove apples from pan and let cool completely.
To make the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  5. Beat in the vanilla and grated zest.
  6. On low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until flour is barely incorporated.  Add the milk and mix until just smooth.
  7. Divide the batter among the cupcakes liners, filling each about 2/3 full.
  8. Top with the apples.
  9. Bake about 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pan for about 5 minutes and remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Frost with cinnamon frosting.
To make the frosting:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the icing sugar and cinnamon and beat for another 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
Alpine Berry
Annie's Eats

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