This stifling heat and humidity of August has had me wishing for the cool breeze of fall. Crisp air, vibrantly changing leaves, and of course cupcakes have been pervading my thoughts.
I don’t know about you, but apple picking is an essential part of fall for me. I started wistfully dreaming of warm apple pie with a colossal scoop of cinnamon infused ice cream on top, which inspired my latest cupcakes.
I decided upon cinnamon cupcakes, filled with caramel apples, topped with caramel frosting, caramel drizzle, and more caramel apples. Whew, you’re gonna need a glass of milk with these ones!
Look at that drizzle!!
We’ll start by making the cupcake batter. Cream together the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
Add your eggs one at a time and mix well after each one.
Turn the mixer down to low, and add in 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Trust me when I say low, if it’s on high the flour will go EVERYWHERE….. Yes, I know from experience.
Add in a third of the wet ingredients, and then alternate with a third of the wet and dry until everything is combined. Please please please don’t over mix; if you do the cupcakes will be tough, which no one likes.
Mmm look at that gorgeous cinnamon flecked batter.
Spoon the batter with an ice cream scoop into the muffin tins, and pop in the oven for 16-18 minutes.
I know what you’re thinking, “Hailey what are we supposed to do for 18 minutes???” Caramelized apples that’s what!
Peel, core, and chop the apples into a fine dice. They should be little cubes of apples so they can squeeze into the middle of the cupcakes.
Melt together brown sugar and butter, god it smells good, and tip in your apple cubes. Let cook until glassy looking and the syrup is very thick. Take off the heat and get ready to make some caramel!
Liquify some sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until amber colored and liquid like so:
Whisk in a few tablespoons of butter, and then splash in some cream.
Whisk until smooth, creamy, and toffee colored, and take off the heat.
Time to assemble! I used an apple corer/ peeler to scoop out the middle of the cupcakes, but a small knife would work too.
Pack the cupcakes with the caramel apples, and have a few spoonfuls for ‘quality control’ while you’re at it;)
Ok, the frosting is the last step I promise. I know this recipe requires some serious stamina, but just think that you’re burning off the cupcakes you’re about to eat!
Mix butter, powdered sugar, caramel, cream cheese, and salt on high with the paddle attachment until the frosting is fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Fill your pastry bag with the frosting, and then pipe onto your waiting cupcakes. I know, you’d rather just smear it on with a knife, but this method looks so much more impressive.
I made a little video so you can see how I get the frosting to have a little swirl:
Finally, add a little more of the caramelized apples on top and admire your work. How impressive are these beauties??
Cut them open and you’ll see a fluffy cinnamon cake, filled with apple pie filling, and topped with silky caramel frosting. Just wow.
I brought these to my internship, and the next day I received my full time job offer. Coincidence? I think not!
Cinnamon Cupcakes (makes 24) recipe adapted from here
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/4 t salt
- 8 T butter, room temperature
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 t vanilla
- 1 1/2 t cinnamon
- 1 1/4 cup milk, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350, and cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the eggs, one after the next until combined. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Combine the milk and vanilla.
- With the mixer on low, add in 1/3 of the dry ingredients, and then 1/3 of the wet. Repeat until everything is combined.
- Scoop into the cupcake tins, and bake for 16-18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove the middle with an apple corer or small knife, and fill with caramelized apples.
- Frost with caramel frosting and drizzle with more caramel.
- 4 granny smith apples
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 4 T butter
- pinch of salt
- Core, peel and dice the apples.
- Add the sugar and butter to a pan over medium heat, and tip in the apples.
- Cook until apples are caramelized and glassy.
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 T butter
- 1/2 c heavy cream
- pinch of salt
- Melt sugar over medium heat until liquid.
- Whisk in butter until incorporated.
- Remove from heat and mix in the cream and salt until everything is creamy and smooth.
- 8 T butter
- 8 cups powdered sugar
- 12 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup caramel
- pinch of salt
- Combine all ingredients, and whip until light and fluffy.
- Eat by the spoonful, or top your cupcakes with the sugary goodness.