Monday, October 25, 2010

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

I love everything about the fall! The trees on the mountain changing colors, the cool breeze signaling that winter is around the corner, and of course, the scrumptious flavors of fall; apples, pumpkins, and cinnamon! Apples are very big around here! There is a popular Apple Festival where the town and orchards get flooded with tourists letting us know that fall is in full swing ! I returned with tons of apples waiting to be eaten! I love to eat apples on their own, but apples are a fantastic addition to so many dishes!

Carrie from Carrie's Sweet Life decided to head up a group of baking lovers, where we try a new baking challenge each month. This month's challenge was a fall themed cupcake and since I was the proud owner of a large bushel of apples, I knew it had be something with apples. I asked myself, what goes better with apples than caramel? And what could be more heavenly than a caramel apple cupcake? The apple cider brings out an extra blast of flavor to make these cupcakes even more irrestible. The homemade super thick caramel on top gives it a striking resemblance to a traditional caramel apple.

Caramel Apple Cupcakes
adapted from Chockylit

3 apples, Macintosh
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup oil
1 cup apple cider
1 tsp vanilla

1. Rinse the apples and core them. Place in a baking dish. Mix 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Fill the cavities of the apples with sugar mixture. Bake for 20 minutes on 350 degrees. Remove from oven and spoon 1/4 cup apple cider into the cavities of the apples. Bake another 20 minutes.

2. Let the apples cool slightly, then peel off the skin. Mush the apples and reduced apple cider with the back of a fork or potato masher. Measure out 1 cup of apple mush and set aside.

3. Combine flour, cake flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Whisk to combine.

4. In a separate mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add in oil, apple cider, vanilla, and apple mush. Beat until combined.

5. Slowly add dry ingredients while beating. Spoon into cupcake liners at least 3/4 of the way full, almost to the top. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway.

Super Thick Caramel

1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
6 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Bring the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk to a boil over medium-high heat stirring to combine.

2. With a wooden spoon, stir all ingredients together and then slowly add the heavy cream.

3. Continue to stir for about 20 minutes until the caramel reached 248 degrees. It is important to continuously stir the mixture and to allow it to reach temperature.

4. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Transfer to a bowl and continue to stir for 2-3 minutes allowing the caramel to cool slightly.

5. Using a small offset spatula, frost each cupcake with the caramel. If desired sprinkle warm caramel with any number of toppings, like coconut or crushed nuts.

6. Transfer the cupcake into the freezer to allow the caramel to set without dripping over the edge of the cupcake paper.

7. Continue frosting and topping the cupcakes and try to work fast. As the caramel cools, it becomes less spreadable. It is so yummy, but you must work very quickly, because it hardens very fast. If possible work in pairs and let your helper top the cupcakes and transfer them to the freezer. By the time you reach the last few cupcakes, you will not longer need to freeze them and you can take all the cupcakes out and transfer them to the counter. If you have any leftovers, spread some on regular apples!

8. Top off each cupcake with a popsicle or craft stick to finish off the look. They look so cute, like little caramel apples! The only challenging part to these cupcakes was the caramel, but it was well worth it! Just ask my husband who is currently licking the bowl! :)

Sit down, relax, and enjoy a fall festive treat!


  1. I really want to try these, I am going to make them in the coming week I think.

  2. What a nice combination ..and easier to eat than a big sticky apple! I like how you decorated them differently.

    Happy Halloween!