I won’t lie, I feel like the most under qualified person to blog about cupcakes. As most of you know from my Victoria Sponge post, I’m not a cake person. I love a good piece of cake as much as the next person but once I fulfill my hankering for it, I don’t need anymore cake for a good month. I’ve probably made about 4 batches of cupcakes in my whole life. So I’m really no expert.
However, when someone asks if anyone wants to bring something to eat for the family gathering I’m the first person to jump out of my chair, wave my arms about like a drowning swimmer and volunteer to bake something. In this case, Apple Spice Cupcakes. One thing I love about cupcakes is that they’re the perfect platform for pairing loads of flavours. They’re also like your favourite pair of cropped jeans; they go with any season. Whether it’s a silky raspberry summer cupcake or these little beauties which bridge the gap between winter and spring.
These cupcakes provide all the textures you want from a cupcake. First there’s the soft but chunky sponge packed with hidden Apple pieces, then the silky soft but nutty buttercream and lastly an end crunch from the sugared apple crisp just sitting idly on top.
Don’t you just look at that buttercream and feel like your life won’t be complete without it? Don’t you want to reach into that photo, grab out that cupcake and quickly shove it in your mouth so that you don’t have to share it with anyone? Just get in the kitchen! Sharing optional.
Ingredients – Sponge recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction – makes 12 cupcakes
- 2 large eggs
- 115g butter, melted
- 135g brown sugar
- 75g castor sugar
- 80 ml milk
- 1 tbsp. vanilla
- 190g plain flour
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
- 2 small apple, peeled and chopped
Brown Butter Buttercream – Recipe from Nigella Lawson – How to be a Domestic Goddess
- 150g unsalted butter
- 250g icing sugar, sieved
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2-3 tbsp. milk
- 2 apples
- castor sugar
For the Cupcakes: Pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees C. Line a 12 piece cupcake tin with paper cases. In a large bowl sieve together the plain flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In another bowl whisk together the eggs, melted butter, sugars and milk. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until completely combined. Lastly add in the chopped apple and mix again. Spoon the mix equally between the 12 paper cases and bake for 20-25 minutes. Once baked, leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes and then tip out of the tin and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.
For the Buttercream: Place the butter in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Let the butter melt and then come to the boil. Let the butter boil for a few minutes, stirring every so often so that it doesn’t burn. The butter should turn a deep amber and smell very nutty. Pour the butter into a freezer proof dish and leave it to solidify slightly in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. Once the butter had solidified slightly, place it into a large bowl and add half of the icing sugar to stiffen the butter. Next, add the milk and rest of icing sugar alternately until you reach a creamy consistency that still holds its shape. Then add in the vanilla. Lastly, pipe onto your cupcakes!
For the Apple Crisps: Pre-heat your oven to 140 degrees C. Cut your apples horizontally into thin slices, so that you are cutting through the core. I used a mandolin slicer to do this but you can use a knife, just be very careful! If any remove any apple pips from the centre of the slices to reveal the natural star shape of the apples core. Place onto a non-stick backing tray or a tray prepared with baking paper. Mix a tbsp of cinnamon with 2 tbsp sugar and sprinkle over the top of the slices. Bake for 45 minutes, turning over half way through. Leave to cool on a cooling rack.