Probably to the same deep, dark abyss as my motivation to put up new posts...
I'm not sure what got into me these last two weeks, but I feel compelled to apologize for my absence. While it's not advisable to leave a 6-year-old child to his own devices, it turns out that you can completely ignore a 6-year-old blog for just about any length of time with very few repercussions.
In answer to the question posed in my title, I think it's extremely interesting how people get so hyped up about a certain thing for a little while and then abruptly decide to be done with that same thing forever (or at least until the fad comes around again). It happened with macarons, it happened with cake pops, and I can only hope it'll happen with mason jar desserts. I didn't necessarily want it to happen to cupcakes, though--I thought they'd be popular and practical enough to hang around for good, at least to some extent. Sadly, they've all but disappeared.
Well, just as I'm late to participate in most trends both food- and fashion-related, I'm also apt to hold onto those fads well past the point at which they become passe. So I present to you a batch of cupcakes, flavored and moistened with apple butter and topped with a caramel buttercream frosting. This stuff will always taste good, regardless of its popularity with the hoi polloi.
Endangered Apple Butter Spice Cupcakes
Based on a recipe from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat
Makes 18 cupcakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1-1/2 cups apple butter
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup dulce de leche
- Butterfinger candy bars, crushed, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
On a low speed, add apple butter and then the flour mixture, beating until just combined.
Fill each cup 3/4 full with batter. Bake 20 minutes or until firm and the toothpick test is passed; cool completely.
To make the frosting, with an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Reduce speed to medium and add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium-high.
Add vanilla and dulce de leche and beat until frosting is smooth.
Pipe onto cupcakes and sprinkle with crushed Butterfinger bars.