A Southern Grace: where have all the cupcakes gone?

January 15, 2014

where have all the cupcakes gone?


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
Caramel buttercream:
  • 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.


Cheesy Pennies said...

I'm sure the cupcakes appreciate your loyalty. And I appreciate a new thing to make with apple butter!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Don't apologize for your absence. We all have moments when we don't feel like blogging...

Heavenly cupcakes! That flavor is just fantastic.



vanillasugarblog said...

Ohhh that sounds good.
Have I done an apple butter cupcake?
Me thinks not!

Alicia Foodycat said...

They do look delicious! I don't really like faddy desserts, so I am just happy to eat something that tastes good, not because everyone says they are the in thing!

~~louise~~ said...

I'm with you Grace. I didn't even know Macarons or Cake Pops were in "style." That explains all the cake pops I've been seeing and the need for everyone to claim them as their "own invention." Can't do that with cupcakes though. They have been around since they were actually baked in cups and I'm sure they will be around for many years to come.

I've actually been in a slump lately. I have no desire to do anything in the kitchen. Strange considering the weather is just so awful and I usually find solace "playing" in the kitchen. Oh well, this too shall pass:)

Love your cupcakes. Apple Butter is a GREAT way to "light my fire" as I have all this apple butter my daughter sent me and I have been contemplating new ways to use it. The Caramel Buttercream is most definitely the icing on the cake, or in this case, the Cupcake!

Thank you so much for sharing, Grace...

Gloria Baker said...

Look amazing and beautiful I love the Apple butter!!xx

Don't worry all have porblems to blog sometimes!!

Unknown said...

Am looking forward to making these delicious treats.... I'm not a fashionista but more of a foodie and these fit that description.

Joanne said...

Cupcakes still get ME super excited!! I think they are the perfect cake:frosting ratio. And are way easier than layer cakes. Defintiely excited about the apple infusion in these babies.

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

I remember when cake pops were the absolute rage, and I was sitting here thinking "I was making those two years ago". I never hit the fads right with timing. Either to soon, or to late. The cupcakes sound delicious with the apple butter. But the frosting? I think you just went into the danger zone! Must make!

Rosita Vargas said...

Una gran delicia con manzanas muy bonito e irresistible,abrazos.

Angie's Recipes said...

Love these cupcakes are made partly with applebutter!

Pam said...

These are seriously screaming my name! They look and sound amazing.

Blond Duck said...

You can never go wrong with apple butter.

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I'm with you, I would appreciate cupcakes regardless of its popularity! I would seriously appreciate this apple butter cupcake, too :)

sprinklesandsauce said...

this cupcake is so lovely!

Jenn said...

Now I know what to do with the 2 jars of Apple butter that were gifted to me, and that would have sat in my fridge until I threw them out 8 months from now. And the frosting --- yum! Where would I find dulce de leche

Becki's Whole Life said...

I would always choose a cupcake as my favorite dessert - any day. Love the apple butter/ spice combo - yum!

Lucy @ Lucyeats said...

Oh my gosh, what on earth is apple butter? That sounds amazing! I need to get my hands on some of this!

Beth said...

I think you should post whatever recipes you love. And the apple butter makes this one pretty easy to love!

I Wilkerson said...

Cupcakes may not always be the latest fad, but they'll always be seriously big with kids and teens and anyone who wants a reasonably size piece of something sweet. Especially the wonderful variations you do! You know, my kids recently decided that spice cake is as good as chocolate--who would have thought?

Pam said...

Do you deliver? Seriously - they look and sound amazing! I will never get tired of eating cupcakes.

grace said...

@Jenn: You can probably find dulce de leche in the section of the grocery store with Mexican ingredients, or you could just use some sort of caramel, like ice cream topping.

@Lucy: Yes, apple butter is amazing! Find a good recipe and make some yourself if you have to! Hey--maybe I should post a recipe... :)

Jackie@SyrupAndBiscuits said...

Trends, food and otherwise, are in the eyes of the beholder. Biscuits are considered trendy in NYC now. Southerners have been eating biscuits for 400 years.

My Granny would say, "Jes ain't no a-countin' for good taste."

Stick with your cupcakes, Grace.

Blond Duck said...

Happy Monday!

Lisa-Marie said...

I think what has reduced is all the fact and frippery attached to cupcakes. The simple ones, which I would still call a fairy cake, will stick forever!

Hungry Dog said...

Caramel buttercream...are you kidding me? Best idea I've ever heard.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

You know it's funny because lots of people say that cupcakes will die but they're still so popular! I'm going to a cupcake decorating class and apparently it sold out really quickly! Maybe you should come visit us here in Australia ;)

CQUEK said...

You did it again! Can't wait to try this.

Katerina said...

It can be hard sometimes to be consistent to blogging it has happened I suppose to all of us! These cupcakes look divine!

sandy said...

mmm caramel buttercream and cinnamon applebutter sounds awesome, and sometimes the blog needs to take a rest...