A Southern Grace: whet your appletite

July 23, 2014

whet your appletite


The first baked treat I endeavored to make from scratch was an apple pie. Best to start with something simple, right?

The list of treats that’ve been adapted to fit the apple pie flavor profile is practically endless: cheesecake, ice cream, muffins, dip, blondies, pancakes, pop tarts, smoothies, granola bars, cookies, macarons, tiramisu, parfaits, scones, and the list goes on. (I feel a little bit like Bubba Blue from Forrest Gump, reciting off his beloved shrimp dishes.)

As you know, I’ve been really fascinated with the notion of filling the cupcakes with various flavors and textures. I’ve tried curd, plain ol’ frosting, dulce de leche, pie filling, and mousse, to name a few, and I’ve found varying degrees of success with each. So, inspired as I was by the classic apple pie, I knew apple pie filling would have to be involved in my batch of cupcakes. I chose snickerdoodle cupcakes as the base, because let’s be honest--apple pie would be nothing without cinnamon. To top things off, I opted for a caramel buttercream. Although regular apple pie is perfectly delicious, it’s helped immensely by the simple addition of caramel.

To be frank, these cupcakes are the best I’ve ever made. The cupcake itself is superb, with the lovely aroma of cinnamon hitting, nay, caressing you before you even take your first bite. The slightly toothsome and gooey apple pie filling squishes into your mouth in the nicest way possible, offering a slightly tart contrast to the super-sweet and creamy frosting. All in all, it’s a magnificent experience. What’s more, while an apple pie takes several hours to make from start to finish, these cupcakes can be melting in your mouth in just a couple of hours.

Caramel. Apple. Pie. Cupcakes.
Makes 28
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon for dusting
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1-3/4 cups granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (8 medium)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1-1/2 cups butter, room temperature
  • 1 pound (4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup dulce de leche
First, make the filling: In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice and set aside. Pour water into a pot over medium heat. Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add to water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add apples and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes, then roughly chop the apples into small pieces.
Next, make the cakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.
Finally, make the frosting: With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. 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. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy. Add vanilla and dulce de leche, and beat until frosting is smooth.
To assemble cupcakes, carve out a small cone-shaped section from each cupcake. (Don’t you dare throw the scraps away; eat them immediately.) Place a tablespoon or two of filling into the hole and top with the luscious frosting. Sprinkle the top of each frosted cupcake with a mixture of cinnamon sugar.


pam said...

Oh my gosh. I don't even bake, but I am going to make these!!!

Unknown said...

I am trying to cut back on sweets, but this is going to be my exception. Can't wait to try them.

Jackie@SyrupAndBiscuits said...

Perfect! This is the best you've ever done.

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

I am so drooling over this! I am a little afraid to make them to because this sounds like one of those foods that once my husband has it once, he won't stop asking for it!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I can tell how good these are from the layers you've put into them! You've outdone yourself Grace! :D

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Terrific! These are heavenly cupcakes.



Alicia Foodycat said...

I know people who don't like cinnamon. Isn't it bizarre?

Tania@my kitchen stories.com.au said...

You've outdone yourdself this time. I love apple pie too and the thought of apple inside a soft cupcake with caramel is just so very attractive

Beth said...

Those cupcakes sound breathtaking, and I'm immediately adding them to my to do list!

~~louise~~ said...

Oh goodness gracious Grace, what HAVE you done???

The thought that has gone into these delightful cupcakes is so apparent. Those layers of goodness are simply beguiling. Each and everyone more enticing than the other. Wonderful Grace!!!

Thank you so much for sharing...

Joanne said...

I'm of the opinion that apple pie should be infused into all facets of life. And caramel is never a bad addition either. Love these!

Marjie said...

They sound delectable! The caramel frosting would be great on almost anything, including chocolate!

janice15 said...

This looks delightful.. can't wait to try them.. going to post this on my facebook page.. credit to you yummy.. o facebook.. is Louise Lala Corona.. just going to put in into my album food.. thank you .. looks so good.. with love Janice

Juliana said...

OMG Grace! What a torture to look at the cupcake and not being able to reach it...looks perfect and the flavors heaven!
Enjoy your weekend :D

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

Apple pie filling with caramel buttercream?! Oh my! Sounds perfectly delicious.

Angie's Recipes said...

This looks luscious and divine! I love particularly the apple pie filling.

Carolyn Jung said...

Caramel buttercream! My heart be still. I could slather that on everything or just eat spoonfuls happily.

Thalia @ butter and brioche said...

those are some seriously delicious looking cupcakes. i am so craving one right now!

Barbara said...

A caramel buttercream? Oh my, that does sound delicious! Along with your (homemade) apple pie filling, you are definitely the queen of cupcake-baking!

Caroline Taylor said...

Great way to use apples, these sound so good!

vanillasugarblog said...

Nice flavor combo here Ms Grace!
Yes indeed!
I have yet to make a snickerdoodle cupcake thingee.
Fall is coming, so I need to get on it.

I Wilkerson said...

Makes you wonder why we don't bake with apples more (other than things like pie/cobbler)...

Pam said...

My kids would be thrilled if I made them these beauties!

Lisa said...

I love this type of desert. Three delicious flavors in one, you can't go wrong.