We're headed into the month of October and everyone here on the BCAE staff is in full-on fall mode. Chillier days call for warming up the oven and baking treats to share. If you've gone apple picking and are looking for something creative to do with the extras we've got the perfect recipe. Straight from Bad Boy Bake Shop founder and BCAE Instructor, Dustin Todd Rennells, this cupcake recipe makes for a delicious alternative to apple pie!
Caramel Apple Cupcakes
2 cups cake flour
1.25 teaspoons baking powder
1.25 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of nutmeg
1 stick + 1 T salted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark or light brown sugar, packed
1.5 large eggs, lightly beaten (when doubling for class, put one whole egg in each mixer, then lightly beat the second and use half in each)
1 teaspoon vanilla or caramel extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 apples, skin on, cored, and chopped smallish (1/4-inch dice)
1/4 c cake flour (to dust drained peaches)
24 wooden popsicle sticks
optional: mini chocolate chips, coconut, nuts
2 large apples diced
2 T melted butter
1 T cinnamon
2 T sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. Chop your apples, sprinkle on some lemon juice if you have it so they don't brown, then dust with the ¼ c cake flour, set aside.
2. Cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add vanilla or caramel extract. Mix in the buttermilk. Add in the small dry ingredients: nutmeg, salt, baking powder, baking soda. Then add the flour in ½ cup increments. Fold in the flour dusted apple chunks with a rubber spatula.
3. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners being cautious of the apple chunk distribution. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until they bounce back immediately once pressed.
4. Once cooled, cut a small hole in the center of the cupcake but don't go to through the bottom.
5. Dice up apple pie filling (or) place filling ingredients in a sauce pan and heat over medium low heat for about 15 minutes until lightly mushy but still retaining shape. Add more cinnamon/sugar to taste.
6. Place a spoonful of filling into each cupcake hole.
7. Frosting (should probably be made first): Briefly stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth. Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes. Combine butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated. Turn mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add caramel. Beat frosting on medium-high speed until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until stiff, about 45 minutes, before using.
8. Assembly: Pipe or spatula frosting onto cupcake being sure to hide any of the filling. Place wooden popsicle stick in frosting like a caramel apple. You may choose to sprinkle on common caramel apple decor like mini chocolate chips, coconut or nuts across the top.
If you give the recipe a try we'd love to hear how it goes! You can also download the printable version here.