This recipe is courtesy of an old schoolmate & friend of mine from the wonderful Sacred Heart Academy, aka SHA YES (don’t make me burst out into the school song…). Brianne entered this Martha Stewart recipe in my giveaway, and it sounded so freakin’ delicious and really, I had so many apples here, I had to make it. And Martha is the queen, so of course it’d be good.
Last year I made caramel apple crisp cupcakes, which were very good, but they weren’t the best, mainly because they were kinda like the ugly girl in school. She may be smart, she may be really cool, but she’s not pretty, so no one talks to her, so no one knows. It’s sad but true. An ugly cupcake, no matter how delicious, doesn’t get the press a pretty one does, much like women (not that I’m endorsing this behavior, I’m just pointing out how shallow people can be). Plus, my caramel was a bit of a fail since I used shortcuts (sometimes the experiments work out, sometimes not so much), so I was looking for a new apple cupcake recipe that wasn’t too muffin-y.
But these came out much better. And let me just say, these are pretty awesome cupcakes in general. Us Catholic school girls know our way around a kitchen. Which leads me to my next train of thought: Catholic School Girls Rule. Oh yes, we do. However, we don’t rule enough for me to get my ass to go to the 10-year reunion. No thanks. I’ll be home eating cupcakes (and probably drinking a bottle of wine) instead.
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups coarsely shredded apples, such as Macintosh (about 1 ¾ pounds)
- Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and then add vanilla.
- Meanwhile, mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg in a small bowl.
- Mix apples into batter, careful not to over-beat. Then add flour slowly, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Spoon into muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until springy to the touch. Cool.
BROWN SUGAR BUTTERCREAM
- 2 large egg whites
- ½ cup packed dark-brown sugar
- ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- Put egg whites and sugar into the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees).
- Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue beating until mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.
- Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter, several tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. (If the frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.)
- Reduce speed to low; mix to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes. Stir with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth.
This buttercream is awesome. It may be difficult to do for newbies, or if you don’t have a mixer, but I loved it. It’s like real Swiss meringue. And the cupcakes were moist and …seriously, they tasted like fall. I messed up my frosting application because, well, I was watching ’30 Rock’ and got distracted. So they don’t look as good as they could. But they’re definitely cuter than my last apple cupcakes. I guess the leafy liners and toppers don’t hurt 😉 I’d double the frosting recipe, however, because I didn’t have enough for all my cakes. Which brings me to this: I got more than 2 dozen. Who knows why. It happens.
Also, my frosting came out a bit weird, my butter did not absorb fully. I think it was a recipe problem, because the lovely Erin on Twitter confirmed it when she said her frosting had the same issue. Nonetheless, it was delicious. I’d recommend softening the butter and not using it cold, though, and seeing if that helps.