It astounds me when I see all the different varieties of apples that there are in the store. My favorite for eating is usually Pink Ladies, and my least favorite is Red Delicious. For baking though, there’s usually one main choice, Granny Smith apples. These apples are what I used in my entry for Iron Cupcake: Earth; the challenge ingredient this month is apples.
This is just your average apple cupcake, baked with chopped apples inside, a filling of dulce de leche for a rich caramel taste, and cream cheese frosting. A pecan sits on top.
Now, I don’t have a picture of the inside of these, but I assure you that there is a dollop of dulce de leche in there. The cupcakes didn’t last long enough here to have their pictures taken!
Our Generous IronCupcake:Earth Prize Providers:
- The Demy™ by Key Ingredient
- Hello, Cupcake by Karen Tack & Alan Richardson
- Bella Cupcake Couture
- Cupcake Stackers by Gourmac
- The Cake Mix Doctor Returns! by Anne Byrne
- Beautiful Baking Liners by Vestli House
- Sweet Cuppin’ Cakes Bakery & Cupcakey Supply
Adapted from Baking Bites
Makes 12 cupcakes
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup applesauce
1 cup Granny Smith apples, diced
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, followed by vanilla extract.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Add one third of this mixture to the butter mixture, stirring to incorporate, followed by half of the applesauce. Repeat with the rest of the flour and applesauce and mix only until no streaks of flour remain in the batter. Fold in diced apples. Divide evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the muffins spring back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
When cooled completely, fill cupcakes, using the cone method, with dulce de leche (recipe follows). Frost with cream cheese frosting (recipe follows) and top with a pecan.
Dulce De Leche
Adapted from Recipe Girl
Makes enough to fill cupcakes plus about 1/4 cup leftover
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Open up the can and pour the sweetened-condensed milk into a pie pan. Cover tightly with foil. Place into a larger pan and pour boiling water in larger pan & around pie plate (level of water should be about halfway up the pie plate). Don’t let any water seep up and into the pie plate.
Place in oven and bake for 1 hour. At the one hour point, peel off foil and check for progress. If the mixture has thickened and turned a caramelly color, it’s done. If it doesn’t quite look thick enough or dark enough, cover it up and bake it a little longer (mine took 75 minutes).
When the mixture appears to have turned into a nice, thick caramel, remove from the oven. Let sit for a few minutes, and then beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
Use leftovers for coffee or ice cream!
Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from – source unknown
Makes enough to generously frost cupcakes, plus leftovers
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating continuously until smooth and creamy. Cover and refrigerate icing for 2 to 3 hours, but no longer, to thicken before using. Frost cupcakes then top each cupcake with a pecan.