Saturday, November 6, 2010

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

One of the things I miss most about living in Ohio is the change of seasons. Don't get me wrong...One of the reasons I love living in Florida is that it doesn't snow. I don't miss the snow or freezing rain one bit- but what I do miss are the cool crisp autumn nights where I could burrow under my covers, but still sleep with the window open!

It seems like most people associate Pumpkin flavors with fall...I like pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread as much as anyone..but one of my favorite fall treats is a nice juicy caramel apple! I wanted to make a Caramel Apple Cupcake to celebrate the arrival of cooler weather to Northeast Florida (Finally...thank you cold front!!).

A little chilly, but still a gorgeous fall morning in Florida!
I found this recipe on Paula Deen's website, and decided to give it a try, with a few adjustments. These cupcakes turned out better than I expected they would- and everyone that tried one said they loved it!
I didn't want to make caramel again, as I had a batch of homemade caramel sauce in the refrigerator- so instead of the candies on top of the cupcakes, I made a caramel buttercream (big surprise, I know!)

Caramel Apple Cupcakes adapted from Paula Deen

Printable Recipe

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup yogurt (I used mixed berry, it worked well)
1/2 cup apple juice or cider
1 medium granny smith apple, chopped finely

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin or mini muffin tin with cupcake liners. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in a medium bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter and sugar until well combined.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream and yogurt, stirring until combined. Batter will be dry- add apple juice or cider a little at a time until the batter reaches a pourable consistency. Stir in chopped apple.

Spoon into muffin tins, filling 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 22-25 minutes for mini or 25-30 minutes for regular sized cupcakes. Cool pans on cooling rack. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Salted Caramel Buttercream

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3-1/2 cup Salted Caramel, depending on taste
3 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk

Cream butter in a large bowl with electric mixer. Stir in caramel until combined. Add sugar in small batches, mixing on medium speed with electric mixer, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. If thinner consistency is desired, add milk a tablespoon at a time.

I made some apple chips by using my Pampered Chef Ultimate Slice and Grate to slice an apple into thin slices. I topped with the Pampered Chef Sweet Caramel Sprinkle topping, and put in the oven at 275 degrees until the apple slices dried out and curled a bit. Be sure you slice the apple evenly..otherwise some chips are good, some are burnt. Live and learn!

Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

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