Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

I told you my favorite fall activity is baking caramel so of course I had to make some again. I also love the flavors of caramel and apples mixing together. The aromas and the fall flavors create such a delicious treat. Who doesn't love enjoying a caramel apple? There is nothing better than apples in the fall. They seem juicier and more delicious. This cupcake combines a bunch of my favorite flavors and it turns into a very yummy dessert. For this cupcake I made a spice cake as the base and added cinnamon sugar baked apples to the batter. I then made homemade caramel sauce and filled the cupcake with the caramel and more of the apples. I then topped the cupcake off with a vanilla and caramel buttercream. This cupcake is one of my favorites that I have made so far. It is a little messy and may take a while because there are so many components.
I made the baked apples first because they take a while and you need them for lots of components of this dessert. This recipe is super easy and you could eat the apples all by themselves. Here is the recipe: 
Baked Cinnamon Sugar Apples: 6 servings
1 tsp of butter
2 tbs of brown sugar
3 tsp of sugar
3 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of ground cloves
6 large Gala Apples 
3 1/2 tbs of water 
First preheat the oven to 350 and grease a baking dish with the butter.
Slice the apples using a apple cutter. 
Then peel the skin off of them with a knife. 

In a bowl, mix together the brown sugar, the sugar, the cinnamon, and the ground cloves. 
Put 1/3 of the apples in the baking dish and sprinkle 1/3 of the brown sugar mixture onto the apples. 
Then put another 1/3 of the apples in the baking dish and add another 1/3 of the brown mixture on top. Repeat this two more times. 
Bake the apples for 30 minutes. Then take the apples out and pour the water on top and let them bake for another 15 minutes. 
For our cupcakes I chopped up the apples so they would fit inside the cupcakes. If you were just making the apples alone you could leave them in slices. 
Next, I made my favorite part: the homemade caramel sauce. I love this recipe and I use it all the time. 
Caramel Sauce: (depending on how many cupcakes you make you may want to make more of the caramel, it just depends on how much caramel you want) 
1/4 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of heavy cream
6 tbs of butter
1 tsp of vanilla extract
a dash of salt
First, in a sauce pan on medium high heat, mix together the water and the sugar, but just until it is combined. Do not over mix! You wont mix it again until you add the other ingredients.

Then, it is a waiting game. First the mixture is clear:
Then, it becomes yellowish in color: 
When it becomes dark amber in color that is when you add the cut up butter, the heavy cream, and the vanilla. You want to take it off the heat and whisk it until it is combined. 

Then, add as much salt as you prefer and pour it into a glass container and put it into the refrigerator. 

Next, I made the cupcakes. This cake is everything you would want in a spice cake. It has the perfect combo of sweet and that fall spice flavor we all love. Here is the recipe: 
Spice Cake Recipe: Serves 12
1/4 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs 
1 1/3 cup of all purpose flour 
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of baking powder 
pinch of salt 
1/2 cup of milk 
1 tsp of ground ginger
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of ground cloves 
Preheat the oven to 350.
In a standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.
Then, add the eggs and the vanilla and mix until combined. 

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, and ground cloves. 
Slowly, mix the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. 
Fill the cupcake liners halfway full ( I filled mine way too full when I made them oops) :) 
Then put some of the apples inside of the batter. 
Bake for about 16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
Next, carve out a hole in the middle of the cake, don't cut too far down or the caramel will leak everywhere. 

Next, pout come of the caramel sauce into the hole. 

Next, add some of the apples to the hole. 
Next, I let the cupcakes cool and made the vanilla caramel buttercream. I love a simple buttercream. It is so perfect to top a cupcake with. The perfect Icing on Top :) 
Vanilla Caramel Buttercream: 
3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1 cup of butter
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 tbs of milk
salt (depends on your preference) 
Caramel Sauce 
Beat together to powdered sugar and the butter and salt until combined. Then add the vanilla extract and the milk and beat until combined and fluffy. Then, add as much or as little of the caramel sauce as you would like. 
Next, ice your cupcakes. I also added more apples and caramel sauce on top of my cupcakes for more flavor. 

Next, enjoy these yummy treats!

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