Is there anything more American than apple pie? I don't think so. Since pies are a bit hard to bring into the office (those without ovens, that is), I opted to make these apple pie cupcakes instead. I have a few coworkers celebrating birthdays this month and decided to make these cupcakes for them.
I've learned from this experience that I'm not as good at reading directions as I think I am. Although I'll read recipes multiple times before actually baking (or cooking), I often miss a step. Enter these cupcakes.
I misread the instructions on the apple pie filling and forgot to add butter the first time. The cinnamon-y sugar clumps that resulted went straight into the trash. The next batch, I mistook 2 tsp of cinnamon for 2 TBSP of cinnamon. Oops. Good thing it still turned out well. (Note: The filling makes plenty to have some leftover to eat on its own. Not that I would do such a thing! Ahem.)
Then when it came to the buttercream, I didn't see the part where it said that the recipe would be enough to frost only 12 cupcakes. I was happily piping the frosting when all of a sudden, I ran out! And I still had 4 sad cupcakes with no frosting. Don't worry, those went into the "eat at home" stash so they never made it out of the kitchen. If you want a nicely frosted cupcake, please double the recipe.
Despite the comedy of errors, these cupcakes (and frosting) turned out amazing. They really do taste like apple pie in a cupcake form. And I've learned that the next time I make a recipe, I need to read it one more time, just in case.
- 3 cups sifted cake flour (I do not have any and used 3 cups All Purpose flour and replaced 6 TBSP of the flour with 6 TBSP of corn starch)
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
- 2 TBSP butter
- 2 tsp cinnamon (I read this incorrectly and added 2 TBSP... it still tasted good!)
- 2-3 TBSP sugar
- 3 large apples, peeled, cored and diced
- vanilla buttercream
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix well to combine. Add in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3-3/4 full. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 to 22 minutes (I baked for 18 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pans. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
To make the apple filling, heat the butter a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cinnamon and sugar and cook for a minute, until the mixture begins to bubble. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the apples. Mix well. Cook until the apples are somewhat tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
While the apple mixture is cooling, use the cone method to remove a chunk from the center of each cupcake (I used a cupcake corer tool), making sure to leave a rim around the top of the cupcake. Fill the holes with the cooled apple mixture. To decorate, top each cupcake with a swirl of vanilla buttercream.
Yield: About 24 cupcakes
- 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Splash of milk
Using a mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.
Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. I added a splash of milk to the buttercream so it wasn't as thick.
You can store any unused buttercream in the refrigerator in an airtight container; let it come to room temperature and then give it a quick whip in the mixer before using.
Yield: Enough to generously frost 12 cupcakes or barely frost 20 (I'd recommend doubling the recipe)