I made these cupcakes for a dear friend of mine on his birthday, and after I had finished baking all of the individual components, I had a mild panic attack. I tasted the apple filling, and the Granny Smith apples tasted so bitter. I used a basic vanilla butercream recipe that I just googled, and it tasted somewhat bland. I was so worried that these cupcakes would just be disastrous and I wouldn’t have time to bake anything else, although at that point I was seriously considering just tossing everything out. Instead, I stuck with the recipe, assembled the cupcakes, and prayed for a miracle. I should not have been worried at all!!!!!! All of the individual components came together so well! The cupcake base was light and perfect, the sweetness of the vanilla buttercream balanced out any bitterness in the apple filling, and the buttercream flavour didn’t overwhelm the apple filling at all. I think these cupcakes were one of my favourites, not to mention the fact that they are absolutely adorable to look at!
Apple Pie Cupcakes
Yield: 24 cupcakes
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk
2 tbsp. butter
2 tsp. cinnamon
2-3 tbsp. sugar
3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
vanilla buttercream (I used ¾ of a batch)
To make the cupcakes, 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. 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, 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.