So I may have jumped the gun on the fall favorite flavors. It turns out I may have jumped the gun.
It’s not fall yet. At least, it’s not fall until Monday. So when I made the Pumpkin spice cupcakes last week for the Cops for Cancer bike ride, I also accompanied them with Caramel Apple Spice Cupcakes!
The only problem was that I had somehow lost my piping tip and icing bags, so I had to improvise. I ended up spooning them in the icing bag. Let it go back from hence it came, right?
The only problem is that it doesn’t make for very pretty cupcakes, but they are still every bit delicious!
The only thing that really made this difficult for me was that I have never successfully made caramel. At which point, I called my bestie and asked, “Hey, how do you make caramel?”
“Um… Butter and sugar?”
I ended up making a nice brown sugar based caramel! I have tried so many times to do the sugar and water method, but several times, I end up creating crystallized sugar. I really didn’t want to repeat that.
So I looked online and searched for some easier caramel sauce recipes. I was actually pleasantly surprised by this one. It’s simple and easy to make and pretty difficult to mess up. Brown sugar is already partially caramelized and it just came together swimmingly! It doesn’t taste EXACTLY like a traditional caramel; it was more like a brown sugar sauce, but it still tasted wonderful!
After I piped the cupcakes with the caramel buttercream with my makeshift icing sugar bag, I really wanted to hide the terrible decorating job I did. Since I still had some caramel left over, I proceeded to drizzle it over the cupcakes..
The grated apple in the cupcakes made the cake really lumpy and odd looking, but they were incredibly moist and intensely flavorful! Healthy? Sure, there’s fruit in it!
Again, I made these for the Cops for Cancer riders making their trek across Northern British Columbia. I’m not one to preach (actually I preach my opinions all the time), but if you can, please donate to my lovely friend Sharon on her donation page! If you prefer to donate to another cause, by all means.
2 1/2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
1/2 cup of butter
2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of cream and 1/4 cup of milk (or 3/4 cups of buttermilk)
3 cups of shredded apple (I used 3 1/2 medium gala apples using a box grater)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and ready 24 cupcake liners.
Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy in a mixer or by hand. In the meantime, place the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to aerate, mix and destroy lumps.
Add eggs and vanilla and continue mixing.
On a low setting, slowly add the milks and then slowly add the flour mixture and then the shredded apple (and accumulated liquid) until just mixed.
Fill the muffin tins to about 3/4 full and bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Cool on wire racks before icing.
Drizzle with caramel sauce when iced.
Salted Caramel Sauce
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of butter
1/2 cup of heavy cream *half and half will work, but heavy cream will give it a thicker and more decadent taste.
1 tablespoon of vanilla
pinch of sea salt
Mix all the ingredients in a sauce pan over medium-low heat, whisking gently. Cook for 5-7 minutes and refrigerate.
3/4 cups of butter
2/3 cup of the salted caramel sauce
1 teaspoon of vanilla
4 cups of icing sugar
Cream butter, vanilla and half the icing sugar in a mixer. Add the caramel sauce and mix well. Add remaining icing sugar to taste.