Monday, September 7, 2009

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

September always reminds me of the yummy fall flavors that take over the baking world, especially apples. Living in Oregon I have discovered that there are more varieties of apples than I could have ever imagined. Baking with apples, making apple cider and all the wonderful spices that goes with and on of my personal favorites, ooey gooey caramel apples.
I love the combo of a tart, crisp green apple mixed with the salty, sweet taste of creamy caramel and a little bit of crunch from toasted pecans.

I started with a green apple cupcake. Jumbo of course. I used apple cider mixed with some extra frozen concentrated thawed for a nice apple flavor, used apple sauce instead of oil for moistness as well as more apple flavor and a dash of apple pie spice

I found these adorable ribbons in the $1 aisle at Target. One had red and green apples on it, another said , "Fall Fun" and another with stripes and another with sayings on it including , "Apple picking". They were perfect. I used Wilton cookie sticks I got at Michaels.

Still working on my cupcake photography.

The frosting is from Martha's Cupcake book. I am still on the fence about making swiss meringue buttercream. My heart belongs to Italian meringue but it didn't work with trying to make it caramel. At least not the way I was trying to make it. So I went with Martha's recipe. It flopped but instead of throwing it out I stuck it in my fridge to chill and I am glad I did. Chilling it made the flavor mellow out and taste more caramel like than toffee like. I wasn't terribly to thrilled with the swiss meringue - I have made it before and it flopped and no amount of mixing saved it - but this time it worked. I just have to perfect my caramel making skills so it has that deep caramel flavor.
I drizzled caramel sauce over the pecans to add to that gooey goodness.
Next time I will use green liners so you can really see that green cupcake.
All in all I say these are a keeper on my list of cupcakes to make

Green Apple Cupcakes


  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup apple cider or juice mixed with 2 tbsp of frozen apple juice concentrate
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 cups Granny Smith apples peeled and shredded
  • a few drops green food coloring ( optional)
Makes:  10-12 jumbo cupcakes, 18-24 standard


Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place paper liners in either two 12 cup regular muffin pans or two 6 cup jumbo muffin pans.
In large bowl, beat eggs with cider mixture, apple sauce and vanilla. In separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. Add to egg mixture; stir just until moistened. Do not overmix. Stir in apples. Pour into prepared pan 1/2 - 2/3 full. Bake 18-20 (25 for jumbos) minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack

Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Makes 5 cups
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 6 large egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Make caramel: Pour 1/4 cup water into a medium heavy-bottom saucepan. Add 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and syrup is clear. Continue to cook, without stirring, until syrup comes to a boil, washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush two or three times to prevent crystals from forming. Let syrup boil, gently swirling pan occasionally, until syrup is dark amber.
  2. Immediately remove from heat; carefully pour in cream (caramel will bubble vigorously). Stir caramel until smooth. Transfer to a bowl; let cool.
  3. Whisk together remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, the egg whites, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water; whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture registers 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
  4. Return bowl to mixer; fit mixer with whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff. Reduce speed to medium low; add butter, a few tablespoons at a time. Continue whisking until smooth.
  5. Switch to paddle attachment. Add caramel and vanilla; beat on lowest speed until combined, 3 to 5 minutes. The buttercream can be made 2 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Before using, bring frosting to room temperature; return to mixer and beat with the paddle attachment until smooth.


  1. These look yummmmmy!! Gorgeous job!

  2. wow yummy I like apple and caramel in fact I made a cake too but with caramel whipped cream.