Apple Spice Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Adapted via Sally’s Baking Addiction
Serves: 16 to 18 (yields 18 cupcakes)

For the Cupcakes:
♦ 2 large eggs
♦ 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
♦ 2/3 cup light brown sugar
♦ 1/3 cup granulated sugar
♦ 1/3 cup whole milk
♦ 1 tbsp vanilla extract
♦ 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
♦ 1/4 tsp baking powder
♦ 1 tsp baking soda
♦ 1/2 tsp salt
♦ 1 tsp ground cinnamon
♦ 1/2 tsp nutmeg
♦ 2 small apples, chopped into fine pieces (about 1.5 cups)

For the Frosting
♦ 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
♦ 1 cup dark brown sugar
♦ 1/3 cup heavy cream
♦ 1/4 tsp salt
♦ 2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

For the Apple Chips:
♦ 3 apples (Granny Smith, Pink Lady, or Honey Crisp)
♦ ground cinnamon
♦ granulated sugar

Make the apple chips: Preheat oven to 200F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with silicone baking mats. Thinly slice the apples (using a sharp knife or a mandoline). Arrange on the baking sheets in a single layer, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Bake for 1 hour, the carefully flip the apples over using tongs – bake for another 1 1/2 hours. Turn the oven off, and leave the apples inside for an additional hour. Store apple chips at room temperature in an airtight container (will last up to a week).

Prepate the cupcakes: Preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Line muffin pan with baking cups. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg – set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter, both sugars, milk, and vanilla until completely smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients and stir until JUST combined, do not overmix (fold with a spatula to help release the air pockets). Slowly mix in the apples.

Fill each baking cup about 2/3 full and bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove and cool further on a baking rack.

Make the frosting: While the cupcakes are cooling, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once melted, add brown sugar and heavy cream. Stir constantly over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, and add salt. Allow to bubble for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to slightly cool. Whisk in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, until you reach desired consistency. Place the frosting in the refrigerator and allow to set for 30 minutes.

Frost cooled cupcakes, and adorn with apple chips for garnish. These cupcakes will keep for up to 4 days, stored at room temperature in an airtight container.

To read more about these cupcakes and my musical pairing, click HERE.

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