Wanted to share this recipe while it is still apple season. I love the smell of apple anything baking in the oven it gets me in the holiday mood. When we offered these at the cupcake shop they sold almost immediately. We didn’t make them all that much. You must keep in mind that we had over 50 flavors so you have to pick and choose what you are going to make each day. This is a great recipe because it gives you an easy way out where you can buy pre-made apple pie filling and caramel. If you are up to it you can make everything from scratch. The recipe below for caramel sauce looks scarier than it really is. But having said that you can buy some really good ready-made caramel sauce at your local specialty store. You still have to bake the vanilla cupcakes but you do save some time not making the caramel and pie filling. Almost any type of apple will work with this, just depends on how sweet you want it. I tend to use Granny Smith for fillings. I know this recipe looks daunting but try it first using the ready-made products. Then move to the scratch version. Good Luck.
preheat oven to 325 degrees, makes about 24 cupcakes
Ingredients for Vanilla cupcakes:
1 /2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar .14 oz
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups flour .13 oz.
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Apple Pie filling ingredients:
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cups water
4 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
Caramel Sauce ingredients:
1 cup of sugar
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Vanilla Buttercream frosting ingredients:
1 lb. soft butter unsalted (4 sticks)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 lb powdered sugar sifted
24 mini fondant apples for garnish (optional)
Apple Pie filling directions
Combine the lemon and 4 cups water in a large bowl. Place the sliced apples in the water to keep them from browning.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Drain water from apples, and place them into the hot skillet. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes. Add brown sugar, and cinnamon, and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes. Stir together cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Pour into the skillet, and mix well. Cook for another minute, or until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat to cool. Set aside
1. In a bowl mix together buttermilk, milk, vanilla extract, and baking soda. Set aside.
2. Sift together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
3. Using a mixer on medium speed blend together eggs and sugar until blended. Blend in oil. Next add flour mixture and then milk mixture alternating beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Blend thoroughly for about 3 minutes. Fill baking cups just over 1/2 full. Scoop a dollop of apple pie filling into each baking cup. Bake until just golden or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. About 13 minutes. Don’t over bake !
4. Cool completely before frosting with vanilla buttercream frosting below.
Caramel Sauce directions
1 First, before you begin, make sure you have everything ready to go – the cream and the butter next to the pan, ready to put in. Making caramel is a fast process that cannot wait for hunting around for ingredients. If you don’t work fast, the sugar will burn. Safety first – make sure there are no children under foot and you may want to wear oven mitts; the caramelized sugar will be much hotter than boiling water.
2 Heat sugar on moderately high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart or 3-quart saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want, from this point on. Note that this recipe works best if you are using a thick-bottomed pan. If you find that you end up burning some of the sugar before the rest of it is melted, the next time you attempt it, add a half cup of water to the sugar at the beginning of the process, this will help the sugar to cook more evenly, though it will take longer as the water will need to evaporate before the sugar will caramelize.
3 As soon as all of the sugar crystals have melted (the liquid sugar should be dark amber in color), immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted.
4 Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. Note than when you add the butter and the cream, the mixture will foam up considerably. This is why you must use a pan that is at least 2-quarts (preferably 3-quarts) big.
5 Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple of minutes, then pour into a glass mason jar and let sit to cool to room temperature. (Remember to use pot holders when handling the jar filled with hot caramel sauce.) Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving.
Yield: Makes a little over one cup of sauce.
Vanilla buttercrean directions:
Blend the butter and vanilla in a mixer at medium speed until soft and blended well, about 3 minutes. Slowly add powdered sugar a little at a time on low-speed. Once it is all in and mixed beat at high-speed until light and fluffy for about 4 minutes. You can store the unused frosting in an airtight container in the frig about a week.
I put the frosting in a pastry bag with a big star tip. I pipe the frosting straight up and try to make it as flat as possible so the caramel will stay on top without dripping off.
Next drizzle the caramel sauce on top. Make sure it’s completely cool and put on a bunch.
I made some mini fondant apples for garnish.