Hiya! Back from my 2 day vacation from Fall and refreshed and ready to celebrate the things that make this colorful season so special, like these wonderful and incredibly seasonally appropriate Apple Spice Cupcakes with Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Buttercream, straight from the pages of Flavorful, by Tish Boyle, today's Famous Friday standout!!
In addition to being the editor of Dessert Professional magazine, Tish Boyle is a graduate of La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris, was previously an editor at Good Housekeeping magazine, worked as a recipe developer for several large corporations and has written 3 solo dessert cookbooks and co-authored 6 others, so you know that this busy lady knows a thing or two about what people like to eat best for dessert. And that's the theme of her latest book, Flavorful: 150 Irresistible Desserts in All-Time Favorite Flavors. Garnering all her experience, Tish has organized the book into nine of people's most popular flavor categories: vanilla, berry and cherry, apple, citrus, cheese, nuts, caramel, coffee and chocolate and provided amazing recipes that showcase these favorites. I really love this book--my only gripe is that I wish there were more pictures because the ones that are included are gorgeous!! And there are so many enticing recipes that it was incredibly hard to narrow it down to just one to highlight for today, but in the end, seasonality won out and no one around here is complaining. These cupcakes are full of apple-y goodness and covered with a smooth and rich lightly spiced frosting that perfectly enhances the cake.
You start by sifting together the dry ingredients, adding a generous amount of cinnamon and toasting walnuts in the process.
Next you prepare the batter adding those walnuts and a peeled, shredded apple into the mix.
Then you fill the muffin cups--
The cupcakes bake up golden brown and make your house smell wonderful too and truthfully, they're so yummy you could stop here and just serve them as muffins for a special breakfast!
But who can resist brown sugar frosting, so let's plow ahead. This is basically a meringue enhanced by brown sugar, cinnamon and butter, so it's rich, but light at the same time and delightfully creamy!
You can either pipe the frosting on or use a small knife to spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes--either way these are amazing. Then if you like, you can finish them off with a dusting of cinnamon on top.
These really are the taste of Fall. Each bite is the perfect combination of moist cake flavored with apples, crunchy toasted walnuts and creamy dreamy cinnamon-y buttercream frosting. Truly yummy and a great way to celebrate the season. Why not get a copy of Flavorful and whip up these or one of the other 149 treats this weekend?! Whatever you try from this terrific cookbook, you can't go wrong! Have a good one and I'll see you on Monday with more delicious stuff!
Flavorful's Apple Spice Cupcakes with Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Buttercream-Famous Fridays
Makes 12 cupcakes--You will need a candy thermometer to make the frosting
Prep Time for cupcakes: 20 minutes; Bake Time: 25-28 minutes; Prep Time for Frosting: 15-20 minutes; Assembly Time: 10 minutes
For the cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (I didn't use)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup whole milk or apple juice (I used milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and shredded on a box grater
- 3/4 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
For the Frosting
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons water
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, plus a bit more for dusting on top of finished cupcakes
1. To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
2. Sift the flour, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger (if using) into a medium bowl and stir gently to mix. Set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer, place the butter into a large bowl and beat at medium-high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Slowly add both sugars and beat at high speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the egg and lower the speed to medium. Beat until well blended, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
4. In a measuring cup, combine the milk or apple juice and vanilla. On low speed, add the flour in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture in two additions. Mix just until blended, but be sure to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl so that all is incorporated. Remove from mixer and use a rubber spatula to fold in apple and walnuts.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake for 25-28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to a baking rack to cool completely.
6. To make the frosting: Pour enough water into a large skillet so that it comes up at least 1/2 inch on the sides. Bring the water to a boil and then turn it down to keep it at a medium-low simmer.
7. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, place the egg whites, brown sugar and water. Place the bowl into the simmering water and use a whisk to constantly whisk the mixture for 8-10 minutes, until a candy thermometer registers 160ºF. (It may take less time--depending on how high the water is simmering and how thick your bowl is)
8. Return the mixer to the stand and attach the whisk attachment or use a hand-held mixer to beat the mixture at medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is cooled and very stiff, like a meringue. Add the butter one tablespoon at a time and beat at medium speed. Then beat in the vanilla and cinnamon. Then beat at high speed for about a minute until the frosting is completely smooth.
9. You can either frost the cupcakes with a small knife or place the frosting in a pastry bag and pipe it on top of the cupcakes, using a large plain or star tip. Dust the frosted cupcakes with additional cinnamon if you like. Serve immediately.
10. Cupcakes can be stored, covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Bring them to room temperature before serving so that the frosting can soften.
Note: Recipe adapted from Flavorful: 150 Irresistible Desserts in All Time Favorite Flavors by Tish Boyle.