Apple Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream

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Hello friends! When we talk about Fall desserts people usually think about pumpkin but… I can assure you that there are a lot of people I know who don’t like pumpkin at all. Maybe the reason of this “problem” is the smell or texture. I love pumpkin but I want to give you other options for “Fall desserts”. Apples are a very good option. Apple cookies, cakes, muffins, cupcakes, pie… sounds good , eh? I think apple is more appealing to eat for people than pumpkin.

These cupcakes are packed with chunks of apples and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. They are topped with a silky buttercream that has homemade salted caramel.

We will make the salted caramel, cupcakes and buttercream. Sounds difficult? Maybe… but if you follow all the steps you’ll thank me that you make these cupcakes that are perfect to share at your Halloween or Thanksgiving gatherings.

Let’s start with the recipe.

Yield about 14-16 regular size cupcakes

Ingredients

For the salted caramel

1 cup (200g) granulated sugar

6 tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter, room temperature cut into small pieces

1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt

Fort the cupcakes

1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2/3 cup (135g) light brown sugar

1/3 cup (65g) white granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup (80ml) milk

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 big apple, peeled and chopped in small pieces (it has to give you 2 cups, if your apples are too small, you will need 2 apples)

For the salted caramel frosting

1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 homemade salted caramel (homemade)

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons heavy cream

4-5 cups (625g) powdered sugar, sifted

Directions

For the homemade salted caramel

1.- Add white granulated sugar to a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Sugar will form some lumps but that will go away. Once mixture reaches a boil, stop whisking and allow mixture to boil until it reaches a dark amber color, carefully swirling pan occasionally. Please, be careful when you do this because you can burn yourself.

2.-Add in butter BUT be careful because the caramel will bubble a lot. Mix until all the butter is melted.

3.- Slowly pour in the cream, again… be careful because this will bubble a lot. Mix well for about a minute and remove the pan from the heat.

4.- Add in the salt. Mix. Allow to cool off completely. You can pour the caramel into a bowl.

For the apple cupcakes

1.- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake pans with liners.

2.-In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.

3.-In a bowl of a stand up mixer and using a paddle attachment mix butter, white sugar and light brown sugar. Mix for a couple of minutes. Add eggs, one by one, mix for another minute. Add vanilla. Add some of the dry ingredients. Add half of the milk, add more dry ingredients, add the other half of the milk. Finish with dry ingredients. Mix for about 30 seconds. Add apples.

4.- Fill cupcake liners just 3/4 full and bake for about 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the buttercream

1.- In a bowl of a stand up mixer, mix butter for about 2 minutes until is soft and fluffy. Add in the caramel and mix for a minute. Add vanilla and mix. Add powdered sugar cup by cup.

2.-Add cream. Mix in medium speed for about 2 minutes.

And finally….

You will frost the cupcakes. I used Wilton 1M tip to pipe the buttercream on the top of these cupcakes. Also, I drizzled some caramel on the to and decorated with dried apples I got at Trader Joe’s.

That’s it! I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you want to see how I made these cupcakes, you can go to my Instagram @Pastry_Tales and look for the video.

Enjoy!

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