Halloween is just a week away, which means it’s the perfect time to bust out all of your favorite spooky treats. Whether you’re throwing a festive monster mash or a quiet evening entertaining trick-or-treaters, you know that the best part about All Hallows Eve are the delectable desserts. Everyone loves a sweet and sticky caramel apple on this scary holiday and most of you know how to make this simple recipe already. But how about we take this Halloween classic and put it into cupcake form? These Caramel Apple Cupcakes are filled with plenty of fresh apples and warm fall spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Then, they’re topped off with a fluffy, buttery frosting and finally finished off with a caramel drizzle. While the frosting takes a little extra work because of the homemade caramel, one taste is all you’ll need to see that it’s well worth the effort. As for the apples, you can use any good baking apples but we especially love the old tried-and-true Lady Apples for this recipe.
Lady Apples are one of America’s oldest known varieties and a traditional favorite used in cooking. This fruit is petite in size compared to other larger apples and can range from a green to yellow hue with a gorgeous crimson blushing. Lady Apples taste both sweet and tart and is known for its pleasant aroma and tender, slightly crisp flesh. Although delicious when eaten raw, they are popular for culinary use such as in baking, stuffing and incorporating into sauces and chutneys where their flavor becomes more pronounced during the cooking process. They also pair brilliantly with meats such as chicken, pork or lamb and make a wonderful accompaniment to any holiday feast. For more selection of Melissa’s apples, please visit here.
Caramel Apple Cupcakes
Yields: 24 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 2 cups of Lady Apples, chopped
- 1 and 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- 3/4 cup of milk
- 1/2 cup of butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
For the frosting:
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup of water
- 24 tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Caramel sauce, for drizzling
1. Begin by working on the frosting. In a small saucepan, dissolve the granulated sugar and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Allow for the mixture to boil for about 5 minutes. It should start turning into a light brown color.
2. Remove from the heat and slowly pour in the cream while continuing to stir. Then gently stir in the vanilla extract. Allow to cool to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Use a stand mixer to beat the butter and sugar together until the mixture is fluffy. Add in the egg and continue to mix.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, all spice and cloves.
5. Begin by adding about 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Pour in half of the milk and mix. Then add about 1/2 of the remaining flour and the rest of the milk and mix again. Then add the last of the flour. Once the rest of the flour is mixed in, stir in the apples and gently fold to distribute evenly throughout the batter.
6. Line your muffin tins with paper liners. Pour in the batter, filling each liner about 2/3 full. Bake for 21 to 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Then remove from the heat and cool completely before frosting.
7. Once the cupcakes have cooled, use a clean stand mixer to mix together the butter and salt for about 3 minutes. Then add the powdered sugar and mix together on a low speed setting. Add the caramel and beat on medium speed for around 2-3 minutes until the frosting becomes fluffy.
8. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag and frost the cupcakes. Drizzle the top of the cupcakes with a little bit of caramel sauce.