Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Caramel Apple Spiced Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

Aaahhh.. The Quest continues! 
I decided earlier this year to embark on the Quest for the Perfect Cupcake. It has been a great adventure, with some classic cupcakes (Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting), some strange (Dr. Pepper) and some perfectly perfect (Peanut Butter Cupcakes and Turtle Cupcakes). I also tested out Pink Lemonade Cupcakes and Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting.

When I first put the quest out there I asked for some suggestions. Apple cupcakes were on the request list - and with autumn upon us, Caramel Apple Spiced Cupcakes were definitely on the menu.
I found the basis for this cupcake on Pinterest. It was set up as a cake, but turning the recipe into cupcakes was an easy fix.
I know that I really should have made my own caramel for this recipe, and in the future I probably will (using the recipe from my Turtle Cupcakes) but I just did not have time this weekend. Store bought (gasp!) caramel ice cream topping to the rescue!
Caramel Apple Spiced Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream and Toffee Bits
Adapted from The Great Cake Company
Makes 48 regular cupcakes
Caramel Apple Spiced Cupcakes
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tsp Apple Pie Spice (I use this one)
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cups applesauce
Caramel Dessert Topping
Preheat your oven to 350F. Line your cupcakes tins for 48 cupcakes. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and apple pie spice into a large bowl.
In your mixer, beat the butter until creamy, about 4 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 more minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
Add the flour mixture to the mixer bowl, alternating with the applesauce, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix all ingredients until well combined.
Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for about ten minutes. 
Spoon about 1 tsp of caramel topping onto each cupcake. Spread around using the back of a spoon. Leave the caramel topped cupcakes to cool completely while you make the icing.
Caramel Buttercream Frosting
1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
8 cups icing sugar (I know, it sounds like a lot, but it's for 48 cupcakes!!)
4 tbsp milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup caramel dessert topping
Skor bits, for decoration
Cream the butter until creamy add vanilla and beat until smooth. Add icing sugar one cup at a time. The mixture will be dry, so add milk 1 tbsp at a time until icing smooths out. Add the caramel dessert topping and mix until well combined.
Using a Wilton 1M tip, swirl icing onto the top of each caramel topped cupcake. Sprinkle the iced cupcakes with Skor bits.
I brought these cupcakes in to work and they were gone!! If you make them, let me know how they turn out!!

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