Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fall Flavors - Apple Cider Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

I feel like I've been gushing over everything I've made recently.  The thing is, though, is that the last few recipes have been THAT GOOD!  I wish I could say I was responsible for these creations, but I must give credit to the amazing bloggers out there who are kind enough to share their creative, tasty recipes.  These cupcakes are no exception. I absolutely, positively love them.  They are the very essence of autumn with a wonderful apple flavor.  Without further ado, here is the recipe!

Apple Cider Cupcakes

2 eggs (at room temperature)
 1 2/3 cup flour
1 cup pasteurized apple cider
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (at room temperature)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease or place liner in cupcake wells.  In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.  

Add eggs, beat well.  Add the baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Combine ingredients, alternately adding the flour and apple cider in small increments until thoroughly combined.  Pour into prepared cupcake pan.  Fill each cup 3/4 full.  Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.  Makes about 12 cupcakes.

At this point my kitchen already smelled SO good!  One of the responsibilities of a baker is to taste test at certain intervals of the process.  You know, someone has to do it....So, I tried a cupcake and already I was in love.  I was hoping the caramel icing would compliment and enhance these cupcakes.  I set out to find the answer and gave it a try!

Caramel Frosting

1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter.  Next, add the milk and brown sugar.  

Obviously, I didn't read the recipe correctly, as I did not melt the butter completely before adding the milk and sugar.  In this case the icing turned out just fine, but you should always read the recipe entirely before you begin!!

Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and whisk in 1/2 cup confectioners sugar.  Let it cool slightly, then vigorously whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners sugar.  If you have problems doing this by hand, use an electric mixer.  It is very important to whisk very quickly or frosting will not be smooth.  Frost cupcakes while the frosting is still slightly warm.  There will be enough icing for about 12 cupcakes.

This is what the finished icing looked like after beating.  I used an electric hand mixer.
When it comes to frosting with this icing you should be as quick as possible.  It begins to harden very quickly and does not have a nice finish.  Here is the progression of my icing experience:

Next time I think I would add just a touch more milk to keep it smooth.  My favorite finish is the second cupcake.  The first one settled too smoothly.  The second had a nice little flourish I think is cute.  From there the icing hardened and was not as easy to spread.  It's a bit touchy, but worth it because it's DELICIOUS!!

And so it was time for the final taste test.  Heaven.  I'm not exaggerating.  One cupcake was so fulfilling and the perfect amount of sweet after a meal.  Now, my husband did not care for the caramel icing.  It may not be for everyone, but you should definitely give it a try!  This is my new favorite treat of the season.  What is yours?

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1 comment:

  1. These look amazing and as my family knows I'm a sucker for caramel