Caramel Apple Cupcakes

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Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro
Recipe from Southern Living Big Book of Cupcakes

Apple and caramel are pretty simple ingredients, but when combined they are a delectable treat. Top off these cupcakes with toasted pecans to create a traditional fall favorite. We love to add the tiny crab apples as a garnish for extra-special occasions.

Ingredients

  • Fresh Apple Cake:
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose soft-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
  • Paper baking cups
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • Old-Fashioned Caramel Frosting:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 (16-oz.) package dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Toppings:
  • Toasted pecans
  • Fresh crab apples (optional)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl until blended. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture, stirring until blended. Stir in apple. Place paper baking cups in 2 (12-cup) muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely.
  2. To prepare frosting, melt butter in a 3-qt. heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in evaporated milk, baking soda, and corn syrup; bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and let cool completely (about 1 hour). Transfer to a bowl. Gradually add powdered sugar to caramel mixture, beating at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Beat at high speed 2 minutes or until creamy. Use immediately. Makes 3 cups.
  3. Frost each cupcake with Old-Fashioned Caramel Frosting. Top each with toasted pecans and, if desired, 1 fresh crab apple.

Notes

Most of the time at Dreamcakes we toast pecans and other nuts before using them because toasting really brings out the flavor. You can toast them in a skillet over medium-high heat, tossing them until you begin to detect their aroma, or bake them at 350 degrees about 4 to 5 minutes or until toasted, stirring occasionally.

Jan Moon, Dreamcakes Bakery, Southern Living Big Book of Cupcakes,
2011