These have an apple spice cake, caramel buttercream, and caramel drizzled on top. I happen to think they're beautiful and tasty. The cake recipe below is for high altitude. If you don't live at high altitude, I recommend you use a spice cake recipe or your favorite vanilla cake recipe and then doctor it up. You also can use a boxed spice or vanilla cake mix. If you use vanilla cake, be sure to add the apples and spices. If you're using a spice cake, add in the apples. The caramel buttercream is perfect for all altitudes, as is the caramel drizzle. Also note that the recipe below is for 12 cupcakes. If you use a recipe or a box mix that makes 24 cupcakes, double the apples/spices that you add. It sounds kinda complicated, but I promise it's not. I usually make the cupcakes one day and make the frosting and decorate the next day to split it up a bit. These are well worth the effort and the time spent in your kitchen!
Makes 12 cupcakes
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Note: This cake recipe is for high altitude. If you're at regular altitude, use your favorite vanilla cake recipe and add in the apples and spices or your favorite spice cake recipe and add in the apples. If the recipe or box mix makes 24 cupcakes, double the apple/spice amounts indicated below.
For the cupcakes (highaltitude):
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 green apple, peeled and diced
For the frosting (any altitude):
1/2 cup butter
8 ounces brown sugar (about 1 cup + 2 tablespoons packed)
1/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 cups powdered sugar
For the caramel sauce (any altitude):
Caramel sauce for ice cream or
5 caramel candies
1-2 tablespoons cream
To make the cupcakes, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a muffin pan with 12 liners.
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs until incorporated. Mix in the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. In two additions, add in the flour alternating with the milk. Mix until just incorporated and then fold in the diced apples.
Fill the cupcake liners with about 1/4 cup of batter or about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.
While the cupcakes are baking and cooling, make the frosting. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the brown sugar and bring to a boil while stirring. Stir in the milk, baking soda, and corn syrup and bring to a boil again. Remove from heat and cool completely (about an hour). Transfer to a mixing bowl, add the powdered sugar, and mix on medium speed until it's creamy and smooth.
Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and pipe onto the cupcakes. Drizzle on the premade caramel sauce or make your own by microwaving the caramel candies with cream until melted and smooth.
Frosting recipe from Big Book of Cupcakes