Saturday, September 20, 2008

Caramel Apple Cupcakes...

As you know, yesterday was Jeff's birthday - we've made many different cakes for him over the years - the fun Mickey cake, that Devil's Food Cake with a ring of homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream hidden inside and last year's outrageous Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake.

This year, I decided to ask him what he might like and he responded with "cupcakes!". Cupcakes... an excellent choice I thought, but now I had to figure out what to make! Jeff loves (I don't think that is even a strong enough word) caramel apples... every year after we do our big holiday baking spree I always make a few for us (him) to enjoy. So, to play off that idea, I decided to try out these Caramel Apple Cupcakes.

These light cupcakes are flavored with individual spices that conjure memories of tempting fall treats - cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, fresh grated nutmeg and clove. I didn't want any apple chunks in these cupcakes, so to give a smooth apple flavor, applesauce is used as part of the wet ingredients to impart that flavor. In addition to the melted butter, a bit of sour cream is used to keep these cupcakes tender and very moist.

Rather than a traditional buttercream frosting, we upgraded his birthday cupcakes by smearing the crowns of each with creamy melted caramel. You'll need to try and work quickly as the caramel will begin to set, but don't be too concerned if the phone rings or someone comes to the door. If the caramel in the bowl begins to set before it gets onto the cupcake, just gently rewarm the mixture to loosen it up.

One of Jeff's favorite candies is M&M's, which his regular caramel apples MUST be rolled in, so I chopped up a few and scattered them on a couple of the cupcakes - the rest were showered in nuts or sprinkles (and yes, those are Mickey-shaped sprinkles...). To complete the theme, each cupcake gets is skewered with a popsicle stick to give that caramel apple look. Since it also was officially "talk like a pirate day" on his birthday (inside thing with his co-workers!), I did switch out some of those sticks with these pirate-themed candles I put on a toothpick... hee hee!


12 comments:

  1. You did an outstanding job again. I like it!

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  2. Great job! I have to ask - where did you get the Mickey-shaped sprinkles?

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  3. That looks fantastic! Was the apple flavor very pronounced? I"m loving the bounty of apples available now that it's [almost] fall!!!

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  4. The cupcakes look awesome with all of that caramelly goodness!
    Speaking of caramelly goodness, have you and Jeff ever had an Abdallah Caramel Apple. They're made by the Abdallah Chocolate people and they're wonderful. Maybe you and Jeff should treat yourselves to one.

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  5. Helene - Thanks!

    Pat - I picked them up from a local cake decorating store.

    TTFN - Kind of, but I wanted the fallish spices to be upfront - you could probably reduce them a bit for a more apple presence. Maybe toss a few small chunky apple pieces into the batter instead?

    Sue - We drive past that place in Savage/Burnsville often, but have yet to stop in!

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  6. Delish!!! Anything dipped in caramel is ok by me. Happy bday to Jeff :)

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  7. OMG. Those look scrumptious. I especially like the one with the blue sprinkles :)

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  8. Lori - I agree!

    Lisa - Thanks!

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  9. Martha Stewart, move over!

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  10. Wow these look amazing, thanks for posting this recipe. I was looking for a nice fall cupcake and this looks perfect.
    btw, love the new look! I've been following your blog for a year or two now, actually even before you changed it from desert to country, but never posted before. Love your blog and your fun, conversational writing. The new theme/design looks great, though I haven't stopped by for awhile so I'm not sure if it's really new :)

    I'm sure I'm going to love these cupcakes! Thanks again

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  11. Dana - Thanks! We made the change awhile ago, but are making tweaks here and there still!

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