Saturday, November 07, 2009

Apple Cupcakes...

Those cupcakes we made for that Wednesday Treat Day not too long ago started a monster in my stomach that has been evil, annoying and loud enough that I caved and made more cupcakes (which we are greedily keeping to ourselves!). I was able to dig into our overflowing apple supply though, which made me feel a little better about making these Apple Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Marshmallow Frosting.

It also pushed me to get in gear yesterday and dehydrate a few trays worth of sliced apples as the recipe called for them! We tossed just a bit of those diced, pliable dried apples with shredded fresh apples (Honey Crisp and Golden Delicious in our case) with a few tablespoons of brown sugar and cinnamon to stew while the rest of the ingredients came together.

One of the bonus points for these cupcakes is how quickly the batter comes together - instead of waiting for butter to soften enough to cream, this recipe uses canola oil instead and pairs it with brown sugar for a rich depth. Lightened with a couple eggs and a splash of vanilla, the creamy concoction was primed for the dry ingredients - cake flour, whole-wheat pastry flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda for lift. Whisked together ahead of time, those ingredients were alternately added with thick, tangy buttermilk to smooth the batter out. The apple mixture that had been marinating is finally folded in, creating the cupcake batter we scooped into our muffin tin.

After baking and giving the cupcakes plenty of time to cool, it was time to start on the soft, caramel-esque marshmallow frosting. Unlike that lengthy, but luscious and butter-rich Swiss Meringue frosting we made for those other cupcakes, this frosting is made much like your classic seven-minute frosting in a bowl set over simmering water. This one uses brown sugar though and is speckled with our favorite Vietnamese cinnamon to echo the flavor in the cupcake. As these cupcakes were just for us, I just went ahead and used a couple of fresh egg whites - if you're worried about using those, you can replace them with dried egg whites, reconstituted according to the package to the liking of two egg whites, or try using pasteurized eggs instead.

Once beaten together, the frosting ends up being fluffy and thick, with a delightful shine to it, and indeed tasted just like an unset marshmallow (without the stickiness I might add!). My plan was to smear the cupcakes with the frosting using a spatula, but when I noticed how it retained the track marks from the mixer, I grabbed a pastry bag from the cupboard, fitted it with an open star tip and went to town! I feared it was just going to turn into a squishy pillow as it sat since the frosting was a little too soft to keep definitive sharp lines, but it actually set up and didn't fall! Keep that in mind though, if the frosting itself sits for too long, it will begin to firm and be harder to work with - make the frosting right before you are ready to frost them all.

Remember how I talked about using canola oil instead of softened butter? That did speed up the prep time, but using that resulted in a texture that reminded me more of a moist muffin than a cupcake. I wouldn't say that detracted from the overall picture though as these apple-filled treats were the essence of fall all wrapped up in a compact edible package.


  1. Excellent treats!!

    MMMMMMMMMM: A rich & decadent topping!!

  2. Oh my gosh! These sound delicious!!!! I'd like one right now please. I have to make these!

  3. Wow, these look so good! I'm going to have to go out and buy some apples now...

  4. Yum. These sound amazing. Love how glossy the marshmallow topping is

  5. Sophie - Thanks!

    Patty - They are definitely a must-make!

    Yvette - Awesome, enjoy!

    Katie - Thanks!

  6. I'm all about that frosting!

  7. Quinn - hee! I confess to saving a small bowl of it just for myself to eat with a spoon!