As mentioned in my previous post, it was my friend’s birthday and so I was baking presents. Having decided to make apple and cinnamon cupcakes – I realised I was going to have to make up the recipe as I couldn’t find one in any of my many baking books and I don’t really like trusting online recipes that much!
I decided to go with my standard Primrose Bakery cupcake recipe and adapt as I went through! As I wanted a slightly denser and fudgier cake – I decided to use a mix of light brown and Demerara sugar, instead of castor. I reduced the milk slightly to compensate for the additional water in the apples. The actual cakes didn’t look beautiful when baked – but they tasted fantastic! Will definitely be making these again.
When making the icing, I added slightly too much vanilla – which made it over-sweet. I think the vanilla needs to be there to temper the cinnamon, which can be a bit bitter, but it needs to be carefully balanced!
Inspired by the owls that are everywhere at the moment – I decided to make owl cupcake toppers. I had to improvise quite a bit to find cutters to work for the owl shapes – in the end, I used two kleaf cutters for the bodies of the owls and the tip of a piping nozzle for the eyes. The flowers were easy, but I had to use the edge of a piping nozzle to cut the leaf shapes. They took quite a while but I think they were worth it!
Apple and cinnamon cupcakes with an apple puree filling and cinnamon buttercream
- 110g butter, at room temperature
- 150g soft brown sugar
- 75g Demerara sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 150g self-raising flour, sifted
- 125g plain flour, sifted
- 90ml semi-skimmed milk
- 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and grated
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 large or 3 small Bramley apples, peeled, cored and cut into rough chunks
- Soft brown sugar, to taste
- 3 tblsp water
- 110g butter, at room temperature
- 500g icing sugar, sifted
- 60ml semi-skimmed milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 160C/350F/GM4.
- Line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy this will take at least 5 minutes with an electric hand mixer – don’t rush this stage).
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition. It should result in a lovely light mousse-like mixture.
- Combine the two flours and the cinnamon in a separate bowl.
- Add one third of the flours to the creamed mixture and stir gently to combine.
- Pour in one third of the milk mixture and stir gently.
- Continue to add flours and then milk mixture alternately, stirring gently after each addition, until all have been added.
- Squeeze the grated apple in your hands to get rid of as much of the apple juice as possible.
- Stir in the squeezed apple gratings to the cake mixture.
- Spoon mixture into the cupcake cases, filling to about 2/3 full.
- Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until lightly golden brown. The cakes will spring back lightly when touched, if cooked.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in tin for about 10 minutes, before carefully placing on a wire rack to finish cooling.
While the cakes are in the oven, make up the filling and buttercream:
- Put the Bramley apple chunks into a saucepan with the water and about a tablespoon of soft brown sugar.
- Place over a low heat and stir occasionally until the apples have reduced to a thick puree.
- Taste and add more sugar as needed. You don’t want the apple to be too sweet as it will balance the sweet buttercream.
- Place to one side to cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon and half of the icing sugar until smooth.
- Add the rest of the icing sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.
To fill and decorate:
- Once cakes are cooked and cooled, use a tea spoon to cut a cone out from the centre of the cakes.
- Cut the top disk off each cone and retain.
- Fill the hole in each cake with a teaspoon of pureed apple and then replace a cake disk onto each cake to seal the hole.
- Place buttercream into an icing bag with a star shaped nozzle (I use the Wilton 1M nozzle). Swirl onto cupcakes.