Friday, 18 January 2013

Apple and Cinnamon Owl cupcakes

Box of apple and cinnamon cupcakes with cute owl toppers
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!

12 pink and purple owl cupcake toppersInspired 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
  1. 110g butter, at room temperature
  2. 150g soft brown sugar
  3. 75g Demerara sugar
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 150g self-raising flour, sifted
  6. 125g plain flour, sifted
  7. 90ml semi-skimmed milk
  8. 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and grated
  9. 2 tsp cinnamon
  1. 2 large or 3 small Bramley apples, peeled, cored and cut into rough chunks
  2. Soft brown sugar, to taste
  3. 3 tblsp water
Buttercream icing:
  1. 110g butter, at room temperature
  2. 500g icing sugar, sifted
  3. 60ml semi-skimmed milk
  4. ½ tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 160C/350F/GM4.
  2. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Combine the two flours and the cinnamon in a separate bowl.
  6. Add one third of the flours to the creamed mixture and stir gently to combine.
  7. Pour in one third of the milk mixture and stir gently.
  8. Continue to add flours and then milk mixture alternately, stirring gently after each addition, until all have been added.
  9. Squeeze the grated apple in your hands to get rid of as much of the apple juice as possible.
  10. Stir in the squeezed apple gratings to the cake mixture.
  11. Spoon mixture into the cupcake cases, filling to about 2/3 full.
  12. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until lightly golden brown. The cakes will spring back lightly when touched, if cooked.
  13. 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:
  1. Put the Bramley apple chunks into a saucepan with the water and about a tablespoon of soft brown sugar.
  2. Place over a low heat and stir occasionally until the apples have reduced to a thick puree.
  3. Taste and add more sugar as needed. You don’t want the apple to be too sweet as it will balance the sweet buttercream.
  4. Place to one side to cool slightly.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon and half of the icing sugar until smooth.
  6. Add the rest of the icing sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.
To fill and decorate:
Apple and cinnamon cupcake with cinnamon buttercream swirl and an owl cupcake topper
  1. Once cakes are cooked and cooled, use a tea spoon to cut a cone out from the centre of the cakes.
  2. Cut the top disk off each cone and retain.
  3. 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.
  4. Place buttercream into an icing bag with a star shaped nozzle (I use the Wilton 1M nozzle). Swirl onto cupcakes.

1 comment:

  1. These are adorable! I was wondering if you’d like to enter this recipe into our Gourmandize Giveaway recipe competition. This month the theme is apples so it would be perfect, and there are nice prizes to win – let me know what you think: