If there is one thing I love about apple pie, it’s the sugary-cinnamon diced apples. The crust can be amazing—and it basically has to be in order to have an apple pie resembling grandma’s staple—but without the apples, there is just no point to the pie. It explicitly states it in its name, apple pie.
So, what happens when you decide to take the crust away and replace it with a fluffy vanilla cake? Keep the apples, stuff them in the middle of a moist cupcake, add vanilla buttercream frosting, and you have a remodeled classic: apple pie cupcakes.
Cupcakes are all the hype nowadays. Not only are plenty of stores devoted to them—Sweet Cupcakes, Kickass Cupcakes, Isabelle’s Curly Cakes, Lulu’s Sweet Shoppe, Sugar Bakery, to name a few—a cupcake truck (The Cupcakory) has taken over the streets of the Beantown. Needless to say, there is a ever-growing affection to cupcakes in Boston.
So, why not try your own elaborate mini-cake at home? This recipe is simple enough that you won’t wish you had just biked down to Mass. Ave. (where Sweet is located), yet delicious enough that you won’t regret spending that chunk of free time making them.
Apple Pie Cupcakes (adapted from Annie’s Eats)
- 1 ½ cups sifted cake flour
- ½ tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- ¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with liners. In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate, large bowl, cream butter and sugar together (with electric mixer if available) until fluffy.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one. Add vanilla extract and mix well to combine. Add dry ingredients, alternating with the milk; starting and ending with dry ingredients. Stir until combined.
- Pour batter evenly into cupcake liners, filling them ¾ full. Bake until golden, making sure a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean, about to 18 to 22 minutes. Remove cupcakes from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
- While cupcakes are baking, make apple filling. Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add cinnamon and sugar and cook for about 1 minute or until mixture begins to bubble. Lower heat to medium and add apples. Mix well and cook until apples are tender, for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.
- Once cupcakes are cool, use a pairing knife to remove a cone-shaped chunk from the center of each, leaving a ½-1 inch rim around the top. Fill holes with cooled apples.
- Using a decorating bag, top each cupcake with a swirl of vanilla buttercream.
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- In a medium bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt. Beat until sugar is moistened. Scrape bowl to make sure mixture is completely combined.
- Add vanilla and cream, and beat until incorporated. Continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy.