This recipe comes from one of my newer purchases “Love Bakery – cupcakes from the heart”. I know, I know… it’s unlike me to buy a cook book…..ahem. This particular recipe is listed as a breakfast cake, which even I think is pushing it a little!
I wanted to make an apple cupcake and I liked the way this used grated apple ensuring a flavoursome, moist sponge – it keeps well too. I was toying with a similar recipe I’d come across elsewhere that used virtually the same cake but with a streusel topping. I left the decision to the CCM (Caked Crusader’s Ma) who went for this one as it had buttercream and cinnamon (these are two magic words for the CCM).
This cupcake is a classic example of strong, simple flavours working well together. I pondered whether to core the cupcake and add some apple puree but it really doesn’t need it.
On removing these little cakes from the oven I did something I can’t recall ever doing before – I ate one of them. It wasn’t a problem as the mix made so many more cakes than I expected (I’m wondering whether my cases were small as I got 20 when the recipe stated 12, and I’m not exactly known for being mean with my cake!). The sponge is light as air – seriously; the only way you know you have anything in your mouth is because of the strong apple and cinnamon flavour. It’s incredible; I’ve never tasted a sponge like it. The next day it was very different – the sponge turned squidgier; it was just as delicious but a notably different texture – more like a mega-moist doughnut. So if you want them airy and spongy eat on the day of baking; if you like the sound of apple sponge doughnuts, make a day in advance!
The sponge is particularly good and I’m already thinking of other ways to use it – maybe with a custard based frosting. Or perhaps as a larger, sandwich style cake with the buttercream between the layers.
For some extra flavour and texture I soaked some chopped apple and sultanas in apple liqueur and added this to the top of half my cupcakes. The fruit looked like a pared-down mincemeat:
On the cupcakes topped with fruit, I piped a nest of buttercream....
...and then filled it with goodies!
You might just be able to make out the liqueur trickling down into the sponge in this shot:
For the cupcakes (the recipe said this makes 12 cupcakes but I actually got 20!):
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
140g caster sugar
200g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons milk
2 apples, peeled, cored and grated
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the buttercream(I found this was plenty – even though I got 20 cupcakes!):
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
300g icing sugar
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Optional, to decorate: dried apple and sultanas (I soaked mine in apple liqueur but apple brandy or even plain rum or brandy would work just as well)
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/fan oven 160˚C/350˚F/Gas mark 4.
Line two cupcake pans with paper cases; this mix will make 20 generous cupcakes.
Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Don’t skimp on this stage as you’re beating air into your batter.
Gradually beat in the eggs.
Gently stir in the flour and baking powder – don’t over mix.
Gently stir in the milk.
Add the grated apple and cinnamon and stir into the batter until combined. Make sure that you’ve incorporated all the batter from the bottom of the bowl as you want the apple distributed evenly throughout the sponge.
Spoon into the paper cases and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cupcakes comes out clean. Mine took 20 minutes.
Leave the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack, removing from the tin as soon as you can safely do so.
Once cool, the cupcakes will store overnight in an airtight container.
To make the buttercream: beat the butter until fluffy and pale.
Add the sifted icing sugar and milk and continue to beat until light and well combined – I always place a little of the mix on my tongue and press to the roof of my mouth; if it tastes grainy it needs more beating.
Beat in the honey and cinnamon.
Pipe onto the cupcakes and decorate, if required with the dried apple and sultanas.
Bask in the glory at the wonderful thing you have created.