Ok, admittedly, a butter cream iced cupcake first thing in the morning may well be too much for many people. But it was a friend’s birthday, so I made them as mini birthday cakes and on your birthday cake first thing in the morning is a must!
The making of these pretty little things takes a while… cutting the apples in teeny, tiny pieces… baking the cupcakes and waiting for them to be completely cooled down…
However, if you start making the cupcake base the night before, as well as the cinnamon spiced apple pieces, then the frosting and putting it all together can quickly be done in 15mins the next morning.
This recipe is inspired by the one I saw on the Tale of Two Kitchens:
For 12 cupcakes you need:
A 12 tin muffin tin, lined with cupcake/fairy cake (not large muffin ones) cases
For the cupcakes:
- 125g unsalted butter or baking spread
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 125g self-raising flour
- ½ teasp vanilla extract
- 2-3 tbsp milk
For the apple filling:
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 teasp. cinnamon
- 2-3 tbsp. sugar
- 4 green apples, that don’t go mushy when cooked and aren’t too sweet, like Granny Smiths, peeled, cored and diced into small pieces
For the icing:
- 90g butter
- ¼ teasp. vanilla essence
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1tbsp milk
- ½ teasp. cinnamon
First make the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees/gas 6.
Cream the butter and sugar, add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, adding a spoon full of flour in between (which helps preventing the mixture from curdling). Add the rest of the flower and milk as needed to bring the mix to a consistency that drops of the back of a wooden spoon. Spread the mix between 12 fairy cake cases (the small ones, with a cm diameter), lining a muffin tray. Don’t fill the cases to the rim – not that you’d have enough dough for it anyway – only fill them about 2/3 up.
Bake for 15-20mins, then take them out of the oven and, within 3-5 mins, take the cupcakes out on a rack to let them cool down completely.
In the meantime, make the apple filling:
Heat the butter – ideally in a heavy bottomed pan – over medium-high heat. Add cinnamon and sugar; cook for a minute, until mixture begins to bubble. Careful not to make a burnt caramel here, which is what happened to me the first time! Don’t cook the sugary mix for longer than about a minute or so. Lower the heat and stir in the apples. Cook until apples are getting tender (not mushy!), it took me about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
…and the icing:
Whisk the butter and vanilla until fluffy, then add half the icing sugar and half the milk, slowly mixing it in (careful not to go straight on to a high setting and having the icing sugar flying all over the place!). Once the first half is absorbed add the rest of the icing sugar, milk and the cinnamon – again mixing it all in slowly.
Using a small teaspoon, scoop out about a teaspoon worth from the middle of each completely cooled cupcake, leaving enough of a rim, on which to pipe the icing later on. Fill these holes with a generous teaspoon or so of the apple filling, trying to pile it up a little so it looks out over the icing, which can then be piped on in any way you like. I used a medium star shaped nozzle and piped little dots around the filling.
Et voila- enjoy!