Monday, October 3, 2011

Caramel Apple Cupcakes!

By: Christine
There are a bunch of things that I love about the fall season and almost all of these things have something to do with food. I love pumpkin muffins, pumpkin coffee, apple donuts, apple cider, Jill's delicious pumpkin blondies, apple pie....and lots more! I also love going apple picking in the fall. Jill and I wrote this blog entry  last year about the tradition of apple picking and this past weekend was when we all gathered together in New Hampshire, with family and friends to do the annual apple pick!

I wanted to make something that I hadn't made before, but something that went with the theme of the day; apples! I decided to make two different variations of caramel apple cupcakes.
I started looking at different recipes online for an apple cupcake and after finding a few options, I wasn't seeing exactly what I wanted. I was walking through the grocery store and stumbled upon this boxed cake mix and I knew that it was exactly what I needed! Now some people may think that using a boxed cake mix is "cheating," but I don't agree. I have used box mixes as bases in some of my favorite cupcakes, and people are shocked to hear that its from a box. I like to add things to the boxed mix that make it my own and sometimes its just easier and less time consuming to use a boxed mix.
I started out making the cake batter. This batter had tiny chunks of apple inside and speckles of nutmeg and cinnamon.
The mix came with a packet of caramel topping mix and after adding some water and butter to the mix, I made a thick and delicious caramel topping. I added the topping to the top of the cupcakes before placing them in the oven to bake.
After baking the cupcakes for about 18 minutes, they were done, and they smelled amazing!
I wanted to make two different types of toppings for these cupcakes. For the first type, I melted a bunch of caramel candies with about a tablespoon of heavy cream and made a sticky caramel apple type of topping. I spooned this onto the cupcake and spread it around evenly, then I rolled the edges of the cupcake in peacans, chocolate chips, and colorful sprinkles!
The second type of frosting that I used was a cream cheese based frosting. I added some apple pie spice into the frosting to match the taste of the cupcake. I added fun toppings to these cupcakes too!
 This was a fun cupcake to make, and although it came from a boxed mix, it was moist, delicious and enjoyed by everyone at apple picking!

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