Most of the time, anything involving the combination of apples and caramel is a good thing in my book, be it cake, pie, tarts, or simply dipping slices of apple in a good caramel sauce and calling it dinner. The single preparation that I can currently think of that I don’t like is… caramel-dipped apples… which happens to be this week’s designated recipe for Baked Sunday Mornings. Not since I had adult braces almost 20 years ago have I bitten into a whole apple– that is a big no-no. I learned to cut up my fruit, lest I wanted to visit the orthodontist for a bent wire or broken bracket! And I just kept cutting my fruit after that out of habit; I realized that I don’t like putting my whole face onto a hard piece of fruit! And so, I had no interest in making caramel apples this week (though in retrospect, I could have just cut up the coated apple… but moving on).
I did, however, have very much of an interest in making something that emulated that flavor combo, and into my mind wafted the Caramel Apple Cake from Baked Explorations that I’d made a few Thanksgivings ago. It was a glorious tower of applesauce-infused cake layers sandwiching caramel buttercream– probably one of my favorite-ever BAKED layer cakes. The only thing I would have changed was to bake the cakes just a bit longer because they came out a bit wet. I fully intended to try the cake again this week, but with work busyness and an upcoming trip to pack for, a layer cake was not in the cards. Instead, I decided to adapt them as cupcakes, which I made for a friend’s Halloween party. I’m here to tell you that Caramel Apple Cupcakes are now one of my favorite Fall cupcake recipes, and they should probably be yours too.
The cake batter needs no modifications for cupcake adaptation– they came out soft, yet perfectly sturdy when topped with buttercream. This particular iteration of BAKED’s cooked frosting, which is blended with caramel sauce, came out probably better than any batch I’ve ever made. (Can I finally let my guard down with this frosting? Ugh, I probably just jinxed myself.) And for good measure, I topped each cupcake with more caramel and an apple chunk as an homage to the caramel apples that I was supposed to make– it’s practically the same, no??
Biting into these cupcakes is like biting right into Fall. They are ideal any time during October or November, but I wouldn’t be mad to eat these in December either… and if you insist, we can even start in September. Or April. My Halloween tasters, mostly non-Americans, just loved these and found them very novel, which was flattering. You can find the recipe for Caramel Apple Cake (made into cupcakes here exactly as written) at Baked Sunday Mornings. Please also take a look at this week’s pretty caramel apples while you’re there! 🙂
© Dafna Adler & Stellina Sweets, 2018.