February 25, 2012

Buttery Applesauce Cupcakes with Brown Sugar-Nutmeg Cream Cheese Frosting

When I first found out about the instructables.com website they were running a cupcake contest. I came up with these delicious cupcakes decorated with an Apple logo to enter. They were giving away an iPad 2 that I didn't win but I did manage to get an apron!

For the cupcake:
1/2 c. butter (one stick)
1 egg
1 c. applesauce
1 t. vanilla
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 1/2 t. nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line cupcake tin with papers.

In a large mixing bowl sift sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. (Grating fresh nutmeg rather than using pre-ground gives a more intense flavor to the cupcakes.)

In a medium bowl combine softened butter, egg, applesauce, and vanilla mixing well. Add to the dry ingredients. Mix well.

Spoon batter into cupcake tin 3/4 full and bake 15-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool on a wire rack.

For the frosting:
8 oz cream cheese
4 T. butter (half a stick)
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. freshly ground nutmeg

While cupcakes are baking make the frosting.

In a medium mixing bowl combine softened cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer at medium speed. Add brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg.

Mix until light and fluffy. Taste, because you can't resist and set aside!

If you have small children I highly recommend letting them lick the beaters so they will be occupied while you make the apple decorations!

For the apple decoration:
6 pieces of colored taffy (green, yellow, orange, red, purple, and blue) per every six cupcakes.

You will need 6 colors of taffy (green, yellow, orange, red, purple, and blue), a rolling pin, waxed paper, a ruler, a pizza cutter, a sharp knife and an Apple logo pattern.

Laffy Taffy is a good option for the colors but any pliable taffy will work. It can be found in most bulk candy sections at the grocery store.

1. Place a piece of taffy between two pieces of waxed paper and flatten with a rolling pin until about 1/8 of an inch thick.
2. Repeat with remaining colors.
3. Cut an Apple logo pattern out of paper. You can easily print one from the internet in the size you want.
4. Using a pizza cutter cut flattened taffy into strips. You will need to get 6 strips from each color. You can eyeball it or use a ruler to get the correct width.
5. Lay strips of taffy together to get your rainbow. Gently press to get colors to stick together.
6. Lay your Apple pattern on top of striped taffy and cut around the pattern with a sharp knife. If the taffy is too soft (or sticking to your knife) you can refrigerate for a few
minutes to make it easier to cut.
7. Using scraps from the green taffy - cut out the apple stems.
8. Assemble apples with stems and refrigerate 10 minutes before putting on cupcakes.

How fun was that?!

For Assembly:
Frost cooled cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Use enough to make the tops somewhat flat.

Place apples and stems on the frosting. Eat and enjoy! YUM!

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