Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Apple Cinnamon "Tree Hugger" Cupcakes

Often times, I borrow concepts or inspiration from other bloggers.

Often I borrow recipes to adapt or follow exactly (but more often, to adapt).

I look to other bloggers for photography tips, photo composition ideas, or decorating tricks.

I look to other bloggers for writing and design suggestions.

What I very rarely do is rip off ideas/names/recipes verbatim. I don't like taking things that aren't mine and I always look to tweak and Young-Idealistic-Baker-ify the recipes I post and names I assign to the final products I proudly share.

All things aside, when I stumbled upon an apple cinnamon cupcake recipe adapted from a more complex "Tree Hugger Apple" cupcake recipe, I couldn't resist borrowing (is it stealing?) the same name for these really similar adapted cupcakes.

After all, these particular cupcakes are the result of literal tree hugging as I climbed up an apple tree, hugging the trunk to reach the perfect apples.

Despite good intentions, I just couldn't come up with a better title for these incredible back-to-nature inspired cupcakes... I do hope the original genius behind the name considers it the highest form of flattery!



Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes (Recipe adapted from Java Cupcake)
Makes 12-14 cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup milk 
  • 1 apple, peeled and shredded
  • Preheat oven to 350 F degrees and line your cupcake pan with liners
  • Cream together the butter and sugars
  • One at a time, mix in the eggs 
  • Add the vanilla then beat on high for 2 minutes
  • Sift into the batter the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon
  • Add the milk and mix only until all the flour and milk are incorporated
  • Gently fold in the apples. Do not over mix!
  • Bake for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Leave in pan for 3-4 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Apple Filling:
  • 1-2 medium apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon milk mixed with 1 heaping tablespoon corn starch
  • In a medium pan, melt the butter on medium-high heat
  • Add the apples, sugars and vanilla and cook until bubbling, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally 
  • Add the milk / cornstarch mixture and bring to a bubble
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes until thickens
  • Remove from heat and continue to stir for about 1 minute, before setting aside to cool
  • Fill cupcakes and puree remaining apple mixture for buttercream

Apple Cinnamon Buttercream:
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 5-6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • remaining apple mixture, pureed (should be about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Cream together butter and about 3 cups powdered sugar until smooth
  • Add pureed apple mixture, cinnamon and salt and mix until smooth
  • Add remaining powdered sugar and beat until smooth
  • Optional: Add milk or cream until desired consistency acquired (I didn't add any)
  • Scrape sides of bowl and mix on high for 1 minute

  • Core the center of your cupcakes (eat the insides or save them for a later project... cake balls anyone?
  • Fill with Apple Filling and replace the tops of cupcake centers
  • Top with Apple Cinnamon Buttercream
  • Optional: Top with a Homemade Apple Chip

Happy Baking Tree Huggers!

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