Caramel Apple Cupcake Recipe

This seems like a great recipe to post as we are rapidly approaching the fall season. I am not a fan of pumpkin spice anything, but apple…apple I will do. This was another office birthday request for anther one of my IT support people. If you can’t tell by now they’re my favorites.

I made an apple cupcake with a salted caramel frosting and a caramel drizzle. The apple flavor was incredibly subtle and the homemade caramel added a nice touch on top. The sea salt sprinkle lent itself nicely to the sweet and salty balance. One request I received to make them better was to add apple pieces to the cupcake to give it a bit more flavor and texture. I will definitely have to try that out next time.

Apple cupcakes with a salted caramel frosting, homemade caramel drizzle and a sea salt sprinkle

Apple cupcakes with a salted caramel frosting, homemade caramel drizzle and a sea salt sprinkle

Ingredients: 

Cupcake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup white sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup apple juice concentrate
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, softened

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs, apple juice concentrate, milk and butter. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the top of the cupcake bounces back when you touch it.

Frosting

1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions:
Mix together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until completely smooth. Allow to cool for about 25-30 minutes. Combine butter and salt and beat on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated. Turn mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add caramel. Beat frosting on medium-high speed until airy and thoroughly mixed. Cover and refrigerate about 45 minutes before using.

Caramel

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
Bring brown sugar, butter, and milk to a boil and cook until thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; add vanilla extract.

My Notes:

  • Let the caramel cool before putting it on the cupcakes, otherwise it will melt your frosting and make a big mess
  • Other garnish ideas can include apple slices or caramel candies
  • Caramel can burn very quickly, so be careful not to keep in on the heat for too long

Primal Friendly Banana Nutella Cupcake Recipe

This is a recipe that is extremely popular with my boyfriend, Josh, who lives the primal lifestyle. For those who are unfamiliar with the primal way of life, it essentially cuts out grains, starches, excessive carbs, legumes and pretty much all happiness in life. Just kidding…sort of. Since cupcakes are traditionally made from wheat flour, I usually need to get creative with some substitutions using coconut or almond flour – both primal friendly alternatives. Since almond and coconut flour are drier than wheat flour the substitutions are not 1:1 so converting a recipe over is not as easier as it seems.

These banana cupcakes are probably one of my more successful recipes. The primal diet also preaches the avoidance of sugars and processed foods, so my usual choice of Nutella frosting is a bit taboo, but sometimes Josh likes to live life dangerously and break the rules. Here are my “half-way healthy” primal-friendly banana cupcakes with Nutella frosting:

Primal friendly banana cupcakes with Nutella frosting and chocolate chips

Primal friendly banana cupcakes with Nutella frosting and dark chocolate chips

 

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

4 bananas
4 eggs
1/2 cup almond butter
4 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of sea salt
dark chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° degrees. Combine your bananas, eggs, almond butter and butter in a mixing bowl and mix well. Add in your coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and sea salt and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips, if desired. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Nutella Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup Nutella
3 to 4 tbsp heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
salt to taste (optional)

Directions: Beat softened butter on medium speed. Beat for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and continue to beat on medium speed. Add the Nutella and continue to beat on medium speed. Add 3 tablespoons of heavy cream and the vanilla extract. Add salt to taste.

My Notes:

  • If you want to make into a loaf for more of a banana bread style, use the same recipe and bake for 55-60 minutes.
  • I like to add dark chocolate chips as a little added bonus. I use mini chips in the muffins and regular sized chips in the loaf.
  • I add a bit of salt to the frosting to even out the flavor and cut the sweetness.
  • Heavy cream will make a creamier frosting. Regular milk will work in a pinch, but the frosting will be less creamy.