Fruity, sweet and salty combine to to bring you the perfect Autumnal cupcake. The cupcake sponge has the warm, inviting hit of apple cider with the added bonus of more grated apple that sweetens the sponge perfectly. Filled with salted caramel sauce, the cupcake is then topped with a luxurious swirl of caramel swiss meringue buttercream, an extra drizzle of caramel and finished off with an apple crisp.
Apple cider cupcakes
215g (1 2/3 cup) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
18g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
50g (1/4 cup) brown sugar
110g (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
120ml (1/2 cup) apple cider
60g (1/2 cup) grated apple
120g (1/2 cup) salted caramel sauce. Recipe found here.
Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5 large egg whites
300g 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
440g (2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
120g (1/2 cup) salted caramel
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Pinch salt, optional
Apple Crisps (see notes below)
For the Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line 12 cupcake moulds with liners.
- In a large bowl, mix your dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Once creamed, add vanilla and then Add eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl and mixing completely between each addition.
- Alternate adding the mixed dry ingredients and the apple cider to the butter and sugar, stirring on low, making sure you’re only stirring them until they’re just absorbed. 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then ½ the apple cider, then ½ the remaining dry mix, then the rest of the apple cider, followed by the rest of the dry mix and the grated apple. Do not over mix. Give it one last stir and make sure there are no dry ingredients sitting on the bottom of the bowl
- Fill cupcake cases 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 16-18 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Be careful to not overbake! Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
- Once cooled, scoop out some sponge from the centre of the cupcake and spoon caramel sauce in until level with the top of the cupcake. Set aside until ready to pipe buttercream.
For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined.
- Place bowl over a pot of boiling water ensuring the bowl does not touch the water and whisk the egg whites and sugar continuously until the temperature reaches 70C/160F. Sugar granules should feel totally dissolved when mixture is rubbed between finger and thumb.
- Remove from the bowl from the heat and carefully wipe the bottom with a cloth and place on the stand mixer. With the whisk attachment fitted, beat on medium to high until the egg white mixture is completely cool. and the bowl is cool to touch. This can take 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the whisk attachment and replace with the paddle attachment. On medium speed, start adding the butter one table spoon at a time, only adding the next when the butter is fully incorporated. Once completely added then continue to beat for another 3-5 minutes until the mixture is whipped and of a thick consistency. Note: if it’s lumpy then continue to whip until smooth.
- Add vanilla bean paste and salted caramel and whip until fully combined.
- Using a piping bag fitted with a star tip, swirl buttercream onto the cupcakes. Next drizzle caramel sauce over the buttercream, then place an apple crisp as decoration. Optional: sprinkle with flaked sea salt.
Tips for the buttercream
1. Ensure metal bowl is grease and water free. Must be clean and totally dry prior to whisking egg whites.
2. Ensure there are no yolks in the egg whites.
3. Use a candy thermometer to ensure the correct temperature os reached for the egg whites
4. Once whipping egg whites with the stand mix, the mixture AND the metal bowl has to be at room temperature. Zero heat in the bowl before adding the butter.
5. Once the butter is added, if it looks like soup then place the bowl in the fridge for ten minutes and then commence whipping again.
Tips for Apple Crisps
Use a mandolin to slice 1 apple, then lay all the slices on a baking tray and baked for 1 hour in a 140C/275F oven, turning over once until dried. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully.
Keywords: Cupcakes, dessert, snack, treat, autumn