Caramel apple maple oat crisp cupcakes
For October, I’ve decided to bake cupcakes for this and next Friday and donate the proceeds to She’s the First, via the Cupcake Campaign. I also decided to adapt a cupcake recipe from Robicelli’s: A Love Story, With Cupcakes.
Oh, and it’s Fall … somewhere in the world (it’s currently rainy and humid in Philly … ick), so of course I had to work with my favorite fruit: apples.
The cake is PACKED with apple, and I liked the technique of shredding the fruit, though my skin did not (the acid of the Granny Smith apples seriously tore up my hands). Because I had so much juice from pressing the apples, I experimented with using it instead of water for the caramel, and I’m pleased with how it turned out. By adding a touch of salt, as well as some apple butter, the buttercream is a perfect blend of a classic caramel apple.
For the cupcakes, heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and position the racks toward the center.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and Chinese 5 spice together. Set aside.
Combine the sugar, brown sugar and shredded apples in the bowl of a stand mixer, mixing until combined.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the oil and maple syrup.
In a separate bowl or large mixing cup, beat the whole eggs and egg white. Turn the mixer on low again, and slowly add the beaten eggs.
Add the vanilla, mixing to combine.
Divide the batter between wrappers in cupcake tins and bake for 22-24 minutes. Cool on a wire rack completely before frosting.
Start the caramel for the buttercream next so that it has time to cool.
In a medium pot over medium high heat, stir together granulated sugar and freshly pressed apple juice until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat, then cook without stirring until mixture turns amber.
Remove from heat and slowly add in cream, vanilla and apple butter, stirring until smooth.
Let the caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable.
While the caramel cools, make the maple oat crisp. Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and spray a rimmed baking pan with nonstick spray.
Combine the butter, oats, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon and mix until combined.
Slowly add the maple syrup, then add the flour, mixing until combined.
Crumble the maple oat crisp onto the baking pan, spreading it out.
Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and mix it around with a spatula, spreading it out again. Do this 2-3 more times, until the crisp is golden brown and crunchy.
Cool on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes, then break up the pieces.
For the buttercream, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy in a mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
Reduce speed to low and add the confectioners sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Add the caramel and beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 5 minutes).
To assemble the cupcakes, pipe the frosting on using an extra large round tip, then sprinkle on some of the maple oat crisp, including some of the crumbs for even coverage.
FInish with a drizzle of apple butter.