I have an overabundance of apples right now and I was looking for an apple pie muffin or cupcake that with tons of apple chunks and a dominant apple flavor.
After a lot of searching, I stumbled upon these lovely cupcakes courtesy of Sarahcupcake.com. Everything from the brown butter cupcakes to the chunky apple filling to the pie crumb frosting caught my attention.
One thing to note is that these cupcakes are time consuming. In one step you need to brown butter and then let it cool to room temperature, another step for the frosting requires that you bake a crumb topping for 25 minutes and then let it cool to room temperature as well. If you are aware of these steps ahead of time, you could streamline the process a bit. I actually ended up making a batch of apple dumplings in the midst of waiting for all the steps to come together for the cupcakes.
I wanted the cupcakes to look more like pies so I reserved about a half cup of the crumbs and decorated half of them as “criumb pies” by spreading the frosting on top and sprinkling with the crumbs and then piping the crust around the edge. For the other half, I added additional apples outside of the filled hole and piped a lattice crust.
Looking forward to serving these at our annual Fourth of July party next week!
Apple Pie Cupcakes *Makes 12 cupcakes*
For the browned butter cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
5 tbl browned butter
3 tbl salted butter, at room temp
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a large bowl sift together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the brown butter, butter, sugar, and brown sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until completely incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Turn the mixer to low and beat in the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, in three separate additions, starting and finishing with the flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated.
Divide the mixture between the 12 cupcake tins. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the apple pie filling:
1 tbl butter
2 tbl sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 granny smith apples, peeled and diced
2-4 tbl apple juice or cider
Combine the butter, sugar, cinnamon, and diced apples in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until the butter and sugar are melted. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are softened slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the apple juice or cider if the mixture looks too dry.
For the pie crumb frosting:
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tbl sugar
1/2 cup (8 tbl) salted butter, melted
1 1/2 tbl water
6 tbl salted butter, at room temp
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the flour and sugar. Beat to combine. With the mixer on low slowly stream in the melted butter and water. Stop the mixer when the mixture begins to form small clumps of dough, it should be slightly sandy. Dump the mixture out onto the baking sheet and spread the clumps in an even layer. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring the mixture to break up any clumps occasionally. Cool completely before proceeding.
In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the room temperature butter and powdered sugar until pale and fluffy.
In a blender combine the cooled pie crumbs and milk. Blend to a paste. Add this to the stand mixer and beat to combine, about 4 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine.
12 brown butter cupcakes
apple pie filling
pie crumb frosting
Use a knife to cut a cone shaped piece out of the top of each cupcake. Fill the holes with the apple pie filling. Make sure the filling is cool so it won’t melt the frosting. Top with pie crumb frosting.
Source: Cupcake recipe heavily adapted from Annie’s Eats who got it from Fatty Fat Fats. Pie crumb frosting recipe adapted from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook.