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Thanksgiving Special: Apple Pie Cupcakes

Thanksgiving Special: Apple Pie Cupcakes

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you guys are sitting in a cozy kitchen somewhere, wearing an apron that says "Official Taste-Tester." I'm out of town for the holiday, but I didn't want to leave you empty handed. So even though it's not Sunday, check out these delicious Thanksgiving noms!

The real reason people love the holidays? There's food everywhere! At work, at home, at a friend's house, even the neighbors. Everybody is handing out treats or planning dinner parties, and the menu is always overkill.

Do we need 12 desserts for a four-person dinner? Yes. Yes we do.

My own office (no, I don't bake cupcakes for a living) had a big Thanksgiving lunch this week before everybody went home for the holidays. My office is four stories full of different teams of writers, designers, web teams, etc.—so there was plenty of food. We've also got a pretty diverse office with people from all over the world, so the food was just as diverse. There was casserole, there was stuffing AND dressing, there was cobbler, there was pie...I'm drooling again just thinking about it.

My own personal contribution? These to-die-for apple pie cupcakes.

These cupcakes feature a spice cake base, stuffed with apple pie filling and topped with cinnamon frosting. I know it's not nice to toot your own horn—but TOOT. TOOT. But then again, I'm always a fan of something that has brown sugar in every step.


Spice cake:
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Apple Filling
3 medium apples, cored, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices (I used granny smith apples, but I don't think it'll make too much of a difference!)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Large pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch fine salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus melted butter for brushing
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

Cinnamon frosting
1 box (16 ounces) powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg white
Dash of salt
3 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

First, the cupcakes!
1. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside until step 4.
2. Place butter and brown sugar in a large mixer bowl.  Blend until light and fluffy.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Stir in flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Then stir in vanilla.
5. Divide batter evenly into cupcake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.
6. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.
While the cupcakes cool, prepare your filling.
1. Toss the apples, granulated sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt together in a medium bowl.
2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.
3. Add the apples, and cook, stirring frequently for about 6 minutes. Apples should be tender and bendable, and the liquid should be simmering.
4. Stir in flour until it dissolves and the liquid thickens.
5. Remove the skillet from the heat, and let the filling cool completely.
6. Once the filling has cooled completely, core out the cupcakes and place a spoonful of the filling into the center of each one. (I made a pretty wide hole and did not replace the tops because I wanted the filling to show, but that's up to you! I was going for a mini apple pie look.)
Now, for the frosting!
1. Sift powdered sugar and cinnamon into a bowl.
2. Remove 1/2 cup of the sugar mixture and place in a mixer bowl along with the melted butter.  Beat until blended.
3. Beat in egg white and salt.
4. Add remaining sugar mixture to bowl, along with the milk and vanilla. Beat at high speed until it is of spreading consistency.
5. Decorate with the frosting and enjoy!




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