This the (new & improved) recipe for the Apple & Cinnamon Cupcakes I made on Series 1 of GBBO. The idea behind them was an apple-based dessert served with custard, hence the apple and cinnamon in the cupcake base and the custard powder in the frosting. Adding fruit to cake recipes is always a bit tricky because too much fruit will produce extra moisture while the cake cooks (preventing it from cooking completely and even causing it to collapse) whilst too little makes you wonder if it was worth adding any at all. The balance is usually rectified by adding more flour to a basic recipe and practising until they’re perfect. Or you could just use a wonderfully crafted recipe already tried & tested… (need I say more?)
Apple & Cinnamon Cupcakes
for the cupcakes
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 175g light brown soft sugar
- 3 medium eggs
- 125g self-raising flour, sifted
- 65g plain flour, sifted
- 1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon
- 65ml milk, at room temperature
- 1 medium-sized eating apple (about 200g, e.g. braeburn, gala), peeled, cored and chopped finely
for the caramelised apple
- ½ medium-sized eating apple, peeled, cored, halved and sliced thinly (at least 15 slices)
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
for the buttercream frosting
- 80g unsalted butter, softened
- 40ml milk, at room temperature
- 20g custard powder
- 300g icing sugar, sifted
Make the cupcakes: preheat the oven to 180°C (165°C fan)/350°F/gas mark 4 and fill a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases. In a bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy using an electric hand mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Combine the flours with the cinnamon and add half to the bowl, beating until smooth. Pour in the milk, beating once again, followed by the remaining flour mix and chopped apple.
Divide the mixture between the muffin cases, filling each no more than two-thirds full (this should be about 60g of cake mix if you’re being precise) and bake for about 25 minutes until risen and golden (and an inserted skewer comes out clean). Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Don’t be alarmed if cupcakes shrink slightly (and I mean slightly, too much means they’re undercooked), it’s just the fruit cooling down.
Make the caramelised apples: arrange the apple slices on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and brush with the melted butter. Sprinkle liberally with the sugar and bake in the oven (190°C (180°C fan)/375°F/gas mark 5) for about 10 minutes until golden brown and caramelised. While still warm, carefully transfer each slice to a lightly oiled sheet of strong foil then leave to cool.
Make the buttercream frosting: beat the butter with the milk, custard powder and half the icing sugar until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in the remaining icing sugar, a heaped spoonful at a time, to produce a thick and creamy mixture. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a large nozzle and pipe onto each cupcake. Pick the best 12 caramelised apple slices and place one on top each cupcake. Enjoy!