So I have a confession to make. I didn’t make these with Movie Munchies in mind – I made them because a coworker requested them for his birthday last week, and I was so happy that he did. I’ve been dying to make these and share them for a really long time now, and I’m super happy that I didn’t have to wait for autumn and apple season. And while I didn’t make these with a movie in mind, it’s really not that hard to find a movie with a plot point central to apple pie.
I can assure you that these cupcakes will never meet the shameful fate of the unlucky pie from the movie. They’re just too good to do anything with but eat. A warmly spiced cinnamon cupcake with real apple pie filling and caramel Swiss meringue buttercream? These aren’t going anywhere but into your mouth.
Admittedly, these are a bit labor intensive, but I promise they’re worth it. Plus you can make the filling ahead of time, which eases the pain a bit – just don’t eat all the filling before you get around to making the cupcakes.
These are special enough to be “occasion” cupcakes – 4th of July? What’s more American than apple pie? Thanksgiving? Why not switch up the classic apple pie with these? Even if it’s not a holiday, I believe that anything can become a special occasion with cupcakes like these.
|Apple Pie Cupcakes||
- For the Filling:
- 5-6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced small
- 3 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ½ Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp water
- For the Cupcakes:
- 2½ cups (340g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups (410g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- For the Frosting:
- 4 egg whites
- 1¼ cup granulated sugar
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 2-Tbsp slices
- ½ cup caramel sauce (I use Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel caramel, but a regular grocery store should have canned dulce de leche, in the international section or with the sweetened condensed milk)
- Make the filling – combine butter, diced apples, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water and set aside.
- Cook apples over medium-low heat until softened and releasing their juices (about 6-8 minutes).
- Stir in cornstarch/water mixture and turn off heat. Store until ready to use.
- Make the cupcakes – preheat oven to 350 F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- In a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs and sugar together on medium speed until pale and thick.
- Pour in oil, buttermilk, and vanilla and beat to combine, about one minute.
- Add flour mixture and beat on medium-low for about two minutes. batter will be somewhat runny.
- Divide batter evenly among liners, about ⅔ full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for five minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, fill a medium saucepan with about 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk egg whites and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Rest the mixer bowl over the saucepan, whisking constantly until sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is thick and glossy (note: to completely pasteurize the egg whites, they must be heated to 140 degrees).
- Remove mixer bowl from heat and place on stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until bowl is cooled and the egg whites hold stiff peaks, about 8 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the cubes of butter, one at a time. Beat until fluffy and smooth, about 3-5 minutes, or longer if necessary. At some point during this process the mixture will turn into a curdled, soupy mess – don’t panic! Continue beating, and it will come back together. Add the caramel sauce and beat until fully incorporated.
- To assemble the cupcakes, use a paring knife to remove a small cone from the middle of each cupcake. Fill each cupcake cavity with 1-2 teaspoons of apple filling. Frost and serve.