It’s that time of year where you can get incredibly creative with your baking and look at what nature gives you for inspiration. With fall comes apples, which can be baked, grated, juiced and chopped any way you like. This beautifully versatile fruit lends itself to pies, fritters, cider, cakes and cupcakes just like the ones I made.
These cupcakes don’t just look like apples; they’re full of apple flavor inside. Adding grated apple to the batter makes the cupcake soft, crumbly and moist. And the cinnamon flavor makes this the perfect bite to get you in the mood for fall.
My KitchenAid® Artisan® Mini Stand Mixer is the ideal size to make this batch of 12 apple cupcakes. One thing I love about the Mini Mixer is that the whisk reaches the bottom of the bowl, so for even small batches, everything gets combined properly.
I decorated my cupcakes to look like apples, but it’s not a lot of work. All you need is a buttercream frosting and a piping bag to recreate these adorable cupcakes. The buttercream base takes well to coloring so I made a big batch of red frosting with a smaller batch of green for the leaf detail.
Using your Mini Mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale in color, about 4 minutes. This is an important step because fluffy butter means fluffy cupcakes.
On medium high speed, beat in the egg until combined.
Lower the speed on your Mini Mixer and add in the flour and buttermilk until just combined.
Next, add in the grated apple and mix in until just combined. I like to use grated apple as it is fine and cooks down well. Adding in the apple yields you a lovely, moist cupcake.
Take care not to overmix your cupcake batter once you add in the dry ingredients as it can toughen your cupcakes.
Fill a cupcake tin lined with cupcake wrappers and bake until your apple cupcakes are golden brown and firm to the touch. Set aside to cool.
Fill a piping bag with red buttercream frosting and decorate the tops of the cupcakes to look like apples. Break pretzel sticks into smaller pieces and stick in the middle of the cupcakes to replicate the apple stem. These are best served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
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Fall Apple Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
For the cupcakes
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 medium egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups grated Gala apples (roughly 1 large apple)
For the frosting
1/2 cup salted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon milk
2 drops of green and red food coloring (use whatever color you like)
5 pretzels, broken in half
Preheat your oven to 350° F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
Using your KitchenAid® Artisan® Mini Stand Mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale in color, about 4 minutes.
Beat in the egg on medium high speed until just combined. Lower the speed on the Mini Mixer and mix in the flour and milk until fully incorporated.
Mix in the grated apple, taking care not to overmix the batter as it can toughen the cupcakes.
Spoon the cupcake batter into your lined cupcake pan. The recipe should yield roughly 12 cupcakes.
Bake for roughly 20-25 minutes or until firm to the touch. Set aside to cool completely.
For the frosting
Fit the whisk attachment to the Mini Mixer and beat the softened butter on medium speed for 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add sifted powdered sugar one spoonful at a time until all the sugar has been incorporated. Add milk and mix on high for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
Reserve 1-2 tablespoons of frosting and add green food coloring to desired color. To the remaining frosting, add red food coloring until it resembles the color of an apple.
Fit a piping bag with a star nozzle and fill the bag with the red buttercream frosting. Decorate the tops of the cupcakes to look like apples. You can use a piping tip with a large V notch to create the leaves and break the pretzels in half to create the stems. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*