Celebrating A Bountiful Harvest (Apple Spice Cupcakes)

Thanksgiving long weekend is coming up! I thought I’d sway to a different direction. During this time, the most popular flavour would be – pumpkin. Pumpkin fever is all over this town – Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte, Pumpkin Spice Oreos, Pumpkin Spice lipbalm…basically anything pumpkin! I met up with my college friend, Kayla, and we passed by a Williams-Sonoma on the way to lunch at Yorkdale Mall (Toronto, Canada).

I remembered the scent that surrounded the store. The feeling of being home, being surrounded by warmth, love, and comfort.

This scent was just invigorating! I loved it! It smelled like a warm farm house in Connecticut where a grandmother bakes her husband a warm cinnamon apple pie. Then, A lightbulb went off! POOF! Apple Spice Cupcakes came to mind. It just so happens that as I was browsing through recipes, I found a recipe at Dinner, Dishes, and Desserts.

1379489_10154691645950154_4670822246792803435_nI recently bought myself an icing kit from Wilton that came with 55 tips! This cupcake was the first time I’ve ever done a basket-weave pattern. I enjoy YouTubing techniques and learning about how to decorate cupcakes. For a first attempt, I think I did pretty good with these cupcakes. I wanted to evoke the image of a basket filled with apple pies.

Song For This Cupcake:

“Thank You,” by Dido

Much like Christmas, I am thankful for the following this Thanksgiving:
(1) My partner whom has been with me for 4 years going on 5. He has supported every silly idea I have. He has been nothing but my #1 cheerleader and a rock that I can cling to in times of deep depression and agony. My life would be spiraling out of control if it wasn’t for his stern guidance and loving wisdom.
(2) My family: We live far apart from each other and rarely hangout, I am still thankful. They are the people who know me the most – since 1985! Every year that my family is still around is a blessing to me. They make me laugh, sing karaoke with me, and make my life into a real-life comedy. I am grateful for being a part of their lives.
(3) My friends: Although I don’t see much of my friends, I still think that social media keeps my relationships with them alive. I am grateful that despite distances, crazy lives, and busy schedules, I see them from time to time. I am eternally grateful for those who,”like,” my cupcake pictures on Facebook, hitting me up on Instagram, twitter, texts, calls, messages, etc. Your support has truly given me the encouragement I need to keep on pushing on!
(4) Last but certainly not least, I am thankful to those who read my blog. I actually have an audience! Everyday I get visits and that alone gives me the boost I need to keep on baking, posting, ranting, bitching, anything with -ing (lol). Thank you for your page views, e-mails, messages, comments – it is truly appreciated.

On to the recipe….!!! I hope y’all enjoy!!!

Apple Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting
Adapted from Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
Makes about 12

Cupcake Ingredients
2 cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cups apple cider/juice
1 cup apples, shredded (I used Granny Smith, however, you can use whatever apple variety you like)

Cupcake Instructions
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.

Step 2: In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside. This will be your dry mix.

Step 3: In an electric mixer with a fitted paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time until combined. Mix in vanilla.

Step 4: Add in your dry mix – alternating with your apple juice/cider until well combined.

Step 5: Fold in your shredded apple. Fill your cupcake liners with 3 tablespoons of batter.
Bake for 18-20 minutes. A rule of thumb is after 10 minutes, rotate your pan for even cooking. Then, do a toothpick test. If it doesn’t come out clean add in 3-4 – it is always a trial and error when it comes to baking the right cupcake. Pay attention to your cupcakes and your oven during this time. Over-baking your cupcake would result in a cupcake that is not too moist as it should be. Let your cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Frosting Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
1-3 tablespoons of milk

Frosting Instructions
In a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together sugar and butter.
Add in vanilla and cinnamon
Add a cup-at-a-time of icing sugar, until well combined
Add your milk to your frosting until you’ve reached the consistency and texture you’d like. (DO NOT dump all three tablespoons of milk or else you’d need to add more icing sugar to thicken it up again!)
Use a piping bag with a tip or frost your cupcakes with a butter knife.

20141006_110628-1 20141006_110440 20141006_110501 (1)
Enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving! <3 <3 <3