Apple Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream

by Melissa on October 11, 2010

We love to go apple picking every fall, usually more than once. I definitely have my favorite recipes to make with all of the apples we pick, such as this fresh apple cake, apple crisp and applesauce, but I always want to try something new as well. I was thinking about apple cupcakes when a google search led me to this recipe from Martha Stewart. I hadn’t decided on a frosting, but then I saw that she had them topped with a brown sugar buttercream. Sounds good to me!

These cupcakes are moist and you can definitely taste the apples. But if you are looking for a nice, pretty domed cupcake, these are not for you. For me it was not an issue, since they just get covered with a pretty swirl of buttercream, but I just wanted to put that out there. The buttercream is very good, but also very rich!  A little bit goes a long way on these cupcakes.

One more note, don’t forget to enter my giveaway here! It includes several items for baking, including some fun cupcake liners!

Apple Cupcakes

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups coarsely shredded apples, such as Macintosh (about 1 3/4 pounds)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; mix in apples. Add flour mixture; mix, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until just combined.

Divide batter among lined cups, filling halfway; bake until tops are springy to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove cupcakes from tins; transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
Makes 2 dozen cupcakes.


Brown Sugar Buttercream
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons

Put egg whites and sugar into the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees).

Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue beating until mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.

Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter, several tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. (If the frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.) Reduce speed to low; mix to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes. Stir with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth
Makes ~ 2 cups.

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