Friday, September 23, 2011

Apple Spice Cupcakes with Apple Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream

       It's the first day of Fall! Leaves are changing color, a slight chill is starting to settle in the air, and people  finally have an excuse to make as many apple and pumpkin things as they want. To celebrate the coming of the new season, I knew I had to make something "fall-ish", but I couldn't decide what. That is, until I saw this recipe. I have an apple tree in the back yard that just had its first frost and my sister recently gave me some homemade apple butter, I knew this was what I had to make. What I was meant to make. So I did. And they were great. You should try them. Today. Or tomorrow, it would make a great Saturday afternoon activity. The cake was spicy and apple-y and delicious. Seriously, these things can stand on their own. I plan on making them a lot this fall for breakfast "muffins". The buttercream was silky and, well, buttery. Now I know it would be blasphemy to call something too buttery on the first post of a new blog called "Butter Believe It", but I just can't bring myself to steer you guys wrong. The frosting, in my opinion, had way too much butter. I was very skeptical about the two cups called for, but I always like to try a recipe the original way the first time and make tweaks to it later, if needed. Well, this needs a bit of tweaking. Perhaps use three sticks of butter instead of four? HOWEVER, I will say this: the "frosting" as the recipe is stated right now would make a delicious spread on your piece of toast in the morning. In fact, that's what I'm doing with my leftovers. =)

Recipes barely adapted from SweetRevelations
Apple Spice Cupcakes

Yield: 40 cupcakes (The original recipe said 30, but I got more)

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons  (freshly) ground cinnamon  
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon (freshly) ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup full fat sour cream (I used Daisy)
  • 2 medium-large tart baking apples, peeled and cut into tiny pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (I used homemade stuff that my sister made--recipe to come!)


--Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and fill your muffin pans with paper liners.

--Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Take about 3 minutes.

--Scrape the bowl, then mix in the molasses.

--Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

--In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and ground spices.

--Add the flour mixture and sour cream to the batter at low speed, alternating between the two. (Start and finish with the flour.) Mix until just combined.

--Stir in the apple pieces and vanilla.

--Fill the muffin cups a little less than halfway with the batter. These like to rise a lot.

--Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Apple Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup of apple butter, more to taste (I used 1 1/4 cups, but it depends on what kind of apple butter you use.)


--Fill a saucepan with two inches of water. It should be big enough so your mixing bowl can sit inside for a few inches, without water spilling over. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat so it continues to simmer.

--Before you put the mixer bowl into the hot water, whisk together the egg whites and the sugar until combined. Then put the bowl in the simmering water and whisk constantly for 4 minutes, or until the mixture reaches about 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

--Remove mixer bowl from water, wipe off the bottom with a thick towel (it will be hot) and put back on the mixer stand. Whisk on medium speed until whites have increased in volume and the bowl is just slightly warm. (SweetRevelations says this can take up to ten minutes.)

--Replace the whisk with the paddle attachment and continue to beat on low speed until the mixture is completely cooled. Then increase the speed to medium and add butter cubes one at a time.

--Continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and glossy. This could take a little while. If it starts to look like ricotta cheese for a while, don't worry, it will smooth out.

--Once the mixture is completely smooth, add the vanilla, salt, and apple butter. Mix until thoroughly combined.

--Frost your cupcakes!...or your toast =)

Happy Baking!

I would just like to let everyone know that 90% of the people (besides me) who tried the frosting LOVED it and thought it should not be changed and tasted perfect on top of this cupcake. I guess I'm just weird. =)