Cupcake Craze Part 1: Apple Spice with Caramel Buttercream

I’ve fallen in love with cupcakes. They are the perfect sized treat and allow for so much creativity. I can put alcohol or fruit or coffee or whatever else in the batter. I can think up delicious buttercream with homemade syrups for flavoring. I can garnish them with drizzles, crumbs, candies, or nuts. I have different frosting tips to make each unique. I’m enamored.

So I have four recipes. Three were made for a party & I never really got good photos of them but they were too delicious and received too many compliments to go unnoticed. Forgive my less-than-beautiful iPhone photography. Better documentation will be provided when I undoubtably make them again.
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Apple Spice Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream
yields approx 20 cupcakes

Batter:
2 1/2 c. cake flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger

1/2 c. butter
2 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 c. buttermilk
3 c. shredded cooking apples (I used a variety of types!)

Preheat oven to 350.

In a bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar & butter together. Add the vanilla. In a small bowl, combine eggs and buttermilk. Alternate adding a portion of the dry ingredients and a portion of the wet ingredients. Once incorporated, add the three cups of apples into the batter with all of the juice that has collected (this helps them be moist and so delicious) until combined.

Fill cupcake cups a little over 3/4 full. Place in the oven for about 15-20 minutes,  or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Place on a cooling rack while we whip up the frosting!

Caramel Buttercream:
1/3. c butter
3 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
3 T. caramel sauce* (plus extra for garnish)
1-2 T. milk

You can either place everything in a bowl and beat on medium speed with an electric mixer -or- you can cream the sugar and butter with the vanilla and caramel and gradually add the milk to the desired consistency. Frosting is a no-brainer. Do what you do (even if that means spraying powdered sugar all over your tshirt).

Place finished buttercream in a piping bag with fitted tip. Pipe the frosting on the cupcakes. Using a small spoon & quick right to left motions, drizzle remaining caramel sauce on top for a pretty garnish.

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