Fall is finally here, which means it's time to savor the crisp, cool air while listening to the leaves rustling under our feet -- all while enjoying a nice, mug of hot cider, of course.
And if you really want to kick things up a notch and get fully into the fall spirit -- you can pair that warm beverage with this delicious Apple Cider Cupcakes recipe from Laura's Sweet Spot.
OMG. Apple. Cider. Cupcakes. Is this the perfect marriage of everyone's favorite dessert and a seasonal classic or what?
And did I mention that these babies are topped with a salted caramel buttercream frosting? (It's ok, I'm drooling too.)
What are you waiting for? Get into the kitchen and get your bake on before fall slips away from us!
Apple Cider Cupcakes:
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pinch of salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, softened
2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 325°F and line muffin tin with cupcake liners. In a large separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl and paddle. Mix in vanilla.
Add 1/3 of the flour and mix on low until just absorbed. Mix in 1/2 the apple cider, then 1/2 the remaining flour mixture, the last of the apple cider, and then the rest of the flour. Mix each until just barely absorbed. Scrape down sides of bowl and give it one final stir to make sure the bottom is evenly incorporated.
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 minutes then remove to cool completely on wire rack.
For the Buttercream: To make caramel, place the brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter, corn syrup, and vanilla into a large saucepan over medium heat, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes; remove from heat and allow to cool to warm (not hot) temperature. Add enough cream, a little at a time, until the caramel has the consistency of honey. Mix in the pinch of salt, and allow to cool to room temperature.
Beat the salted butter with confectioner's sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture is fluffy; slowly add and beat in the caramel, a tablespoon at a time, beating until the frosting is smooth.
Drizzle leftover caramel on top.