I had to get that part out of the way. I have lots to say in this post and I didn't want anyone to not make it to the part where I expressed how much I loved these cupcakes!
This week's cupcake was inspired by the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana). Could the holy connection have anything to do with how good they ended up being? On Rosh Hashana it is a tradition to eat apples dipped in honey praying that God will grant us a sweet new year. Apples with honey are delicious on thier own. Give it a try if you have never done so. I turned one of my non-Jewish friends onto this and it became her son's favorite snack. The bride and groom are not Jewish, but they are getting married on the secular new year. Perhaps they would like it to be sweet with an apple and honey cupcake?
I was recently loaned a copy of the book 500 Cupcakes: The Only Cupcake Compendium You'll Ever Need. I take issue with the fact that there aren't really 500 cupcakes in this book. Lots of the "cupcakes" are muffins and some of the items they count as unique cupcakes are simply a recipe they already listed, but with ingredient substitutions. However, since I liked the recipe I tried so much, I may have to think more positively about the book.
For the cake, I modified 500 Cupcake's Applesauce Cinnamon Cupcakes. Their cupcake had apples on top and no frosting. I put the apples inside, created my own frosting, and did not include nuts or raisins.
Recipe (16 cupcakes)
*The recipe in the book was for 12 cupcakes. I doubled it and still ended up with only 16. That was my only complaint about the recipe. However, I filled my cups all the way to the top and from the picture in the book, it looked like they let theirs sit a bit lower.
- 2 sticks butter
- 1 C + 2 T sugar
- 2 C Flour
- 4 Eggs
- 1.5 C Applesauce (unsweetened)
- 1.5 t cinnamon
- 1 C finely chopped apples (I used Fuji)
Fill cupcake wrappers. Bake at 350 for 25 min. Eat some hot out of the oven before proceeding to frost the others. I thought they tasted just like apple pie filling.
I first discovered mead at The Greater St. Louis Renaissance Faire. It is technically an "alcoholic drink made from diluted honey and water, fermented by yeast." Essentially it is a honey wine and it is perhaps the 1st wine ever made. We happened to have an unopened bottle of mead sitting in our pantry and it seemed a perfect way to impart a honey flavor to the frosting without making it too sticky.
The frosting recipe was:
- 1/4 C butter
- 2+ cups powdered sugar
- 3 T soy milk (I'm sure you could use milk. I just happened to have soy milk in the house.)
- 2 T Mead
- Beat butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
- Mix in soy milk and mead.
The Honey Swirl
As I worked on creating my honey swirl, I began to feel like I was Goldilocks and had left my house to 3 bears. The bears, of course, were honey bears. When did honey start coming in bear format? Check these out! They even have bow ties.
- One bear's honey was too empty.
- The next bear's honey was also too empty.
- And the last bear's honey, well that was too empty too.
Anyway, to speed up the honey removal, all 3 bears went into the microwave. The warm, more liquidy honey was poured right out of the bear to a decorating bag with a small tip and piped onto the cupcakes. Unfortunately, because the honey was still toasty, it often just melted into the frosting as opposed to making a defined swirl.
The good news was that everyone did live happily ever after because even the ones that didn't have the swirl looked neat and tasted great.
The moral of the story is to either
a) buy a new bear,
b) have more patience for the honey to come out of the bear, or
c) don't use bear honey at all.
St. Louis Bloggers
The St. Louis Bloggers are hosting a blog carnival this month with the theme of apples. I happen to love carnivals. I particularly like the really small ones where the whole community comes together and everyone either has lots of fun spending money to win cheap prizes or gets dizzy and sick from spinning rides and cotton candy.I've never worked a blog carnival before (Wikipedia has a great description of blog carnivals for those who have no idea what I'm talking about.). I wasn't planning on participating in this one either, but I had already made an apple cupcake and was planning on writing about it. So... count this as my carny entry.