Apple Nutmeg Pine Nut Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream

Total Time:
38 min
Prep:
20 min
Cook:
18 min

Yield:
24 cupcakes
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups superfine sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 cups small-diced apples
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Brown Sugar Buttercream, recipe follows
  • Caramel sauce, for garnish
  • Brown Sugar Buttercream:
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 24 count regular-size cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

  • In a heavy-duty mixing bowl, cream together the butter and shortening on medium speed. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, until completely combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the superfine sugar with the mixer set to low speed. Once combined, set the mixer to medium speed and mix for 5 minutes.

  • Sift together the cake flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Begin to add the sifted dry ingredients to the batter, alternating with the warm milk.

  • Mix together the apples and nutmeg. Cook in the microwave for 3 minutes, and then drain any excess juices. Fold the apples and half the toasted pine nuts into the batter. Add the vanilla extract.

  • Fill the cupcake liners two-thirds of the way and bake for 16 to 20 minutes. Use a toothpick to poke in the center of the cupcake and if it comes out clean then the cupcakes are done. Remove from the pan and place onto a tray to cool.

  • Using a pastry bag and piping tip, frost the cupcakes with the Brown Sugar Buttercream, and garnish with caramel sauce and remaining toasted pine nuts.

Brown Sugar Buttercream:
  • In a small saucepan, heat the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons butter. Boil for 1 minute, remove from the heat, and cool slightly. (If it cools completely, it will harden too much and make it difficult to cream with the butter.) In a heavy-duty mixing bowl, cream the remaining 1/2 cup butter with the melted butter /brown sugar mixture. Add 3 cups powdered sugar and mix on low speed. Turn the mixer off, add the milk, and mix. Add the remaining 3 cups powdered sugar and the vanilla and mix together until smooth.

This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.


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