Apple Cupcakes

  • Total: 1 hr 40 min
  • Prep: 1 hr 10 min
  • Inactive: 10 min
  • Cook: 20 min
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Ingredients

For the Cake: 

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup vanilla granulated sugar* (See Cook's Note)

3 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1/2 cup sour cream

1 large Gala or other baking apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped (about 1 cup)

1/2 cup apple butter

For the Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

4 cups confectioners' sugar 

Directions

Special equipment:
2 (12-cup) muffin pans
  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and vanilla sugar together until fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and vanilla extract, beating until smooth.
  3. 2. Combine the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. Add half the flour mixture to the creamed butter, then add the sour cream, and then the rest of the flour. Beat until combined, taking care not to over mix. Gently fold in the chopped apples.
  4. 3. Divide batter between prepared muffin tins, filling each liner about half way with batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean and the tops spring back when pressed gently, about 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the tin on a rack, for 10 minutes then remove from the tin and cool completely.
  5. 4. Put apple butter into a small pastry bag with an open tip. Squeeze about a teaspoon into the center of each cupcake.
  6. 5. To make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter together in a bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in vanilla and lemon juice. On low speed, gradually add in confectioners' sugar and beat until well combined. Top cupcakes with frosting. Serve.

Cook’s Note

To make vanilla sugar, tuck a whole vanilla bean into some granulated sugar. In day or two you have lovely vanilla flavored sugar.

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