Fall is here and its absolutely the best time of year! Now I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy the long summer days and nights, but nothing compares to an autumn day. There is something about this season and time of year that just makes my smile a little wider. I'm not sure if its the cool nights leading into crisp, comforting days. It might be the color change of leaves, pumpkin spice everything, all the fabulous apple and squash recipes, sweater weather, fall fashion or the culmination of everything, but I can never get enough.
As a child my autumn wasn't complete without a visit to Apple Hill. A day spent at the apple orchards was heavenly accompanied with fresh cider and doughnuts. I loved picking all the fresh apples and then as a family coming home to make pies or other original recipes. With all the apples that were brought home from Apple Hill high levels of creativity and consumption also became a fall tradition.
Between all the warm spices and bountiful harvest, fall evenings just make me want to rush home to turn my oven on. Not only are the evenings the perfect weather to warm up the house, but I also love filling up my home with all the smells of the season.
This year after reminiscing over my previous autumn memories in the kitchen, I decided this year needed a special memory of its own. I haven't had the opportunity to make my way to apple picking yet, but I wanted to create the ultimate fall recipe ahead of time.
Check out my recipe for these Perfect Fall Cupcakes. They are made with the ideal blend of warm spices. Each cupcake is then filled with a fresh, crisp apple compote. The spice cupcake with tart apple compote is then covered in a smooth, sightly sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting. The cupcakes are then decorated in of course our favorite Fall Sprinkle Mixes: The Shade, Sparkling Cider and Fall Through, to make them even more spectacular. These cupcakes provide the perfect bit of autumn provisions. I promise you once you taste these cupcakes they will become a part of your yearly fall traditions.
You can find the complete recipe and step by step video below.
(Makes approximately 2 dozen/ 24 cupcakes)
2 pounds of apples (Approximately 4 large or 5-6 medium sized apples, Granny Smith or Honeycrisp)
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ cup brown sugar
¼ tsp. salt
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. Pumpkin Pie spice
½ tbsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. cloves
¼ tsp. All spice
¼ tsp. ground ginger
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs, large
1 cup buttermilk
Cream Cheese Frosting: 12 oz. of cream cheese
½ cup (1 stick) of butter
3 ½ - 4 cups of confectioners sugar
2 tsp of vanilla extract
Peel and chop apples into small bites sized pieces.
Using a large pan/ skillet, heat to medium heat. Add apples and cover with lemon juice to prevent browning. Add butter, brown sugar and salt to apples in pan. Stir ingredients together and cook until apples have cooked down and juices have reduced and thickened. Allow compote to completely cool.
(You can make compote ahead of time and refrigerate overnight. Also leftover compote is great on top of oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast.)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake tin with liners.
In a medium sized bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, cloves, All spice and ground ginger. Whisk until all ingredients are combined and set bowl aside.
In a separate large bowl using either a stand or hand mixer cream together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy and doubled in sized. (Approximately 3-5 minutes). Add eggs to mixture one at a time. Add flour mixture and buttermilk to creamed mixture, alternating, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Carefully mix until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix.
Using an ice cream scoop place cupcake batter into cupcake tins. Bake cupcakes at 350F for approximately 22-25 minutes until tester comes out clean.
Allow cupcakes to completely cool.
While cupcakes are baking make frosting. In a large bowl, or stand mixer, whisk together cream cheese and butter. Slowly add confectioner’s sugar using mixer on low speed until frosting is smooth. Add vanilla extract. Whisk frosting on medium-high speed until vanilla extract combined and frosting is light and fluffy.
Once cupcakes have completely cooled, using rounded part of pipping tip cut center out of cupcakes. Spoon or pipe apple compote into the center of each cupcake. Pipe cream cheese frosting on top of each cupcake.
Decorate cupcakes with Fall Sprinkle Mixes.
Devour and enjoy!