Apple Rum Cupcakes

Apple Rum CupcakesApples—another great flavor of fall. There’s nothing better the crunch of biting into a crispy fresh apple. Except maybe pulling that crispy fresh apple right from the tree with your very own hands. There’s just something about walking through the orchard on a cool fall day, finding just the perfect ripened globe on a branch sagging under the weight of its glorious treasure. Apple picking is something I look forward to every year. I love coming home with my bag of apples bursting at the seams from trying to cram as many as I could into it. Unfortunately this year, I only had enough time to search for the perfect pumpkin at Lynd’s Fruit Farm, so my apple picking has been limited to wandering the crisp, cool aisles of the grocery store in search of the perfect fruit.

With Iron Cupcake Earth back in full swing comes this month’s challenge of creating a cupcake using apples. Sounds incredibly easy, right? Well with my quirky food issues, not so much. I’m probably the pickiest eater on Earth, with my hatred of all things green, other vegetable related species, or creatures previously found living in water. But my pickiness is not limited simply to things that I avoid at all costs. There are things, like apples, that I love in one form, but can’t stand in others. I love apples. I really do. But they have to be whole apples (preferably sliced because biting into a whole apple hurts my teeth). I can’t stand any apple related products like apple sauce, apple juice, apple butter… And no drying the apple out either. Dried fruit is a no-no. And by no means will I even touch an apple (or any other fruit for that matter) that has been baked. I can’t stand the squishiness of it. I distinctly remember my first grade class making an apple dessert pizza once, and I spent the rest of the day in the nurse’s office trying not to throw up. 20 years that memory has haunted me! So no apple pie or apple cobbler for me either. So how in the world would I bake a cupcake with apple in it?

Using Nick Malgieri’s recipe for Apple Rum Cake from Perfect Cakes, I used a box grater to shred the apples instead of cutting them into chunks, thinking that if the apple was as small as possible, I wouldn't notice the squish. That seemed to actually do the trick; once the cupcakes were baked, the apple kind of melted into the batter, leaving very few strands behind. Next time though, I might mix the apple shreds right into the batter instead of piling them in the center of the cups since they’re just going to basically melt away. It’ll be one less step to mess with, and I’m all about making things easier.

The rum glaze was tasty, but a bit too strong for my liking. Next time I’ll definitely dilute the rum with some milk and not be so heavy handed on the drizzles. But all in all, it’s a tasty cupcake! I was honestly surprised that I liked something with baked apple in it, and even wanted to go back for another! They’ve got just a subtle apple flavor, and a light sweetness that makes them almost more of a muffin than a cupcake. And who wouldn’t want a little bit of rum to perk you up in the morning?

This is an entry in the Iron Cupcake Earth Challenge for the month of November. Voting will begin around the end of the month. If there's a link at the top of the site, voting is up, so please vote for me! Thanks! And check out the cool stuff I could win this year!

Our Generous IronCupcake:Earth Prize Providers:

* The Demy™ by Key Ingredient
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* Beautiful Baking Liners by Vestli House
* Sweet Cuppin' Cakes Bakery & Cupcakey Supply

Apple Rum CupcakesApple Rum CupcakesFrom Nick Malgieri's Perfect Cakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

Apple Filling:
1 tart apple* (I used a Braeburn apple), peeled and cored
2 tablespoons dark rum (I used Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum)

2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
3 large eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk

Rum Glaze:
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum**

*Note: You can use any apple that’s good for cooking—Granny Smith, Braeburn, Gala, Fuji, Jonagold, or Pink Lady.

**Note: This made a very strong rum glaze. Next time I’d probably mix 1 tablespoon of rum with a tablespoon of milk to dilute it a bit.

1. With a rack in the center of the oven, preheat to 350F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
2. Using a box grater, grate the apple over a medium bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons rum and let stand while preparing the batter.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Add vanilla. Add about half of the flour mixture, and beat until just combined.
5. Drain the apples in a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl. Add the milk to any liquid that drains into the bowl and add milk mixture to the batter. Add remaining flour mixture and beat until smooth.
6. Place one heaping tablespoon of batter into each of the muffin cups. The batter will probably be pretty thick, so with the back of a buttered spoon, spread the batter evenly to cover the bottom of the cup. Place ½ to 1 tablespoon of grated apple on top of batter, and top with another tablespoon of batter. Smooth tops.
7. Bake until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on rack.
8. To make the glaze, stir together confectioner’s sugar and rum in a small saucepan, mixing well. Place over medium heat and stir until warm and fluid.
9. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cupcakes in a decorative pattern. Rewarm glaze if necessary.
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Ingrid said...

I've got one word for you.....ready? Pumpkin. Yeah, remember how you didn't like it and deprived yourself all those years. You never know. Tastebuds change all the time and each recipe is different and you'll get different results!

Apples or not, your cupcake looks good!

Btw, I'm with you on the textural taste of cooked and baked fruit. Very leery am I! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow makes me drool just thinking about it! ....but where has all the rum gone?!?!

Anonymous said...

I just made them and they are more like muffins than cupcakes!!! what did I do wrong?? i followed the recipe theway it is...

Anonymous said...

Use butterscotch schnapps in the glaze!

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