Apple Cider Cupcakes

I’ve been waiting to share this recipe. It was featured on Weaver’s Orchard’s Blog late last week. It’s my first featured recipe and I’m so excited about it, and I just can’t stop myself from sharing it AGAIN. I’m hoping to get the opportunity to share more recipes in the future (Wonka wants my Pixy Stix Cupcake recipe once it’s perfected!). To me, it just seems to cement the fact that I’m doing the right thing. This is what I was meant to do.

Anyway- on to the recipe!

Fall means apples. Apples mean orchards. Orchards mean fresh cider. At least for me.

I had my first apple cider donut in Illinois about 12 years ago, but I’ve never forgotten them. I recently found an orchard nearby that makes them fresh daily (and let me tell you- a warm cider donut is practically heaven!). A chilly fall day is perfect for a warm cider donut and a mug of hot cider.
100_3799Yes, I grabbed a few more sweets than I planned- and I really need to recreate that Peanut Butter Cup Muffin recipe (just saying). 100_3802

I think you’ll agree that these are magical donuts. I was never a fan of cider, but coated in cinnamon sugar? How terrible can it be? I even convinced my mom to try one and she thought they were fantastic.

But, donuts can be hard work. I’m not a huge fan of rolling dough and I find it tedious to fry things. I don’t have a large supply of oil and it’s just easier to not fuss. So, apple cider cupcakes were the perfect replacement! All the taste, a moist cake…. yum.

100_4013 I topped mine with a cinnamon brown sugar buttercream and a cider reduction drizzle. In a bite sized cake. Or, you can choose the standard size cupcakes– both options are in the recipes below.

It starts simply. Butter, sugar, flour, eggs… and, of course, apple cider!

100_3995 (it obviously wasn’t the first time I used this cider).
100_3996I mixed all the dry ingredients in the bowl of my food processor. I’ve found that using cold butter, cutting it into chunks and mixing it with the other ingredients in the food processor really helps attain a smoother batter. But you can certainly use a mixer if you’d prefer.

100_3998Nice and smooth!

100_4002 100_4000

The batter tastes fantastic and baked into a beautiful moist cake. I know- I keep using the same adjectives!

100_4006I topped my cakes with brown sugar cinnamon buttercream.
And, for a bit of a cider glaze.100_4010

You could use caramel, or skip the glaze altogether, but I think it adds a bit of a decorative touch while being tasy.100_4011

I did end up sprinkling more cinnamon and sugar on top as well.

100_4031

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream 

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
(or I use half shortening and half butter)
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed (I used light, but dark is fine)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla (or to taste)
1-4 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

Directions:
1) In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar.
2) Beat in the ground cinnamon and salt.
3) Beat in the powdered sugar slowly, adding the cream gradually. If frosting is too thick, add a small amount of cream until desired consistency is achieved. If frosting is not thick enough, add powdered sugar until desired consistency is achieved. Humidity plays a huge part in the frosting consistency- so you may need to add more or less liquid depending on humidity.


Apple Cider Cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 cup apple cider, room temperature
½ cup (1 stick) of butter, softened
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 pinches of nutmeg
½ teaspoon of salt
2/3 cup of white sugar
2 eggs, room temperature

Directions:
1) Preheat over to 350. Line muffin tin with liners.
2) In a medium bowl, measure out flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk to combine.
3) In a larger mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar at medium-high speed. Once light and fluffy, add eggs, one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated.
4) Reduce the speed to low and add in 1/3 of the dry (flour) mix. Slowly add ½ of the apple cider then mix until incorporated. Repeat with the flour and cider, ending with the flour mixture.
For standard size cupcakes:
5) Use an ice cream scoop (or other desired scooper) add the batter to the lined tin filling about 2/3 of the way.
6) Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
For Mini cupcakes:
5) Use a small cookie scoop to add the batter to the pan- filling 2/3 full.
6) Bake for 10 minutes at 325 until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool completely before frosting with brown sugar cinnamon buttercream. Top cupcakes with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar and cider reduction drizzle.

Cider Reduction Drizzle (optional)
1 cup of apple cider

Over medium-high heat, add one cup of cider to a saucepan and allow to boil until reduced and thickened (about 15-25 minutes). Watch carefully. The mixture will reduce to about a tablespoon or so. It will thicken greatly as the mixture cools. Allow it to cool completely before drizzling over your frosted cakes.

100_4024 100_4018 100_4021

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