Have you ever eaten a piece of cake or a cupcake for breakfast? I have. I don’t make it a habit, especially since my metabolism came to an abrupt halt around the time I turned 35. But, nonetheless, I relish the fact that, as an adult, I can have a cupcake for breakfast, if I want to do so. If you never have had the urge to eat a cupcake for breakfast, maybe this recipe will change your mind. It tastes just like a yummy glazed apple donut.
Originally, I was aiming to create a cupcake that tasted like an apple fritter, since I had been craving an apple fritter all day long. But, as I was toying with the recipe, it occurred to me that the best thing about an apple fritter is its texture—a bit of crispness gained from deep frying the dough. I did not want to deep fry a cupcake. I’ll let the food trucks at the county fair tackle that one. So, I became fixed on creating a cupcake that tasted like a glazed apple donut.
This cupcake has a slightly dense but tender crumb, just like a cake donut. There are tiny bits of grated apple in every bite. It has just the right amounts of cinnamon and nutmeg to give it a mellow spice flavor, without being a spice cake. The orange juice seems to enhance the flavors of the spices, as the cake does not have a distinct citrus flavor. The result is a pretty darn-good apple spice cupcake.
But, for me, it is the glaze that completes this tiny treasure. It is a traditional sugary glaze with a tad of vanilla bean that really rounds out the flavors of this cupcake. I strongly recommend that you double dip the glaze, just after the first coat has hardened, to create a truly addictive “glazed donut” experience.
Did I mention that I sometimes have cupcakes for breakfast? I had two of these bad boys this morning with a steaming cup of Joe. And I didn’t feel the least bit guilty.
For the Cupcakes:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (pure vanilla extract will do, too)
3/4 cup of peeled, grated apples (I like Granny Smith)
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add to the bowl of your stand mixer the butter, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Using the paddle attachment to your mixer, beat these ingredients until they are smooth. Next, beat in the eggs, one at a time. With the mixer on low speed, add the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla until they are just combined. Next, add the grated apples and the orange juice until they are just combined. Then, beginning and ending with the flour, stir in the flour, alternating with the milk, until combined. Spoon the batter into your cupcake tins, filling each cup. Bake 14 to 17 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the centers of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in tins for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack. Let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes before glazing them.
For the Glaze:
3 tablespoons butter; melted
1 cup confectioners’ sugar; sifted
3/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (pure vanilla extract will work, too)
2 tablespoons hot water
In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and water until smooth. Once the cupcakes have cooled slightly, dip the cupcake crown into the glaze. Allow the glaze to harden, and dip each cupcake into the glaze a second time. Allow the glaze to harden, and serve. In my opinion, these cupcakes taste best the day they are made. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.
Recipe adapted from: My Baking Addiction, who adapted this recipe from King Arthur Flour