I thought I’d make a toffee apple inspired cupcake. Starting with an apple cupcake that is really good on it’s own. I’m really happy with how this turned out. It has a tender crumb, a good amount of sweetness and a good apple flavour. I think the best thing about cupcakes is the combination of a creamy frosting with a tender cake. I made sure that these don’t disappoint by frosting them with a creamy toffee frosting. I could’ve stopped right there with a great tasting combination, however I then added the pièce de résistance, a toffee praline crumb for crunch.
The praline crumb isn’t difficult to make and there is no need for a thermometer. If you’ve made toffee or caramel before you shouldn’t have any problems. The toffee itself is just sugar and water heated until the sugar dissolves and then cooked until a caramel colour. A tip here is to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved before you start to boil it. You can make the praline without the nuts if you are allergic or would just prefer it that way. The frosting is simple too. Depending on how fluid your chosen toffee sauce is will affect how much water you’ll need to add. The sauce I used was reasonably thick so I needed 1 1/2 tablespoons of water. Also, If you don’t have toffee sauce you can use caramel sauce and it will taste great.
Toffee Apple Cupcakes Recipe
Soft apple cupcake frosted with toffee buttercream and topped with a walnut and toffee crumb.
2 1/2 (375g or 13 1/4oz) cups plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
225g (8oz) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (400g or 14oz) white sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 large eggs, room temperature
1?3 cup apple juice
2 medium apples, peeled and grated (2 cups when grated)
3/4 cup (150g or 5 1/3oz) caster sugar
2 1/2 tbsp water
1/4 cup (30g or 1oz) walnuts, finely chopped
1/3 cup toffee sauce
4 1/2 cups (560g or 1 1/4lb) icing sugar, sifted
150g (5 1/3oz) unsalted butter, softened
1-3 tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line two 12 hole muffin tray with paper cases.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and stir to ensure everything is well combined.
- In a a stand mixer or large bowl cream the butter and sugar together. Add the vanilla and eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the flour mixture and juice in two batches and mix until just combined. Fold in the grated apple. Divide the mixture evenly between the cases. Smooth over the tops to ensure there are no big air pockets. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until they ar golden brown and a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle of one. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Praline topping: Line a tray with non-stick baking paper. Add the water and sugar to a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Brush down the sides with a damp brush to remove any undissolved sugar crystals. Bring to the boil and cook uncovered without stirring for approx 10 minutes or until the toffee has turned to a caramel colour. Meanwhile spread the chopped walnuts on the prepared tray. Pour the toffee over the nuts and set aside to cool. Finely chop the praline when it is completely cooled.
- Frosting: In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter until it starts to lighten slightly. Add the toffee sauce and mix until well combined. Add the sugar in two batches along with 1 – 3 tablespoons of water. Mix on high speed, scraping down the sides occasionally until light and fluffy. If the mixture is too firm, add a little water to soften it. If it is too soft add a bit more sifted icing sugar to thicken it up.
- Pipe or spread the frosting onto the cupcakes and sprinkle with the chopped praline.
Preparation time doesn’t include standing time.
Recipe by: Michelle McKinnon at FlourAndAprons.com