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Apple Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

(Makes 12 cupcakes)
Apple Cupcake with Cinnamon Buttercream
Apple cupcakes are filled with the flavors of fresh apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Serve these cupcakes without the icing for a wonderful breakfast or lunch box treat.  The texture of the cake is lighter than a muffin.  The applesauce adds moisture to the cake and also allows the recipe to use less fat than a typical cupcake.  If you omit the applesauce you will need to increase the amount of oil.  You could also add raisins or shredded coconut to the mix if you choose to leave out the walnuts.  You can find  whole wheat pastry flour in natural food stores, Whole Foods, or Fresh Markets or simply increase the amount of all-purpose flour.

We have provided two choices for the frosting.  The cinnamon buttercream frosting is very good but
it is sweet.  The cream cheese frosting is less sweet and gets a bit of tang from the lemon zest. 
If you want to leave out the lemon zest substitute 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Apple Cupcakes

Ingredients:

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups shredded apples (about 3 small apples) *
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

Sift together the first 6 ingredients; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, and eggs until combined.
Stir in the applesauce, vanilla, and shredded apples. Add the flour mixture and
mix until combined. Stir in the walnuts.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out
clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely before
adding frosting.

* Peel and shred the apples on a box grater just before adding them to the
mixture. If the shredded apples sit for too long they will start to turn brown.
To prevent this, add a little lemon juice to them.


Cinnamon Buttercream

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Extra cinnamon for dusting

Directions:

With an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy.
Add the sugar, one cup at a time; beating after each addition.
Add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth.
Pipe icing on cupcakes with a pastry bag or spread on with a knife.
Dust the top lightly with cinnamon.


Cream Cheese and Lemon Frosting

Ingredients:

8 ounces 1/3 reduced-fat cream cheese
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Directions:

With an electric mixer, beat all the frosting ingredients until smooth and creamy.
Pipe icing on cupcakes with a pastry bag or spread on with a knife.
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Elegant paper bakeware from Italy in classic gold on brown pattern. Make your cupcakes look extra-special. Perfect for home-baked gifts and commercial bakeries. No need to pre-grease.
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DESSERTS CUPCAKES  >  APPLE CUPCAKES
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