Mini Caramel Apple Cakes

Mini Caramel Apple Cakes

This delectable caramel apple cake recipe is packed with a flavor duo that was meant to be. I’m convinced of it. Caramel and apples marry together so well it’s obvious they can’t get enough of each other. I’m more than happy to help them out whenever I can.

Sticky-sweet caramel bits dot the batter along with a mosaic of fresh, tart apples. It gives them a natural moistness that is two-fold with the addition of applesauce. They have a welcoming, warm spiciness to them that only cinnamon and nutmeg can bring. The caramel flavor is intensified with a brown sugar frosting followed by a sprinkling of walnuts over top.

I know these little caramel apple cakes may look completely harmless and unassuming. I think it’s only fair I should warn you – after a bite or two you will realize how wrong you are. And how you’ve been ensnared. By their addictive qualities. Don’t blame me if you can’t stop at one, eat more than you intended or are tempted to skip lunch or dinner. In lieu of cake. Not that I would know anything about that!

Mini Caramel Apple Cakes

Mini Caramel Apple Cakes
(adapted from King Arthur Flour)
2 cups whole wheat, all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 + 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (4 ounces) applesauce, unsweetened
3 cups peeled, chopped apples (about 3 apples, 3/4 pound before peeling)
3/4 cup caramel bits (like Kraft) or butterscotch chips
frosting:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
3 tablespoons milk
1 + 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
topping:
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the wells of a 12 cup muffin pan.

2. In a medium bowl whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and spices together. In a separate large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, scraping sides and bottom of the mixing bowl, then mix in the dry ingredients, vanilla and applesauce, stirring until evenly moistened. Fold in the apples and caramel bits or walnuts.

3. Divide the batter evenly to make 12 cakes, an ice cream scoop works well for this. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a cake tester/toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool the pan on a wire rack for ten minutes, turn out to wire racks, frost while still warm.


4.  To make frosting melt butter in a medium-sized sauce pan over medium heat, whisk in salt, brown sugar, and corn syrup, cook, until the sugar melts. Whisk in the milk, bring to a rolling boil, and pour into a mixing bowl to cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, beat well; if the mixture appears too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar. Drop a generous spoonful over the top of each cake and spread, sprinkle with nuts.

Mini Caramel Apple Cakes
Warm spices + caramel + walnuts + apples = true love.

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