Fall is, and has been, one of my favorite seasons. Maybe it’s something about the leaves changing color, or the weather getting colder, or finally having an excuse to go outside in sweatpants and fluffy fleece jackets, but autumn is always the time of year when I feel my best.
And, on a more relevant note, it’s also a time of the year when people embrace the aromatics in their kitchen. Although I’ve never been able to enjoy the pumpkin spice craze because, quite frankly, with my anosmia, I’ve never been able to taste it, I do appreciate the juicy tartness of a ripe, crisp apple.
But when we go apple picking, we tend to pick way too much for two people to eat, and so what’s a girl to do but turn to the kitchen and start whipping up some yummy, yummy concoctions?
So, without further ado, here’s the recipe for some delicious apple cupcakes with equally delicious (if not more so) apple butter frosting! Feel free to omit the cinnamon if you’re not a fan of it, or substitute it for another seasoning of your choice!
And if you want to skip the frosting and just eat them as muffins in the morning, I am totally here for that too. Your life, your rules.
- 2 cups 1-to-1 gluten-free flour (+1 tbsp for coating apples)
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (omit if using regular flour)
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 2 cups diced Gala apples (or whatever you have on hand!)
- 1 stick unsalted butter (make sure it’s room temperature!)
- 1/2 cup granulated Swerve/sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup almond milk (or coconut, regular, etc.)
- Make sure to grease your muffin pans well, and then set your oven to 375 F.
- Dice the apples as finely as you can. If you have a food processor, this can help, but be careful not to turn it into mush! Take the one extra tablespoon of flour and coat the apples to absorb some of their moisture and then set them aside for now.
- Combine the dry ingredients and seasonings in a bowl and set aside.
- Using a stand mixer or dry bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar. Add an egg one at a time, mixing in between each addition. Then mix in the vanilla extract.
- Fold in half cup of the flour mixture, and then a little splash of the milk. Keep alternating between them until you run out of both. Make sure to gently combine these with a spatula so you don’t overmix them!
- Fold in the diced apples and then scoop into your muffin pan. This should make about 12 regular sized muffins, 24 mini muffins, or 6 jumbo muffins.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I let them cool in the tin, so it’s all right if they’re a teeny bit under since they will continue to bake as they cool.
While they’re in the oven, feel free to make the frosting!
Cinnamon Apple Frosting
- 1/4 cup apple butter (homemade or store bought!)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3/4 cup Swerve brown sugar/regular brown sugar
- 2 tbsp almond milk or cream
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- In a medium sized sauce pan, melt the butter and then add the apple butter and brown sugar, stirring until combined.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to low and then start whisking the mixture constantly for at least two minutes.
- Once it starts to settle out, add the milk and the cinnamon quickly, and then whisk like crazy again!
- Bring it back to a boil. Once you see the bubbles start to form, take it off the heat and let it cool down. Once it’s at room temperature, use a stand mixer or hand mixer to beat in powdered sugar until it reaches your desired frosting consistency!
I keep the frosting separate from the cupcakes and then frost them only before I’m about to eat them. I keep it in a mason jar in the fridge for no more than a week, but good luck if it lasts that long! It’s so good you could eat it by the spoonful!