I know I said I wasn't going to make another cake until Thanksgiving, but I did have to make something for our office Thanksgiving feast and I have been wanting to make these for a long time.
Apple caramel cupcakes are a twist on a recipe that I already have. They have a hazelnut topping and a cream cheese frosting. My friend Kim once said that adding cream cheese to anything made it better, and I have to agree.
I decided to use Kraft soft caramels for the caramel part so here's the recipe.
Apple Cake w/Caramel Sauce
2 cups plain flour
1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 cups grated apples
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
To prepare apples, wash, peel and grate. Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans. This recipe makes 36 small cupcakes or 30 large ones.
Combine vegetable oil, sugar and mix well. Add eggs and mix. Add apples, flour, soda, salt and cinnamon. Blend until well mixed. The batter will be pretty runny. Ladle batter into cupcake liners, using a quarter cup measuring cup. Fill each liner 1/2 to 2/3 full. Bake for 15 minutes or until done. Prick the cupcake tops with a fork and spoon on the warm caramel filling, recipe below. Allow to cool. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting -- the recipe is below and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts or peanuts.
This will also make a three layer cake. If making a cake, be sure to line the pans with parchment paper and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Prick top of layers while warm and pour on caramel filling. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Melt 1 bag of soft caramels and 1/4 cup of evaporated milk
Microwave a minute at a time and stir well, until caramels are melted. It may take several minutes before mixture is melted.
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 eight ounce packages of cream cheese
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
2 lb. Confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
1/2 cup of hazelnuts or peanuts, chopped
Mix cream cheese, butter and flavoring until creamy. Add Confectioners' sugar and mix on high until creamy. Pipe onto cupcakes using a pastry bag and large size coupler and tip. Top with nuts. This will make enough to generously frost a three layer cake. You may want to add another cup of nuts to top a cake.
Lower fat option: You can also substitute 1/2 cup of applesauce for 1/2 cup of the oil.