Angry Orchard Cupcakes

Hello Foodies! I am so excited to tell you about these awesome cupcakes! If you like apples and you like hard cider you will love these Angry Orchard Cupcakes!

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Angry orchard Cupcakes with my Fireball Caramel Sauce

My husband and I don’t drink often, but when we do our go-to drink (next to my Moscato) is an ice, cold hard cider. We’ve tried a handful of ciders and we’ve narrowed our favorites down to Strongbow and Angry Orchard.

I made these cupcakes a little over a year ago for my classmates. They were a hit. I actually adapted the recipe from the blog, Brown Sugar but I wanted to see if I could come up with a recipe of my own.

To get these deliciously moist cupcakes, I simply found a basic cake recipe, combined Angry Orchard Hard Cider (Crisp Apple), Green Apples, and a few spices to top off this apple perfection. I find the hard cider enhances flavor of the apples so it’s imperative you do not leave the cider out. If you don’t like the idea of adding alcohol to your cupcakes, no worries, the alcohol actually cooks out leaving behind its crisp flavor!_MG_0543 copy

Top these bad boys off with a Caramel Buttercream frosting and a drizzle of my Fireball Caramel Sauce and they are sure to please!

Here’s how I make them:

Angry Orchard Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 green apples, cored and peeledAngryOrchardCupcakes2
  • 2 Sticks of butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temp.
  • 2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup Angry Orchard Hard Cider, Crisp Apple+ 1/4 cup, set aside

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare cupcake pan by lining them with your choice of paper cupcake liners.
  2. Start by cutting your peeled apples into small dices. Add them to a bowl and pour in 1/4 Cup of the hard cider. Set aside until the end of the mixing process.
  3. In a stand mixer, beat together softened butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar; until light and fluffy. Scrap bowl down.
  4. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Working in thirds, add to butter mix. The mix may look separated but that’s ok.
  5. In a separate bowl mix in flour, baking powder, salt and spices until evenly distributed.
  6. With mixer on low, slowly add in dry ingredients. Careful not to over mix.
  7. When dry ingredients are incorporated, add vanilla; Add in the remaining Angry Orchard while still mixing.
  8. Remove mixing bowl from stand mixer. Fold in diced apples and the cider it has been marinating in.
  9. Using a portion (ice-cream) scoop,  fill the cupcake liners up about almost to the top (this is an airy batter so it will not do a lot of rising)
  10. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
  11. Top with my Buttercream frosting and drizzle with my Fireball Caramel Sauce. Enjoy the awesomeness!
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Fireball Caramel sauce drizzled over my Angry orchard Cupcakes

I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as I enjoyed creating it! If you like a super moist cake, these cupcakes are for you! I find that the more tart the apple, the better the bite!

Got a recipe you wanna share? Send them to me in the comments. I am always on the look out for new things to try.

Wanna be Blogger-Buddies? Contact me and let’s chat! 🙂

Don’t forget to Follow me!

 

 

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Homemade Caramel Sauce

The other day I gave you my recipe for Caramel Buttercream Frosting  (Along with my version of caramel buttercream, inside) for my Angry Orchard Cupcakes. Today I want to give you the recipe for my Homemade Caramel Sauce. After many trial and errors, I finally developed a recipe that I am sure you all will love as much as I do!

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I LOVE caramel!! I’ve never been able to turn down a soft, chewy piece of caramel candy or a warm drizzle of velvety caramel sauce over a cold scoop of vanilla ice-cream. In fact, when Mason (my hubby) and I make a random stop to Starbucks (these stops seem to be more frequent, lately), he always orders the Salted Caramel Cake Pops. That is, until they stopped selling them. Boo. (Insert Sad face…here).

This past Christmas, my husband asked me to make a cheesecake for his best friend and his wife (I still haven’t perfected my cheesecake recipe-boo! Sorry, Holly.). He told me that she, too, is a big fan of caramel and that’s about the only dessert she will eat. So, with that in mind, I decided I wanted to give the whole “make-your-own” caramel sauce a try. I love trying to go above and beyond when I get into baking. I guess that’s me trying to impress people, I don’t know, but being in culinary school I should be stepping up my game somewhere.

When I started, I kept in mind that the caramel is going to get its amber color and nutty flavor from the cooking down of the sugar (caramelization). I just didn’t know the best method to start with, so I tried it two ways. The first way, the very unsuccessful way, I added about 2 cups of sugar with a few tablespoons of water and cooked it in a large pot over medium heat. It started out great with very little color changes. After a few more minutes, it started crystallizing. Big nope. I tried adding a little more water to thin it and rid it of the crystals but it only worked for so long. I decided straight away that this wasn’t the approach I wanted to stick with so I remembered what Chef Rob told me about Gordon Ramsey’s method. For a simple caramel, Ramsey adds a layer of sugar in a pan over heat and lets the sugar melt down. He swirls the pan making sure the excess sugar gets melted as well. He adds butter and Viola! Caramel!

Sure enough, this way worked best for me! Ofcourse, I added a few more things to make it more of a silky-smooth sauce. This caramel has a deep amber color and is very rich in flavor that reminds me of Creme Brulee.

Here is how I make mine:

Homemade Rich, Velvety Caramel Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3 Tbs. Butter
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 tbs. Heavy whipping cream

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat a large pot over medium to medium high heat.
  2. Add 1 cup of sugar to pot and swirl to make an even layer over the bottom.
  3. Wait for sugar to start melting then swirl pot occasionally to finish melting the rest of sugar in pot. (bring off heat every now and then if you think it’s cooking too fast).
  4. Once all the sugar is melted and has an amber color, remove from heat and whisk in butter.
  5. Once butter is incorporated, gradually whisk in the cream. Do this step slowly to keep the caramel from getting sugar clumps.
  6. If the caramel sauce seems like it is too thick in the bend of the pot, place it back on the heat and whisk constantly until it is easily incorporated back in. (As soon as you return it to the heat it will bubble up so be sure to whisk quickly).
  7. Remove from heat and allow to cool a few minutes before using diving into this velvety smooth, rich decadent sauce!

This recipe may be a little complicated at first, but with practice and patience it will come easily after you get the caramelization of the sugar down pat. If you would like to see how Gordon Ramsey does it click here.

I hope you give this recipe a try and let me know how it worked for you. What would you use this sauce on?

Got a recipe you wanna share? Send it to me and I will give it a try and even feature it on my blog. Wanna be Blogger-Buddies? Contact me and let’s chat! 🙂

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Buttercream Frosting

 

Hello lovelies!

Raise your hand if you love cake. I’m juuust gonna slowly raise my hand and answer my own question because I LOVE cake. Chocolate. Fruity. Cheesecake. You name it.  I even love them molten, just oozing with chocolaty goodness. I love it in tiers; I love them in sheets. I love them all. But what I love more than cake is the frosting.

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There are those who will scrape it off and eat the cake plain… it’s safe to say- I am not one of those people. Sometimes I will only get a piece of cake for that heaping mound on the edges. I could eat it by the spoonfuls. (#guilty #dontjudgeme)
My favorite kind is a good ol’fashioned buttercream! I love its buttery flavor, the fluffy texture and I love how you can work with different consistencies for decorating.

Yesterday, I created a recipe for Angry Orchard Cupcakes (I am dying to post the recipe but I figure I better get the other components first 😉 ). Everything was homemade from the cakes to Fireball Caramel Sauce. No, I was not the first to come up with the idea of adding hard cider to an apple cake batter, but this version of the recipe is completely mine.

When I came up with the idea of recreating my own recipe for the cupcakes, I had caramel apples on my mind. I needed a frosting to top it so I created a Caramel Buttercream. I’m sure there are other bloggers who have made a buttercream recipe that’s the same as mine- it’s kinda hard to come up with an original recipe these days- but this recipe is so good I had to share my version with my foodies.

Honest to goodness- this is the BEST recipe for a basic Buttercream Frosting! You need to try this, like… now! And because I love you all so well, I threw in directions for my awesome Caramel Buttercream, too.

Here’s how I make mine:

Basic Buttercream Frosting

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened_MG_0543 copy
  • 2 lbs. powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs. vanilla extract
  • Heavy whipping cream

 

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large bowl, with a hand or stand mixer, cream together sugar and butter on low speed. Mix until well blended. Increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

2. Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for desired spreading/piping consistency.

3. Scoop into a piping bag and pipe decoratively onto cupcakes, or spread onto cupcakes as desired.

Caramel Buttercream

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Buttercream recipe from above
  • 1 cup of Caramel Sauce, cooled (store bought or HOMEMADE)

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix ingredients as you would for the Basic Buttercream, omitting the cream until after adding the caramel. 
  2. Add in the Caramel sauce and mix on medium speed. 
  3. If needed, add cream for desired consistency. 
  4. Scoop into piping bag and pipe decoratively onto cupcakes, or spread as desired. 

NOTES
  • This recipe is very versatile. You can change the flavor by adding in desired flavored extracts and flavorings. You can also double and triple this recipe with ease.
  • Do not skimp on the butter- it’s a must! If you use shortening or margarine, you are drastically altering it’s flavor and consistency. Trust me, I’ve been there and nothing compares to the good stuff!
  • If you add in color, I suggest using gel coloring. The liquid color may thin your frosting too much by the time you get your desired color.
  • If you have too much frosting, freeze it 😉 Put the leftover buttercream in an airtight box and refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months. If frozen then thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

See? Simple. Delicious. Versatile. I hope this recipe is enough to make you wanna bake a cake and whip up a batch of frosting! Or maybe skip the cake altogether and just grab some spoons and go to town. I know that’s what I’ll be doing.

Got a recipe you wanna share? Send it to me and I will give it a try and even feature it on my blog. Wanna be Blogger-Buddies? Shoot me a message and let’s chat!

Don’t forget to Follow me!