The leaves are starting to change colors and fresh apples are abound, it is finally fall! Although it has been 80 degrees in Boston lately, I am still loving fall baking!
Since I love everything related to apples for fall, this week I whipped up my Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake for the Jewish holidays, and it was a hit!
In New England, apple picking is an essential fall tradition! Along with the crisp apples, the smell of apple cider donuts and taste of fresh apple cider makes the experience complete.
I wanted to take all of these flavors and aromas and pack them into one cupcake. Thus, these Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cranberry Buttercream came to be.
Around this time last year, I first made apple cider cupcakes. Since then I knew I had to make them again!
When I made these last I filled them with cranberry sauce. This time I still wanted to incorporate cranberries but in a different way. For an interesting twist on the classic cream cheese frosting that these cupcakes are usually topped with, I decided to incorporate cranberry sauce into the buttercream.
The tart cranberries work perfectly in a sweet American buttercream. If you are asking yourself what American buttercream is, check out my Ultimate Guide to the Perfect Buttercream Frosting!
Here are a few tips to perfect your cupcakes and get you hooked on the apple cider bandwagon.
- When adding the apple cider to the cupcake batter, it may appear as it is slightly separating. Continue to follow the recipe, it should smooth out once all the dry ingredients have been added.
- When cooking the cranberry sauce, you want to take it off the heat when it is slightly loose. It will thicken as it cools.
- The cranberry sauce will be tart, this is intentional. When added to the sweet buttercream the tartness of the cranberries is mellowed and sings in this buttercream.
- After adding the cranberry puree to the buttercream the frosting may be thin. Beat the frosting for 1-2 minutes as directed. If the frosting has not thickened and still looks runny, place it in the refrigerator to firm up slightly.
- Instead of making cranberry sauce, you can use canned whole cranberry sauce (not the jellied kind).
- These cupcakes have a mild cranberry flavor. If you want a stronger cranberry flavor, you can fill the cupcakes with the extra cranberry puree!
- Depending on how you frost these cupcakes (piping technique, etc.) you may have extra buttercream!
Dairy-free: Substitute vegan butter sticks for the regular butter in both the cupcakes and buttercream.
If apples are not quite your thing and you are obsessed with pumpkin spice, you cannot go wrong with these Pumpkin Spice Cake Pops.
Perfect for any fall occasion, I hope these cupcakes will bring back the same nostalgia that arose for me when I think about apple picking!
Now you are all ready to pick some fresh apples, eat a few apple cider donuts (one just won’t cut it!), and drink some apple cider 🙂
Perfect for autumn, these Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cranberry Buttercream are a creative dessert that everyone will enjoy! They feature spiced apple cider cupcakes topped with a fresh cranberry buttercream. Fall flavors ring in this unique treat that will bring back nostalgic trips to the apple orchard.
- 1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter , softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar , packed
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup apple cider
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 sticks unsalted butter , softened
- 3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar , sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin liners.
In a small bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter and sugars on medium high for 2-3 minutes until lightened in color. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix on low speed until smooth, ~30 seconds.
On low speed, add 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture. Once incorporated add ½ of the apple cider. Repeat this, ending with the dry ingredients.
Evenly pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Bake the cupcakes for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Place the cranberries, water, sugar, and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until the cranberries burst and the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Once the cranberry sauce has cooled, put it in a food processor and blend until smooth. Place the pureed cranberry sauce through a sieve.
In the bowl of an electric mixture, beat the softened butter until smooth. On low speed slowly add the powdered sugar. Add ½ cup of the pureed, strained cranberry sauce to the buttercream. Increase the speed to medium and beat the buttercream for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.
Using either a piping bag or knife, frost the cupcakes and enjoy! Store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
When adding the apple cider to the cupcake batter, it may appear as it is slightly separating. Continue to follow the recipe, it should smooth out once all the dry ingredients have been added.
When cooking the cranberry sauce, you want to take it off the heat when it is slightly loose. It will thicken as it cools.
If the frosting looks runny, place it in the refrigerator to firm up slightly.
Instead of making cranberry sauce, you can use canned whole cranberry sauce (not the jellied kind).
These cupcakes have a mild cranberry flavor. If you want a stronger cranberry flavor, you can fill the cupcakes with the extra cranberry puree!
Depending on how you frost these cupcakes (piping technique, etc.) you may have extra buttercream!