These scrumptious cupcakes capture the essence of a candy-coated candy apple in a tasty treat
Introducing Candy Apple Cupcakes, a delightful twist on a classic fall favorite! Picture moist and fluffy apple-infused cupcakes topped with a swirl of rich caramel frosting and adorned with a drizzle of velvety caramel sauce and crunchy bits of candied apples.
Candy Apple Cupcakes are the epitome of autumn delight, perfect for seasonal gatherings, fall festivals, or just as a special treat to savor the flavors of the season. These cupcakes are sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike, leaving you enchanted by the magic of a candy apple transformed into a delightful cupcake creation.
Celebrate the joy of autumn with Candy Apple Cupcakes, and experience the sweet nostalgia of a beloved carnival treat in every delicious bite! If you love these cupcakes be sure to try my cannoli cupcakes or these fruity pebble cupcakes!
1/2 teaspoon of Red food coloring gel (for half of batter – see instructions)
FOR THE FROSTING:
1/2 cup Crisco (shortening)
1/2 cup butter – softened not melted
4 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
FOR THE CANDY APPLE TOP:
12 Apples – Cut in half – using top half (save bottom halves for something else; apple pie, apple bread, etc.)
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon of red food coloring gel
Make the cupcakes: In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, apple extract, and cream. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix on low until all ingredients are incorporated. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl and blend again on high to ensure the mixture is well blended.
Divide the batter in half and color one half of the batter with red food coloring until the desired candy apple color is reached. Start with 1/2 a teaspoon of food coloring gel and add more if needed.
Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill the liners about 1/3 full with the red batter. Then, fill the cupcake liner to about 3/4 full with the white batter on top of the red batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 18 – 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cupcakes are baking, make the frosting. Combine the Crisco, softened butter, and vanilla, and mix until creamy. Add two cups of powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream, and mix on low until blended. Add another cup of powdered sugar and a tablespoon of cream and mix.
Add the last cup of powdered sugar and the last tablespoon of cream, and mix until blended. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl and blend on high speed for about 30 seconds. Place the frosting in the refrigerator.
Place a large piece of parchment paper on the counter and butter the paper. Wash the apples and dry them with paper towels. Right before dipping in the hot glaze, cut the apples in half and place the top half on the parchment paper, including the stems. (Place the bottom half of the apples in a plastic zip bag and refrigerate.)
In a heavy saucepan, place the 3 cups of sugar, corn syrup, and water, and bring to a rolling boil. If you have a candy thermometer, the temperature should be about 300 degrees; if you don’t, just boil the mixture for about 2 minutes and then remove from the burner. Add the red food coloring gel and carefully stir the food coloring into the glaze. I recommend using a pot holder so you don’t burn your hand. You may need a little more than the 1/2 teaspoon of red gel to get the color bright red. Add more food coloring as needed to get the desired color. Stir until the glaze is bright red and the ingredients are combined.
You can simply pick up the apple by the stem and dip them in the glaze, or, on the underside of the apple, stab the apple with a heavy fork and dip the apple in the glaze, then place the apple on the parchment paper for the glaze to set. If you don’t want to dip the apples in the hot glaze, you can spoon it over the apples, but I’m not sure you’ll get the same effect.
Leave the apples for about 30 minutes for the glaze to set. The glaze will harden, so I recommend pouring the leftover glaze into a plastic microwave-safe container before it cools. You can melt the glaze in the microwave at a later time if you want to use it again, or if not, discard it immediately after use.
Assemble the cupcakes: Place the frosting in a pastry bag and pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes starting at the base and swirling it around up to a point on top. Place the glazed apple top on top of the frosting. You can decorate the cupcakes with the candy shards left on the parchment paper when the apples are removed. Serve immediately or place in a covered container in the refrigerator until time to serve. Enjoy!
NOTE: You can also pour some of the glaze out onto the Parchment paper in long strands to use for decorating the cupcakes. Place some sugar on the parchment paper before the candy coating, and it will make it easier to remove, and give it a little sparkle. You can also leave the candy glaze in the heavy sauce pan to reheat at a later time. You can dip other fruits (fresh cherries with the stems left on, strawberries, etc) in the hot glaze, or pour it over cake in a light layer for a shiny effect.