Apple streusel cupcakes
Last week, Soy and I received some extremely happy news! L + L are expecting their first baby!! They are one of the sweetest couples we know, and I wanted to surprise them with some cupcakes when we met for a celebratory dinner. It’s winter in Australia, so I thought a bit about what ingredients are in season, and that also inspire freshness and new life… and I decided on apples! Ok, so that wasn’t exactly a groundbreaking discovery, but I have to admit that apples have never excited me. It’s ironic- it’s precisely because of their availability all year round, that I don’t get as excited as I do when other fruits come into season. I can literally live off fruit during summer- peaches, nectarines, grapes, melons… I’m in heaven! But with this recipe that I discovered last year, my love of apples has been re-ignited.
My sister made me this cake for my birthday last year, and it was quite a hilarious experience. She wanted to bake it without any guidance whatsoever, which was sweet, but when I wandered in halfway, we discovered she didn’t double all her ingredients. So I did help out, but my batch of stewed apples weren’t as good as these ones! I used Granny Smiths, and this time, I didn’t stew them to a pulp like I did last year! I was very proud of my plump, tender, sweet fruit that still held their shape.
I also loove cakes that have different layers and textures. And the streusel in this cake adds a fragrant, nutty flavour that just brings together the batter and stewed apple.
Doesn’t this shot just say everything?? I don’t think I can describe it in any way that will do it justice, but I’ll try… The moist oozy filling was just that- with just the right level of sweetness and tartness from the apples. The cake itself was soft but dense, because of the sour cream in it. And the streusel was.. well, the icing on the cake! Both Soy and my sister came along to urge me to add more and more streusel into the cakes as I was making this.
It was with much happiness that I presented these cupcakes to our little group at dinner, and I’m so glad that they loved it!
Apple Streusel Cupcakes
from Exclusively Food
Makes 12 cupcakes
90g (1/3 cup + 3 teaspoons) caster sugar
50g (1/3 cup) self-raising flour
60g (1/3 cup + 3 teaspoons) plain flour
62g (1/4 cup) sour cream
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla essence)
110g (scant 1/2 cup) stewed apple, or canned pie apple
55g (scant 1/2 cup) pecan nuts or walnuts (I used what I had at home- a combination of walnuts, cashews and macadamias)
30g (2 tablespoons, lightly packed) brown sugar
10g (1 tablespoon) plain flour
10g (2 teaspoons) butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
You will need about 130g of raw, peeled apple to yield the 110g of stewed apple required for this recipe.
130g peeled, chopped apple (I used 2 Granny Smiths)
1-2 teaspoons sugar
1-2 teaspoons water
Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius (170 degrees Celsius fan-forced). Line a muffin pan with patty/muffin cases.
To make the stewed apples, place apple, sugar and water in a small saucepan, cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until apple is very soft. My Granny Smith apples took about 15 minutes to cook.
To make the streusel topping, pulse streusel ingredients in a food processor for about 20 seconds, until nuts are finely chopped. Pour streusel mixture into a bowl; you need the food processor to make the cupcake batter.
Place butter, caster sugar and flours in food processor and process until combined (mixture should resemble fresh breadcrumbs).
Add sour cream, egg and vanilla and process until combined, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary.
To layer the cupcakes, place 1 teaspoon of cake batter in a muffin case. Top with a teaspoon of stewed apple, then sprinkle over with streusel. Add another teaspoon of batter and finish with streusel.
Bake for 25 minutes. Cakes should be lightly browned and spring back when lightly pressed with your fingertip.
They taste best warm, so if you don’t eat them all immediately, store in an airtight container and heat up in the microwave for 10 seconds before eating!