30 min

Nothing evokes the scent and taste of autumn for me more than toffee apples. They used to be such a treat after a shopping trip in town with my mum. These cupcakes really brought all those happy memories back and I can tell you they smelled and tasted every bit as good as those toffee apples. I also had a lot of fun making them, especially those tiny toffee apples to go on top of the cakes. You could of course, leave those out and perhaps just sprinkle the cakes with the butterscotch pieces or caramel but I just liked the theatre of those mini toffee apples.

Toffee Apple Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes

65g light brown sugar

115g butter

1 medium egg, beaten

150g plain flour

1tsp baking powder

40ml milk

100g grated apple

50g mini butterscotch pieces

For the Toffee Apples

1 apple, peeled

115g caster sugar

For the Buttercream

125g unsalted butter, softened

350g icing sugar

3 tbsp applesauce

To Decorate

Caramel Sauce (optional)


Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with paper cases. For the cupcakes, place the sugar and butter into a mixing bowl and beat until pale and creamy. Gradually add the egg beating all the time. Sift the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl then stir half of the flour into the mixture. Add the milk, apples and butterscotch pieces and stir until combined then stir in the remaining flour until just incorporated.

Pour the mixture into the paper cases and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until a light golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove form the oven and let the cakes cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the toffee apples, cut 12 balls of apple with a melon baller. Place the apple balls into a small saucepan; add enough water to half cover the apples and 15g of the sugar. Bring to the boil with the lid on and simmer until just tender, about 3-5 minutes. Drain the apple balls, then skewer each one onto a toothpick and set aside. Place the remaining 100g of sugar with 1tbsp of water into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and without stirring let the sugar melt and caramelize. Watch it carefully and take it off the heat once it reaches a light golden brown. Dip each apple ball into the caramel (be careful, the caramel is very hot) and using the empty 12-hole muffin tin, suspend the apple skewers over the holes. Leave to set and cool.

For the buttercream, place the butter into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric hand whisk until creamy. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat until soft and smooth. Beat in the applesauce, spoon the mixture into an icing bag fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe the buttercream onto the cakes.

Finish by inserting a toffee apple onto each cake and drizzle with caramel sauce.

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