If you haven’t noticed by my last post and this one, I might have a slight obsession with adding a crunchy topping to my cupcakes. These Apple Crisp Cupcakes are topped with streusel. Seriously, the only reason I eat apple crisp is for the streusel. Anyone who tells you they eat apple crisp for the apples is full of it.
We are less than a week away from Christmas. Someone please tell me where the hell the year went? And while every other blog is inundating you with Christmas themed desserts, my feet are staying firmly planted in fall. I enjoy winter for about 5 minutes a year. The first snow is beautiful. Then mother nature can’t decide between 30’s and below zero temperatures and we get snow, ice and freezing rain. That’s when my hatred kicks into high gear. I have a 45 minute drive to my day job so the commute can be a somewhat harrowing adventure depending on the weather.
So I’m going to pretend it’s still fall. That’s where these cupcakes come into play. You can find apples year round so why only bake with them in the fall? I have finally found the best Apple Crisp recipe with a TON of streusel from The Food Charlatan, so I didn’t go reinventing the wheel with a streusel recipe. I suggest using her recipe if you have been trying to find a great Apple Crisp with enough streusel. When I made Karen’s recipe (which is actually a recipe from her friend’s mother) the first time I only had three Granny Smith Apples at home. But I REALLY wanted something sweet to eat. The recipe is a cinch to halve so I figured what the heck, a little bit more streusel never hurt anyone. The problem is that I didn’t actually halve the streusel ingredients… Insert face palm emoji. While I was dumping the streusel over the apples I was thinking to myself that this was an awful lot of topping. It finally dawned on me while it was in the oven that I had only halved the apple portion. Duh. Regardless, it tasted delicious. Even passed the husband’s standards since the apples were almost mush.
I used a vanilla cupcake batter as a base for these and changed up just a few things. I replaced half the white sugar with brown sugar, added some spices and about a cup of grated Granny Smith Apples. After grating the apples I put them in some cheesecloth and squeezed out as much juice as I could. There is a lot in there and I didn’t know how it would affect the batter. As for the streusel, mix as directed in the original recipe and sprinkle over the cupcakes before they go in the oven. You should have some leftover streusel. I dumped that on a parchment lined baking pan and baked it for about 15-20 minutes at 300 degrees F. It will get nice and crunchy once it cools. Then you can sprinkle this as garnish over the frosting. I frosted mine with a basic vanilla bean buttercream.
You could probably make the swaps and additions above with any vanilla cupcake recipe or even a box mix if you wanted. These turned out amazingly well for the first time but I did want to play around with the cake portion before I posted a recipe. Why is it that I’m never happy with a vanilla cake base? So I will be working on that and will post that when I feel like it’s perfect.
So if you are sick of peppermint and gingerbread give these a go. They are a nice departure from the usual holiday desserts!
Happy Holidays Everyone!