So, in an effort to prove to the interwebs that yes, actually, I can bake, I went to my default-- cupcakes. Apparently the imminent start of school has me thinking about fall and fall flavors, because I went with apple spice cake and honey-cinnamon cream cheese frosting. The cupcakes were easy-peasy; the frosting was harder to work with than I expected-- but it is sooo good. :)
As a quick note-- the cake here is dairy-free. I have a three-year-old girl with a milk allergy, so a lot of what I do is chosen because it's easy to convert to a non-dairy recipe. I will try to note both the dairy/non-dairy ingredients in the recipe so that you can choose the ingredients you want to use. So, here's the rundown:
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Makes approximately 24 cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 stick non-dairy margarine OR unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups applesauce (sweetened or unsweetened-- I used sweetened)
Preheat oven to 350 and prepare two cupcake pans with liners (approx. 24). In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices (cinnamon, ginger, and cloves).
Fill the prepared cupcake liners approximately 2/3 full with the batter. Don't overfill them, because you are going to want some room for the frosting after they've baked. I did about 2-ish heaping tablespoons, and that seemed to work for most of mine. It really should make about 24 cupcakes-- you shouldn't have a ton of batter left over, nor should you run short.
Bake at 350 for about 18-20 minutes. Keep an eye on them-- my oven runs hot (like, surface-of-the-sun hot), so my time measurements may be off. Remove from oven, cool in the tins for about 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling.
(Inspired by recipe in magazine100 Best Cookies, published December 2010 by Better Homes and Gardens)
1 package (8 ounces) of cream cheese, softened (I used fat-free-- it didn't seem to make a difference)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Blend the cream cheese, butter, and honey in a mixing bowl. (If you have a stand mixer, I would definitely use it for this.) Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing well. Scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition. (This frosting doesn't set up like a regular buttercream-- it will definitely be pretty soupy, even after the final addition of the powdered sugar.) Add cinnamon; mix well. Refrigerate the frosting for at least 30 minutes-- this will make it easier to handle. (Just FYI-- this frosting is insanely sticky. It's the kind of sticky that makes me crazy-- I ended up washing my hands about 50 times while making/frosting/decorating these bad boys.)
To decorate, I put the frosting in a ziploc with the corner cut off and spiraled the frosting on from the outside to the inside, like you'd normally do. The spiral design won't set-- the frosting flattens itself out, so I decided to add some decoration. My handy husband cut out a heart stencil from the sytrofoam egg carton for me, and I used that to make cinnamon-sugar hearts on the tops of the cupcakes once they'd been iced.
So-- hopefully I have convinced you that I am capable of following directions. And hopefully I have faithfully reproduced these directions here! Enjoy-- I certainly did. :)