I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but in my house we are huge fans of the University of Delaware. It’s where my husband and I met. All four of our parents attended the school. Both of our sisters were Blue Hens. Thus, it’s easy to say it’s a family affair. More than just liking the school, though, we are avid UD football fans. We have season tickets and go to all the games. And although some people believe the game itself is the impetus, for me it has to be the tailgating. Getting to the parking lot four hours before kickoff and setting out an elaborate feast, rain or shine, has be my favorite part of football season (I must say I prefer shine).
And in my opinion, no feast is complete without dessert. Cupcakes really are the ideal tailgate dessert. They’re self contained and they transport well. And even if the team loses, cupcakes have quite a calming effect. I recently opined about the abundance of apples I currently have. So for the game last weekend I made these apple cupcakes. Granted, we left them home for people to snack on after the game, but let’s pretend that that’s just the tailgate, part dos.
Anyway, these cupcakes are fan-freaking-tastic. The cake is so moist and apple-y. But, despite the shredded apples mixed into the batter, you’re never crunching into a piece of fruit. Instead, the apples sort of melt away into perfection. And the cinnamon frosting is an excellent balance to the cupcake. My mom and sister gave me sideways glances when they heard that I was making a cinnamon cream cheese frosting. You see, cream cheese frosting itself is sort of sacred in our lives.
To this day Growing up, my sister and I could have cared less about the cake, as long as there were heaping globs of cream cheese frosting to eat with a spoon. So the fact that I was going to mess with the traditional recipe raised some eyebrows. But given how well it complements the cakes itself, I think I was given a reprieve this time.
So if you’re going to a tailgate, trying to use up extra apples, or are simply looking for an excuse to make an addictively delicious icing, this is the recipe for you.
Apple Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes 12 Cupcakes
- 1 1/8 c GF flour with xanthan gum
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 c white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups peeled, shredded apples (easily done in the food processor)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add in egg and vanilla, and beat until fully combined.
- With the mixer on low, stir in the apples. Then, slowly add the flour mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally.
- Divide the batter among lined muffin tin. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Let cool completely before frosting.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes (with leftovers to eat with a spoon)
- 8 oz cream cheese
- ½ cup butter
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter. Reduce speed to low and add in powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Beat until thoroughly combined.