Cake: Prep: 10 minutes Bake: 20 minutes
1 Trader Joes* Yellow Cake Mix
1 c (two sticks) Melted Butter
1 c Trader Joes Apple Cider
3 big Green Apples (I also got these from Trader Joes)
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
Preheat Oven to 350 F
Core and peel apples, chop to desired size, the smaller the better.
Mix eggs and cider in mixing bowl, after butter has cooled from melting add it to the mix on low speed. Add the cake mix and turn to medium speed until combined, about a minute and a half. Then add cinnamon and apples.
Spoon into lined cupcake pan and bake for 20 minutes. I got 38 cupcakes doing this.
Cool in teh freezer for 5 minutes (just enough time to make the frosting!)
Frosting: Prep: 5 minutes
1/4 c. Trader Joes Sea Salt Caramel Topping
1 c (two sticks) Butter, softened NOT melted
5 c Powdered Sugar
1/4 c Heavy Cream
Cream butter and 4 cups of sugar in mixer. Add caramel topping and half the cream. Beat on medium high until well combined and the mix fluffs up, alternate the rest of the cream and sugar until you get to your desired consistency. You dont have to add all of it, thats just the amount that I used.
Chocolate Apple Topper: Prep: 2 minutes Shape: 10 minutes Dry: overnight
Half a bag of White Melting Chips
1 tsp of no taste Red Food Coloring
1 Tb of Green Melting chips
1 Tb of regular Chocolate Chips
Melt white chips and food coloring int he microwave for 30 second intervals stirring between each one until the food coloring is combined. This will create a mushy red concoction which will feel like hardened play dough.
After letting it cool for a minute, take about 1 teaspoon of this stuff and shape it into a ball tapering to a dull point at the bottom, lightly smash the bottom tapered part to a piece of parchment or wax paper so that it sits without toppling over.
Then take a toothpick (or the Wilton fondant shaping tool #4 smooth side) and carve a little hole in the middle of the top by sticking the toothpick in and tilting it while turning the little apple, then smooth it out with your finger.
(hopefully i will get some photos of the steps soon so i can post them)
Take the green and brown chips and place them into their own ziplock baggies making sure to squeeze all the air out and close securely.
Then place them into a cup of hot water or under the hot water faucet.
Squeeze the bag every few seconds to make sure all the chips are melting.
When the chips have melted, cut a TINY hole in the corner of the GREEN bag and squeeze out onto parchment or wax (i prefer parchment because they stick on the wax a little) into the shape of a small leaf.
With the brown chips, cut a TINY hole in the corner of the bag and squeeze in the shape of a 1/4 inch long line with a little bump on the top for the stem.
Let these dry overnight
Assemble the Apple
Take the apple body, squeeze some melted chocolate into the hole, place the stem in the hole. Squeeze some melted chocolate onto the top of the apple body near the stem and place the leaf onto it, let it dry for a few minutes before adding to the top of the cupcake.
* I use mostly trader joes ingredients because they are my favorite, they are the cheapest healthy stuff and they taste super good. You can really use any brand of ingredients.