If you all feel anything like we do, yesterday’s new years day eating was just the icing on the cake to an already over full tummy, and you never want to see a slice of turkey, roast potato or brussel sprout again (well, at least not for a couple of weeks), so today we decided to bake something fairly light and delicious which is also pretty guilt free really – at least as guilt free as cupcakes can be! – fat free, egg free, apple sauce cupcakes with cinnamon icing. We think they are just the ticket to serve for friends and family who are still around, or for those last minute holiday get-togethers before everyone heads back to work. The other thing we love is that they are total dairy and egg free, but still delicious, so are great for people with allergies.
The recipe is really a total mish-mash of several we found for apple sauce cupcakes online. None of the original recipes we found were quite right, so we played around with ingredients and measures until we got a cake we were happy with. In the spirit of being honest bakers, we should say the first time we made these they came out pretty chewy, so we found that to avoid this there are two really key things:
1) Don’t over mix your batter. If there are lumps of flour still in it when you scoop it into the cases thats fine (really, it is, we promise).
2) Cook ’em low and slow. Don’t be tempted to whack up the heat so they cook more quickly, or to take them out before 40 minutes. Otherwise the inside will still be doughy. If they start to go too brown on top (which is unlikely given that they have no butter) just pop a piece of baking parchment over them to protect the tops.
If you follow these two simple tricks they should come out perfectly every time (we haven’t had a problem with ours since that first batch). So, here’s how we made them:
Apple Sauce Cupcakes (makes 6 cupcakes)
3/4 cup apple sauce – we made our own because we like to know whats in it and we had a bunch of apples sitting around, but you could just as easily use store-bought.
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon apple juice
2 tablespoons water
1) Apple Sauce – To make our apple sauce we peeled, cored and roughly chopped 4 eating apples (braeburns to be precise), then added two tablespoons of water and let them simmer for about 15 minutes until soft and saucy. We used eating apples rather than cooking apples because they tend to break down less when you cook them and leave really tasty pieces of apple in the cupcakes, but if you would rather your sauce be nice and smooth just substitute 2 large cooking apples instead.
If you have made your own apple sauce you will need to let it cool slightly before using it (it doesn’t need to be fridge cold, but it doesn’t want to be steaming hot either, you can just about see the steam still coming off ours in the picture above).
2) Cake Batter – Beat together your apple sauce and caster sugar (we used our stand mixer but a woodenspoon would work fine too). You want to mix them until the sugar is totally incorporated and the mix doesn’t feel grainy from sugar anymore. Then, add your flour, baking powder and spices and mix until all the dry ingredients are wet ( don’t forget: you don’t need to mix too much! when its ready its O.K. if the batter still looks lumpy, especially if you are using a lumpy apple sauce).
3) Bake – Spoon your batter into cupcake tins lined with cupcake cases. We used purple and white spotty ones but that’s totally up to you :P. Preheat your oven to 175 ºC and then bake your cupcakes for 40 minutes. They won’t go quite as golden on top as normal cake (we think this is because of the lack of butter), but a skewer will come out clean from the middle of the cake when they are done.
4) Icing – Once your cupcakes are out and have had time to cool, you are ready to ice them. We used a basic sugar icing. First mix your icing sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Then just add your water a little at a time to the icing sugar and keep stirring until you get an icing which is a thick pouring consistency. We used apple juice instead of some of the water as it helps the icing have a yummy apply taste.
And that’s all there is to it. 😀 If you wanted to be even more healthy you could use whole wheat flour which would turn out delicious too (we didn’t have any at home, but would definitely try with this again in the future).
Happy Monday and hope your all having a lovely start to the year! How many resolutions have you all managed to stick too so far? We love all your comments and emails so keep them coming.