I’m really excited about this recipe. It’s perfect for this time of year, and really any time of year actually. But these definitely do remind me of fall, when the leaves are changing and the sweaters and boots come out.
I got a frantic call from a devoted mom trying to pull off the perfect autumn themed bake sale. She was planning to have warm cider and spiced apple cider donuts, but couldn’t source the perfect donuts anywhere. She had 2 days until the event when she called me. I told her there was no way I could pull off making 100 fresh donuts, but how about muffins? Perfect-muffins will be great! The only problem was I had never made apple cider muffins. I scoured the internet for a recipe and came across this one from New England Today’s Food section. It sounded like a winner. With a few tweaks I adapted the recipe to be dairy-free, perfect for my needs. These muffins promised to be better the next day and they sure do deliver!
Measure the apple cider and pour into small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the cider is reduced to 1 cup. Allow to cool. This can be done in advance and stored in the fridge until ready to use.
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Spray regular or mini muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the oil, apple sauce, and sugar until blended.
Add in the eggs one at a time and mix until blended.
Add in the vanilla.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, fresh nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients to combine.
With the mixer running on low add the dry ingredients to the mixer alternating with the reduced and cooled apple cider, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
Once the batter comes together, spoon the batter into prepared muffin pan. I like to fill mine half way (for 18 regular muffins) but you can go ¾ of the way up for a larger muffin (12 regular muffins). You can also make minis, just reduce the baking time.
Bake for about 15 minutes until the muffins spring back to the touch. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before adding the topping.
In small bowl melt the margarine. In a second bowl combine the sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Once the muffins are cool enough to handle, brush the muffins with the melted margarine on all sides, then roll in the cinnamon-sugar.
Store in an airtight container. They are perfect right away but are even better the next day.
This is such an easy, quick, yet super cute cupcake display for a “Very Hungry Caterpillar” themed party. I baked some vanilla cupcakes and swirled some frosting on top. I made a bright lime green buttercream and a bright yellow buttercream. I placed both colors into a piping bag fitted with a plain tip and piped simple swirls. This is my favorite and signature frosting application. For the face, I rolled out red fondant and cut it into an oval. I cut out yellow, green, and black fondant pieces to decorate the face. I allowed the face to dry for a few days so it would hold up once placed on the cupcake. The topper was much bigger than the cupcake it was placed upon, but it was a perfect, and simple. It was a lot easier than baking a small cake and covering it in fondant. I wish I had made these to go with my son’s Very Hungry Caterpillar cake, it would have been perfect!
For some reason I really like baking cookies. Alot. Most of the recipes I share are for cookies-they look good, are easy to bake and serve and they freeze well. For the holiday season my most popular recipe is for simple honey cookies. I also shared a recipe for honey sugar cookies and honey whoopie pies which are like an elevated snack cookie/cake hybrid. So naturally when I found an old recipe for apple honey cookies I knew it would be a perfect recipe for the Jewish New Year. After baking the first batch, the cookies were just too soft and tender to hold up as a cookie, and they were coming out all wonky instead of perfectly cute and even. I thought they would be better suited as a muffin. They needed a bit of excitement though, the batter itself was a little one note for me. So I added a simple crumb topping. Then the crumb topping really just needed a bit of icing, but that’s totally optional. My family really doesn’t like traditional honey cake so I’m always looking for recipes that work in apples and honey and this one is perfect! The muffins are sweet, spiced and tender with bits of fresh apples throughout. The crumbs give the muffins a bit of a crunch and the icing adds a touch of sweetness. There is quite a bit of honey in the recipe and these muffins go perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee, but they definitely don’t taste like that old school dry honey cake.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin or cupcake pans with 18 liners and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the shortening, brown sugar, and honey until smooth.
Mix in the eggs and sour cream and beat until smooth.
Slowly add in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla.
Peel and core the apples and then dice them into small pieces. Stir them into the batter.
Divide the batter between the cupcake pans, filling each about ¾ of the way full.
In a small bowl, mix the xugar, flour, salt, and cinnamon. Pour in the oil and mix until large crumbs form.
Sprinkle about 1 Tbs. of topping on each muffin.
Bake for about 15 minutes until the muffins are golden brown and spring back to the touch.
Allow to cool before adding the icing.
In a small bowl, pour in the powdered sugar. Slowly sir in a bit of water at a time until the icing is a nice thick consistency. Use a spoon to drizzle a bit of icing on each muffin. I prefer to fill a disposable pastry bag with the icing and drizzle it that way. You can also use a Ziploc bag and snip the tiniest hole in the corner.
Some tips: I like baking with granny smith apples since they don’t break down in the oven, they really hold their shape.
Store in an airtight container, but I wouldn’t keep them at room temperature for too long, since the apples can start to go bad. Refrigerate for short term, but the fridge can cause baked goods to dry out. The best storage solution is to freeze them until ready to serve. The muffins defrost really quickly.
I thought of this idea for a gumball machine cupcake a while ago. I have seen similar ideas around, but nothing exactly like this. Let me explain with lots of pictures how I made these cute edible favors.
I started by baking vanilla cupcakes in these cute individual paper liners. I love these cupcake cups by Paper Eskimo. These paper cups can be baked right on a baking sheet, no need for a special cupcake pan.
Once the cupcakes were cooled I covered the tops in royal icing and turned them directly onto these silver cardboard disks. They are like tiny little cake boards. I found them at my local craft store. I allowed the icing to dry for a few hours to make sure the cupcakes were good and stuck.
I used a craft knife to slice holes into the bottom of the cupcake cups. Then I poked a dowel through the slits to make the holes a little larger. The final step is to fill a Christmas ornament with gumballs and fit it upside down into the hole of the cupcake. I ordered my ornaments from Oriental Trading and didn’t realize they were very small. The opening in the ornament was super tiny, and I couldn’t find gumballs small enough so I used candy coated chocolate Sixlets.
They looked super cute all wrapped up! Wilton sells these treat bags with the silver board and a ribbon (I used silver twist ties instead) in a great little pack. Everyone loved these cute little party favors and I can’t wait to make them again. They can be made with any color cupcake cup and filled with any colors of candy to match every party color scheme!
I keep seeing these cupcakes all over Pinterest. If you don’t know what Pinterest is, you are missing out! It’s my favorite new obsession; I don’t know how I ever lived without it. Pinterest is a virtual pinboard; a place to keep all your great internet finds indexed and accessible. There is no need to bookmark a crafty project or print out every recipe you want to try. Just pin it to your personalized boards and voila! It’s right there for you when you need it. I can spend hours browsing other pinners pins, it’s really addictive. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. As I was saying, I have seen these popcorn cupcakes all over Pinterest and I obviously had to pin the idea. I knew that I would make them at some point in the near future and then Purim came around. What a perfect opportunity to try these cupcakes!
The “popcorn” is actually made from mini marshmallows that I snipped to give them the fluffy air popped look. The “popcorn” looked good but it was missing something: the butter! So I pulled out my trusty airbrush and hit them with a shot of yellow and gold food coloring. My husband actually thought it was real popcorn and told me I was weird for putting it on a cupcake. Now I wasn’t really going to make these cupcakes until I found the perfect containers at Michael’s Art’s and Craft’s Store.
Once I saw these cardboard bags I knew I could fill them with the cutest popcorn cupcakes. Two regular sized cupcakes stacked on top of one another fit perfectly. Then the whole bag fit nicely inside tall clear bags I always have on hand.
My cute little packages weren’t complete until they had sugar cookie movie ticket tags.
Here is Charlie in his cool biker dude costume. He is a lot bigger than last year, but just as cute! Happy Purim!