Chocolate Apple Cupcakes that Feature Applesauce
These Chocolate Apple Cupcakes feature the look of a shiny red apple as well as incorporate applesauce into the cupcake batter. The sour cream will make a richer cake but so many of us have Greek yogurt on hand these days and it is a great substitute. We used natural cocoa for the cupcakes. Check out the Apple Danish from the cookbook An Apple a Day as well.
Excerpted with permission from An Apple A Day: 365 Recipes with Creative Crafts, Fun Facts, and 12 Recipes from Celebrity Chefs Inside! by Karen Berman and Melissa Pettito. Published by Race Point Publishing, 2013.
These adorable little “apples” are tasty, too.
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cut up
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- ½ cup cocoa, sifted
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1⅓ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- A few drops red food coloring
- A few drops of cream or water
- Green fondant
- ½ cup red sprinkles
- Thin pretzel sticks, broken into stem-sized pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Position the oven rack in the center position. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners. Put the butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe container. Melt on low power for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove from the oven, add the cocoa, and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
- Whisk in the applesauce, sugars, and yogurt or sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture, stirring for about 30 seconds, or until well combined.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 18 for 20 minutes, or until the top springs back when pressed lightly. Cool for 1 minute in the pan and then remove the cupcakes to cool completely on a rack.
- While the cupcakes are baking, make the icing. With an electric mixer set at low speed, beat the butter and vanilla until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth and light-colored. Add the food coloring and, if needed to reach spreading consistency, a few drops of cream or water, and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Pour the sprinkles into a shallow bowl. Shape the fondant into 24 small leaf shapes and score lightly to make “veins.”
- When the cupcakes have cooled, frost the tops. Dip the tops into the sprinkles to coat completely. Place two leaves on each cupcake and insert a small piece of pretzel stick into the center of each as a stem.