Recipe: Chunky Apple Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Fancy froster again, FTW

I was recently given the challenge to come up with a recipe for a Chunky Apple Spice Cupcake with not-so-sweet Cream Cheese Frosting. "It has to have CHUNKS of apple in it...don't forget the CHUNKS!" my dessert challenger said. After much research, I started with one of Martha's (Miss Stewart and I are on a first-name basis) recipes but added in my own flair. Sidenote: These would make a Thanksgiving dessert too...

Chunky Apple Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes

Ingredients – Cupcakes
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 pounds Pink Lady apples, 2 cups coarsely shredded, 2 cups chopped

Ingredients – Frosting
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions – Cupcakes
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
2.  Reduce speed to low; mix in apples. Add flour mixture; mix, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until just combined.
3.  Fill lined cups halfway with batter; bake until tops are springy to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from tins; let cool on a wire rack.
4.  When completely cool, frost cupcakes and store in fridge.

Directions – Frosting
1.  In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy.
2.  Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

The chopped apple gave it great texture and I'm kind of in love with the frosting. I'm definitely going to reuse the frosting recipe for a Thanksgiving cupcake I'm making tomorrow (deets on that to come next week). I'm pleased to report, my dessert-challenger was darn happy with them too. : )