Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes

Today we are celebrating National Apple Day here in the U.K. Since there are two trees groaning under the weight of their abundant apple harvest in our back garden, an apple bake is needed. And a gift of maple syrup sparked inspiration  resulting in these Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes. Finally, the finished result is better than I could imagine.

Three small cakes on a white plate next to a basket full of red fruit.
Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes

One apple tree produces Spartan apples. Tennis ball sized, shiny red-green apples that are deliciously crunchy, sweet and ideal for little people hands! While the other apple tree variety is unknown. Sharper in taste than the Spartans, they are similar to a slightly sweeter version of Granny Smith apple. Also they are slightly larger with a similar colour that when rubbed becomes shiny. And fortunately, both apples are great for eating and cooking. Resulting in a combination of both being used for these cupcakes.

A single small cake on a white plate surrounded by the red-green fruit that are used in this recipe.
Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes

Apples, The Core Of These Cupcakes:

Unlike Granny Smith apples, both varieties brown easily when sliced/grated and exposed to the air. While the grated apple be tossed in some fresh lemon juice, which would have prevented discolouration, I didn’t want to do this for two reasons. First of all, the lemon flavour would change the cupcake flavour, possibly overpowering the apple and frosting. Also, the lemon juice would have added moisture, resulting in a wetter batter, where the apple may not have kept it’s even distribution. Grating the apples into the cake batter keeps any discolouration to a minimum.

Freshly baked and frosted small cakes in caramel coloured tulip wrappers on a cooling rack.
Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes

Preparing the cake batter first and then adding the grated batter works really well. As it ensures each cupcake has plenty of evenly distributed apple within a light, moist crumb. Without the maple syrup frosting, these could easily be served as muffins, in which case the addition of some toasted pecan or walnut pieces would bring added flavour and texture. Tasting these cupcakes with the dreamy frosting means I could not possibly eat them any other way now!

A small cake cut in half to shown even distribution of fruit in the bake.
A Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcake cut in half.

Maple syrup frosting. Just think on those words for a moment!

Initially I had worried that the addition of maple syrup to a buttercream frosting would result in a too sweet topping. Instead, the opposite happened, with the maple syrup adding a very slight smoky, creamy flavour. Resulting in the sweetness of the unflavoured frosting being dumbed down. As a result, the final flavour paired beautifully with the lightly spiced apple cupcake.

Recipe: Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes – makes 12

Cupcake Ingredients:

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

175g/6oz Soft Light Brown Sugar

1/8th tsp Salt – I use Maldon

3 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

200g/7oz Plain White Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

1/2tsp Cinnamon

200g/7oz Grated Eating Apple – approximately 3-4 peeled apples

Frosting Ingredients: you may have extra frosting left over

250g/9oz Salted Butter very soft, ideally removed from the fridge the night before

500g/1lb 2oz Sifted Icing Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract

2tbsp Maple Syrup – use real maple syrup not maple syrup flavouring

1tbsp Very Hot Water from a recently boiled kettle

Extra Maple Syrup to drizzle over the finished cupcakes

Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, gas mark 4, 350F.

Making And Baking The Cupcakes:

  • First of all, line a 12 hole deep muffin tin with tulip cupcake wrappers, or deep muffin cases.
  • Next in a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt. Whisk/beat them together until they are very pale and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and all 3 eggs to the bowl. Whisk/beat briefly to partially mix the ingredients, without the risk of them curdling – no more than 30 seconds.
  • Now sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into the bowl. Set the bowl to one side.
  • Working quickly, yet carefully, peel and grate 200 grams of apple.
  • Add the grated apple on top of the flour, in the large bowl and using a spoon mix all the ingredients together, until they are just combined.
  • Next, using a dessert spoon, place a heaped spoonful of cake batter into each of the cupcake wrappers. Finish by dividing any remaining batter between the twelve cases, so that they are all equally filled.
  • Finally place the tin in the middle of the preheated oven and bake the cupcakes for 25-35 minutes.
  • The cupcakes are baked when they spring back from a light touch. Use an inserted skewer to check if they are baked, if it comes out clean they are ready to remove from the oven.
  • As soon as the cupcakes are baked remove them from the oven and leave them in the tin to fully cool, regardless of which type of wrapper/case has been used.
FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
The stages of making the cupcake batter, through to filling and baking them.
  • Allow the cupcakes to fully cool before frosting them.

Making The Frosting And Decorating The Cupcakes:

  • First, add the very soft butter to a large bowl.
  • Then sift the icing sugar into the bowl.
  • Next add the vanilla extract, maple syrup and very hot water.
  • Finally whisk the ingredients, starting slowly and increasing in speed, until you have a smooth, creamy, light buttercream.
  • Fit a large piping bag with a large star piping nozzle – Wilton #1M.
  • Fill the piping bag with the maple syrup frosting.
  • Start in the centre of each cupcake pipe swirls, so the entire top of the cupcake is covered and then, continue to pipe, bringing the tip back to the centre and finishing with a star, as the nozzle is pulled away.
  • Continue to pipe frosting until each cupcake is generously topped with frosting.
  • To finish the decoration, drizzle approximately 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup on to the top of the frosting, allowing the drizzle to drip around the frosting swirls.
FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes ready to be served.

Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes a taste of Autumn in a cupcake! If you enjoy the season of Autumn, or Fall as it’s also known, take a look at this non food related post Autumn The Most Beautiful Season.

Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes

Baking these cupcakes certainly makes the most of seasonal fruit. Since there are plenty of apples freely available I will be making again. Another reason to bake them is also so they can be shared. While none of our friends or neighbours expect deliveries of cake, it is an extra special way of sharing our abundance of apples, which are also given away.

Lightly spiced apple cupcakes in tulip wrappers, topped with creamy, piped frosting and a drizzle of maple syrup on a speckled white plate with apples.

If you have enjoyed the recipe for these Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes you may also like these:

Autumn Apple Almond Cake

Gluten free large cake topped with flaked almonds. A slice is cut and pulled slightly away from the Autumn inspired cake.
Gluten Free – Autumn Apple Almond Cake

Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake

Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake - a bundt style carrot cake drizzled with caramel and top with pecan nuts.
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake

Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars

Fruit and nut cake bars drizzled with cinnamon icing and finished with contrasting white sugar nibs.
Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars

I enjoy baking and find the process very relaxing. And creating new recipes is also be very rewarding, especially as I get to share them here, on Feasting Is Fun. Firstly as a personal achievement and also because of the pleasure my baking brings to others. Watching faces full of pleasure as they bite into a delicious treat, big smiles when a friend receives a birthday bake and gracious thanks from a busy, tired family upon receipt of a homemade lasagne, all bring me a deep sense of joy. Life is for sharing and if my small contribution encourages others to do the same, well then, this blog, Feasting is Fun, will have served its purpose.

Do you share your makes and bakes?

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake

The leaves are finally starting to change colour, during a gusty breeze they flutter through the air, landing on the ground, blown into crunchy, golden piles. Autumn feels like it has arrived and with it the need to snuggle under soft blankets, whilst watching telly on a chilly evenings. Warming, comforting food is also required. Gone are the salads of summer, soups, stews and puddings taking their place. Baking this Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake fills the house with pumpkin spice scent, welcoming all who come home after a busy day at work or school.

Autumnal bake on a white plate with bright orange large squash to the side.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake

As the days become increasingly colder, what better than warm pumpkin spices combined with chocolate chips in a moist pumpkin cake, to make you feel ready to tackle the rest of the day?  Sliced and wrapped, this Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake is perfect for packed lunches. While at school or work, the taste and warmth of home can be with us, wherever we are.

FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake gorgeous autumnal colours.

Pumpkin And Chocolate Combination In A Cake

Creating this loaf cake was a real triumph. Successfully combining pumpkin, pumpkin spices and chocolate into a tasty, moist, healthier cake. Since loaf cakes are so much easier to cut, wrap and pack to go, this has been a huge hit here, especially with hubby. You may therefore see more loaf cakes appearing on Feasting is Fun.

Starting with the recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins, while delicious, I wanted to add chocolate chips and increase the size of the bake. Because I wanted a cake that was full of flavour, skimping on the chocolate chips was not an option. Deciding to hold back one third to top the cake with, added to the cake’s overall aesthetic.

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake serves 8-10

125g Unsalted Butter melted and cooled plus 1tbsp extra for greasing the loaf tin

3 Large Free Range Eggs

200g Pumpkin Purée

200g Natural Yoghurt – I use full fat Yeo Valley

125g Plain White Flour

150g Wholemeal Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

175g Soft Light Brown Sugar

150g Milk Chocolate Chips or Chunks – I use Callebaut

1/4tsp Salt -I use  

2.5tsp Pumpkin Spice

Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, gas mark 4, 350F.

A loaf tin that measures 25cm x 11.5cm x 7.5cm (10″ x 4.5″ x 3″) approximately, is needed for this recipe. Grease the tin with butter and line the base with baking parchment.

Making The Cake Batter

  • First of all, weigh and melt the butter. Then pour the butter into a separate, medium sized bowl or jug to cool.
  • While the butter is cooling assemble the dry ingredients. In a large bowl add the plain and wholemeal flour together with the baking powder.
  • Next add the sugar, salt and pumpkin spice to the flour. Use a balloon whisk to mix the dry ingredients thoroughly, ensuring any clumps of sugar are broken up. Finally add 100g of chocolate chips and set the bowl to one side.
  • Now check the melted butter, it should be just warm. Add the eggs, yoghurt and pumpkin purée. Use a fork to break up the eggs and lightly whisk all the wet ingredients together until they are combined.
  • With both bowls in front of you make a well in the centre of the larger bowl containing the dry ingredients.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and then stir with a spoon until everything is just combined. Over mixing will result in a heavy cake.
  • Now spoon the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake batter into the loaf tin, then add the remaining chocolate chips evenly on to the top of the cake.
FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake ready for the oven.

Baking The Loaf Cake

  • Place the loaf tin into the centre of the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • The cake is baked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • As soon as the cake is fully baked remove it from the oven.
  • Place the loaf tin on a trivet or cooling rack and allow the cake to fully cool in the tin.
FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake cooling in the tin.
  • When fully cooled run a palette knife around the edges of the cake. Turn the cake out of the tin and carefully remove the baking parchment from the base of the cake.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake

Since this cake is so delicious, it is perfect for sharing. Invite friends round for a coffee morning and I guarantee that this cake will be a hit. It is also ideal to serve with frothy hot chocolate after a family walk on a chilly day out. Food shared tastes infinitely better, because it is a shared experience that creates memories.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake you may also like these:

Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins 

Individual autumnal squash breakfast bakes in red tulip wrappers, displayed in a rustic tray with a large orange, autumn squash in the background.
Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins

Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

I find baking can be a very therapeutic and rewarding experience. Probably due to the methodical process that comes from working my way through a recipe, from start to finish. Also baking and giving a cake to friends or family shows that they have been thought of and most of all, are cared about. As a result of a little fore thought and preparation, it is really possible to change someone’s day in a positive way.

So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

Autumnal squash dessert sliced at one end to show the tender crumb. Sized for Pinterest with descriptive graphics.

 

 

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Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole

Since we are a family of five, make ahead meals really are helpful when life gets busy. And if the recipe can be made in one pot and I am eternally grateful. My Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole ticks both boxes. Either bubbling away on the hob, or  in the oven, it’s aroma fills the house with a warm spicy scent. Almost like a warm hug welcoming you home.

FF Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole

Why I love Autumn

Before we get on with the recipe, I wanted to share my thoughts. Autumn, or Fall as it’s called in the States is my favourite season. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Summer, in fact, I like all the seasons. Much as the glorious, unending sunshine places like California offer, I simply love the change in seasons we enjoy here in England. Read Autumn The Most Beautiful Season.

While there is something about, at first, the almost subtle change in weather, usually towards the end of August/beginning of September where I live. Whether it’s the deep, deep green of the leaves on the trees, or the rustle as the wind blows through the drying out leaves. Followed by the gorgeous change, through deepest red to fiery orange and a last nod to the daily lowering of the sun in the sky, as the leaves turn yellow. And confetti, like fluttering of the leaves on a blowy day. Likewise the ravages of an adorned tree, ripped overnight of its leafy covering, by a violent storm.

Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole served with crusty bread.

The welcoming warmth of sunshine. Especially on a clear, frosty, day. Also, there is something to be said though for darker, rain and wind filled days, snuggled up on the sofa, the smell of a spicy casserole, gently bubbling away in the oven. And puddings! A must, some may say essential,  during the colder months.

Creating a cheap meal using quality  products

Since first making this dish it has evolved to the final recipe given here. While most of the ingredients are relatively cheap, it is essential to use good quality sausages. Pale, flabby pink sausages will simply disintegrate during the long cooking process. So adding quality pork sausages enhances  the overall flavour of the dish. Especially as one packet will feed up to six people.

FF Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole
Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole an easy one pan meal.

You will need a large ( 4 litre) ovenproof casserole dish, or bigger if doubling the recipe to feed a crowd.

Recipe: Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole serves 4 – 6

1 Large Onion – chopped into small dice

1 Aubergine – chopped into 1/2″ cubes

450g/1lb Good Quality Sausages each sausage chopped into 4 pieces – I use Graig Farm Sausages

2 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

1 x 400g tin of baked beans

2 x 400g butter beans – strained & rinsed with cold water

4 individual bulbs of garlic – minced

1 chilli (or 1tsp chilli flakes) finely chopped

200mls of red wine I use Claret( or 100ml Port – any type except Tawny)

2 tbs tomato puree

1/2tsp Celery Seeds

3/4tsp Fennel Seeds

Handful of fresh parsley chopped and added after serving

Freshly Ground Black Pepper to season.

Note: Having made this dish many times, it has never needed the addition of salt.

Method: Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan, gas mark 4

Assembling the casserole

  • First of all place the onion, aubergine and sausages in the casserole dish Andrew pour over the red wine or Port.
  • Add both tins of tomatoes, then half fill each tin with cold water, swirl around so that you get all of the tomato juices left inside the tin and pour over the casserole.
  • Next tip in the baked beans and swirl the tin with water as before, pouring into the dish, then add the rinsed butter beans.
  • Add the tomato purée, minced garlic, chilli, celery seeds, fennel seeds and a good grinding of black pepper
  • If needed add more cold water until all the ingredients are just covered with liquid. Making sure there is still a good inch between the liquid and the top of the casserole dish.
FF Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole
Making the casserole.
  • Place the lid (or cover tightly with tin foil) on to the dish and place in the oven.
  • Cook at 180C for 1/2 hour then reduce the heat to 140C/120C fan, gas mark 1, very low oven temperature.
  • Leave to cook for 3 hours. Check and top up with recently boiled water so that the ingredients are just covered with liquid again.
  • Clamp on the lid (or foil) and return to the oven for 2 more hours. You can repeat the liquid adding throughout the day, the longer this casserole cooks the better it tastes!
  • The Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole will be cooked after 5 1/2 hours.
  • Serve in bowls, sprinkled with freshly chopped parsley for fresh, grassy, Vitamin C filled flavour.
FF Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole
Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole

Finally add fresh crusty bread for dunking in the spicy juices.

Leftovers can be chilled, portioned into individual freezer bags and frozen for up to 3 months.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole you may also like these:

Slow Roasted Cider Pork

FF Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole
Slow Roasted Cider Pork.

Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta

FF Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole
Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta

Chunky Chilli

FF Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole
Chunky Chilli

 

I have wonderful memories attached to making this meal. While on holiday in Devon I wanted to make a meal for friends. Cooking dinner for our hosts resulted in more people being added to the guest list during the day. So extra beans, tomatoes and wine added, we sat happily around their big oak table, enjoying good food and most importantly, great company. Friendships were forged as conversation flowed. Most importantly, it was a feast to remember.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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