Cupcakes with hidden fillings are so much fun. These cinnamon cupcakes are filled with a sweet, tart apple mixture and topped with brown sugar whipped cream in a delicious riff on apple pie. One bite and the soft spiced cake gives way to a thick and gooey marriage of whipped cream and apple that’s both surprising and deeply familiar.
This recipe recommends a blend of red delicious and granny Smith—a balanced combination of textures and flavors—but use any kind of apples you like or have on hand.
- For the Cupcake:
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- For the Filling:
- 3 apples, peeled, cored, and diced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- For the Whipped Cream:
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
- Cinnamon for dusting
Gather the ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 350 F and prepare a muffin tin with liners.
In a medium bowl mix the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
Beat the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed until creamy and lightened in color, about 2 minutes.
Lower the mixer’s speed to low. Add the butter and vanilla and beat for 1 minute.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated, then add the buttermilk and mix until smooth.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. Bake at 18 to 22 minutes or until a stick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Gently remove the cupcakes and cool on a wire rack.
Put the diced apple, sugar, water, and lemon juice into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil then seduce heat to a simmer and cook until apple pieces are tender, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile combine the cornstarch and water into a slurry. When the apple is tender, add the cornstarch slurry to the saucepan and stir. Increase the heat, bringing the filling to a boil. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly as the filling thickens. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
When cupcakes and filling have cooled to room temperature, use a paring or other small knife to cut out and remove a conical section from the top of each cupcake, as if hulling a strawberry, then fill the resulting hole in each cupcake with the apple filling.
Prepare the brown sugar whipped cream by whipping all ingredients in a large bowl until the mixture can hold stiff peaks.
Using a piping bag fitted with your preferred tip, pipe the whipped cream on top of each cupcake. Dust with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon. Serve immediately.