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apple spice cupcakes with rum buttercream

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Originally these cupcakes were for my DH to share with his co-workers, however, since they have rum *gasp*, he decided it would be best if he did not bring them to the hospital.  I, on the other hand, had no problem bringing them in to share with my co-workers, and they were very much appreciated.  :)

Use whichever type of apples you prefer to bake with.  I had Cortland apples so that’s what I used.

You can still see the sweet, chunky bits of apple after baking the cupcakes.  Apple in every bite!

One thing I like about using fruit in a dessert is being able to pretend it’s good for you!  It does have more nutritional value thanks to the apple. :)  You could also substitute some of the flour with whole wheat flour and still have delicious cupcakes.

I have to admit, you could definitely smell the rum in the cupcakes… So I guess I can understand DH’s hesitation to bring them to the hospital to share with his Attendings and senior residents.  The aroma was more overpowering than the taste of rum.

apple spice_8

The combination of apple, cinnamon and rum buttercream is just what the doctor ordered*!

*I typed “perfect” originally and wanted see my other options. I checked synonyms on Word and what do you know, this was one of the synonyms for perfect.  It was too funny not to use.  :)  Also, it’s a joke with DH.  Right after graduating from med school he made a comment to me saying, “It’s just what the doctor ordered.”  And I was like, “Oh no, that’s going to get old!”

Apple Spice Cupcakes

adapted from

Makes about 17-18 cupcakes.  (I made a dozen regular-sized cupcakes and a dozen mini cupcakes)


2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 eggs

¾ cup milk

¼ cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups chopped apple, peeled* (3 small apples or 2 ½ large apples)**

*Optional- depending on your preference, cupcakes taste good with or without the apple peel.

**If you choose to peel apples or if you have leftover chopped apple, set aside for later and see below.


¾ cup unsalted butter, softened

¼ cup shortening

1 pound powdered sugar (~4 cups)

2 oz. dark rum (I used ~1 shot)- adjust as needed

Make the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease muffin pan or line with paper liners.  Makes 18 cupcakes.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and baking powder; set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together milk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla.
  4. Create well in center of dry ingredients.  Gradually pour wet ingredients into well and gently stir until until combined.  Careful not to overmix.
  5. Gently fold chopped apples into batter.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pans, filling about two-thirds full.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean.  For mini cupcakes 10 minutes.
  8. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

Make the Icing:

  1. Cream butter and shortening in a large bowl.
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar and blend after each addition (about 1 cup at a time)
  3. Add rum and mix well.
  4. If piping frosting onto cupcakes, I put the icing in the fridge for 30 min- 1 hour.  This way the icing is a little thicker and easier for me to pipe—trick I learned from my mom.  Thanks Mom!
  5. Frost cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Enjoy!

Leftover Apple and Apple Peel

I had ½ an apple left and I didn’t want to waste all the apple peel (lots of good nutrients and fiber!) so.. I made a treat out it to serve as a topping on my English muffin.

Combine leftover apple and apple peel with ¼ cup water, 2 tablespoons sugar, and ¾ teaspoon cinnamon in a medium saucepan.  Heat over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes or until apple is desired consistency.

This apple topping is delicious plain, with yogurt, or on a toasted English muffin!


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