For the Apple Cupcake
(Makes 2 Dozen)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups coarsely shredded apples, such as Macintosh (about 1 3/4 pounds)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line 2 standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
- Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Mix in eggs and vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low; mix in apples.
- Add flour mixture; mix, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until just combined.
- Divide batter among lined cups, filling halfway; bake until tops are springy to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes.
- Remove cupcakes from tins; transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
For the Brown Sugar Buttercream
(Makes about 2 cups)
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- Put egg whites, sugar, and salt into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
- Whisk until mixture registers 160 degrees, about 4 minutes.
- Beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes.
- Reduce speed to medium-low. Add butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating after each addition (meringue will deflate slightly as butter is added).
- Beat until frosting is smooth and glossy, 3 to 5 minutes.