Friday, November 21, 2014

Apple, Butterscotch, and Carrot: The ABCs of Autumn Cupcakery

Butterscotch Cupcakes infused with Butterscotch Sauce, Vanilla Buttercream, and Caramel Leaves

I love Butterscotch!!  And my people do, too.  It's difficult for a few of us to pass up an opportunity for a slice of Butterscotch Pie or Butterscotch Pudding.

In researching Butterscotch layer cake recipes, there just weren't that many options.  Essentially, home bakers have two choices: mix up a Classic Vanilla Cake and add about 1cup of chopped Butterscotch morsels or bake a layer cake featuring brown sugar (a very unusual ingredient in layer cake).  I worked with this Butterscotch Layer Cake recipe and modified it to exactly what I was needing. The results were delicious!

With the ingredients out and the kitchen looking like a small disaster, it was time to prepare the Butterscotch Sauce.  And yes, this is as good as it sounds.  Though the ingredients are similar, the treatment is not.  Whisk the butter, sugar, and cream...boil for approximately 5 minutes, remove from heat, and stir in vanilla and salt.  Let cool to room temperature.  This sauce is perfect drizzled over many desserts: cake, ice cream, cookies, pie, and let's add fresh fruit.  I love apples with butterscotch.

The caramel leaves are courtesy of Brach's caramels.  I warmed them up (unwrapped, 10 seconds in the microwave or wrapped, about 30 minutes in my jeans pocket).  On parchment paper, (using a rolling pin) I pressed each caramel flat and cut out a small leaf with a tiny leaf cookie/fondant cutter.  Each caramel yielded 3 small leaves.

Trying new things in the kitchen is a perfect opportunity to explore many cupcake design ideas.  With these little cakes, I tried a variety of piping techniques and several no-nonsense toppers.  In search of toffee bits, I bought a bag of Werther's Original candies and crushed a few...toffee bits!  They looked fabulous.  Also, Butterscotch Morsels seems like a natural topping for this cupcake.

This is a great little cake to consider for your next special occasion.

Apple Cupcakes, Vanilla Buttercream, garnished with Salted Caramel Sauce and Toasted Walnuts

I had a little bit of Apple Cake batter remaining from when I prepared this cake.  This is such a classic and wonderful Fall cupcake complete with Salted Caramel Sauce and Toasted Walnuts.

Be brave!  When trying new recipes, add or omit spices as you see fit.  Like cinnamon?  Add a bit more than the recipe indicates.  Prefer pecans more than walnuts?  Add pecans!  Home bakers have all the freedom to explore recipes and combine flavors in unusual ways.

  Carrot Cupcakes, Cream Cheese Buttercream, Toasted Pecans, and Caramel Sauce

These cupcakes really hit the spot.  The natural deliciousness of Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese is a wonderful way to usher in the Fall and prepare for Thanksgiving.

These ingredients add natural sweetness to this recipe: flaked coconut, pineapple, chopped pecans, and shredded carrots.  


Before I try a new piping technique on a cake or cupcake, I practice on a plate until I like the results.  These carrots were made by piping a zig-zag like going from the widest part of the carrot down to the tip.  Add green.

Walnut Cake, Apple Pie Filling, Vanilla Buttercream, and Toasted Walnuts

I blogged The Walnut Cake here, but wanted to include this little beauty with my other Autumn cupcakes.  It's a winner all day long... no matter if you serve them at home or take them to a celebration.  This Walnut Cake is moist and the Apple Pie Filling is both caramelly and appley delicious.  What could be better?


Fall is a wonderful time to consider adding something new to your baking repertoire.  Work with favorite flavors and textures... work at your own energy level and try to have fun.

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Buttercream and Toasted Pecans

I was given a wonderful tea towel gift...and on it is a recipe for Pumpkin Bars.  Of course I had to test it!  While this isn't the type of cake I typically bake, I'm not afraid to try something new.  It was delicious and so moist.  They'll make perfect cupcakes and bars when I need some thing pumpkiny this holiday season.

I'm grateful I get to develop recipes, bake cupcakes & cake, and explore design options.  

I'm grateful for my life partner and our family.

I'm grateful for sobriety.

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