Apple Spice Cupcakes with Caramel Penuche Frosting

This tender cupcake bursts with caramelized apple chunks, a little bit of spice, and a thick layer of old-fashioned penuche-style frosting with a light caramel flavor.

Makes 12

What You Need for the Cupcakes:

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and diced
  • 1 cup soymilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

What You Do for the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tin with paper liners.
  2. In a heavy skillet, combine brown sugar and margarine over medium heat, stirring to combine until mixture begins to bubble. Add apple pieces and stir to coat. Cook apples, stirring occasionally, until most of the water has evaporated and apples are lightly caramelized. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together soymilk and lemon juice. Let mixture rest for 1 minute to curdle. Add canola oil, sugar, lemon rind, and vanilla and beat well. Sift in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in sautéed apples along with any remaining juices.
  4. Fill cupcake liners full and bake 20 to 22 minutes until toothpick inserted into center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool on wire racks.

What You Need for the Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/3 cup soy creamer or soymilk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla powdered soymilk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts

What You Do for the Frosting:

  1. In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, margarine, molasses, soy creamer or soymilk, powdered soymilk, and salt over medium heat. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Let mixture boil and foam for about 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. When sugar mixture is completely cool, stir in 1 cup of powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat with electric beaters for 2 to 3 minutes until creamy. Slowly beat in remaining powdered sugar until a thick, smooth, fudge-like frosting forms.
  3. Spread warm frosting on cupcakes and sprinkle with roasted peanuts.

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