It’s my coworker’s birthday tomorrow, and he never really eats desserts because he’s allergic to everything. Specifically, he’s allergic to eggs, nuts, and shellfish. I know what you’re thinking – how does one make cupcakes without shellfish?!
Thankfully he’s fine with dairy, so this wasn’t really too challenging. That said, finding flavours he likes was a little more difficult. As a byproduct of being allergic to everything, he’s never really developed much of a sweet tooth. I harassed him until he confessed that he doesn’t mind salted caramel, and I ran with that. I wanted to make these a little fancier, but I’ve been too sick to function all weekend – such a fitting end to 2016 – so I stuck to simple.
VANILLA BROWN SUGAR CUPCAKES
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 192 g (1-¾ cups) cake flour
- 200 g brown sugar *
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 83 g (3/8 cup) oil
- 40 g (2 tbsp.) apple sauce
- 30 g (2 tbsp.) vanilla
- 1 tbsp. molasses*
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake tins with ~15 liners
- MIx together milk and vinegar. Set aside.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
- Add oil, apple sauce, vanilla, and molasses together into milk mixture. Mix well.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients. Don’t overmix.
- Fill liners ~2/3 high. Bake for 12 – 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean, depending on liner size.
* I tried subbing brown sugar instead of white sugar and adding some molasses to my usual go-to vanilla cupcake recipe. It did not work perfectly, as the middles sunk a little. I have made these several times at this temperature, so I think it’s a too much moisture thing. I’ll try adjust that next time.
SALTED CARAMEL ICING (from Sprinklebakes)
- 60 g whipping cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 50 g (¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 30 g (2 tbsp.) water
- 1 cup salted butter
- 1.5 cups icing sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp. cream (optional)
- Mix together whipping cream and vanilla. In a microwave, heat up slightly.
- Put sugar and water in a light bottomed saucepan, and put on medium-high heat. Do NOT stir – shake the pan around gently as needed.
- When the mixture turns to a deep amber colour, remove immediately from heat. In a very thin stream pour the cream mixture into the sugar mixture while stirring rapidly.
- Adding the cream will cause the caramel to bubble and try to harden, but just keep stirring.
- Let the caramel cool for 20 minutes.
- In a stand mixer, cream the butter and icing sugar.
- When the butter is creamed, add in the (cooled) caramel and salt and mix well. Add cream/milk or icing sugar as needed to get the desired texture.
I made the caramel first, then made the cupcakes, by which time the caramel had cooled enough to make the icing.