Apple Upside Down Cupcakes

Pineapple Upside Down CupcakesIn honor of Thanksgiving this week, I figured I’d post something seasonal. There are SO many great items in season right now! I thought I’d try a fall take on a summer classic: pineapple upside down cupcakes.

 

And as many of my experiments go, this one called for slight changes to a known recipe, patience,…and prayer.  See, my “experiments” don’t always turn out so hot. <Case in point>

 

This one was going toward an order that was due as well….so, you know, no pressure or anything.

But it turned out really well! No oven fires, not gloopy and underbaked, nothing!

I’ll be making this one again for sure.

 

Apple Upside Down Cupcakes

Makes 27 cupcakes

  • Cooking Spray
  • 1/2 butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 red apple (I used Gala)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1  3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray cupcake tins with nonstick spray.
  2. Peel, core, and finely chop each apple. Then, mix pieces of chopped apple together to get a red/green blend.

    Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

    Before the layering fun began…

  3. Spoon 1 scant teaspoon melted butter into the bottom of each cupcake cup.
  4. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. (Or use 1/2 tsp if you’re a cinnamon lover)
  5. Spoon 1 teaspoon brown sugar  mixture into each cupcake cup. Stir around with butter in the cup to blend a bit.
  6. Place ~1.5 Tablespoons chopped apple into each baking cup. Basically, enough to cover the bottom of the cupcake cup.Pineapple Upside Down CupcakesPineapple Upside Down Cupcake
  7. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and remaining 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
  8. In a large mixing bowl, mix oil, water, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar. Whisk to combine.
  9. Add flour mix to liquid ingredients, whisking until combined.
  10. Pour cake batter into the cupcake cups, filling almost to the top.  Do not overfill!
  11. Bake at 375 F for approximately 20 minutes, or until toothpick stuck into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  12. Let cupcakes cool at least 5 minutes. Carefully run a knife around each cupcake to loosen a bit. Lay out a piece of wax paper on the counter and carefully flip cupcake pan onto wax paper to release the cupcakes.  Tap on the bottom of the pan to help the process.

Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

A few tips:

  • If you like your cake to be a bit more like spice cake, replace the “cake” part of this recipe with your favorite spice cake recipe.
  • I didn’t use very much brown sugar in the bottom of each muffin tin because I’m ever conscious of the amount of sugar I put in recipes. You may use more if you wish for a bit more “caramel” texture/taste.
  • My cupcakes were pretty reluctant to flop out of the pan. Holding the pan upside down about 4″ off the counter for a little bit helped them to flop down one by one. Even still, I had to scrape a bit of the goopy topping out of the pan and put it onto its respective cupcake.

I hope you love these! They got rave reviews, and I hope that they will become one of your fall faves!

Make them and have suggestions on improvements?  Comment and let me know!

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Pumpkin Spice Muffins, Revisited

Little Bit Sweet now has 100 followers!!!!! Yay!

Thank you to every single reader!  I hope that you are enjoying the posts.

To those that haven’t followed…whatcha waiting for?!  Super cool site, recipes, nutrition tips from time to time, and more. I’m really trying to expand my audience. Can you tell?

*cough* May also wish to like Little Bit Sweet on facebook! *cough*

Ok enough of the shameless plugs…

Today, I’m revisiting a recipe that was posted last fall.  This time, it’s revamped and even better! There’s a little less sugar (couldn’t tell a difference), a little vanilla extract to still add sweetness, and 1/2 of the flour is now whole wheat.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Slightly modified from this recipe on Instructables.com

Makes 12 muffins

  • 5oz canned pure pumpkin
  • 4 Tbsp liquid egg whites (like the kind from Egg Beaters)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • Cream cheese swirl:  1/4 cup Neufchatel cheese + 1 tsp granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tin with liners.

Whisk together pumpkin, egg whites, canola oil, water, sugar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.

Add flour mixture into wet ingredients in 2 additions. Mixing just until combined.

Fill muffin liners 3/4 full.

Slightly warm neufchatel cheese in the microwave, until it’s a little runny. Stir in sugar.

Add a small amount of mixture to top of each filled muffin tin.

Using a toothpick, slightly swirl cheese mixture into muffin batter.

Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

You can make them mini muffins, too!

These are really good with coffee or tea.  Just fyi 🙂

Want s’more cupcakes? …thought so.

It’s 71 degrees outside!! Fall!!!!!  Well, Texas fall.  I’m loving this weather, and it puts me in the mood for all things fall.  Pumpkin carving, getting ready for the holidays, and bonfires.

And what’s better than s’mores when you have a fire in front of you?  Nothing….the answer is nothing. 🙂

 

Since I was taking goodies to work, and building a bonfire in the middle of the office is frowned upon, I had to find a way to make s’more sans fire. Cupcakes were the perfect option.

This isn’t really a “recipe” because you can change it up to fit your preferred tastes.  I made chocolate cupcakes as the base of this dessert, but you could choose vanilla or some type of graham cupcake if you’d like.  I was already making chocolate cupcakes for the PB frosting in the last post, so just made a few more chocolate for the s’mores.

These were definitely a hit!  Next time I make them, I’ll be trying them with a graham cupcake instead.  I think it would make it even better.  (If you happen to have a graham cupcake recipe, please share!)

S’mores Cupcakes

Makes 24 cupcakes

  • 24 prepared cupcakes (vanilla, chocolate, swirled, or graham…you choose)
  • 1/2 container marshmallow fluff
  • ~6oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (or 1/2 of an 11.5oz bag)
  • 2tsp vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup crushed honey graham crackers

Fill cupcakes with marshmallow fluff. Click here to see how to do that.
*Note:  if you don’t want to use the packaged stuff, you can make your own marshmallow fluff with this recipe.  But it doesn’t hold it’s shape as well and seeps into the cupcake*

Melt chocolate chips with shortening in a microwave safe bowl, melting on high at 30 second intervals just until melted.  If the chocolate seems too thick for putting on cupcakes, add another tsp shortening.

Dip cupcakes in melted chocolate or spread a little on each cupcake’s top.

Top with crushed graham crackers.

Enjoy!!

 

Li’l Bit Savory: Taco Soup!

It’s the first day of fall!!  Finally, we get a break from the hot weather.   Well, ok not where I live.  Texas apparently didn’t get the “seasons are changing” memo.  As a matter of fact, it was 97 degrees here today.  But hey, it’s a break from 100+ degree heat so I’ll be thankful for that.

When I was growing up, my family would always make taco soup when the weather began to cool a bit.  It’s our go-to family recipe for those chilly nights from fall to spring.  I’ve mentioned before that we don’t have a ton of “family recipes” but this is one that I still make when I’m feeling homesick.

A couple of great things about this recipe:  1)  It’s SUPER simple and 2) You can modify it to meet your preferences.

For example, not a meat eater? No problem!! Just use ground beef-style soy crumbles instead of ground beef or ground turkey.

Don’t like one of the types of beans in the recipe?  Just leave it out or choose a different type of bean!

No matter how you modify it, this recipe is great for a quick weeknight meal that is home-y and comforting. (and delicious….that too!!)

Taco Soup

Makes about 6-8 servings

  • 1 lb ground beef, ground turkey, OR ground soy crumbles
  • 1-oz packet taco seasoning
  • 1-oz packet ranch seasoning (like this seasoning from Hidden Valley)
  • 1 15-oz can pinto beans
  • 1 15-oz can yellow hominy
  • 1 15-oz can dark red kidney beans
  • 14 oz water

Brown ground meat of choice.  Add seasonings and stir to combine.

Pour in undrained cans of pinto beans, kidney beans, and hominy.  Add water.  Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Allow to simmer about 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to combine.

Serve with your favorite toppings (cheese, tortilla strips, jalapenos, etc) or a slice of cornbread (my mom always makes sweet cornbread to serve with this soup)   🙂

**Estimated nutrition info coming soon**

It’s not exactly a pretty soup but it’s definitely one of my favorite meals.  So simple and yet so comforting.  Maybe this will be one of your family’s fall/winter favorites too!!