The perfect Autumn cupcake…

Ok, I know that’s a bit of a sweeping statement but, honestly, try them and you might just agree!  My customers at the Farmers Markets certainly do as they fly off the table…

apple with toffee frosting

Autumn’s here and I love it, it’s my favourite season; the perfect excuse to wrap up cosy, get into the kitchen and bake up a seasonal selection of delicious cakes.  The cake part is a beautiful blend of soft fluffy cinnamon scented sponge and toasted hazlenuts whilst, for those of you who prefer a slightly sour tang to a hefty sweet kick, the cream cheese frosting is the perfect addition (I prefer an even sharper bite so I go half mascarpone and half cream cheese!)

Here’s how folks… makes 10-12 delicious cupcakes.


80g unsalted butter

270g golden caster or soft brown sugar

2 medium eggs

240g plain flour

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp good vanilla extract

½ apple (or 1 whole apple if you really like apple) cut into small cubes

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbs chopped roasted hazlenuts

Cream cheese frosting (courtesy of Primrose Bakery – after experimenting with lots of different recipes, this is still the best!)

175g cream cheese (or half mascarpone and half cream cheese – full fat of course!)

450g icing sugar

125g unsalted butter

1/2 tsp cinnamon (if you like, if not, add 1/2 tsp of good vanilla extract)


  • Preheat the oven to around 180°c (160° fan). Place cupcake wrappers in 12 hole cake tray (or you can use silicone moulds if you prefer).
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.
  • Sieve the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl and add one third to your butter and sugar mix, followed by one third milk, until all is mixed in.
  • Add the vanilla extract (you need to use the good stuff for this not the thin vanilla essence)
  • Fold in the apple chunks and the hazlenuts.
  • Spoon into your cupcake cases and bake in an oven on  around 180°c (160° fan) for around 20 minutes but ovens vary so take a toothpick or cake tester to make sure.
  • Whilst the delicious little cupcakes are baking , prepare the cream cheese frosting
  • Mix together the icing sugar,  soft butter and cream cheese till blended but don’t mix too much or it loses its shape and gets too loose I find.
  • Transfer the baked cakes to the wire rack and take the cupcakes out of tin and cool. (tip: if you take them out straight away from the baking tin, the wrappers are less likely to pull away from the cake).

When they’ve cooled down, pipe or spread the cream cheese frosting on top and either sprinkle with some toasted hazlenuts or, if you’re feeling adventurous, roll some little apples out of marzipan, mix a little green paste colouring with a couple of drops of water (or vokda!) and paint them, finishing with a clove as a stalk.  Then sit back with a nice hot cuppa in one hand, a cupcake in the other and enjoy 🙂



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