Features / 30 October, 2019 / Peggy Porschen

Halloween Toffee Apple Cupcakes

Makes approximately 24 cupcakes


  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g light brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Seeds of 1 vanilla pod/3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 240g self-raising flour
  • 250g peeled & chopped Bramley apple (approx 2 med-large apples)
  •  1 quantity vanilla syrup for soaking
  •  1 quantity Caramel Frosting


Preheat the oven to 165°C/gas mark 4 and line two 12-hole muffin trays with cupcake cases.

Place the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla seeds in a mixing bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy.

Beat the eggs lightly in a separate jug and slowly add to the butter mixture while beating quickly. If the mixture starts to separate or curdle, stop adding the egg and beat in 2-3 tablespoons of flour before adding the rest of the egg.

Once all the egg has been added, sift in the flour and fold until the batter is just combined. Fold in the chopped apple. Using a plastic piping bag or tablespoon, carefully fill the cupcake cases until two-thirds full.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, depending on your oven. The cupcakes are cooked when the tops are golden brown and spring back to the touch. If in doubt, insert a clean knife or wooden skewer into the centre of each sponge; it should come out clean.

Once the cupcakes are baked, let them rest for a few minutes outside of the oven. Using a pastry brush, soak the tops of the cupcakes with sugar syrup while they are still warm. Remove them from the trays and place on a wire rack to cool.

Frost with the caramel frosting, using a round piping nozzle, and finish with a lolly stick.

Vanilla Syrup:

  •  60g caster sugar
  • 60ml water
  • ½ used vanilla pod

Place the water, sugar and vanilla pod into a small saucepan and bring just to the boil. Stir until the sugar crystals have all dissolved, remove from the heat and leave the pod in to infuse. Alternatively, add ½ tsp vanilla extract to cooled plain syrup.

Caramel Frosting:

  • 250g full-fat cream cheese
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 625g icing sugar, sifted
  • 150g soft caramel/dulche de leche (or make your own by cooking a tin of condensed milk immersed in boiling water for 4 hours.  Cool before opening)

Place the cream cheese in a mixing bowl and beat with a spatula or wooden spoon until smooth and creamy.

Place the butter and a third of the icing sugar in a separate mixing bowl and cream together until very pale and fluffy. Add the next third of the icing sugar and beat again until the mix becomes pale and fluffy.  Add the rest of the icing sugar and beat again, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl well to ensure no lumps of butter remain.

Add the cream cheese, a little at a time, to the butter mixture and mix at a low speed until the frosting is combined. Gently mix the caramel into the frosting by hand.  Chill until firm enough to pipe.

CUPCAKES by PEGGY PORSCHEN, published by Quadrille (£6.99)


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