Apple Spice Muffins with Maple Brown Sugar Frosting


I have to admit, weekends I always like to indulge in a nice dessert.  So this past weekend, I decided to make these moist, delicious and OUT OF THIS WORLD cupcakes.  I mean I guess I’m excited about these because I didn’t expect them to taste so good!  I bought these beautiful organic Cameo apples that worked really well with this recipe but you can also use Macintosh or Granny Smith.

This takes quite a bit of apples , almost a pound to be exact, so that must mean they are SUPER healthy right?  Okay, probably not but at least you’re getting 1/2 serving of fruit with your dessert ^_^!  Also, I left the icing off a few of the cupcakes as a healthier alternative, or as a great breakfast option.

Upon tasting this cupcake, you will close your eyes and drift off to a dream world of decadence —falling into a “MMmmmmmm” trance.  The combination of the creamy and sweet maple brown sugar frosting paired with the moist apple cake — I mean this cupcake is so good my friend Jenni had dreams about it!  That alone should be reason enough to just try it, right?

Ingredients for Gingersnap Crust:

  • 2 cups gingersnap cookies, crushed into fine crumbs
  • 1 cup gingersnap crumb and pecan mixture (for decoration)
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350F.

Line muffin tin with paper liners.  Melt the butter and mix with crumbs thoroughly.    Distribute mixture evenly into muffin tins and press down to make the crust.  Bake for 5-7 minutes or until a light golden brown.

For decoration, you will need an additional cup of gingersnap crumbs mixed with 1/4 cup of chopped pecans.  Mix together and set aside.

Meanwhile, make the batter for the cupcakes…

Ingredients for Apple Spice Muffins:

(makes 1 dozen)

  • 1 1/8 cups all-purpose flower
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used cardamom)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger (I added this)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups coarsely shredded apples, such as Cameo, Macintosh or Granny Smith

Whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl.  Set aside.  Put butter and sugar into bowl and with an electric mixer or stand mixer, mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about five minutes.  Mix in eggs, sour cream and vanilla, reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture and mix until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.  Carefully fold in your apples until combined.

Divide batter among lined cups, filling halfway.  Bake until tops are springy to the touch, about 18-20 minutes.  Remove cupcakes from tins; transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

While your muffins are cooling, make the icing!

Ingredients for Maple Brown Sugar Icing:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium bowl place sugars butter and salt.  Using an electric beater or stand mixer, beat ingredients until combined.  Continue beating and add maple syrup in a stead stream.  Add vanilla.  Increase speed to medium high and beat until light and fluffy.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Once your muffins have cooled, you may now begin to ice them! Using an icing brush, or a knife, ice the tops of the muffins evenly.  To decorate them the way that I have (They are bees if you can’t tell), you will need 12 half pecans, 24 pinenuts, and 24 cloves.  For the pecans you will have to cut them at a tip, as I have, at one end.  Then place the cloves as the antennae and the pinenuts as the wings.

Then using the pecan and gingersnap crumb mixture, carefully dust the outside edges as shown above.  Like I said earlier, you can leave all the icing and decorations off and eat them as muffins.  I set half aside that way and they made a really quick and delicious breakfast.  Nom nom nom!!!

I also wanted to share some of my food art with you guys, starting today I will be posting pictures periodically of “beauty” that I find in food and other places you wouldn’t expect.  I hope you guys will enjoy these images, and I would really appreciate any feedback you may have.

Can anyone guess what this is?  I wanted to print this out on 3 separate canvases and have it as a large wall mural — thoughts?

    36 responses to “Apple Spice Muffins with Maple Brown Sugar Frosting

    1. This is just one of those cupcakes where you want to sink your finger right through the middle of the frosting,lick your finger then take a big ass man bite out of it.lol delicious

    2. This is no ordinary cupcake. This is truly a really special one made with tender, love and care. What else can I say.. I want one now. 😀

    3. Those cupcakes are truly divine! I’m guessing that the red against the wood are beet stains. It’s an awesome picture!

    4. Ooo…yummilious cupcake! So irresistible! You better make more, Joy.

    5. I love apples, so this is the one I must make one one day.
      I’m guessing the green background looks something like leaves…anyway very nice click 🙂

    6. oh wow! they are so beautiful. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    7. Joy, here’s the tom yam paste details.
      http://www.indomerchant.com/tomyumpaste.html
      Hopefully, you’ll find what you’re looking for!

    8. SO pretty!!! I love love love all your pictures!

    9. Gorgeous pictures! The Art of a Muffin 🙂

    10. Love your pics and your blog, guessing pomegranite stains on a wooden cutting board?? Gorgeous muffins too!

    11. my goodness – apple spice muffins, how perfect. really, they look delightfully moist and scrumptious. one for me, please!

    12. These are beautiful muffins, Joy!

    13. Joy – these look yuuuuuuuuuuummy. My guess is that the image is a yard fence, but I know I’m off! 🙂

    14. This I must try they look so good!

    15. GORGEOUS CUPCAKES! I don’t doubt that these cupcakes are delicious, but your photos of them are absolutely beautiful! WOW! Also, I really like the idea of you periodically showing ‘food art’. The one you posted here is beautiful and my guess is that it is a cutting board that was used to cut red beets??? Am I right? 🙂

    16. These muffins must be wonderful, and the presentation is so pretty! True art 🙂

    17. These look delicious – I love apple spice muffins! just made sweetpotato orange blossom muffins myself today but i actually prefer the apple ones! you just cant beat a good, moist muffin! argh, but i’m really peeved we cant really get pecans in europe – i’m dying to try all the lovely pecan recipes! those bees are cute btw!

      • Thanks rebecca!! Wow sweetpotato orange blossom sounds absolutely delicious!!! I am sorry you are unable to find pecans in europe, hopefully you’ll be able to scout some out soon 🙂

    18. hi joy, enjoy ur blog and photos. im in the woodlands, you pass by me on your way into houston. 🙂 found your blog via houstonwok. 🙂 loving the mural idea!! we’ve got a HUGE dining room wall. i’m guessing the mural is by you as well?? let me know how it turns out…perhaps ill get to hang a joylicious creation on my dining room wall as well…..how exciting!!!

      • Thank you very much smurfette!! I actually passed by you over the weekend 🙂 Yes I designed the mural, though I have not had the chance to print it out on canvas — I am waiting to move in June to finally get it up! I will let you know how it turns out and I would LOVE if you had a joylicious creation in your dining room 🙂 hee hee hee pleasure to meet you!!

    19. I must tell you, these have got to be the prettiest muffins I’ve ever seen! Your photos are fantastic! Glad I stumbled onto your space here! Have a great week!

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