I love cake. Specifically, I love cake as a vehicle for frosting. And this frosting, in my opinion, is in the Top 5 most delicious creations to ever come out of my kitchen. It. is. phenomenal. I am fairly obsessed with brown butter and have used it in pasta sauces, cookie icings, and even Thanksgiving stuffing before, but never in frosting. I don't know what on earth I was waiting for.
In case the little football picks didn't give it away, this was my other contribution to my tailgating outing this past weekend. People had already signed up for cookies and brownies, so I wanted to come up with something different. Something fall-like that would fit the lovely almost-fall day. I decided on apple and did a Google search for an apple spice cupcake. I found this recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction and it sounded like a winner. Then I needed a frosting. Normally I would have jumped on the salted caramel pairing she had, but I wanted something a little more in the cinnamon family to play up the apples. A lot of cinnamon frosting recipes I found used cream cheese, but because these would be unrefrigerated for hours, and I'm kind of a freak about that kind of thing, cream cheese was a no-go. Finally I came upon this cinnamon brown butter frosting from My Kitchen Addiction and I was sold.
The best part is, I had a good bit of frosting left after decorating all of the cupcakes. I may or may not have dipped into the frosting container with a spoon multiple times over the past few days. It's just SO good.
Apple Spice Cupcakes
Recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction
Makes 18 cupcakes
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 small apples, chopped into fine pieces, about 1.5 cups (I used Granny Smith)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with baking cups.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter, sugars, milk, and vanilla until completely combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gradually add in the wet ingredients and stir until just combined, being careful not to over-mix. Slowly stir in the apples.
Fill each baking cup about 2/3 full and bake for 20 - 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.
Cinnamon Brown Butter Frosting
Recipe from My Kitchen Addiction
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
6 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk (I needed slightly more to get it to the right consistency)
*To make brown butter, add two sticks of butter to a saucepan over low to medium-low heat. Allow butter to melt and cook, stirring frequently, until it turns an amber color and develops an almost-nutty fragrance. Keep a close eye on it - it can go from brown to burnt very quickly! Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Pour the brown butter into the bowl of a standing mixer. Add cinnamon and vanilla and mix until combined. Gradually add in the powdered sugar until it is incorporated. Add the milk in as needed to allow the frosting to come to a smooth consistency suitable for spreading or piping.