Our next blog contributor is Andrea from Whisk and Knife! She used our red solid sprinkle mix on the most adorable apple cupcakes!
Hey Guys! I’m Andrea (this totes feels like the classic first day of school intro). I grew up in a super small-town South of Indianapolis, Indiana. Growing up, I was surrounded by food and the love of cooking and being in the kitchen. Someone had a birthday- it called for cake and ice cream and the local Dairy Queen (DQ to the real OG’s) was the IT spot for all social events. I can still feel the pain when I think of the time I stuck my finger in a pot of bubbling caramel while making homemade peanut brittle. My Grandmother was a wonderful cook and she loved to take something simple and would “Doctor it up” by adding her spin on the recipe. She was also a super fierce, spicy red head who always had the answer for everything. Some mornings she would get me ready for school and that was complete with 2 eggs over medium, toast, and a cup of coffee-totally normal 1st graders breakfast, right? She made me feel like nothing could stop me, not even the kids at school that picked on me. I was always different, even as a young kid. I was into music and performing and as a young girl in a farm town, that just wasn’t cool. Once I was at school, I sought out my teachers to help me get through the day. I would help my teachers wash the chalk boards, straighten chairs, sharpen pencils and do anything they asked of me. If I could go back and give each of them one of these apple cupcakes I would.
These cupcakes were inspired by my Grandmother and who doesn’t think of a shiny red apple on the teacher’s desk when you think of back to school? They are comforting, have an extra kick of spice, and have great texture with the addition of vibrant red sprinkles. The base of these cupcakes is a “Doctored” up box mix just like Grandma would do. I used a Duncan Hines spice cake mix and added some extra cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. The addition of the pudding mix made these so tender and soft, but still able to withhold the delish buttercream topping. I made a traditional vanilla buttercream for the cupcakes which was the perfect foundation for the gorgeous Red Sprinkle Mix. The inside is filled with apple pie filling to tie it all together. These are so yummy, but my favorite part is the bright Red Sprinkle Mix. Not only does the color remind me of my Grandma’s red hair, but I’m a texture junkie. The blend of the classic red jimmies and crunch of the sixlets are the perfect contrast to the soft cupcake texture. They also make these cupcakes look like a fresh, crisp red apple which is perfect.
Anytime I face challenges in my adult life, I think of those precious memories of my time spent with my Grandma in the morning before school and being with her in the kitchen. To this day, I am at my happiest and at peace when I’m in the kitchen or eating something that brings me back to those days. Although she’s no longer here with me today, her lessons and recipes are carried with me every day. Getting back into school routines or the daily struggles of life can be tough for everyone, but I encourage all of you to spend time doing what makes you happy and give these cupcakes a try!
Yields 18 Cupcakes
16.5 Ounce Package of Spice Cake Mix
1/8 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Ginger
1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
½ tsp. Cinnamon
3.4 Ounce Package of Instant Vanilla Pudding
3 Large Eggs
¾ C. Vegetable Oil
½ C. of Water
8 oz. Sour Cream
Apple Pie Filling
21 oz. Can of Apple Pie Filling
Classic Vanilla Buttercream
9 C. of Confectioners’ Sugar
1 T. of Pure Vanilla Extract
4 Sticks of Unsalted Butter, Softened
4 T. Whole Milk
In a mixing bowl with a paddle, blend eggs, oil, water, vanilla extract, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, mix together the cake mix, pudding mix, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients on low speed. Mix until combined.
Preheat oven to 350 ◦ F and bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, place in freezer to set (this makes filling them with the apple pie filling easier).
While the cupcakes cool off and go to the freezer, prepare the butter cream. In a mixing bowl with a paddle, mix the butter and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Once all sugar is added whip for 2 minutes until fluffy. Add milk and mix for 1 more minute.
To assemble the cupcakes, remove from freezer. Take a melon baller and remove a section in the middle of the cupcake (be sure to reserve the “top” to replace once filled). Fill the hole with apple pie filling and replace with the top. Using a large ice cream scoop, place a scoop of vanilla butter cream on the top. Fill a bowl with Sprinkle Pop’s Red Sprinkle Blend and dip the frosting in the sprinkles and coat evenly.