The Cupcake Connection, Vol. 005 – Apple Cupcakes Edition! The Beginnings of Fall & Apple Orchard Season

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You might be wondering why there was no mention of my delicious apple caramel cupcake from City Cider in my post yesterday.  After all, I certainly wiggled the bait a bit with my sneak peek photo Sunday night!  I didn’t forget and I swear I wasn’t trying to be a meanie by witholding scrumptious information (who posts a photo of a drool-worthy cupcake and then doesn’t say another word about it for 2 days?!  Er, me).  There’s a good reason for the wait: this delightful tender morsel of sweet cake and apple fruit, along with the apple cinnamon caramel cupcake from Yummy Stuff, was the inspiration behind this latest edition of The Cupcake Connection: Fall Apple Edition!  I am beyond giddy about this one!  A whole post dedicated to cupcakes and apples.  And apples in cupcakes.  And apples in cupcake frosting.  I LOVE APPLE CUPCAKES! 

It’s one of the ways I get to kick my apple allergy in the pants while still maintaining a healthy dose of cupcake in my life.  It wasn’t until I ate my apple caramel cupcake at City Cider that it dawned on me: there are so many different cupcake bakeries in and around the city that go full out on fall flavour using juicy, sweet apples come September.  Just think, there’s apple cinnamon, apple caramel, apple-pear, apple spice, apple and nuts, the list goes on.  And it’s beautifully represented in both cupcake and frosting form!

Fall is the season, to me, that never lasts long enough.  Winter always drags on and on.  Spring can get a little too muddy and wet.  And summer?  Well, let’s just say this past season made me reconsider how much I truly adore those hazy days.  But fall?  I love dearly.  And the prominence of apples in sweets, baked goods, and in food in general at this time, makes me love it that much more.  Thanks to Savera’s Pretty Sweet: A Mobile Cupcakery food truck at City Cider, I was totally inspired to compile all the different apple cupcakes available in shops and on cupcake menus throughout the city! 

Let it be known though that I had no idea this adorable, super pretty cupcake truck existed until I went to City Cider on Sunday.  I was totally smitten!  Donning shades of pink, red, brown, white, and turquoise, it looked exactly like a fairy tale cupcake truck, ready to make the magic of cupcakes that much sweeter and yummier.  Because it’s a mobile, moving entity, the only way to really follow Pretty Sweet is via their Facebook page and Twitter where locations for the day or week are posted, flavours are listed, and events the truck will be at announced.  The Pretty Sweet Toronto website is still under construction, but you can still access contact info and some really beautiful photos through the original custom cake business website at Pretty Sweet Cakes HERE.

And we can’t have an apple cupcake discussion without gushing about the apple bourbon caramel cinnamon (say that 5 times fast!) cupcake from Yummy Stuff!  Both the apple caramel from Pretty Sweet and the apple bourbon caramel cinnamon are SO delicious and unique in their own ways.  The apple caramel from Pretty Sweet had much more of a sweet and sticky toffee pudding taste and feel to it with soft apple spice cake, creamy cream cheese frosting, and generous portion of caramel sauce on top.  This is the type of cupcake that doubles as a dessert in the sense that it doesn’t scream, “I’m a little cake with frosting on it!”, but rather, you can envision this as a non-cupcake dessert dish.  It’s fabulous!  

The apple cupcake from Yummy Stuff on the other hand was more like apple pie with mouthwatering frosting on top!  It was stuffed with apple chunks and a bourbon caramel sauce filling and topped with the most amazing sweet and creamy cinnamon frosting!  Oh man, THIS is cupcake frosting at its finest!  As a note though, it’s ideal if you eat theirs with a fork just because the apple chunks may fall out and get messy if you eat it straight out of the wrapper with your hands.  This cupcake at Yummy Stuff is the special September flavour, so definitely try your best to get your sweet teeth on one before the month is over!  I really do hope it stays around for the whole season though because it’s just so good.  We’ll see; they kept their S’mores cupcake for longer than a month so there’s hope!  

Look out for other apple cupcakes at these cupcake and sweet shops around the city!

  • Bobbette & Belle, 1121 Queen Street East: Apple Spice ($2.95) – apple spice cake with Canadian maple buttercream frosting.  Seasonal flavour, daily rotation; cal ahead to find out (416-466-8800).
  • Crumbs & Co./Pink Lemon Bakeshop, 10220 Yonge Street in Richmond Hill (as well as 2 other locations including their newest in North York at 399 Old Orchard Grove off of Avenue Road): Apple Pie ($3.00) – apple cupcake with honey and spice frosting.  Daily rotation; call ahead to find out (905-237-6406).
  • For the Love of Cake, 171 East Liberty Street: Caramel Apple ($3.00) – apple spice cupcake with caramel filling, caramel frosting, and topped with a caramel chew.  Daily rotation; call ahead to find out (416-306-6446) or check out their selectiom via Twitter @4theloveofcake 
  • Old Firehall Confectionery, 170 Main Street in Unionville, Markham: Apple Cinnamon ($2.89) – vanilla cupcake with apple cinnamon frosting and apple crisp and nut crumbles on top.  Seasonal, currently available.
  • Short & Sweet Cupcakes,1945 Avenue Road: Apple Cinnamon ($2.90) – apple cinnamon cupcake with caramel filling, vanilla frosting, and caramel drizzle.  Available during the month of September.
  • So Into Cupcakes, 2060 Ellesmere Road: Apple Cinnamon ($2.50) – cupcake stuffed with brown sugar apple filling and topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting and cinnamon sweet apples.  Available during the month of September.
  • The Social Cupcake, 129B Lakeshore Rd. East in Mississauga: Apple Cinnamon ($3.00) – apple cupcake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.  Daily rotation, call ahead (905-271-7612) or follow them on Facebook and Twitter @social_cupcake

Feel free to leave a message here if you know of any other cupcake shops that are dishing out the luscious apples!

R.I.P. Toffee Apple Cupcakes: Allergies and Deb’s First Cupcake Heartbreak


Cupcake disaster?!  WHAT?  I know, I never thought I’d be experiencing this kind of heartbreak either *hangs head in shame*.  I mean, I may not be a domestic goddess, but a batch of cute and fresh cupcakes are my pride and joy.  You might be thinking, ‘but, but…they don’t look bad in the picture…’ and you’re right, they looked just fine (I was quite fond of the chunky apple wedges on top, YUM!) and they tasted fine too.  So what went wrong?  The wrappers.  Those darn wrappers that I thought were so cute  and so festive because of their fall leaf print literally STUCK TO and PEELED OFF my precious little apple cakes!  *cue strangled cry of despair*.

And this was especially sad because of how much I adore baked apple goods.  And there’s a reason why baked apple sweet things are so close to my heart: I cannot eat fresh apples.  Here’s a little something you may not know about me: I have a gazillion allergies and a number of them are to fruit, specifically to the raw flesh of fruit.  Growing up, I was never allergic to food, but over time I’ve developed quite a few allergies and unfortunately for me, I have come to learn about these allergies the hard way through oral allergy syndrome.  In another words, eating fresh fruit that I am allergic to will cause my mouth and tongue and throat to swell up like a blowfish. 

I know, it is so not sexy and I am telling you, it is painful.  And the list is long: apples, peaches, pears, nectarines, plums, pineapple, honeydew melon, and cherries.  And those are the ones I’m aware of.  There may be others lurking about.  I can eat these fruits when they are cooked, baked, or preserved, but not the actual fresh fruit.  Life’s not fair, I know.   

See those dark areas on the lower half of the cupcake?  Yes, from that point onward, the wrapper stuck to the cupcake and held on for dear life with a death grip and the more we tried to peel, the more the cakes succumbed to their untimely death *sigh*  I have always used plain jane white cupcake wrappers to bake in (and would just peel them off for photos to showcase the actual cake), and never had an issue, ever.  So when I decided to bake these toffee apple ones, I thought it would be pretty to use fall themed ones and oh my lordy did they ever destory my cakes! 😦  Let it be known that it is imperative to grease the printed wrappers with either butter or non-stick cooking spray before filling them with cupcake batter.  My heart still breaks a little at the memory.

BUT!  All was not lost.  After giving up on attempting to peel the cupcake killing papers off, my brother, my mum, and I were struck with an idea.  Why not just scoop the cupcake out with a spoon?  And so we did.  I was still very heartbroken, but the end result was a nice batch of our version of apple crumb:

Moral of the story?  Everyone has baking and cooking boo-boos, never give up after you mess something up, and remember to grease those damn cupcake wrappers.

Recipe for Toffee Apple Cupcakes

Ingredients (makes 18)

  • 2 apples (click here for a list of good baking apples and the ones to avoid)
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 ⅟₄cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1⅟₂tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp. butter (plus extra for greasing)
  • scant 1/2 cup of milk (“scant” meaning just “just short of” the specific measurement)
  • scant 1/2 cup of apple juice
  • 1 egg, beaten

Ingredients for Topping (optional)

  • 2 tbsp. light cream
  • 3 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 tsbp. butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Grease two 9-cup muffin/cupcake pans (or 18 wrappers).
  2. Core and coarsely grate one of the apples.  Slice the remaining apple into 1/4 inch thick wedges and toss in the lemon juice.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon, then stir in the sugar and grated apple.
  3. Melt the butter and mix with the milk, apple juice, and egg.  Stir the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing lightly until just combined.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin/cupcake pan.  Put 2 apple slices on top of each cake.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until risen, firm, and golden brown.
  5. For the topping, place all the ingredients in a small pan and heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.  Increase the heat and boil rapidly for 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened and syrupy.  Cool slightly, then drizzle over the cakes and let set.


Rceipe taken from Easy Cupcakes, Parragon Books Ltd 2009.  Photographs taken by me.