Apple and Caramel Cupcakes

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I’ve been away most of this month on holiday and away for work, and last weekend I went to visit my parents (they live about 400km away – roughly four hours driving one way).

My parents are market gardeners and as such, I always get loads of fresh fruit and veg whenever I visit. This visit was no exception, and to boot my mum offloaded about 20 pink lady apples as well – some fresher than others.

These cupcakes are a product of fresh produce and happiness – made with love for a baby christening. I decided to make these vegan as I knew the parents of the baby had vegan friends, and while I was a bit apprehensive about making a caramel sauce without cream, it turned out delicious. The cakes themselves are super gooey and moist, so gooey I decided to plonk them in a spare cupcake wrapper so they would make less mess!

Please note I kind of made things up as I went along, so measurements are approximate. I need to stop doing that.

Vegan Caramel Sauce

Ingredients:
2 1/2 tbs non-dairy margarine (I used Nuttelex)
2/3 cup coconut milk/cream (I used milk and the caramel sauce turned out a bit runny, unsure if using cream instead will fix that)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence

Method:
1.Combine all ingredients over medium heat for five minutes or until well combined. Set to high and allow to boil, then set to a low heat for about five minutes, stirring often.
2. Take off heat and allow to cool. It should thicken as it cools, if it doesn’t you can try adding corn flour to thicken it like I did. Just be wary it can affect the texture of the caramel if you do.

Vegan Apple Caramel Cupcakes

Ingredients:
2 cups self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 avocado, mashed
2 tsp non-dairy margarine (again, Nuttelex)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used coconut milk)
2 pink lady apples, grated
3/4 cup sugar

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Cream the margarine, sugar, vanilla essence, and avocado with electric beaters until well combined.
2. Add flour, baking soda and milk and combine using electric beaters.
3. Stir through apple using a spoon. Divide mixture into cupcake tray lined with cupcake wrappers.
4. Top up each cupcake with a spoonful of caramel sauce (you can also just stir caramel sauce throughout the cupcake batter, if you prefer).
5. Bake in the oven for about 10-15 mins, or until cooked all the way through.

You can eat them as is while still hot, or allow them to cool if you want to top with frosting. The frosting here is made with just Nuttelex and icing/confectioner’s sugar, dyed with Queen brand food colouring. All Queen brand food dye is vegan except for their ‘Cochineal Red’ dye. Their ‘Pillar Box Red’ is safe for vegans to use.

Enjoy!

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