Saturday 24 November 2012

Apple-Walnut Cranberry Mosaic Cupcakes

The members of The Home Bakers  hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours each take turns to choose a recipe from Coffee Cakes: Simple, Sweet and Savory by Lou Seibert Pappas, and be the host of that recipe. It’s finally my turn and my choice was the Apple-Walnut Mosaic Coffee Cake. 
As I flipped through the book, this recipe caught my eye because the list of ingredients fits my bill of a healthier cake – it uses wholemeal flour, yoghurt, oil (rather than butter), fruits and nuts. I was also drawn to the promise of it being a “particularly moist cake which keeps well for 4 to 5 days when refrigerated.”
The first time I baked this cake, I used a cake tin and I was not happy with the results. While it was moist and delicious, the cake has a rather crumbly texture. I could not even cut a decent piece for photos as it fell to bits when I removed it from the tin. When I made these the second time round, I turned them into cupcakes as I figured that the muffin cup will help it to hold its shape. It worked! I also reduced the amount of apples as there seems to be too much apples for the small amount of cake batter.
I also made a walnut streusel topping for the cupcakes. The cake is slightly tangy from the apples and cranberries, and has a wonderful lingering flavour from the spices. The crunchy walnut streusel made it extra delicious.
Apple-Walnut Mosaic Cupcakes (16-18 cupcakes)                                                                   

Group A
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  •  2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp all spice (I replaced with nutmeg)
Group B
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar (I reduced to 1 cup)
  • 2/3 cup canola oil, or 1/3 cup walnut oil and 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 5 large granny smith or other tart apples, peeled cored and diced (about 6 cups) – I used 3 apples
  • 1 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
Streusel topping (optional)
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (170 degrees C), and prepare the muffin cups.
  • Place the nuts (total of 2 1/4 cups if you are making the streusel) on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until slightly toasted; let cool.
  • In a small bowl, combine the whole-wheat flour and all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and all spice. Stir well to blend.
  • In another bowl, combine the eggs, brown sugar, oil and vanilla and beat with a whisk or electric mixer until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture till just blended. Stir in the apples, cranberries and toasted nuts (1 1/4 cup). Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups. The mixture will be stiff and thick.
  • To make the streusel topping, combine the butter, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Using a food processor or your fingers, cut the butter till it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the walnuts (1 cup) and mix well.
  • Sprinkle the streusel topping over the cupcakes and bake for 20-25 minutes till evenly browned and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes and remove from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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