Peel the apple, then cut into quarters. Cut away the cores on each piece. Cut 12 small neat cubes (about 2cm squarand set aside. Finely dice the rest of the apple (approximately 3/4 cup, diced)
FOR THE APPLE PIE CUPCAKES
Preheat oven to 180C / 320F / 160C fan. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.
Whisk the flour, cornflour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
Beat the melted butter and sugar together until well mixed and glossy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each. Add the vanilla and beat well until all completely mixed.
Add one third of the flour and stir it through with a spatula. Add half of the milk and mix until just combined, then repeat with remaining flour and milk, finishing with the last 3rd of flour and diced apple. (Make sure not to overmix or you'll end up with dense cupcakes).
Fill the cupcake cases to just over half full, then bake for 20-24 minutes (note) until a toothpick inserted comes out with a crumb or two (they will continue to cook with residual heat once removed from the oven).
Allow to cool only a couple of minutes in the baking tin before transferring onto a rack to cool.
FOR THE CINNAMON APPLES
While the cupcakes bake, mix together the apple cubes, butter, brown sugar, water and cinnamon in a saucepan. Place the saucepan over low heat and cook until the sugar dissolves. Let it cook for around 5 minutes until the apple softens, stirring regularly.
FOR THE SALTED MAPLE BUTTERCREAM
In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter with one tablespoon of icing sugar for 3-4 minutes until pale and creamy.
Add the remaining sugar, maple syrup and salt and beat for 5-6 minutes until light and whipped.
ASSEMBLE THE CUPCAKES
Pipe each cupcake with maple buttercream then top with one of the cinnamon apple pieces and a drizzle of the remaining juice.
Equipment used in this recipe: silicone muffin trays, stand mixer, handheld beater
The cooking time may vary depending on your oven and the size of your cupcake cases. Check them first around the 18 minute mark and remove them from the oven as soon as a toothpick comes out with just a crumb or two stuck to it, but no wet batter.
I use a standard 20ml Australian tablespoon (= 4 teaspoons worldwide)
For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
I use corn starch a lot in my baking. This mixture of plain and corn flour is a homemade cake flour to save keeping another type of flour on hand. You can substitute both for the same quantity of cake flour if you prefer.