Fall Cupcakes or My Adventures in the Kitchen

from Bake It In a Cake
I saw these Fall Cupcakes and thought of my daughter who loves apples and cinnamon and all that is fall. I realized that I am always making the boys treats, but I never make my sweet daughter treats because she is a better cook than I am. She is capable of making her own recipe magic in the kitchen and enjoys doing so. So I figure whenever she wants something, she can just whip it up. But I realized that I was somewhat missing the point. Everyone wants to be thought of. Everyone wants someone to surprise them. Everyone wants a treat just for them every once in a while.
So, back to the Fall cupcake that was just perfect for Katie. I was so excited with the idea, I was like a kid at Christmastime...I couldn't wait to say, "I have a little surprise treat coming up just for YOU." This, of course, thrilled her. I was happy with our shared anticipation.
I had a gluten-free Betty Crocker yellow cake mix, some gluten and casein free icing, and some glazed pecans, so all I needed was some apple butter!
Last week Katie did the grocery shopping, so I added apple butter to the shopping list without telling her what I wanted it for. Wouldn't you know that this item was the ONLY thing she forgot to pick up...just missed it on the list?
So, the surprise had to wait for another week. Another week on anticipation for the both of us.
Finally, I purchased some this week. Now I was ready.
I got the cupcake tins ready with the wrappers and went to the cabinet for the cake mix...where is that cake mix? Twenty minutes later, and after searching the entire kitchen, I realized that I was mistaken and I didn't have a cake mix. Katie, being the good cook that she is, often cooks gluten and casein free without mixes, but I find it so difficult and tedious that I don't do it much anymore.
But I wanted to complete this surprise.
So, I did an Internet search and found a list of recipes, but they all called for something or the other that we didn't have. Then I came across the gluten-free Bisquick mix. No cake recipe on the package, save a shortcake biscuit...not exactly what I was looking for. Scanning the ingredients, it looked like a similar list to the recipe....who knew the proportions...but I was determined I was going to do this today, so I subbed the flour and the list of unusual ingredients (xanthan gum and the like) and used the Bisquick.
Now, back to the recipe...
Cream butter and sugar.
Okay, use Buttery Sticks instead of butter....hmmm....WHAT! No sugar??? After another thorough search all I could find was a tiny bit of sugar, some brown sugar and powdered sugar.
Well, perhaps I would change the cake part to a slightly brown spicy "yellow" cake instead?
I used the brown sugar, and added a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice mix.
I mixed it all up and added a bit to each cupcake cup, dabbed in some apple butter and added another heaping spoonful of cake batter on top.
The recipe I was working from was a cake recipe, not a cupcake recipe, so I had to keep my eye on the cupcakes and cooked it for a different length of time.
But they came out looking pretty good, all things considered.
Frosted them with white icing, topped it with the sugared pecans and sprinkled on some cinnamon...and presented it to my precious daughter for a taste test.
She pronounced them delicious and hugged my dearly.
It was all so worth it.
I then told her my story and we laughed and hugged and she felt very loved.
Which she is, of course.

And in case you wanted the final recipe...

Gluten and Casein-free Fall Cupcakes

1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery sticks
1/2 cup sugar
1cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie spice
2 1/4 c. gluten-free Bisquick mix
1 cup  Dairy-free or other casein-free milk
white icing
apple butter
glazed pecan pieces

Put cupcake liners in cupcake tins. With a mixer, cream together the buttery sticks and sugars. Add the eggs, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice and mix well. Alternate adding Bisquick and the Dairy-free, a little at a time. Fill each cupcake liner with a little less than half. Put about a tablespoon of apple butter on top. Top with more batter, until the apple butter is covered with batter. Bake at 350 degrees about 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool before icing. Frost with white icing. Sprinkle on a few glazed pecan pieces and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
recipe adapted from the recipe at The Gluten-Free Homemaker

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