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Agricultural Review

Caramel Apple Pie Cupcakes take the N.C. Apple Growers Association contest

Caramel Apple Pie Cupcakes, made by Samantha Nadeau of Clayton, took first place in the N.C. Apple Growers Association cooking contest at the 2013 N.C. State Fair. Nadeau took home $200 for the prize-winning recipe.

Julia Truelove of Raleigh came in second with her Swiss Apple and Onion Tart and won $150. In third place, earning $75, was Tina Barbour of Leasburg with Sausage and Apple Hand Pies. Amanda Boury of Raleigh won $25 as the Honorable Mention with her Carolina Caramel Apple Tiramisu.

Each recipe entry was required to use at least two cups of North Carolina apples.

The winning recipe follows:

Caramel Apple Pie Cupcakes


  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces (12 tablespoons) butter
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1½ cups apple sauce
  • 2 cups sour cream

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In another mixing bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Add apple sauce, butter and sour cream; beat until blended.

Stir into flour mixture.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour into cupcake pan and bake for 18–20 minutes.

Allow cupcakes to cool, then use the cone method to remove center of cupcake to allow for filling.

Apple Pie Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
  • 4 cups of honey crisp apples
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add apples, sugars, lemon juice and cinnamon. Cook until apples are tender and release their juices, about 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water. Add to apples and stir, cooking until thickened. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Once cooled, spoon filling into the cooled cupcakes.

Salted Caramel Buttercream Icing:

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 2 tablespoons caramel sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water (for thinning)

In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and shortening. Add powdered sugar and the caramel sauce alternately. Add salt. Add water slowly for thinning. Pipe icing onto cooled and filled cupcakes.


NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Andrea Ashby, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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