Monday, 15 September 2014

Spiced Apple Walnut Cupcakes (Giada De Laurentiis)

Chanced upon this wonderful recipe from Giada's 'Weeknights with Giada' and bookmarked it immediately. What attracted me was the use of apples in baking cupcakes and having wonderful ingredients like pumpkin pie spices in the bake. The spices conjured up so much festive mood in me!

I didn't have any pumpkin pie spice on hand so I replaced it with a combination of nutmeg powder and cinnamon powder. It turned out really lovely and I simply love the aroma in my kitchen!

I did away with the frosting as I did not want to load on anymore sugar and inches to my waistline. Lol! I find that the 'cupcakes' are equally great without the frosting.

For the cupcakes, I have noted the measurements in grams and also documented my adjusted amounts below in red. On the whole, this is a refreshing snack. I especially like the crunchiness from the apples and walnuts. I do find the cupcakes a little moist though...not sure if it's due to the juice released from the apples. Perhaps I'll try reducing the oil next time...

Spiced Apple Walnut Cupcakes (Giada De Laurentiis)
recipe from Giada De Larrentiis' Weeknights with Giada
(my notes in red)
makes 20 cupcakes (I used small cupcake holders and can make 48 cuppies)

For the Cupcakes
3 medium green apples, peeled, cored, and doced into 1/4-inch pieces (I used red apples)
1 1/2 cups maple syrup (540g - I used 530g honey)
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 packed cup light brown sugar (175g - I used 150g)
3/4 cup vegetable oil (210g - I used canola oil. Will try reducing to 195g next time)
1 tbspn vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour (440g - I used plain flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tbspn pumpkin pie spice (I replaced with equal proportion of nutmeg powder and cinnamon powder)
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup chopped walnuts (120g - I increased to 140g as I loved more crunch in my bakes)

For the Frostings (I omitted)
4 cups confectioners' sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, room tempearture
3 tbspn heavy cream, room temperature
1 tbspn vanilla extract

For the Cupcakes
1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 20 muffin cups with paper liners. (I preheated my oven to 180C)

2. In a large bowl, mix the apples, maple syrup, eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt. In batches, mix the dry ingredients into the apple mixture. Stir in the walnuts.

3. Spoon 1/3-cup portions of the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until the cupcakes are light golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean. (I spoon the batter to the cupcaker liners until about 2/3 full and bake at 180C for 25 minutes)
4. Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack.

For the Frostings (I omitted)
1. In a medium bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, cream cheese, cream and vanilla.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat on low speed until smooth. Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.

3. Using a small spatula, spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes.

I'm linking this post to Little Thumbs Up event, organized by Bake For Happy Kids and My Little Favourite D.I.Y. and hosted this month by I-Lost in Austen

I'm also linking this post with Cook-Your-Books #16 @ Kitchen Flavours


Do link back to LY's Kitchen Ventures if you have used any information published in this blog.


  1. Such lovely cupcakes!
    I am with you when it comes to frosting, I would usually omit it, except for that once in a while indulgence!
    Thanks for sharing with CYB!

  2. I agree with Joyce that these cupcakes are really sweet & lovely . And I bet they are flavourful . I'm not into frosting my cupcakes too just coz they're either too sweet or heavy . But also mainly for my waistline as well ! LOL Some apples tends to release more juice than others . Golden Delicious & Granny Smith are the best for baking or cooking . Thanks for sharing this recipe with LTU . Have a nice day ;)

  3. Hi LY,

    Me too... I'm not really the frosting kind of person and I usually do a little for my son because he will ask for it. Hmmm....

    I like these cupcakes with heaps of natural sweetness and moisture from heaps of apples :D Bye frosting... we don't need you here :p


  4. Joyce, Kit & Zoe : Hi 5! (On omitting the frosting) Though I must confess I love to see pictures of lovely frostted cupcakes, but eating them is another matter...:)



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