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melanie's mini cider cupcakes with cinnamon-spice buttercream.

meet brooklyn baker, former uo about a girl, and creator of the mini cider cupcake: melanie knigge.

(photo via tumbler)

not only is she adorable, but she can BAKE! now for her super secret (not really) cider cupcakes recipe:

2 C gluten-free flour (or all-purpose if you're free of "issues")
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger (optional)
1/4 tsp cardamom (optional)
1 egg (or egg-replacer)
1/2 C apple butter *
1/3 C unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 C maple syrup (or honey if that's all you have)
1/3 C apple cider
1/3 C yogurt
*if you really can't find any proper apple butter, replace with more applesauce.

the recipe from to melanie, herself:

1. gently combine wet ingredients in a bowl. don't beat the hell out of it please.
you don't want to over-whip the egg.
2. stir together dry ingredients in a separate bowl with a fork. sift into wet mix, then fold the ingredients together with a spatula until the batter is just moistened, but not lumpy. it should look like this:

3. grease up your mini cupcake tin and fill 3/4 full with batter. these are cupcakes my friends, not muffins, so keep the head to a minimum.
4. bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until you stick a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean. if you're foregoing the minis, bake your regular-sized cupcakes for 12-15 minutes.
5. while cupcakes are baking into delectable little morsels in your oven, whip up some frosting.

cinnamon-spice buttercream:

1/2 C butter, room temp– no cheating and heating!
1/2 C vegetable shortening
3 1/2 C powdered sugar
2 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of cloves, ginger, cardamom, allspice or pumpkin pie spice, etc...get creative.
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 C milk (vanilla almond milk is also delicious)

1. put butter and shortening in a bowl with powdered sugar and cinnamon+spices. using an electric mixer and your buffest arm, beat together on high for a hot minute. add vanilla and milk (a little at a time) and beat until your frosting is thick and delicious.
2. it should not be runny whatsoever. if your butter got too melty or you accidentally added too much milk, continue mixing on high as you add in powdered sugar till you reach the right consistency.
3. pipe out of a pastry bag or frost your completely cooled cupcakes the way my mom taught me: out of a ziploc bag with one corner cut off. frost generously, my friends...'tis the season.

(photos and recipe via urban outfitters.)

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