Yesterday morning, geeksugar arrived at the office with a grocery bag full of little, green apples. YumSugar and I are splitting the bag, and both of us shall make a delicious dessert to share with the Sugar gals. Right away Yum announced the upcoming arrival of an apple pie. Shocked and worried — how to compete with America's most classic, beloved pie? — I frantically searched the web for a secret weapon. Then it hit me, apple cupcakes! Cupcakes are a dessert that everyone loves and no one can resist.

Similar to carrot cupcakes, the apple is grated and added to the batter. For the recipe that could win the battle of the just picked apples,

Apple Cupcakes
From Martha Stewart Kids

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups coarsely shredded apples, such as Macintosh (about 1 3/4 pounds)
Cream-Cheese Frosting
Marzipan Apples, optional see below

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
  4. Reduce speed to low; mix in apples. Add flour mixture; mix, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until just combined.
  5. Fill lined cups halfway with batter; bake until tops are springy to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from tins; let cool on a wire rack. When completely cool, frost cupcakes; top with marzipan apples.

For marzipan apples: Tint some marzipan red and some green (find it in the baking section of your grocery store). Roll red marzipan into balls on a cornstarch-dusted surface. Score bottoms with toothpick. For leaves, flatten teardrop-shaped green marzipan; add veins with toothpick. Roll worms from un-tinted marzipan; add green nonpareils for eyes. Use brown sprinkles for stems. Make holes for worm and stem, and insert.

Makes 24 cupcakes.