Friday, November 18, 2011

Cornucopia Apple Pie Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Caramel Buttercream

It's been awhile since I've sprung an over the top cupcake on you so here's one to make it up to you with. Also, some of you were curious about what I was going to do with that pumpkin pie spice fondant I made several weeks ago. My first idea was to make horns of plenty cupcake toppers.

I bought one of Duff's texture tiles in a basket weave pattern at Michael's.

For the horn of the cornucopia I left the fondant the color of the original pumpkin spice marshmallows.

After rolling out the fondant and spraying the mold with non-stick spray, I pressed it into the fondant for the impression, cut it into triangles and formed the horn. 

To trim the horn, I rolled out some ropes of fondant, twisted them together and pressed it into the edge. 

Using paste food coloring, I colored other bits of fondant and made the pumpkins, apples, pears and grapes. I was short on time when I did this project otherwise these horns of plenty would have been far more plentiful but you get the idea.

After I created cornucopia toppers for half the cupcakes I decided to finish them (again short on time) by rolling several leftover fondant pieces in autumn colors together, cutting out and scoring the leaves. 

This shortcut worked out better in the end as the cupcakes looked nicer on the platter with both designs side by side.

Now for the cupcake flavor. I had apple sauce left in the refrigerator from another project and threw together a quick recipe for apple pie spice cupcakes. The buttercream was amended from a vanilla buttercream recipe. I just omitted the vanilla and added ground cinnamon and a bit of caramel sauce. 

The combination of the apple pie spice and cinnamon buttercream was wonderful. A real fall flavored treat. The flavors worked so well together that the pumpkin pie spice flavored fondant was probably overkill but most people just peel off the fondant before eating the cupcake anyway. 

The perfect Thanksgiving cupcake!

Cornucopia Apple Pie Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Caramel Buttercream

For the apple pie spice cupcakes:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 stick of butter softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1+1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.
  • Cream the butter and the sugars together.
  • Add the eggs one at a time.
  • Mix in the vanilla.
  • Alternate adding the applesauce and the flour mixture until everything is just mixed in.
  • Fill a disposable piping bag  or a large zip lock bag with the batter and pipe it into the paper liners.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven, let sit for 5 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  • Makes 18 cupcakes.

For the Cinnamon Caramel Frosting:

  • 2 sticks of butter softened
  • 6-8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons caramel sauce
  • Place butter, three cups of the sugar and the milk in the mixer on slow speed.
  • Once everything is combined, add the cinnamon and more powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  • Mix in the caramel sauce.
  • Load into a disposable pastry bag fitted with a large tip and swirl the frosting onto the cupcakes.

For the marshmallow fondant:

I used pumpkin pie spice flavored marshmallows but you can use plain and flavor it as you please.

  • 1/2  bag (1/2 pound) marshmallows (minis melt easier but you can use regular sized ones as well.)
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 pound of powdered sugar
  • Crisco or shortening
  • plastic wrap or cling film
  • Gel or paste food coloring
  • Cover the inside of a heat safe bowl and a wooden spoon with Crisco or shortening.
  • Place marshmallows and water in the bowl.
  • Microwave the marshmallows for 30 seconds at a time stirring the mixture in between with the wooden spoon.
  • When the mixture is the consistency of Marshmallow Fluff, stir in 3/4 of the powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  • Cover your work surface with powdered sugar and cover your hands with Crisco or shortening.
  • Dump the fondant on the sugared surface and knead the rest of the sugar in.
  • Separate the fondant into different parts and color as desired by adding a few drops of gel colors at a time and kneading it in until the color is evenly distributed and you get the color you want. 
  • Wrap each piece in plastic wrap until you use it.
  • Wrap leftover fondant tightly in plastic cling film and store in a zip lock bag.


  1. Can I just say once and for all that you are amazing. (a) pumpkin spice fondant. Swoon. (b) HOMEMADE CORNUCOPIA CUPCAKE TOPPERS. Swoon squared.

  2. Cinnamon and caramel sauce in the buttercream! Wow!! If the fabulously creative toppers didn't have me wanting to steal a few of these then the frosting underneath certainly would.

  3. Adorable! I'll have to find one of those basket weave molds. Too cute!

  4. Wow they look amazing!! Beautiful toppers!!


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