We were having a BBQ with family and friends on the 4th of July and I was so excited to make a 4th of July themed cupcake, until I realized that I don't really know what the 4th of July tastes like. We came up with so many ideas, but most of them had huge conceptual holes. I could do a watermelon cupcake but that would mean using a box of watermelon jello as the flavor in my cake mix which I didn't want to do because it didn't seem "baked from scratch" to me. (What does watermelon ultimately taste like anyways?) Maybe a pink lemonade cupcake? But the husband and I are not really fond of the super sour, especially in our cupcake and we wanted to taste good. I even considered making a chocolate cupcake and adding 'liquid smoke", an ingredient which imparts a smokey bbq flavor. It might be fun to have a cupcake that seemed like it was cooked on the bbq with the rest of the meal but would it taste good? Questionable. So, we decided that the most traditional and American flavor we could come up with (that had the best possibility of tasting awesome) was Apple Pie!
I decided to start with my favorite vanilla cupcake bottom. Once they were baked and cooled, I used a paring knife to cut a circular section out of the top of the cupcake. I then made a tradition apple pie filling. I diced green apples fairly small and cooked them with brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. When the apple pie filling was room temperature, I put a heaving spoonful into the middle of the hollowed out cupcake bottom. I topped this with my favorite vanilla bean buttercream. I used a small ice cream scooper to made the buttercream look like the cupcake was 'a la mode'.
This cupcake was awesome and truly felt 4th of July inspired. The cupcakes only downfall was that when you brought it to your mouth and tipped the cupcake back a little to get to take a bite without getting it on your face, the little 'a la mode' buttercream would fall off the back taking half of the filling with it. Therefore, you needed to be careful eating it...or if your like my buddy, Lance, you can just eat the whole thing in one bite, topside first. He guarantees me it is just as delicious!
Overall rating: 4.8 out of 5