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This past summer a few girlfriends and I finally experienced high tea at the Ritz Carlton. We’ve been planning to go since winter but we’ve decided it would be nicer to drink tea in summer dresses instead of baggy sweaters. It was a lovely afternoon of drinking fancy tea and sampling dainty finger foods. Do not underestimate the size of those things – we were all stuffed in the end. It inspired us to have our own afternoon tea party. I offered to host it since I have a decent tea collection and those three-tiered dessert stands.

Fast forward to this past weekend where it finally happened! Everyone brought in such amazing food to share. You can see the beautiful array of food we had on my instagram. For sweets, we had lemon blueberry scones, lemon poppy seed loaf, cakepops, chocolate marble icebox cookies, three different types of brie phyllo pastry appetizers, fancy macarons from Butter Avenue, chocolate fondue, apple cupcakes + pumpkin cupcakes, and fruits for some healthier sugar balance. For savoury snacks, we had avocado toast bites, chicken dill salad sandwiches, tuna sandwiches, and fresh veggies. An excellent balance of sweet and salty I would say ;). Everyone had such a great time – sharing good food and laughs. Talking about girly things like …Justin Bieber’s new album. =P

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It’s not hard to guess what I made since I am blogging about them now! In addition to the apple cupcakes, I also made pumpkin cupcakes and the chicken dill salad sandwiches. For the tea party, I made cute mini versions of this cupcake. The only difference is the baking time. For mini cupcakes, always shorten the baking time compared to regular sized cupcakes.

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I love these apple cupcakes, I made them last year but I didn’t blog about them since I took an unofficial mini blog break. The addition of shredded apple makes these cupcakes super moist. This cupcake is denser than an average cupcake and it is full of apple flavour! You can subtly taste the texture of the apple shreds. I found this recipe on Tracey’s Culinary Adventures. I pretty much did the same except I used Honeycrisps instead of Granny Smiths just because I had them on hand. I also topped it off with a different frosting. I went with a more fall inspired (even tho its winter already >_<) maple cream cheese frosting instead of a caramel cream cheese frosting.

You can also feel less guilty about eating these cupcakes because apples are super good for you! Check out this great article at Well-Being Secrets. It’s a great in-depth article on science-backed benefits of apples, it’s history other interesting facts about apples!

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Apple cinnamon cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting*

(Recipe adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures)

Ingredients
For the cupcakes
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil – I used vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 Granny Smith apples (about 1 lb), peeled, cored, and shredded – I used 2 Honeycrisps

For the maple cream cheese frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese
4 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of maple syrup

*With this recipe I made 18 mini cupcakes and 4 regular sized cupcakes

Directions
For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a second medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and both sugars until smooth and well combined, making sure to break up any clumps of brown sugar. Add the oil and vanilla and whisk until completely incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir just until everything comes together. Fold in the apples until evenly distributed.
  3. Divide the batter evenly among the liners. Bake for 20-25 minutes for regular cupcakes OR 12-15 minutes for mini cupcakes, or until the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed with your finger and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes before removing them to the rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:

  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Gradually add the sugar until incorporated.
  3. Then add the cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup. Mix for 10 seconds, until evenly combined. Frost cupcakes as desired. I used a Wilton 1M tip to make these rose-like topping.

 

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