Apple pie cupcakes with baked apples, cinnamon and spice apple cupcakes, and delicious pie-crust flavored browned butter swiss meringue buttercream.
Place 3.5 sticks of butter in a saucepan. Preferably one with a light bottom.
Turn heat to medium-high, and let bubble while stirring.
Brown flecks will begin appearing in the butter, leave on heat until you reach your desired level of browning.
Immediately transfer to a bowl to stop the cooking.
Let harden to room temperature.
Chop your apples and place in a large saucepan. I like to use the same one that I used to brown the butter to add a little flavor.
Stir in lemon juice.
Stir in remaining ingredients.
Stirring occasionally, leaving on medium heat for ~20 minutes until the apples soften.
Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter.
Mix in both sugars.
Beat in eggs, one at a time.
Mix in vanilla, baking powder, salt, spices, and 1/4 cup of flour.
Mix in half of the buttermilk.
Mix in 1/2 cup of flour.
Mix in the second half of the buttermilk.
Mix in the remaining 1/2 cup of flour.
Fold in the chopped or grated apple.
Fill cupcake lines most of the way, and bake for ~30min or until a toothpick comes out clean.
On a double boiler, whip together egg whites and sugar until the mixture reaches ~140°F.
Remove from heat and continue whipping until the meringue forms stiff peaks.
Mix in butter and continue beating until it looks like frosting. (It may curdle, just mix through it and it will eventually look right.)
Pipe a double layer of frosting around the outer edge of each cupcake.
Fill the centers with the apple pie filling.
Serve at room temperature. (It definitely shouldn't be refrigerated, but if you try to warm them the icing will melt.)