Fireball Apple Pie Cupcakes with Whipped Vodka Frosting Recipe

Fireball Apple Pie Cupcake

Tis the season for sweet treats! As you know, I put my alcoholic spin on everything. This is not limited to just cocktails and cosmetics, but cupcakes, too! Since I’m baking more than usual for the holidays, I thought this would be the perfect time to introduce my new boozey baking series! Kicking it off is my alcoholic apple pie cupcake recipe featuring Fireball Whisky (in the filling) and Pinnacle Whipped Vodka (in the frosting). These babies are scrumptious and a little dangerous because you can barely taste the alcohol. Read on for the recipe and stay tuned for many more liquor laced desserts to come!

Apple Pie Cupcake Recipe

Ingredients

Spiced Apple Cupcakes

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Apple Pie Filling

  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Fireball Cinnamon Whisky
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

Whipped Topping

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1-2 Tbsp Pinnacle Whipped Vodka

Instructions

For the cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cupcake pan with paper cups.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, apple pie spice, and salt.
  3. Whisk together melted butter and sugar. Mix in eggs one at a time until well mixed. Add vanilla and buttermilk and mix until combined. Stir in dry ingredients, do not over mix the batter.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the cups of the prepared cupcake pan, filling each liner 2/3 full. 
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let the cupcakes cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely before filling and frosting.

For the apple pie filling

  1. Toss the apples, brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp apple pie spice together. Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan and add the apple mixture to pan. Cook over medium heat until apples are soft, about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. In a small bowl mix the Fireball with the cornstarch. Add to hot apple mixture and cook until it thickens. Let mixture cool completely.

For the whipped topping

  1. Beat the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar and sour cream in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until the mixture forms soft peaks. Beat in 1-2 Tbsp Pinnacle Whipped Vodka and beat until smooth and well combined.
  2. Prepare a piping bag (I used Wilton tip 1M) and fill with frosting.

Assembly

  1. Using a small knife or apple corer, cut the center out of each cupcake and fill to overflowing with the apple filling. 
  2. Pipe the whipped cream topping on top of each cupcake (don’t completely hide the cupcake) and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Fireball Cupcakes Recipe

Ta-da! My recipe yields 12 cupcakes. Garden photoshoot followed by dessert picnic is optional, but highly recommended. Cheers! 😉

Starbucks Summer Picnic Essentials

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Time for some summer refreshment! My friends at Starbucks sent me all of the essentials required for the perfect summer picnic. These cool treats taste especially amazing while relaxing at a park, by the way. I adore all of them, but I’m living for the Mocha Coconut Frappucino. SO good. Read on for everything you need to stock your shelves with from Starbucks for your next summer picnic!

Starbucks Iced Coffee

Ah, an old love! You may remember me gushing all about these beauties a few summers ago when I first fell in love with these delicious and handy refreshments. Bottled Starbucks Iced Coffee is a blend of premium Starbucks coffee and 2 percent milk, inspired by the coffee blend and flavors used in the handcrafted Iced Coffee beverages served in Starbucks cafes. Flavors include Starbucks Iced Coffee + Milk, Starbucks Low Calorie Iced Coffee + Milk, Starbucks Vanilla Iced Coffee, and Starbucks Caramel Iced Coffee. It’s the perfect pick-me-up for those hot summer days when you’re running out the door and need to grab something in a hurry.

Starbucks Bottled Frappucino Coffee Drink

Starbucks has seriously upped the game in Frappucino flavor land. I’ve always been a fan of the classic Mocha, but now we have even more decadent varieties like Smores and Mocha Coconut. Yes, I said Mocha Coconut. And it will probably not be the last time I say it in this post because it is delicious and I am obsessed. Mocha Coconut.

Starbucks Doubleshot Energy Coffee Drink

Seriously, where has this been all my life?! This espresso goodness is supercharged with 20 grams of protein and is basically about to become my breakfast drink of choice forever and ever. I’d say it’s a good pre-gamer for your day of picnicing.

Starbucks Iced VIA

Need an easy way to whip up some coffee in the park? Shake up some VIA instant coffee in your water bottle! It’s specifically designed to mix with cold water and brew up instant coffee that tastes just as rich as regular Starbucks coffee – without the wait!

Classic Starbucks Cold Cup with Straw

Everyone needs a classic Starbucks cold cup. I feel like Starbucks just tastes better in one of these, right? Also, it helps to keep your coffee goodness cold when you’re out in the summer heat.

Add a colorful throw and a Dorothy-esque picnic basket like my friends at Starbucks sent me and you’re good to go. Happy Starbucksing this summer and beyond!

Brew the Perfect Cup of Coffee with Starbucks Single Origin Coffee

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I just love discovering new types of coffee and new flavors as part of the Starbucks Coffee Blogger Community! My latest package from the coffee masters at Starbucks focuses on the new Starbucks Single Origin Coffee.

What is Single Origin Coffee, you ask? Coffee beans get many of their distinguishing characteristics from the soil, climate and elevation where they are cultivated. Single-Origin coffee is exclusively sourced from a single location, and the resulting flavor is unique to that place of origin. There are three distinct flavors I had the opportunity to try. Read on for the breakdown of what makes each special to their unique region!

Rwanda Rift Valley

Rwandan farmers, committed to improving the quality of their beans, are cultivating some truly amazing coffees. This one features spicy dark chocolate notes with rich aromas. It flourishes in the nutrient-rich soil – a stunning red in color – of Rwanda’s Rift Valley. It delivers an elegant flavor to your cup and a promising future to Rwanda’s premium-coffee growers.

Timor Mount Ramelau

This coffee is cultivated near Mount Ramelau, a lush forested peak in East Timor where the weather is perfectly temperate. It features mild spice notes with a roasty-sweet finish. Nurtured in the backyards of small-holder farmers, only the ripest coffee cherries are selected, resulting in a smooth, refined cup.

Guatemala Laguna de Ayrza

This smooth, medium-bodied coffee thrives in the highlands of Santa Rosa, Guatemala, above a double caldera lake. The rich volcanic soils allow the beans to mature slowly as their delicate flavors become deeper and more complex. It is rich and balanced with lively flavor notes.

My friends at Starbucks also sent me the perfect pot to brew it in along with a cozy coffee mug for ultimate experience in tasting. I love all three of these coffees, but after experiencing the ultimate taste test I think the Rwanda Rift Valley is my fav. It’s also available in K-Cup form for all of my Kuerig users out there. Try some today!

Starbucks Coffee Blogger Community: Welcome Kit Favorite Products

Starbucks

I was a devoted coffee lover and Starbucks fan long before I was invited join the Starbucks Coffee Blogger Community. You might remember that I literally lived on top of a Starbucks in Florida before moving to New York. (I may not live directly above one now, but I have like 12 within walking distance. Win!) I also adore Starbucks’ at-home offerings and regularly stock my own shelves full of Starbucks. I also have a minor mermaid obsession, so I connect with all aspects of the company – down to the logo.

So naturally, I was thrilled to partner with Starbucks and join this exclusive group of bloggers! Through the program, I’ll get access to the latest Starbucks products before they hit the shelves so I can test them out and share the deets with you all!

I recently received my Welcome Kit and I’ve been having a blast tasting all of the new products and exploring the world of Starbucks Coffee. Equipped with my handy dandy Starbucks Coffee Passport, I’ve been mastering the fundamentals of how to properly brew and taste coffee.

With my new coffee knowledge and my old taste buds, I’ve put these new items to the test and I’m very pleased with the results. Read on for info on my absolute favs! I think you’ll love these delicious Starbucks goodies just as much as I do.

Starbucks

Starbucks Collection Dot Drinkware

I like my coffee like I like my men – tall and hot. (Sorry, had to.)  So, I really love the design of this quirky polka-dot mug because it gives me exactly what I need. It’s a large mug that keeps your coffee nice and toasty while your hands stay cool thanks to the mug’s double wall construction. The metallic gold dots on the ceramic mug have a hand-painted feel which makes drinking out of it seem even cozier. Designed by Starbucks Creative Studio, there are also a bunch of other fun designs to choose from, all under $20.

Starbucks Core Coffee Series – Caffe Verona

This rich coffee is well-balanced with a dark cocoa texture and a roasty sweetness. It tastes delicious when prepared with a simple pour-over brewer. Caffe Verona was originally blended for a Seattle restaurant to pair with its chocolate cake. (Makes perfect sense why this one ended up being my favorite.) It also pairs well with chocolate chip cookies. And chocolate croissants. And chocolate.

Starbucks Coffee Passport

I originally thought this might just be a novelty item, but I’ve fallen in love with my Starbucks Coffee Passport. Each page is packed full of useful information about each variety of Starbucks Coffee. In addition to an abundance of coffee facts, there is room for recording your own tasting notes. I’m so excited to continue using this tool throughout my Starbucks adventure!

Stay tuned to find out what else Starbucks has in store for next month! In my next post I’ll also put my new knowledge to good use and school you on how to best prepare (and consume) your coffee. Until then, happy brewing! 😉

Stay Beautiful and Healthy this Holiday Season with Meatless Gardein

gardein

It’s easy to gorge on food during the holidays. I’m totally guilty of this myself, and I find that it’s not just my waistline that suffers! Often times, my complexion freaks out even more than my weight when I don’t eat right. I talk a lot about skincare products you can use to treat skin conditions like breakouts, discoloration, and dry skin… but something to remember is that what you put in your body is just as important as what you apply on it.

That’s one of the reasons why I love Gardein! Gardein offers delicious meatless, vegan and vegetarian foods including burgers, meatless chicken, and more. With overwhelming statistics showing how plant-based proteins are better for your health and the environment, it is clear that Meatless is going mainstream! With Gardein, you can enjoy healthier holiday appetizers with zero guilt or adverse affects on your waist or face.

If you aren’t completely on Team Vegan, I’m not saying that you have to nix meat from your diet completely because trust me, I love me some bacon. I do believe that it’s extremely important to enjoy anything (meat and martinis included) in moderation though. Gardein is the perfect tool to help you strike that balance!

Incorporating more plant-based protein into your diet and cutting back on meat is beneficial to your health and to the environment. Plant-based foods have less fat and no cholesterol which help reduce the risk of cancer, obesity and diabetes.

A plant-based diet is also better for the environment. One of the biggest environmental impacts of a meat-eating diet is the depletion of natural resources, specifically the consumption of large amounts of water for livestock production. Cutting back on meat can also help reduce your carbon footprint as well as air and water pollution.

Doesn’t that make you want to eat less meat? You’re in luck because I just so happen to have a fun and super easy Thanksgiving appetizer idea just in time for the big day next week. This dish is called “Thanksgiving Tasting Spoons” and it’s seriously like Thanksgiving in one bite!  Create this super simple snack for your guests and they’ll all think that it was very Top Chef of you.

Thanksgiving Tasting Spoons

 Ingredients

  • Gardein Turk’y Cutlets
  • Tasting spoons
  • Your favorite cranberry sauce recipe
  • Your favorite mashed potato recipe
  • Your favorite stuffing recipe

Instructions

  1. Prepare Gardein Turk’y Cutlets according to package instructions.
  2. Cut each Turk’y Cutlet into bit size pieces.
  3. On a tasting spoon, add 2 teaspoons of mashed potatoes and 1 tablespoon of stuffing.
  4. Drizzle with gravy.
  5. Place Turk’y on spoon and top with cranberry sauce. 

Gardein is also offering other fun and tasty holiday products including Savory Stuffed Turk’y and Holiday Roast. For more information, products, and recipes, visit www.gardein.com. Happy feasting!

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[Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Gardein.]