Apple Spice Cupcakes:
- 2 cups applesauce
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup water
- 1 box Duncan Hines® Spice Cake mix
Dulce de Leche:
- 1 14 ounce can of condensed milk
- Tip: For a time saver use Duncan Hines Caramel Frosting or canned dulce de leche from your local supermarket
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 5 egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoon molasses
- Tip: For an easy option use Duncan Hines Home-Style Buttercream Frosting
Apple Spice Cupcakes:
- Place the applesauce in a sauce pan over medium heat and cook until the volume has reduced to 1 cup, stirring occasionally, about 15 to 20 minutes. Be careful to avoid splatters from the pan. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, place the cooled applesauce, eggs, and water and mix on low speed to combine.
- On low speed, add the dry mix in three stages, waiting until each stage is completely combined before adding another one.
- Place 2 1/2 inch diameter baking cups in muffin pans and fill the cups about three-quarters of the way full, or about 1/3 cup of batter.
- Bake in a 325°F oven until the top domes and a toothpick inserted in the center pulls out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
- When the cupcakes are completely cool, use your finger to create a depression in the top of the cupcake for the dulce de leche. If not being filled immediately, wrap tightly with plastic and store at room temperature.
Dulce de Leche:
- Remove the label from the can. Place the can in a sauce pot and cover with water by about 2 inches.
- Bring to a simmer over medium high heat and then reduce the heat to medium low. Cook at a simmer for 4 hours, taking care to maintain the water level at 2 inches above the top of the can.
- After 4 hours remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature in the water. Remove the can from the water and dry before opening. Reserve until needed. Any leftover dulce de leche may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Reserve 1/4 cup sugar and place the rest in a sauce pot with the water.
- Place the egg whites in an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and mix on low speed. Slowly add the reserved sugar and salt and mix until combined and frothy. Turn the mixer off but leave the bowl on the mixer.
- Place the sugar and water over medium high heat and stir slowly to combine. Once the mixture boils, stop stirring and insert a thermometer. When the mixture reaches 230°F, turn the mixer on medium high. Cook the sugar to 240°F and remove from heat.
- The egg whites should be at medium peak; if they are not, turn the mixer to the highest speed to achieve this quickly. Once medium peak is achieved, lower the speed to medium and slowly pour the sugar mixture into the bowl in the area between the path of the whisk and the wall of the bowl. Once the sugar is completely added, turn the mixer to high and whisk until cool.
- Remove the whisk attachment and insert the paddle attachment. Slowly add the butter on high speed. Wait until each piece is incorporated before adding the next.
- Mix until all of the butter is added and the mixture is completely smooth.
- Add molasses and mix until completely combined.
- Place into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip and reserve until ready to assemble.
Final Cupcake Assembly:
- Place dulce de leche into piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Fill each cupcake pocket with about 2 teaspoons of dulce de leche.
- Pipe a large rosette of butterscotch frosting on each cupcake, working in a spiral from the outside to the center, pull up sharply once at the center to create a curled peak.