Sometimes, a slight adaptation of a recipe yields an entirely new end product. 

Today, I wanted to use the now abundant apples and raspberries for a cake, but I also didn’t have a lot of time so would probably do better with cupcakes. I didn’t have exactly what I was looking for in my files, and there was nothing on the internet that looked like what I had in mind, so I came back to my blog. 
A search for “apple cake” resulted in a lot of choices, but no apple raspberry cake. 
What I did find was an old favorite, Chocolate Apple Cake. It didn’t take much to adapt that one to what I had in mind. Here they are, some sweet little bites that don’t need a bit of frosting to make them a delight–though without any topping, they really do look like muffins. 


Once you bite into them, however, you’ll find the very tender cake texture that tells you these are more. So, just a simple powdered sugar icing, and the result was exactly what I had hoped for–cupcakes!

Apple Raspberry Cupcakes

2 c flour
1 1/2 c sugar
1 t soda
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t allspice
1/2 t ginger
3/4 c canola oil
3 eggs
2 c apples, cored but not peeled and finely diced–pack lightly into the measuring cup for measuring
1 c raspberries–if using frozen, do not thaw
1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional)

1.  Sift the dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl.

2.  Stir in the oil, eggs, and 1 cup of the apples. Begin beating with a mixer until mostly blended.

3.  Gradually stir in the remaining apples and raspberries and beat at medium speed for about 3 minutes. The batter will be very thick, so it will be best to use a mixer for this rather than trying to beat by hand.

4.  Fold in the walnuts if using.

5.  Line muffin pans with cupcake liners and spoon the batter evenly into each one. Fill each liner about 3/4 full.  This recipe makes about 24 to 28 cupcakes.

If you don’t have enough muffin pans to bake all at once, it will be all right to leave the remaining batter standing at room temperature while the first pan bakes.

6.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the center of a cupcake springs back when lightly touched. Frost as desired when cool.

And a digression:
A Microwaved Mini-Cake
I was in a hurry to get these finished and ended up with more batter than my two pans would hold. As noted in the recipe comments, it doesn’t hurt the batter to sit out and wait while the first cupcakes are baking, but I was, as I said, in a hurry.
So what does every impatient cook/baker have in her kitchen? 
A microwave.
Many years ago when I got my first microwave, it came with a hardbound, more than 100 pages, cookbook, and that quickly became a reference for me. I was living in Arizona, in a poorly insulated house, so my kids will tell you that I had “rules” about not using the conventional oven through most of the summer–and spring and fall when the heat remained more oppressive than in other parts of the country ever experience.
In that cookbook were several recipes for cakes and muffins, even cornbread, and I tried many of them, and I discovered that these things could be made in the microwave. Yes, there was no golden brown color or light crust on the top, but that just meant that you focused on chocolate or spice cake recipes. Cupcakes and muffins were easier to get right than a full cake–and nothing bigger than a 9 inch round or square pan was recommended. I soon found a microwavable cupcake pan that helped on this score.

So yes, I occasionally made these desserts in the microwave. After leaving that overly warm kitchen, however, I rarely try baked goods in the microwave, even on the hottest summer days when I still avoid using my oven. My impatience today, however, brought that possibility back to mind. I pulled out an oven-safe bowl (the 1 quart size), poured inthe remaining batter, and tucked it into the microwave.  About 5 minutes, at medium power (level 5 on my particular model) and a quick check with a toothpick to be sure it was done in the middle. 

Be careful not to overbake; you can’t rely on browning to know if it is done.

Voila–a mini-cake! Note that the color is pretty insipid, especially compared to those lovely golden cupcakes in the background. However, a little basic powdered sugar icing and…

A small cake, just right for two, maybe three, people for a special kind of dessert.

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