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Fall is almost here and I am more than ready for it! Fall is quickly becoming my favorite season. It's the weather getting a little cooler, the leaves changing colors, but most of all it's the food that makes me love fall. During the fall months I can always be found in the kitchen baking with apples, pumpkin, pecans, and squash.
Since fall is less then a week away I wanted welcome in the season with a delicious baked good using several warm fall flavors. On a recent trip to Walmart I found M&M's® Pecan Pie and knew I had to bake with them. They come in fun fall colors, smell like pecans, and taste like pecan pie.
While I usually make my cupcakes and frosting from scratch, fall is a busy time for me. I'm back to work and it's usually pretty hectic. I like to take treats into my fellow teachers and it's often easier to put a semi-homemade twist on a box cake mix. I picked up a box of Pillsbury™ Moist Supreme® Yellow Cake Mix and a can of Pillsbury™ Creamy Supreme® cream cheese frosting to help with the base of my apple cupcakes.
When I got home I picked up the box of Pillsbury™ Moist Supreme® Yellow Cake Mix and dumped it in a bowl. I was planning on making apple cupcakes since we just received a bag of apples in our weekly CSA. Fresh picked farm apples are a great way to put a homemade spin on a box cake mix. To give the batter even more apple flavor I substituted in Mott's® applesauce for some of oil.
Next I made the filling for the cupcakes. Instead of filling them after they came out of the oven I made a small mixture of pecan pie and placed it in between two layers of apple cupcake mix. I popped them in the oven and got working on my frosting. I didn't have to do much to it since I thought cream cheese frosting would go wonderfully with the apples and pecans. The only thing I did was add a little bit of cinnamon to give it a hint of spice.
Once the cupcakes were out I let them cool then frosted them with the cinnamon cream cheese frosting. The last step was decorating the tops with pecans and the M&M's® Pecan Pie. They looked so pretty. I cut one in half to see what they looked like inside and was pleased to see that the pecan pie was baked right into the middle of the cupcake. When I took a bite it was like fall bursting in my mouth! Apples, cinnamon, and pecans all mixed into one sweet and tasty dessert. I couldn't help myself, I ate the entire cupcake! At this point I had to reach into the refrigerator and grab a bottle of Snapple® Apple to wash down the cupcake. It was definitely the right choice to go with the cupcake.
I quickly packed up the rest of the cupcakes, minus two for my husband and I to enjoy later, to take to school for the teachers. Now our table at school is very bare and I thought it would be nice to make something that screamed fall to put on the table and give it taste of the season. I knew I had several leftover mason jars in the basement and figured they would look really nice in the middle of the faculty room table.
In order to jazz the up I used fall colored tissue paper, glue, and glitter glue to decorate the outside of the jars. I filled them with those amazing cinnamon scented pinecones. I figured not only would it look like fall in the faculty room, it would smell like it too! Plus I ended up having two jars leftover so I put candles in them and I'm using them as centerpieces on our dining room table. They will end up staying there until after Thanksgiving.
I took everything to work the next day and everyone was thrilled. The Pecan Pie Stuffed Apple Cupcakes were a huge hit and all the teachers kept commenting on how great the faculty room smelled and how cute the jars were. I think we are all ready welcome fall next week.
To celebrate fall MARS is hosting a Bake In The Fun Sweepstakes where one lucky person will be winning a Kitchen-Aid Mixer! Enter the sweepstakes and get baking with your own fun fall flavors.
- 1 box Pillsbury™ Moist Supreme® Yellow Cake Mix
- 1 c. water
- ¾ c. Mott's® Apple Sauce Original 48oz
- 2 eggs
- 1 apple, chopped
- ¼ c. sugar
- ¼ c. brown sugar
- ½ c. corn syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 t. salt
- 1 c. pecans, chopped
- 4 T. butter, melted
- 1 can Pillsbury™ Creamy Supreme® Cream Cheese Icing
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1 c. M&M's® Pecan Pie
- ½ c. pecans, halved
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together the yellow cake mix, water, applesauce, and eggs. Fold in the apple and set aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk together all of the ingredients for the pecan pie. Set aside.
- Place just enough batter in the bottom of the cupcake liners to cover it. Place 1 teaspoon of pecan pie on top of the batter. Place apple cupcake batter on top of the pecan pie batter, filling the muffin cup to ¾ of the way full. Repeat for remaining muffin cups.
- Bake the cupcakes for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before removing the cupcakes from the muffin tin to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To prepare the frosting simply mix the cinnamon into the cream cream frosting.
- Frost each cupcake with the frosting. Top each cupcake with 3-4 M&M's® Pecan Pie and a pecan half.
- 2 pint sized mason jars
- Tissue paper in fall colors (red, orange, yellow, black)
- Clear Craft Glue
- Gold glitter glue
- Rustic ribbon
- Cinnamon scented pinecones
- Choose a solid color of tissue paper for each mason jar (not a fall color). I used white and black. Cut a piece so that it will wrap the entire way around the jar without covering the top or the bottom.
- Using the craft glue, cover a quarter of the jar at a time and smooth the tissue paper over the jar. Continue around until the jar is covered by the tissue paper.
- Cut the red, orange, and yellow tissue paper into 1 inch squares. Using the craft glue, glue the squares all over the jar, leaving a little bit of the white or black tissue paper showing.
- Spread a thin layer of gold glitter glue over the entire jar giving it a sparkling look and sealing in the tissue paper. Let sit 15 minutes.
- Tie the rustic ribbon around the top of the jar. Fill with cinnamon scented pinecones. Set on the table as a fall centerpiece.
Be sure to check out more fun fall recipes HERE.