Spookily perfect eyeball cupcakes

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Moana Arruda of Mo’s Lovin’ Oven was in the kitchen whipping up the perfect Halloween treat! Apple of My Eye Halloween eyeball cupcakes! Caramel apple cheesecake with a white chocolate eyeball and bloody red caramel! Find Moana on IG at @MosBestThingsInLife and on facebook here.


Apple Spice Cake

  • 3 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce

Homemade Salted Caramel

1 1/2 cup granulated white sugar 9 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into cubes 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt

For cream cheese filling:

  • 16 ounce cream cheese-softened (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 medium Granny Smith apples cored and diced
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 1/4 cup homemade caramel 
  • For the frosting:
  • 2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 8 teaspoons cold water
  • 2-8 oz. block cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar)


Make The Apple Spice Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and prepare cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients and set them aside. 
  2. Cream the butter on high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the brown and white sugars and continue to beat on high for 3 more minutes, scraping down the bowl and paddle once in between. Add the eggs one at a time, then turn the mixer to medium for one full minute.
  3. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the applesauce, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. When it just begins to come together after the last flour addition, turn off the mixer and give it a few stirs by hand to make sure everything is incorporated. The batter will be thick. 
  4. Divide batter into 20 cupcake liners using an ice-cream scoop will help. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  

Make The Homemade Salted Caramel

  1. Have everything pre-measured and ready to go (you’ll be constantly stirring). Place the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, until it melts into an amber-colored liquid and no sugar clumps remain, 6-8 minutes. 
  2. Reduce the heat to medium. Carefully add the butter (it will bubble up when you do) and use a whisk to combine it with the sugar mixture until the butter is fully melted and incorporated, 1-2 minutes. 
  3. Add the heavy whipping cream in a steady stream while whisking. As soon as the cream is incorporated, let the caramel boil for a full minute before removing it from the heat and stirring in the salt. 
  4. Let the caramel cool completely to room temperature before using. It will thicken as it cools. 

Make the cheesecake filling

  1. Dice apples coat with lemon juice to keep from browning.
  2. Beat the cream cheese, vanilla and sugar until smooth. Add diced apples and caramel and stir just until incorporated, set aside.

Make the stabilized whipped cream

  1. To a small pan add the water; sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the water surface. Let stand a few minutes until the granules are moistened and thick.
  2. Place pan over low heat, stirring constantly, just until the gelatin dissolves. The mixture will be slightly thick but viscous enough to pour. Remove from heat; cool (do not allow it to set).
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whip the cream with the powdered sugar, until it begins to thicken.
  4. While beating on low speed, slowly add the gelatin to whipping cream.
  5. Once the gelatin is incorporated, whip at high speed until stiff peaks form.
  6. Pipe or frost as desired. Store unused whipped cream covered in the refrigerator.

Core center of cupcakes using knife or cupcake corer. Fill piping bag with cheesecake filling Cut tip off piping bag making sure to cut the tip large enough for the diced apples to come out of the bag. Squeeze enough filling into each cupcake to fill the center. In a new piping bag, with the piping tip of your choice, fill with whipped cream frosting. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes and drizzle with caramel. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.  ENJOY

Surae Chinn
Surae Chinn joined ABC4 as the 4pm anchor in 2016. She transitioned to the station’s lifestyle show ‘Good Things Utah’ in 2019 as as full time host. She is also ABC4’s chief medical correspondent.
Deena Manzanares
Deena Marie Manzanares is a Utah native, but lived in NYC for a few years while attending the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School. Locally, she has worked as a professional actor for years in both stage and film.

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