Books, Cooking, fantasy, Recipe

Eat This While You Read That: Amie Gibbons

I first met Amie Gibbons at LibertyCon this last summer. She’s a sweetheart and full of energy… and stories. She asked me if I would look at one of her short stories and give her some feedback, which I was happy to do. Her story was as sweet and fun as she was – not all authors do that, distilling a bit of themself into the story without making it feel like a mary-sue – and when her first novel was released last week, I was delighted to be able to be part of her debut with this recipe.

Amie’s book The Gods Defense involves a young lawyer, the return of magic, talking plants, the gods of myth, and… well, I’ll let you read it. You’ll have some time while the cupcakes are baking! And with an ebook you can’t get crumbs on the pages. gods defence

When I asked Amie for a recipe, I guessed that it would be a fun one. You see, I’m friends with her on facebook, and I know that when she’s stressed about something, she bakes, just like I do. So when I opened the email and saw the title she’d given her dish, I had to laugh. Also, the First Reader immediately gave her two thumbs up for an apple recipe.

Stress Baked Apple Streusel Cupcakes


Swirl and Topping
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup grated apple (1 large peeled apple)
2 Tbsp cinnamon-sugar (from Swirl and Topping)
1 1/4 cups white flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F and line a dozen cupcake tin cups with paper liners.
  2. Peel the apple then use a cheese grater to grate a cup. Toss the apple with 2 Tbsp of the cinnamon-sugar. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Then blend in the eggs, oil and vanilla. Stir in the apple (along with the juice)/sugar mixture.
  4. Drop 2 Tbsp of batter into each muffin cup. Spoon 1/2 tsp of cinnamon-sugar on top of the batter. Drop another 2 Tbsp of batter on top. Dollop melted butter on top of each cup. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar on top of each cup of batter.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcake comes out clean.

Cedar’s Notes: I pulled a bonehead move and didn’t take any pictures of the prep… but that was mostly because this was super simple to pull together. The only thing I changed was to use sprinkles of my homemade struesel I keep in the freezer on the tops of the cupcakes. And I frosted them.

Apple struesel cupcakes
Apple Struesel Cupcakes ready to go in the oven,

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 6 oz cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • Powdered sugar

Prep the vanilla bean by slitting it down the length and then scraping the seeds out with the back of the knife passed firmly down the bean, at right angles to the length. (I really need to photo that) In the stand mixer bowl with whisk attachment, cream the cream cheese until it’s whipped softer a bit. Slowly add about a cup of powdered sugar. You don’t want the mixer going too fast here, or the sugar will become a dust bomb. Add in the vanilla and seeds. (reserve what’s left of the pod for making the next batch of vanilla extract). Add more sugar, a half-cup at a time, until the frosting is thick, and looks something like this:

cream cheese frosting
Soft creamy frosting that is thick enough for a bit of decorative effect. See the teeny black ‘beans’?

I used a large star tip (#808) to put a pretty dollop of sweet creaminess on top of the cupcakes, but you could just smear it on there once they are completely cool. Also, this will make more frosting than you need for one batch of cupcakes, but it refrigerates well and can be frozen, too. I will be using it on a planned carrot cake next weekend.

Apple cupcake
Just a dollop of frosting, and left the crispy strueselly (totally a word) edges alone.

The First Reader didn’t have much to say at first, just happy noises. He was the one to suggest the frosting, because as Amie said, without it they are more muffins. Which makes them legitimate breakfast food. I left half unfrosted so I could try that out this morning and they are all going to be gone very soon!

Apple Struesel Cupcakes
Apple Struesel Cupcakes! Yummy

The Eat This While You Read That! index page is here, and the facebook group where we chat about food and books is here.