· 1 1/4 cup/300 milliliters apple cider· 1 1/2 cups/190 grams all-purpose flour· 1 teaspoon baking powder· 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt· 1/4 teaspoon baking soda· 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon· 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger· 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg· 6 tablespoons/85 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus 2 tablespoons melted· 1/2 cup/110 grams packed dark brown sugar· 1 large egg· 1/4 cup/60 milliliters apple butter· 1/4 cup/50 grams granulated sugar· 6 ounces/170 grams cream cheese, at room temperature· 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature· 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar· 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Step 1Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bring the apple cider to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Continue to cook the cider until it has reduced to 1/4 cup/60 milliliters, about 16 to 18 minutes. Let cool completely. (You can pop the reduced cider in the fridge or freezer to cool faster while you continue.)Step 2In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium, beat the room-temperature butter and brown sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add egg, apple butter and reduced apple cider, and beat until combined. Your batter may look like it has separated slightly, and that’s O.K. Add the dry mixture and mix just until combined, again scraping the bowl as necessary.Step 3Portion the dough into 2-tablespoon scoops on 2 parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets, about 1 1/2-inches apart. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until the cakes are puffed and set, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer sheets to racks. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and the granulated sugar. Brush the tops of the warm cakes with a bit of the melted butter and gently toss them in the sugar mixture. Set aside to cool completely.Step 4In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat to combine. Spread about 2 tablespoons of filling on the flat side of half of the cakes. Top with the other halves.