One of my favorite fall treats are caramel apples.
But, because my thing is mini dessert recipes, I wanted to come up with a caramel apple cupcake recipe!
I settled on an apple cupcake recipe for the cake, cinnamon cream cheese frosting, and an homemade caramel drizzle.
And, of course, I added a small wedge of apple to the top – that makes it healthy, right?
The tartness and warmth of the cinnamon cream cheese frosting perfectly balances the gentle sweetness of the apple cake with the sweet caramel drizzle.
This caramel apple cupcake recipe is decadence in a cupcake.
If you like a bit of texture in your cupcakes, you could add a bit of chopped nuts, raisins, caramel bits, or even grated apple to the cake batter, but I like my cupcakes light and without mix-ins.
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup apple butter (homemade or storebought)
- ¾ cup milk
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon (or less, depending on preference)
- 2-3 cups icing sugar
- 2-3 Tablespoons whipping cream or milk
- Caramel Drizzle:
- 12 Caramel squares
- ¼ cup whipping cream
- *Or Caramel Sundae Topping
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Cream the butter and sugar for 2 minutes, or until pale and fluffy.
- Add eggs while beating the batter, each one at a time. Then add the vanilla, apple butter, and milk.
- In a separate bowl, stir the dry ingredients together until fully blended. Add to the wet batter one cup at a time. Mix until combined.
- Measure out into a lined muffin pan, filling ¾ of the way full.
- Bake 18-22 minutes, until tops are risen and set, and inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool on a cooling rack.
- Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Blend ingredients together until fluffy and smooth.
- Add more icing sugar, or whipping cream, to achieve your desired consistency.
- Place a frosting tip in a frosting bag, and invert in a cup. Scoop the frosting into the bag.
- Twist the frosting bag to seal, and snip off the edge of the frosting bag.
- Attach a bag clip, if desired.
- Start frosting your cupcakes by starting in the middle, swirling slowly out while applying even pressure to the frosting bag, and then swirling up and inward to create a dome shape.
- Caramel Sauce:
- Prepare the caramel sauce while the cupcakes are baking, to allow for it to cool before drizzling.
- Melt the caramel squares in the whipping cream, over medium heat, whisking constantly, until melted. Take off the heat immediately, and allow to cool but not harden before drizzling over the cupcakes.
Make sure to pin this caramel apple cupcake recipe for later, and check out my other apple-based recipes:
15-minute Apple, Mushroom, & Chicken Curry